How Many Ways to Heat a Pup Tent?

Discussion in 'Winter Camping' started by Syntria, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Hey Folks!

    I wanted to try an experiment. I wanted to try to do a heated pup tent. It doesn't have to be cozy warm, but I'm looking for a notable difference in temp. I was trying to think of a few different ways to do this and here are my ideas.

    Put coals in a dirt hole in the tent and cover it with metal/rocks.
    Use or build a small wood burning stove - I undestand a Co2 detector and good air flow for this to be safe plus I'd have to modify the tent.
    Could one of those candle lanterns (They put out about 5000 BTU) or a regular oil lantern be able to put out enough heat to take the cold 'edge' off inside the tent?
    Hot Rocks/Hot Water Bags

    I'm curious in learning various ways to heat a tent/sleeping bag.
     
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  2. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue Graybeard Supporter

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    Pup tents are small...

    I have used hand warmers in the past, down in the foot of the sleeping bag. Work pretty well actually.
     
  3. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Me and handwarmers have become besties in my recent 20F overnights in a hammock (with only a 40F underquilt lol).

    I've seen some folks use a stove but that seems pretty dangerous. I was just thinking of different controlled ways to bring in something that radiates or creates heat in the overall tent.
     
  4. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Guide

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    Pup tents are pretty snug for two people. You might be able to use an ammo can wood stove, with some air flow a small propane stove might work as well. A hot water bottle between your feet and a warm sleeping as well.
     
  5. designtom

    designtom Scout

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    Just drag your heated rocks from the campfire into the tent (I'm assuming no floor)

    Easiest way I've found so far is to only move the rocks a foot or two, and set the tent up over them (but now you're stupid close to the coals you left behind, I've buried them)
     
  6. ozwolf

    ozwolf Scout

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    A small hearted buddy would do it propane can use small bottles or buy the hose adapter and use a 20lb tank.
    You can get them at Walmart for $60 or $70
     
  7. Harper

    Harper Guide

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    Hot water in metal bottles inside of wool socks. Put them in your sleeping bag. Then drink the water the next day!

    Fresh wool socks on feet, ski cap on head.

    Change of base layer, if possible.
     
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  8. gohammergo

    gohammergo Still running against the wind..... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    A pup tent is pretty small. Shouldn't take much to heat it, the problem is keeping the heat IN it.

    I think if you have a good pad under you, and maybe throw a tarp over the tent to hold heat in would help. Your little doggy should be like a mini furnace too. :)

    There are a lot of different hand warmers on the market. I've never used the chemical ones, but I've used the Jonee ones that take lighter fluid. That might get too stinky though.

    They do make some electric ones that charge from a USB cord. I've never used one of those either. That might be a safe option though?
     
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  9. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I have a Mr buddy propane heater. We kinda tested it the other week and decided to use it in the 4 man tent in the dead center.
     
  10. diamondm

    diamondm Supporter Supporter

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    Ditto what Harper said - I have extra heavy wool socks that are only for sleeping and a wool cap on my head. I keep them in the sleeping bag so I always have them there when I go camping. I used to use hot water in bottles and now (before I bought the Wiggy's) I cut off the bottom of an old pant leg and sewed one end shut. Now I have a pocket. - I put the rocks near the fire to pick up the heat and then put them in my rock sack into my sleeping bag. Really helps keep me warm. I always worried my water bottle would come open in my sleeping bag.
     
  11. Oni

    Oni Scout

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    A dog.

    If colder, more than 1.
     
  12. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Not sure about Co2 with Propane, but be sure to have a CO2 monitor if they output CO2 though. I heard a really frightening story when I was at a meetup recently about an old couple who died from CO2 poisoning from a small heater in a tent. Just something to research if you haven't already. It really scares me.
     
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  13. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Best response.
     
  14. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    UCO candle lantern

    Sterno firebox stove with upside down clay flower pot on top fueled by charcoal briquettes
     
  15. Jean

    Jean Guide

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    A four candle uco lantern take the edge off in a tipi (Shangri la5). Should help in anpup tent.
     
  16. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    The Mr buddy has a built in detector where it shuts off if it does not have enough air/build up of co2. Also automatic shut off if it tips over.
    It's not perfect but pretty darn close.
     
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  17. rbinhood

    rbinhood Tracker

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    DO NOT put hot coals in a pup tent unless you are willing to take a chance that you might not wake up in the morning. Carbon monoxide (CO), is an odorless gas that kills many people each year. You don't even know you are being overcome until it is too late. Similarly, a Mr. Heater Buddy in an enclosed tent is risky. A byproduct of combustion is water vapor. Water vapor coming into contact with an unheated tent wall will condense and freeze on the fabric. Even uncoated nylon can freeze, with the pores filling in, eventually encasing you in an icy tomb. The Buddy heaters have an oxygen valve, but as a heating expert friend of mine asked me once, do you want to stake your life on a $.25 valve that might malfunction?

    A small wood stove vented to the outside, coupled with a battery CO detector is actually fairly safe, but not totally without risk. Seek Outside, Titanium Goat, Kifaru, and LiteOutdoors all make lightweight wood burners that can be used in a small tent

    The safest route that I have seen is this: http://zodi.com/tent-heaters/hot-vent-tent-heater It appears their smallest model is sold out, or they are redesigning it. I got one at a garage sale, and from time to time they pop up on ebay. Best thing is, the flame and combustion are outside your tent, so no worry of gassing yourself or starting your tent on fire.

    A pup tent is a small space, not leaving much room between your sleeping bag and a stove. You will have to watch out that you don't melt your bag or start it on fire. WAHhiker has some great videos on YouTube of small tents with woodstoves.
     
  18. LFowler

    LFowler Tracker

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    I have seen an attachment for an alcohol stove (trangia specifically) that is designed to turn it into a small heater. It is mostly appears to be several coils of wire that heat up from the flame and radiate heat, I have not seen a similar one for sale in the US but might be a MYOG option.

    I have no idea on the safety concerns of an alcohol stove in an enclosed tent for air quality, but as other have said you can't be too cautious; a father and daughter died in a tent in the rockies last year near me from a stove in a tent.
     
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  19. rbinhood

    rbinhood Tracker

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    There is a reason why they refer to some nights as a "four dog night".
     
  20. rbinhood

    rbinhood Tracker

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    MommaJ, I would be REAL careful with that Mr. Heater Buddy in an enclosed tent. I would NOT run it at night when you or others are sleeping. Using it for a warm-up before bed, first thing in the morning or during the day is probably ok, but you still need to have adequate fresh air from a vent, window or door.

    I did some crazy stuff with propane heaters in tents and ice shacks when I was much younger, and I am lucky, VERY lucky to be alive to tell about it. Closest I came to dying was installing a 3 burner propane stove top that I salvaged out of an old pop-up camper into an ice shack. I didn't realize there was a pilot light for the burners, so when I lit the burner with a match, I also lit the invisible pilot. After cooking dinner one night on the stove top, about 9:00-10:00 I am sitting in the shack and starting to feel very woozy. I kick open the door and instantly feel better with some fresh air. Then, with the door open, I start looking around for what was making me feel bad. I pull the metal top off the 3 burner stove top, and I see this little, yellow pilot light flickering. That little burning flame, no bigger than a candle flame, was killing me with CO. I am lucky to tell about it, considering I was by myself that night with nobody to bail me out if I tipped over.

    We camp because we enjoy being out in nature and testing ourselves. We push the boundary with winter camping, and because we want to be warm, we start experimenting, and in the process many of us take a chance or two. You have to weigh the risk of staying warm with something burning in an enclosed space against killing yourself in the process. Be careful. Be VERY CAREFUL!
     
  21. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Queue Flint!! LOL!
     
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  22. bacpacjac

    bacpacjac Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Great thread! Thanks @Syntria! BTW, I've never had one, but since I was a kid, I've always dreamed of having a pup tent. :p
     
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  23. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    You got it. The plan for it is more to use an omg I am so friggen cold despite proper sleep set ups or a way to stay warm while chilling in the tent reading and such.

    Our test the other day/night involved running it with the door wind open verse with it closed as well as the best area to put it. Hence the decision for it to be in the center of the tent with the door window slightly opened. With the window opened slightly it gave a hint of air flow but it was not noticeable when I was laying in the sleeping bag.

    Before the tent test though we tested it running on top of plastic bags and thwn i tipped it over obto the bags after an hour. It melted the bags but did turn off. So when we ran it in the tent we made sure to have a piece of tile under it.
     
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  24. mtnoutdoors

    mtnoutdoors Guide

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    I would say a hot water bottles, or hot rocks. Prov 27 : 17
     
  25. nomad orphan

    nomad orphan Tracker

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    Candle in a can... put a small dry rock on top.

    Just cut a door in the can with a knife.
    Of fill with water and freeze... then use a hammer and nail to poke holes in patterns. Then cut the door.

    The rock heats up and radiates heat.

    I agree about a dog. Mine sleeps under my knees or between my legs. All I have to do is lift my legs to let her out.
     
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  26. racetrack

    racetrack Supporter Supporter

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    Those propane heaters are too scary in small spaces. The only way you will know if the CO2 sensor didnt work right overnite, is when it is St. Peter asking how you like your eggs cooked.
     
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  27. DarrylM

    DarrylM Guide

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    Is that the idea behind "3 Dog Night"?
     
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  28. freebirdfb

    freebirdfb Guide

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    There were a few deer seasons we used a propane heater to hear a tent. The key is to have a draft for fresh air. I have wondered if using an electric fan would help circulate the air. And make sure you have enough space for your heater. I have had the experience of rolling over and brushing an arm against the stove. Not s pleasant experience and could be worse if it got knocked over.
     
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  29. rmorgan736

    rmorgan736 Scout

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    a 2 burner candle..............a small clay flower pot and a clay base............put the candle on the base and light the wicks put a small stick next to the candle for the pot to rest on so there is air flow put the pot over the candle and this will keep things warm for quite a while..
     
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  30. ezra45

    ezra45 Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Yes, that is the story. 3 dog night= very cold night. Australian, I believe..

    ezra
     
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  31. Spork

    Spork Supporter Supporter

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    I've used a single candle UCO lantern in a backpacking tent quite a bit and it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of difference. Even after burning several hours in a closed up tent before entering. I think the most effective is a hot water bottle or a chemical heater inside your sleeping bag with good ground insulation.

    Something that would be interesting to try is more candles...maybe in a pierced tin lantern. There is also the Yucan Survival Stove - http://zenstoves.net/Wax.htm - after trying it out with tealights, I think I'd replace them with larger votive candles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  32. Malamute

    Malamute Guide

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    Ive lived in a tipi for a couple years off and on, and spent several months living in a 9x12 wall tent with sheet metal Sims stove, and spent about 5 years just camping/sleeping outside in all seasons, sometimes down to around zero out under the stars, 20 below in the tipi, and 30 below (once) in the back of my truck. After the first few times trying to keep the fire going at night in the tipi and using the Sims stove in the wall tent of trying to keep a fire going in the woodstove, I decided it was both risky, and not worth the effort in interrupted sleep and effort getting the extra wood. In the daytime, sure. I just dont bother overnight.

    I sleep great in the cold with enough sleeping bag or enough blankets piled on top on a cheap square sleeping bag. Dogs add considerable warmth when sleeping in the cold, as do cheap fleece type blankets or throws over your sleeping bag. Bring enough warm sleeping gear and you dont need to try heating a tent at night. Ive slept very cold a few times, then decided it wasnt going to happen again and got a good zero or colder rated down bag, and a cheaper down bag for less cold times.

    I really cant recall the exact temp my down bag was rated to, maybe 20 below rather than zero, but I think I bought it in about 1977, and its still in very good condition. The cheaper bag was fairly well worn, but still functional. Both were excellent investments in sleeping comfort. The good bag was a Class V Expedition Outfitters brand. Its been a stellar piece of gear. I think it cost as much as a good rifle in '77, maybe $200, and worth every penny and more.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  33. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    $40 at the military surplus store. I bought quite a few things.

    20180212_152742.jpg
     
  34. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Thank you for sharing your experiences!

    I'd not want to do overnight. More warm up before bed and in the morning. I can do 20F without fire (have 3 nights now) but am interested in the concept of a heated tent. The co2 is scary.

    I was wondering if a lantern (candles or oils) would provide a little warmth. (Car camping.) Is not track this tent out when backpacking haha. It's sooooo heavy. Great for excersie though.
     
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  35. Red Ochre

    Red Ochre Guide

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    All you need is pinto beans for a pup tent.
     
  36. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    I Got a chemical one for last weekend. Tucked it in my sports bra for awhile not knowing about chemical burns. Got a stinging rash but it went away pretty quick. It works but seems like a hassle.
     
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  37. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Hahaha. Idk if you mean farts or just the hot pot.
     
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  38. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Well I guess they are called "Pup" tents because they aren't much bigger than a kennel. The first thing I would do is add a waterproof fly over the top, just doing this makes the inner a lot warmer due to several factors. Assuming you are using a wood fire I think the hot rocks idea is the best option offered so far but!
    Somewhere I think I saw a mention of using chimney pipe to add a lot of draft to a Dakota fire hole; would a trench as long as the puptent is long, lined with big flue pipe and with a right angled joint at the far end mated to a tall length of flue do the job for you? You may have to drop a lighted paper twist down the far end of the flue to get a draft going. You could make the ground pipe using discarded A-10 cans jammed together end to end. I think if you put a set of flat rocks on the ground over the pipe and used sufficient dry browse as floor covering it would be quite cozy and stay warm for a long while. Use an extra #-10 can as a hole blocker when you put out the fire
     
  39. Moondog55

    Moondog55 Guide

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    Also using a couple of those cheap blankets or poncho liners to insulate the roof works too, just not worth doing without the extra fly.
    Makes me think I should try this myself with my small canvas wall tent,; just what I need is another project.:18::dblthumb:
     
  40. melbolt65

    melbolt65 Guide Bushclass I

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    Never tried but perhaps you could Fill a dutch oven or some sort of pot with pebbles and stick it in the fire for a while, then transport to tent and set it where it won't melt anything, might radiate some heat for a while.

    I don't play around with open flame or anything putting off carbon inside small shelters. Its just not really necessary to stay warm with proper gear and adds more risk.
     
  41. CharClothed

    CharClothed Supporter Supporter

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    Mr. Heater or Ammo Can Stove. Honestly with the tent blocking the wind, there's already a temp change.
     
  42. ozwolf

    ozwolf Scout

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    I'm surprised it didn't shut off my small one shuts off if I tip it at all when I pick it up.
    If it is a recent purchase you may want to exchange it.
    They were made for ice shacks and camping. We liked our small one so much we got the bigger version and love it. I sleep with big one on all night.
     
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  43. gohammergo

    gohammergo Still running against the wind..... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    @MommaJ , as mentioned, the heater should have shut down. I bought one a couple of years ago to put some heat in my Jeep. (Long story) and even going around corners was enough to shut it down.

    That brings to mind that I actually used the larger buddy heater for several nights in a pop up camper. The one that takes two tanks and has the blower. That's a nice heater!


    Great idea about the Dutch oven too. Any kind of metal bucket should do for the hot stones. That's actually a pretty good idea!
     
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  44. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    It did turn off. The melting was due to the heater being hot.
     
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  45. UAHiker

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    i've been wanting to try this but i think i'd only do it when i'm awake just b/c i'd be too worried about CO when i'm sleeping
     
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  46. ozwolf

    ozwolf Scout

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    My apologies I misunderstood.
    You are right the front bars heat up.
     
  47. MommaJ

    MommaJ Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Its all good. Yeah we choose plastic bags to test how hot it gets and would it burn skin(yes) melt the tent(yes) if it tips over but the heat it puts off running would not melt the tent.
     
  48. SmilinJoe

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    Be careful here too. Had a scout last year wrap one of those around each ankle because his feet were cold ( he heard us talking about placing them on arteries to warm extremities) but placed them directly on his skin and got 3rd degree burns and ended up needing skin grafts.
     
    rsnurkle likes this.
  49. Syntria

    Syntria Supporter Supporter Bushclass I

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    Eeeep. I had some of the fuel fluid residue on the outside is what burned me, even though I had it in the little pouch thing. Oooouch. Poor boy.
     
  50. Seacapt.

    Seacapt. Supporter Supporter

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    Yes you have to be careful, same as using gas lantern, catalytic heater ect. for heat, shelter can't be closed up tight and I always have a small CO (carbon monoxide) alarm with me if using them although these heat sources are shut down when I turn in for the night except when I'm sleeping under a 3 sided leanto tarp..
     
    Red Ochre, hidden_lion and UAHiker like this.

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