We all get excited, as summer strolls around, to get out in our tents and explore the wild! Similarly, we all feel a sense of loss as the leaves turn from green to orange and we begin to accept that we will have to wait another 9 months before we can get back out on the trail. However! what if I told you there was a growing movement of people who were enjoying camping, in comfort, all year round. This is hot tent camping!
A hot tent is defined as an oversized tent with a portable, wood burning stove inside to provide heat so that you can stay warm during those cold evenings (and days depending on where you are in the world). As a newcomer to the world of hot tenting I can say that not only is this an ingenious idea but is also very luxurious and for me, has many pros which outweigh even traditional camping.
Hot tent camping is guaranteed to lift your spirts and is growing in popularity around the world. Now, some of you may be thinking that it is reckless and irresponsible to put a heat source inside a tent and usually I would completely agree with you, except in this case you can purchase a specialist hot tent which is made from flame retardant fabric or, at a minimum, treated with a flameproofing agent. These tents usually have a chimney space to release smoke and carbon monoxide so you remain safe and snug inside your hot tent.
Most tent companies have cottoned on to this growing trend so it has never been easier to pick up a hot tent and stove combination. Now, I now how tempting it is to always go for the cheapest option (who doesn’t love a bargin) but hot tent camping is a serious pursuit. You will be out in freezing temperatures, with a stove inside a tent. There is a lot which can go wrong. I have put together my ‘how to stay safe’ guide at the bottom of this article but for now I would urge you to avoid falling into the trap of thinking that the cheapest deal is the best deal. Instead think about where and when you are using your hot tent. If you are camping in the depth of winter where temperatures are incredibly cold – that extra cost now may be nothing compared to savings (in terms of comfort and your own safety) in the future.
So, with that word of caution, let’s get started on some of my favourite hot tents!
Table of Contents
In a hurry? Quick buy options here
Top 3 hot tents (no budget)
Best overall hot tent
2nd best hot tent
3rd best hot tent
Best hot tent on a budget
Best value hot tent
Best Backpacking Hot Tent
2nd best backpacking hot tent
Super-cheap hot tent
Easiest to use hot tent
What do you need to go hot tent camping
In another article I go into great detail on what equipment you need to go camping. When you go hot tent camping you need to take all of the usual things you take ‘normal’ camping as well as some specialist items to get the most out of your trip away. One thing that most people forget is that when you are hot camping you cannot forget to pack warm winter clothes (which should be layered for maximum effect). It is likely that temperatures will dip below freezing in winter months (if not well below depending on where you are in the world).
In addition to the items in our camping checklist, you should also look to add the following which will help make your hot tent feel like a home away from home:
- Portable box stove
- Venting mechanism
- At least 100 feet of rope
- Cooking gear (cast iron is the best) and utensils
- Basic tools like saws and axes
- Fire-starting materials
- First aid kit
- LED lamps
- Fold-down sleeping cots
- Winter-grade sleeping bags
- Ground pads if you don’t bring cots
- Ingredients to make meals over your fire
- A proper wardrobe with multiple changes per camper in case garments get wet.
The right stove is key to the perfect trip away.....
Tent stoves are at the heart of the hot tent camping experience. It is this which will keep you warm, provide light and offer comfort on those cold winter nights. As such, picking the right stove is key to the perfect trip away. You may want something small and compact to fit comfortably into your hot tent, or, you may want something heavy duty and durable which will provide a plethora of heat season on season.
To help you pick the perfect camping stove I have reviewed some of my favourites!
How to stay safe when hot tent camping
As someone who was fairly new to hot tent camping, I did a vast amount of research on how to ensure that I stayed safe. I combined this learning with my own survival skills training to come up with some basic rules which, if followed, can reduce the risk and make your hot tent camping safer! (N.B. following this list does not guarantee safety – you should always consult with local experts e.g. park officials, and use good common sense when out on the trail).
Conclusion: hot tent camping
The best hot tent will be like a home away from home. You will be snug and warm whilst enjoying the awesome experience of camping in those winter months when the stars seem to shine just a little brighter and the air is a touch crisper. A hot tent is not just a short-term, cheap item – instead it is a long term investment in an adventure you will never forget.
I recently took up hot tent camping and I can’t tell you how gutted I am that I have been missing out all this time (experienced hot tent campers you know what I mean). Hot tent camping is the purest form of outdoor adventure I have experienced to-date. This was made so much better by using the right hot tent! You need to ensure that you pick one which is the right size, will withstand the rigours of your trip and be long-lasting so that once you get the bug you have a tent which you can get use time and time again.
Just remember to stay safe and use all the common sense precautions to ensure you don’t end up setting you tent on fire!
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