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bizzybbb

trying to stay warm2

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Forgot to ask on my last post if any of you had recommendations about what I could do to make my tent warmer. I have seen people put tarps on top of their tent. Does this really help? I did some investigating on tent heaters, but they mostly scare the daylights out of me. One with the automatic safety shut-off might be good to use while we're awake in the tent playing cards, or to turn on when we wake up in the morning, but mostly I'm looking for old-fashioned solutions rather than technological. Thanks.

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I'm not a big camping expert but I seem to attend classes that make me camp in the cold. WLOT it was cold. Wood Badge it was cold. Winter camp it was warm during the day but nippy at night to down right cold the last night.

 

Anyway. Your tent is a big factor. It needs to have a full coverage fly thing. this will help trap air inbetween and act as an insulator. The tarp over the top is just one more layer and is more wind resistant air flow resistant adding more insulating ability.

 

At winter camp the veterans used those big canvas wall tents provided by the camp and put their own tent with full coverage fly thing in side it.

 

just a thought.

 

I want to say in BSA you are not supposed to use tent warmers but don't have my book handy so don't quote me. Might want to look that one up yourself.

 

lynncc

Pack 403

Jacksonville, TX

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Tarps over tents are used mainly for rain protection when there is either no, or no decent, rain fly. They do nothing to make the tent warmer.

 

Make sure that your tent has ventilation to let condensation escape.

 

Please - Only flashlights and electric lanterns in tents. NO HEAT IN TENTS!!!

 

A large tent is harder to keep warm because of the air space. Especially if you only had you & your son in a 10x10 tent. To keep the inside warmer use a smaller tent.

 

Edited to add that lynncc is correct, a full coverage fly that can be completely closed around a smaller tent would help.

 

(This message has been edited by ScoutNut)

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The question becomes warmer than what? Most likely the interior of your tent is going to be warmer than outside - even in your 9x9 Sundome (I used my 9x9 Sundome instead of my smaller tent this weekend - I camped in it alone - I wanted the bigger tent so I could set up a camp chair for reading/relaxing away from the wind).

 

I agree with ScoutNut completely - no heaters in tents - its too dangerous - risk of fire, and of carbon monoxide buildup. Your tent will never be as warm as a hotel room (or your house) and really, as long as your comfortable sleeping (once you get comfortable sleeping) it doesn't matter that the interior of the tent is 40 degrees. The tent is for nominal protection from the elements - wind (especially wind), rain, fog, snow. Beyond that, it doesn't really offer much else.

 

Sure, you can try a smaller tent with a full coverage rain fly - it might make a litle difference - but for your area, its not really needed - the Sundomes are 3 season tents. By the way, in another thread, I think you mentioned using a ground cover for your Sundome? If its a newer Sundome with the "seamless" bottom (the seam is actually about 2 to 3" from the bottom of the floor) then the ground cover isn't really needed and may end up doing more harm then good by pooling water in a rain storm.

 

But there are a couple of things you could do to better insulate the tent if you find it desireable - put fleece blankets down on the tent floor (think Arabian desert nomads) and you could try hanging some blankets along the window and door lines (like drapery in a house). It might help a little bit.

 

CalicoPenn

 

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It's important to remember that ANY heater that uses fossil fuel and combustion as a source (wood, propane, butane, white gas, coleman fuel, etc) WILL produce carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that interferes with the blood's ability to transport oxygen throughout the body. As we learned from the miners in WV, you just go to sleep and don't wake up. Very scary.

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Calico,

 

Please allow me to disagree with you on something. I have a good deal of experience with Coleman tents. Coleman uses that darned plastic flooring for their tents. You don't have to use a footprint with any tent if you don't want to. However, they do more than keep mositure away from the tent floor. They prolong the life of the tent floor. Even with a footprint, I've had to waterproof a lot of micro holes in the plastic Coleman floor that we have not had to do with my son's Sierra Designs nylon floor. I think a footprint under a Coleman tent is a good investment to make the tent usable for as long as possible. The main mistake that most people make is thinking that they need to place the tent on top of the tarp with the edges of the tarp sticking out all around. If it rains, the sides of the tent just funnels the rain right onto the tarp and traps the water between the tent floor and the tarp. If you look at the footprints that are factory made for a tent, you'll notice that they are smaller than the tent floor by an inch or two. That allows the footprint to protect the tent floor from moisture, rocks and sticks while water running off the tent can soak into the ground around the tent. If you buy a tarp to use as a footprint for a Coleman, fold it so it has no edges sticking out.

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As far as tents go, smaller is better when it comes to keeping warm. I've got a 3-season Eureka that can get downright balmy, even when the temp drops down in the 20s. The reason is that it's only 5x7. Now, that's not a lot of room for gear and you have to change clothes sitting down. But you have to decide what your preferences are - staying warm for the whole night, or having plenty of room to change comfortably in. Personally, I'll take the warm night.

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This is a repeat of what I posted on the other thread.....

 

For myself, I've been shifting back to more primative and traditional camping methods. Even though I have a nylon tent, my main tent is a canvas snow walker that can be heated with a small sheepherder stove (wood burning) inside the tent.

 

 

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A nylon tent doesn't offer much insulation, and you need substantial ventilation to prevent condensation.

 

So, really, there's no particular way to make your tent much warmer than the outside air, beyond the little bit of heat retained by reducing convection.

 

Try a bivy bag.

 

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At $761 for an 8'x9', they are pretty proud of their tents! Are they sewn with gold thread?.....SR540Beaver

 

 

Nope...just sinew from the Golden Fleece;)

 

btw...the tent is bombproof, and the silcon seal for the stove pipe works as stated...it's a serious tent for adverse conditions.

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Unless a tent is specifically designed to be heated it probably can't and should not be heated. This is especially true of tents commonly used in Scouting.

 

Fueled heaters should not be used in most tents and never in tents used by Scouts. Simple matter of safey. They can cause fires, and carbon monoxide poisoning. Just not a really good idea, nor is it safe. I'd rather be a little cold than dead.

 

There are some things that can be done to make tents perform better in the cold. Erect them out of the wind if you can for one thing. Also, erecting a tent in a low lying area when it is cold will make them be colder. Cold air settles lower, warm air rises. Chosing a tentsite with naturally insulating ground cover such as leaves, or pine straw can help. Try to not erect a tent on snow or ice. They are both cold. Try to erect a tent where the morning sun will shine upon it. Make sure you use a ground tarp under the tent. I try to erect my tent so that the length of the tent will run the same direction as the prevailing wind.

 

Inside the tent: Consider using an additional tarp on the tent floor inside the tent. Helps insulate it and when the tent leaks (they all do or will) most of the water will be between the tarp and then tent floor. Make sure to use a good sleeping pad under the sleeping bag. In the winter I use a closed cell foam pad on the tent floor, then put a self inflating sleeping pad over that then my sleeping bag.

 

Consider your sleeping bag. Where we live, we recommend a good bag rated to about 40 degrees for most campouts. In the winter, that bag can be made more efficient by simply putting an inexpensive fleece sleeping bag inside the other. Or you can use a bag with a lower temperature rating. Consider wearing a knit cap or balaclava on your head in the sleeping bag. And don't wear the clothes you wore during the day in your sleeping bag. It if is cold, I wear clean dry socks, and a sweatshirt and sweatpants in my sleeping bag and a fleece balaclava over my head.

 

Since I hate putting on cold clothing in the morning, I roll the pants and shirt and socks (if they are clean and dry) I will wear in the morning and put them inside the foot of my sleeping bag.

 

I also dry out the insides of my boots the best I can when turing in, with a towel (remember, your feet do sweat) and put a light cover over them. I don't know if that really helps, but it seems to.

 

These things seem to work for me to help stay a little warmer in a tent.

 

 

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