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The Best Heater for Tent Camping – Safe Tent Heaters for Camping

The camping experience is always an awesome expedition, from the change of environment to being a step closer to nature for a while, it is always fun and looked forward to by many. Though your planning might be spot on, one thing that always stays guaranteed for sure is the unpredictable changes in weather conditions, and a major example being temperature levels, which is why you need to be equipped with the best heater for tent camping.

During camping exercises, tents become your temporary abode, and it becomes important not just to have a heater that would keep your temperature up at a healthy level, but also a safe one at that. For this reason, you should not just consider any heater, but only safe tent heaters for camping.

For the sake that there is a high chance of you not having access to steady power supply in camping areas, it is more advisable to go with the best catalytic tent heater, most of which makes use of gas that is broken down in a catalytic manner, while it must also qualify as a backpacking tent heater when its size is put into consideration. I.e., it is portable.

Before going on into the market to that choice of yours, we recommend strongly that you go through this article, as it contains all the facts you would need to make the best choice.

Also Read: Best electric heater for large spaces

How cold is too cold for tent camping

At nights in the jungle camping areas, temperature levels can drop as low as 300F, which is already on its own too low for the human body. For this reason, a heater becomes a very indispensable item for your camp trip. Temperatures of about 500f to 600f are most convenient.

What types of heaters are safe for camping?

To answer this ellaborately, lets talk briefly about the different kinds of camp heaters according to their safety

  • Gas heaters:

The gas heaters are the least safe tent heater for the fact that they can be easily knocked over, which could lead to fire hazards if left unattended to.

They also emit carbon monoxide, which can lead to poisoning and death if left unattended. For this reason, they should be only used in well-ventilated areas, and should not be left unattended to at any point in time. Gas leakages also boast a threat. Not to worry, though, as most modern features have built-in safety auto shut off protection systems against these hazards.

  • Electric heaters:

Although cool and they make use of clean energy sources, but having water around is just about enough to turn this harmless device into a hazardous one.

They should never be left unattended too, and the auto shutoff timer feature is the most important safety system to look out for before buying an electric heater.

  • Halogen heaters:

These heater types are generally not a good option due to the high fire risks they pose. The safest way it can be used, though, is by being hung at the center of the tent.

  • Wood-burning stoves:

Its major drawback is ventilation. They should be only used in areas that are properly ventilated unless the fumes could build up to cause poisoning to the human body when inhaled.

All in all, we would recommend the gas heaters since most of them often come along with safety features, and th ose are the kinds of heaters we would be reviewing majorly in this articleout

Also Read: Best space Heater for 300 square feet

Top 7 best heater for tent camping – Safe tent heaters for camping

1) Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater

Special features: 6,000 – 12,000 BTU, 1LB disposable cylinder tank, electric ignition, oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), swivel regulator, item weight 9 pounds,

Easily the most popular propane heater in the whole of North America, the Mr. Heater MH12B is amongst the top best in the business of providing heat for you in remote areas, far away from home.

Its rugged and compact build helps it survive the rash and unfavorable condition, being also portable, and lightweight helps it make a stronger case as per being suitable for camping use. At the top side of the heater, exists a handle that helps you easily move it around.

This heater has been built especially for small spaces of sizes up to 300sqft, making it best for camp tents as they are mostly small and compact.

Though in most cases, heaters that could serve higher room capacities are always recommended, but since we are considering a tent, high capacity heaters are a major no go area due to safety concerns.

Still talking about safety, several safety features have been built into this device to help avoid both hazards and environmental pollutions. One of these is the low oxygen shutoff system, which, as the name implies, turns the device off automatically when the oxygen levels in the room deplete to an intolerable and dangerous level. It is good since the heater would most likely spend more time working indoors than outdoors, and waste products produce by the gases are almost sure to be present though very little in quantity.

Due to the sure random movements in camp tents, once in a while, the machine can be knocked over unintentionally, leading to fire hazards. For this reason, the tip-over safety feature has been put in place in order to automatically shut off the device in case something like this happens.

In all, the device has an impressive power output in its 6,000 – 12,000 BTU, and can be used with a disposable cylinder tank or connected directly to a gas supply with a swivel regulator. Its 1-year warranty gives a good stamp on the deal, though a major downside is that it stops to work in areas of high altitudes.


  • Suitable for small camp spaces,
  • low oxygen shutoff system,
  • tip-over safety shut off,
  • easy to start push button,


  • Not suitable for high altitude usage,
  • suitable for indoors only.

2) Mr. Heater Corporation 29,000-45,000 BTU 540 Degree

Special features: 29,000 – 45,000 BTU, oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), 360 degrees burner head, 20lb of a cylinder, push start button, item weight; 5.5 pounds

This heater type takes a different shape and completely different design to the Mr. Heater MH12B, being narrower shaped, with the radiator stationed at the top side, which is able to push heat widely.

It’s simply lightweight, just being about 5.5 pounds in weight, hence very mobile to move around during your camping. It can also be attached to cylinder sizes of up to 20lb, which is petty large in size.

A distinctive feature about this heater, is the amount of heat it is able to produce, which is about 29,000 – 45,000 BTU, making it a very good source of heat and not exactly suitable for indoor uses. If you would probably stay in open spaces with a little setup for a tent during camping, then this heater is for you, as its high BTU rating helps it radiate heat efficiently in open spaces.

This heater also comes with the auto-shutoff safety feature that works in hand with the oxygen depletion sensor. Hence you can be sure to stay safe from low levels of oxygen over extended heating periods. Starting up the heater is also a piece of cake, with the easy to use push button, whereby you can simply start or stop all at the press of a button.

Overall, the output capacity of this heater makes it stand out amongst similar models, and its 360 degrees are radiating direction makes for effective heat spreading around the environment. It would, therefore, be a good buy for anyone looking to go on camping exercises and spend the nights in completely open environments.


  • auto-shutoff feature,
  • 360-degree heating,
  • easy to start push button,
  • lightweight


  • for outdoors only,

3) Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

Special features: swivel out fuel connection, 4,000 – 9,000 BTU output, Piezo-electric igniter, high-temperature wire guard, porcelain-coated heating surface, oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), durable ceramic burner tile, item weight; 9 pounds.

Another Mr. Heater product on our list is the F232000. Bearing similar identical looks with the earlier MH 12B should be nothing of a surprise, with the same small, compact, and rugged build, which helps it navigate through the rigors of camping exercises. Simply weighing about 9 pounds offers better mobility, as well as the prince of a built-in handle at the top, for easy grabbing and lifting along.

As per heat output production, this device is able to make about 4,000 to 9,000 BTU only, due to its suitability to encased spaces like camp tents. Talking about sizes, it can serve precisely spaces of about 225sqft. Outdoor usages are also applicable to this device too, though it might not have as much impact as you may want over very open spaces.

Its source of heat production is a very clean process, while the machine itself is almost 100% efficient, which is a stand out feature amongst others. Despite its clean heat production process, its design was also built with enough safety in mind, whereby if at any point in time it is either knocked over, loses it pilot light, or detects low levels of oxygen in the atmosphere, it shuts off immediately. The heater can also be adapted to using either a disposable cylinder or remote gas supply due to its swivel regulator.

Lifting too is pretty easy as all the products on our list so far, as you only have to push a button, and an integrated piezo sparking system lit it up. There is also protection available on the surface of the device in the high-temperature wire guard, while the porcelain coated surface helps in radiating heat over really long distances.


  • Foldable handle,
  • easy to start,
  • high-temperature wire protection,
  • wide heat radiation,
  • auto shutoff,
  • durable, and
  • easy to replace ceramic burner tile.


  • Cannot be used at high altitudes.

4) Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

Special features: 3,800 BTU, medium size, swivel out connector, oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), porcelain-coated surface, product dimensions; 11 x 11 x 11 inches, 5.91 pounds

Mr. Heater F215100 heater takes a different shape to the portable and compact looking designs we saw in the previous Mr. Heater products that we have seen so far, being much smaller and designed with the heater head standing on a straight pole whose length can be varied.

The product could be small/medium-sized depending on your reference and is much suitable for small enclosed spaces, as, in open areas, it would offer next to nothing heat impact.

The wide heating surface helps it increase temperature levels faster where ever it is placed, though it only has an output of 3,800 BTU, which is pretty low and a real turn off about the device. The swivel connector design that allows heaters double in using a disposable cylinder or a gas system is also present here, while its size and weight ensure moving anywhere to your desired location wouldn’t be a problem.

The surface of this heater is also designed with porcelain coating, which increases its radiation strength and distance by a considerable amount, and it also comes a pretty durable and easy to replace ceramic burner tile.

Powering on and off this device has also been made easier too with the presence of a button that does the trick, while safety, which is just as important as its heating ability isn’t neglected, and the machine shuts down on event of being tipped over or in low oxygen conditions.

In folding the unit up, this device is simply a good heat distributor and would serve well when used in the right conditions, though it is not the best out there.

It’s the pretty affordable price range, too, ensures you would be getting a good value for your money. If you are looking to heat up medium to large camp tenets, then you should certainly opt higher than this unit.


  • large heating surface,
  • foldable handles,
  • easy to start,
  • auto shutoff,
  • tip-over safety,
  • wide heat radiation,
  • durable and easy to replace ceramic burner tile.


  • suitable for very small spaces only,
  • cannot be used at high altitudes.

5) Camplux JK-1000 Portable Butane Heater, 4,400 BTU Outdoor Camping Gas Heater

Special features: 4,400 BTU adjustable ceramics gas burner, enamel surface, piezo-electric ignition, product dimensions; 12.2 x 9.5 x 11.95 inches, item weight 5.50lb, multiple applications.

This portable heater comes at a really cool price when matched with the features it offers. With a design that is peculiar to every other heater on our list so far, this product is pretty portable and easy to control, with the presence of the good old analog knobs.

Its lightweight characteristic also ensures that mobility wouldn’t be an issue when packing for your camping exercise, while the foldable handle offers more convenience.

A special feature that distinguishes this heater from others so far is its ability to serve multiple applications. it can be used for mild heating up of liquid/ cooking items alongside its basic purpose of raising the temperature of the environment.

When it comes to its output production, it is only able to manage about 4,400 BTU, which though can be used outdoors, isn’t really suitable for large spaces (only up to 100sqft). in not so wide outdoor locations though, it would come in handy.

In powering it up, the user has been aided by the presence of piezo-electric ignition, which makes for an easy start and stop at the push of a button, while the special enamel-coated heating surface helps radiate heat properly. The heat-up time after being turned on is also pretty fast, taking just about 5 seconds to switch from dead cold to blazing hot.

A safety system placed to keep the user safe while using the unit is in the presence of a built-in pressure senor canister ejection system, which kicks in in order to prevent gas leakage, as it automatically cuts off airflow when the pressure reaches unacceptable levels. Its body shape and composition give it a strong build for longer life.


  • suitable for indoor and outdoor uses,
  • very short heat-up time,
  • easy to clean,
  • gas leakage and overheating protection,
  • easy to start,
  • compact and portable,
  • heating mode and warming mode,


  • suitable for small areas only,

6) Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

Special features: durable stainless-steel burner, good ground balance, alumni reflector with safety grid, 2,890 BTUs, item weight; 1 pound,

if you were looking for a quick grab and move heater, then this is your guy, though you should be willing to sacrifice such portability for performance.

Although the Texas sport portable heater is pretty small and compact in size, it more than makes up for the balance lost in the way it is designed. The heater sits upon a round bottom with four protruding flat surfaces to further enhance its stability.

The material is built to be very durable, which is one of the highlights of this heater as it gives it a pretty long-life span. The burner itself is made of stainless steel, while it has a reflector with safety grid all made of aluminum. This reflector helps to distribute further the heat generated into the atmosphere, while the safety grid is for protection against skin contacts. There also exists a steel handle for carrying the heater around.

Heat output of 2,890 BTU is what this product manages, which is a real letdown considering all the positives to the product already, and due to this, it is only suitable for heating up very small spaces. At just 1 pound, the heater is as handy as it can get, and wouldn’t offer any stress on mobility.

You should also know that purchasing this device comes with a 1-year warranty, which is a good addition, while safety features were not neglected too. the heater shuts off fuel supply automatically, when the flame goes out, to prevent potential fire hazard


  • auto shutoff,
  • 1-year warrantee,
  • durable,
  • safety grid.


  • suitable for small spaces only,

7) Stansport Portable Outdoor Infrared Propane Heater

Special features: 3,100BTU, metal dish, item weight; 1.8 pounds,

Sharing a very similar build with the Texsport, this unit is just as portable and compact, only losing to Texsport in being slightly heavier (about 0.9 pounds more). it comes with a stainless-steel handle for both easy mobilities as well as the stainless material giving it a relatively long-life span.

it is also well balanced on the floor, sitting on a plastic built round bottom with a protrusion to further support it, getting knocked over only happens if it was an intentional act. At the heaters, the head is a metal dish that is used for precision purposes, as the user is able to point the heat produced to any specific location of your choice. This is a standout feature regarding this product.

With an output of 3,100 BTU, it would do a fair job in keeping the temperature levels up, though it is only suitable for small outdoor spaces only, which is a major concern for anyone with large camping areas. As per safety too, it lacks the auto-shutoff feature present in most of the heaters we have reviewed so far; therefore, you have to stay cautious while using this product.

it offers a front cage covering though on the metal dish, against skin burns and unintentional contacts. Though it is a really cheap product, so are the quality it offers; pretty low, and anyone looking for at least an average heater should probably look beyond this.


  • precise heating,
  • front cage protection,


  • suitable for small spaces only,
  • lack of auto shut off.

Also Read: Best space Heater for RV

Considerations for picking the best heater for tent camping

  • Heater type:

There are several heaters out there that would do a good job in raising temperature levels, from the electric to wood stove or gas types. For camping exercises though, we would recommend the gas type, due to its convenience of portability and use, and also the fact that you can’t exactly find a power supply for an electric heater type.

  • Camping location:

This goes a long way in choosing the heater type you should go with; for example, if there is power supply available, you are better off with the electric type. Depending on the size of the tents too, you should pick a heater with sufficient output.

  • Noise level:

If you are going for the electric type, then there would be radiators and fans present, which would generate some amount of noise. Take along a unit with tolerable or no noise at all for convenient sleep at night.

  • Safety:

The gas heater types are the least safest due to the use of combustible gas for heat generation. For this reason, your heater must possess all or one of either the anti-tip shutoff, gas leak shut off, or high-pressure shutoff. Electric heaters too shouldn’t be left to run overnight, while wood-burning stoves should be used in properly ventilated areas.

  • Size:

A heater that is too heavy would surely be a burden to your mobility during your camping experience. Be sure to go for what you can easily move around.

Tent heating ideas – How do you heat a tent while camping in winter?

Here are a few points on how you can heat up and retain heat in a tent effectively while camping in winter;

  • Insulate your tent properly to retain warmth:

Retaining warmth in your tent is just as important as heating it up, and we recommend you should first learn how to keep the heat trapped in the tent before generating it. You can follow this few steps;

  • Use a rug or carpet on the floor:

It would help in preventing the floors from drawing in heat like it always does, especially at night time.

  • If you can, have an extra covering on the tent material:

Aside from the normal material of your tent, you should additional material as it would help in further reducing the amount of heat that escapes from the tent per time.

  • Use a good sleeping pad:

Good quality slipping pads are designed to both retain hear and give you comfort at night while you take a rest from the days camping activities.

  • Choose the right spot to pitch your tent:

Choosing the right spot and not, could be the major difference between how quickly you lose heat and not. For example, if your tent is located in a windy spot, then be sure to have the doors perpendicular to the wind, anything else would result in the wind blowing in, and heat pushed out from your tent.

You should also pick a sunny spot, where the natural warmth would hut your tent directly, hence giving you extra heat from nature. If you have time on your hands, building a snow wall around your tent is also a great way of trapping the heat inwards.

  • Use a sleeping bag liner:

Sleeping bag liners have been known to increase the warmth of a sleeping bag drastically, and getting one would be a good way to bring further warmth into your tent. They could raise the temperature levels as high as 25% more depending on the sleeping bag material.

Other means are:

  • trapping your tent,
  • using insulated sleep pads,
  • using extra blankets.
  • Most importantly, Make use of a safe tent heaters for camping:

Having spoken of ways to retain heat, now you would need a heater to replenish the little heat that would manage to get away if you follow all our procedures. This is where the heater comes into play, and in his case, for camping purposes, we would recommend the gas type heater.

Top 5 tips for surviving winter camping

  • Have an effective and reliable source of heat.
  • Have a good source of water or take enough before leaving on your trip.
  • Pitch your tent on a campsite with bare on the ground; not on snow, avoid hills that could risk an avalanche tumbling on your tent, and pitch tent in the sun rising areas.
  • Look for landmarks that would help you find your camp in the event of a snow storm.

Bottomline: Best safest Tent Heater for camping in winter

Mr. Heater MH12B comes out totally swimming on top of our list for the most recommended firstly due to its suitability for indoor tents, as well as the numerous safety features like the tip over and low oxygen shut off. With a 1-year warranty attached to purchasing this unit, your investment is further protected.

Should in case your budget just fall below that required for the MH12B, well, you should simply fall to another Mr. heater product in the Mr. Heater Corporation 29,000 – 45,000 BTU. it offers similar qualities and performance to the MH12B but is built specifically for outdoor purposes, where it, in fact, defeats the MH12B in also boasts the safety features as well as a 360 degrees heat radiation direction.

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