Brrrrrrrrr...heating my tent, any ideas?

(41 Posts)
NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 14:12:54

I am disabled and also have Raynaurds which means my hands and feets are always freezing.

I absolutely love camping, now I'm not working and the DC are old enough to pitch the tent for me smile I want to make the most of it...but at night I am just so cold, came home early last time...as the DC have to pitch I just take the one room, five berth Coleman so we are all snuggled up but I get so cold!

I have all the gear in terms of thermals, sleeping bags, lots of layers, sleeping in hat scarf and gloves etc, but I was wondering if I could take a heater with me? We always have EHU and I have looked at low wattage electric heaters, has anyone done this or is it not a good idea? I wouldn't leave it on all night of course, am thinking warming the tent and maybe having it on for an hour if I'm cold in early hours.

Has anyone ever done this, or does anyone have any other ideas? I can't always manage fiddly stuff so controls have to be clunky smile

I was so proud I managed to take the DC last time but the cold was a misery to me!

NorbertDentressangle Mon 18-May-15 14:15:47

No idea about the heaters but as a Reynauds sufferer I get where you're coming from.

How about a hot water bottle, although I guess that doesn't help in the early hours when the bottle has gone cold?

Arriettyborrower Mon 18-May-15 14:20:01

Electric blanket!

ScoopyDoo Mon 18-May-15 14:32:29

I don't know anything about camping heaters, but do understand where you are coming from!
If you are cold in bed, here's a few things which have worked for me and I hope they are helpful (and not teaching you to suck eggs):
1. avoid air mattresses. The air in them gets very cold and your body won't heat them. A thermarest is much, much warmer.
2. If you have a down jacket or similar, stuff this down the bottom of your sleeping bag. It fills the air gap and will also warm up, keeping your feet nice and snuggly
3. a buff round your neck works wonders, and is less likely to strangle you than a scarf
4. always, always wear a top that tucks into your trousers, or pj bottoms in bed. Might not be the most fashionable look but keeping tucked in works wonders for me!
5. if you're sitting on camping chairs, you lose a lot of heat out of the bottom and back. The insulated ones are better but if you don't want to invest, use a fleece blanket over the chair before you sit on it
6. Wine wink

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 14:33:06

Oh, I have an electric blanket - can't believe I didn't think of that! The DC will want to bring theirs too smile

Hot water bottle good idea, but my useless wrists are too feeble to tighten the stopper <considers bringing a microwave for micro heat pad>

It doesn't help that DH is very solicitous at home about me getting cold and sneakily turns the house thermostat up to 25 degrees..it's a shock being out in the open air!

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 14:35:10

Thanks Scooby, good idea about the fleece blanket, I used my wheelchair as a camping chair last time, two birds, one stone and all that grin

I will use all your tips, fellow nesh people!

momb Mon 18-May-15 14:41:34

What beds are you on? Everyone I know who gets cold at night is because they sleep on an airbed.
Some people do take a microwave if they have ecu. But if you are going with the kids alone probably less is more!
Chemical hand warmers (the grainy ones) stay warm for hours. hothands
..but are disposable so not a cost effective solution.

INickedAName Mon 18-May-15 14:43:46

We take a heater camping with us, it's for tents, it takes minutes to warm the tent up on morning. Dh sorts all the camping equipment but when he is home I'll get the model from him and post.

Just a thought on the electric blankets, my electric blanket said not suitable for use with airbeds on the safety leaflet. It might differ depending in the type if blanket but Just thought would mention in case you'll be using it with an air bed.

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 14:45:59

I have a raised camp bed as I wouldn't be able to get up from anything low on the ground, but I put a sim and blankets on top.

The hand warmers are a very good idea, I could use them as feet warmers if I put them in my socks!

I knew MN would give me lots of ideas smile

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 14:47:29

Good point re elec blanket. I have an electric bed at home (like a hospital bed, best thing I ever bought) and can't use my elec blanket with that.

momb Mon 18-May-15 14:53:12

I was going to suggest bed and SIM, so no advice there, unless you have air gaps?

INickedAName. They sell gas heaters in camping shops but the small print says not to use in a tent. I do hope that yours is safe.

Artandco Mon 18-May-15 14:57:49

Sheepskin rugs. Can sit on them in evening and lay until blankets at night. Do you sleep in a sleeping bag? I would take full on wool duvets and blankets!

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 15:03:04

I take my down duvet from home.

When I used to camp with DH, we had a double sleeping bag, which I loved..he used to wake up shrieking "get your freezing feet off me!" grin share the pain...

AuntieDee Mon 18-May-15 15:29:40

Have you tried silk socks? I swear by them for winter as they are really insulating but light

INickedAName Mon 18-May-15 16:57:11

Our heater is an electric one, it was sold as part of the tent package, the salesman and info sheet said stuff about not leaving overnight or unattended but under supervision it's fine. Tbh we've only ever used it three times since we've bought it as we have been really lucky with the weather. Dh gets up early and puts it on while making coffee, We're going to the lakes this weekend and I have everything crossed for sunshine.

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Mon 18-May-15 17:09:29

Fingers crossed for you, INicked.

Silk socks you say? Never tried them, I have thermal ones usually, I remember starting a thread about if I wore two pairs of 4.5 tog, did it make them 9 tog? grin

Thanks for all the ideas! <off to google silk socks>

Twirlwirlywoo Mon 18-May-15 17:12:49

We have an oscillating electric fan heater with thermostat and safety cut out.

It heats the tent up very quickly.I generally used it last thing at night just to the chill out of the air.

I cannor recall the wattage etc but DH made sure it was low enough to use with EHU. We can run the electric light and cool box with the heater on but not kettle and toaster!

profpoopsnagle Mon 18-May-15 21:15:29

We have a very basic (think tesco value) fan heater- has a safety cut out if it gets knocked over. We tend to run it on 1000w only and only in the evenings when we want it, personally I wouldn't be happy keeping it on at night.

You can get heated tent carpets now.

I agree with and do all the tips on the thread. Also have a shower early evening to get hot and change into PJ's, then place clothes on top. When you go to bed you just have to take layers off, rather than put cold clothes on.

GobblersKnob Mon 18-May-15 21:18:27

I'm not sure if they have them atm but the Uniqlo thermals are brilliant for camping sleeping.

Muchtoomuchtodo Mon 18-May-15 23:03:45

If we have an EHU, I always take a plug in fan heater!

It's fab to change in front of and to warm up the tent in the morning. Ours has a thermostat and can be left to tick on at a certain level of coldness (is that even a word?! - it's not set to a certain temperature) but we've never left it to do that overnight.

LikeASoulWithoutAMind Mon 18-May-15 23:34:04

What kind of sleeping bag do you have OP? I'm wondering if a really really good mummy style hooded sleeping bag might be the solution here. With an extra liner? Unless you already have this in which case please ignore me smile

Also tent carpet (or a big picnic rug) over the floor of the inner tent. I think some people also line the floor with a space blanket (like marathon runners get at the end) first.

YonicScrewdriver Mon 18-May-15 23:43:31

I don't know what EHU is but I'm guessing you can access power? Would an oil filled radiator work?

Naoko Tue 19-May-15 00:17:44

I've never been officially diagnosed with Raynaud's but if I don't have it I will eat my hat, so I feel your pain and more to the point, your cold. I'm a LARPer and thus a camper by necessity, I'll never love it. Additionally LARP sites typically have fuck all facilities and an extended season, not just nice-weather camping, so it can be a bit of a trial! The way I survive is as follows:

I build a nest. I was in a field at Easter, it was cold and pissing it down but I was snuggly. I started with one of those foil reflecting blankets on the floor. On top of that I put an airbed (I know, they're not warm but I have a joint condition and if I sleep on anything else I can't walk the next day). On top of that goes an insulated foam mat, and I cover the pair of them with a sheet so the mat doesn't slide off the airbed. Then an oldfashioned cotton sleeping bag, zipped open, as an underblanket. My actual sleeping bag on that (4 season, envelope rather than mummy as I can't sleep in those, I feel trapped), and over it a 10tog duvet. It sounds ridiculous, I feel ridiculous but at least I'm ridiculous and warm! The trick is to insulate below as well as above yourself.

If the air feels even a little chilly I make sure to have gloves on at all times. Change socks frequently, dry clean socks feel warmer than ones that you've worn all day and sweated in. Especially if you wear your socks to bed, make sure they're fresh ones. I find that I'm warmer if I change into pyjamas right before going to bed rather than wearing something I've been sitting in and getting chilled in for a while, but others disagree so YMMV. Either way tuck the trousers into your socks and the top into the trousers so none of it can creep up and give you a bit of cold exposed skin.

I also have a massive pile of chemical handwarmers that go into my pockets, and sometimes use a hot water bottle to go into the sleeping bag (get someone else to do the stopper if you can't, maybe?).

EHU and a heater are nothing but distant dreams for me so I know nothing about them. Imagine it'd be good, though.

NoIsNotACompleteSentence Tue 19-May-15 10:39:17

I just had to google LARP, Naoko, you're hardcore! <admiration>

I'm glad other people have heaters, it's makes me feel better grin

Yonic, EHU is electric hook up - as the DC do a lot of the pitching and striking work I let them bring their phones, this is the trade off! The phones do tend to be ignored and then checked at bedtime, but the DC being able to contact their friends post a million pics on social media

If there are disabled access showers (usually there are, some better than others) I tend to shower early evening and then all the DC are "off duty" as I don't need any more help. I find sleeping bags difficult to get in and out of so take my duvet and many blankets and sort of "sausage roll" myself, whilst wearing many layers. I'm seriously considering a balaclava as my nose was like ice last time!

Thank you for all your helpful tips, I will try all the ones I don't currently do, and invest in a little elec heater (I'd feel nervous about oil I think).

This year was the first time I took my DC on my own since I became ill, I felt really proud that we managed it, and if I can conquer the cold, I really want to keep doing it!

Thanks guys smile

Fourarmsv2 Tue 19-May-15 20:36:14

I take my electric blankets to use on SIMS - no problems in last two years. They make a massive difference to my comfort. I have previously been unable to sleep in thermals, clothes, hats and an Arctic sleeping bag with hot water bottle.

Now I sleep in a vest and leggings and a cheap Tesco sleeping bag opened as a duvet.

I may also take my electric over blanket for the evenings early / late in the season.

We also take a small oil filled radiator which we leave on overnight (place on a solid surface and we have a thick bedspread as a tent carpet. Makes a significant difference even in tents that don't have a SIG. It's like this one: www.tesco.com/direct/tesco-value-oil-filled-radiator/200-1549.prd

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