Safety of Tent Heaters

Written by kristi meyer
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Safety of Tent Heaters
Know the risks before you use a tent heater. (camp on the forests image by Galyna Andrushko from

It can get downright frigid when you're camping, and sometimes your down sleeping bag isn't enough to keep you warm. Tent heaters are gaining in popularity, but before you use one, consider the safety issues.

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Carbon Monoxide

Some tent heaters, even those designed to go inside the tent, emit potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO) fumes. Ventilate your tent by opening a window at least 6 square inches.

Fire & Damage

Keep your heater unit at least two feet away from everything in your tent. If items get too close, they might melt or catch fire. Use a tent heater in a six-person or larger tent so there is plenty of clearance. Keep a fire extinguisher within reach.


Do not sleep when the tent heater is on--you could roll over into it and suffer burns.

Creative Heating

When heating your tent, use units designed for that function only. Camp stoves, lanterns, candles in a jar and other inventive heating implements can lead to increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire and burns.


When travelling with your tent heater, detach the propane tank from the unit and keep the tank upright to avoid leaks and damage.

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