What Is Hot Tent Camping?

Having a wood stove blasting heat inside your tent when it's freezing outside is magical
Having a wood stove blasting heat inside your tent when it’s freezing outside is magical

We haven’t met anyone who enjoys being cold or that doesn’t mind going camping when it’s freezing outside. Although there may be some people who actually enjoy it, we’re willing to bet that the majority doesn’t. So does that mean almost everyone cannot go camping in those tough conditions then? Of course not. How then? Hot tent camping. What is that? It’s basically going camping in a tent equipped with a wood stove, which serves as the main heat source of the tent. Curious? Let’s dive right into it.

What You’ll Need For Hot Tent Camping

1. Hot Tent

The first item on your hot tent camping list should be… a hot tent.

Hot tents are specially designed to safely accommodate a wood-burning stove inside. They come in different sizes and materials, from canvas to lightweight fabrics, so the one you’ll buy will depend on your camping preferences.

2. Wood Stoves

If you have your hot tent ready, the next step is getting a wood stove that you can include in your tent.

The wooden stoves are great to warm you & your family up in cold days and are designed to be used safely inside your tent, so you’ll never face any significant risks of a fire.

However, one can never be too careful: make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby and ensure proper ventilation to avoid any poisoning from carbon monoxide and keep the temperature inside comfortable.

3. A Good Sleeping System

If you’re looking to get a restful night’s sleep, we recommend you invest in a high-quality sleeping bag and sleeping pad (ideally designed for cold weather).

Also. Remember to layer up with base layers to stay warm in sub-zero temperatures.

4. Safety Gear

Finally, you need a safety gear – this is non-negotiable.

Bring trekking poles you can use against strong winds, a stove jack for the stove pipe, and carbon monoxide detectors.

Understanding how to set up and maintain the heat source is critical to prevent any accidents.

Setting Everything Up

After you gather all the materials you’ll need, it’s time to finally set up your hot tent:

  • Take some time to find a good location: the area needs to have good airflow and always choose a flat surface to pitch your tent

  • Position the tent stove correctly: it needs to be stable so it doesn’t cause any damage to the tent walls

  • Carefully set up your tent following the guidelines from the manufacturer

Staying Warm – Best Tips

Yes, you can be as warm and cozy as this dog is in your tent
Yes, you can be as warm and cozy as this dog is in your tent

1. Good Insulation

We’ve written a full article on how to insulate your tent for warmth that we recommend you read but here’s the summary: use the extra space to create a warm air barrier and cover the ground to retain the heat inside the tent.

2. Manage Fire Efficiently

Learn how to burn wood in the stove: it will help regulate the temperature inside your tent, prevent overheating and avoid letting the fire die out.

3. Clothing and Sleep System

Finally, wear multiple layers of clothing and adopt a reliable sleep system to stay warm throughout the night.

Safety Measures and Precautions

1. Ventilation

The best way to prevent too much carbon monoxide inside your tent is to ensure that there is good ventilation in it.

Always keep a chimney pipe clear and consider using a carbon monoxide detector to keep things under control.

2. Fire Safety

Always keep a small fire extinguisher nearby
Always keep a small fire extinguisher nearby

Be careful with open fires near the tent and avoid any flammable materials.

Also, make sure you understand how the stove works to prevent any accidents.

3. Weather Conditions

Keep an eye out on the weather forecast and always prepare for strong winds, low temperatures, and even snow. Having a backup plan in case things go south is priceless.

Hot Tents vs Regular Tents

Because there are some differences between hot tents and regular tents that are useful to know, we decided to actually write a proper section on the article on it, instead of just throwing a 1-liner in the FAQs below.

While these are not exhaustive, they should give you a pretty good idea of what’s what. Let’s get started:

A. Heating

Hot Tent: A hot tent is specifically designed to accommodate a wood stove inside

  • This means that you can include a heating source inside the tent very easily, ensuring that it says warm in freezing temperatures without a lot of effort

Regular Tent: Regular tents don’t have the internal setup for a stove to be included – you can add some options to compensate for that fact, but it wasn’t specially designed for that

  • These tents are created to offer you protection from natural elements like the rain, wind, and sun during camping trips

B. Tent Walls and Insulation

Hot Tent: The tent walls of a hot tent are often designed with sturdy & insulating materials like canvas or durable fabrics

  • These materials are great to retain heat generated by the stove, helping to keep the tent interior warm

Regular Tent: Regular tents prioritize factors like weight, ventilation, and weather resistance

  • While these offer protection from natural elements, they normally are one level behind in insulation when compared to hot tents

C. Sleeping Comfort

Hot Tent: Having a hot stove inside the tent blasting heat creates a cozy atmosphere that makes it easier for campers to fall asleep fast

  • This is particularly great for campers who are carrying backpacking or hiking gear and thus are physically more tired

Regular Tent: While regular tents provide a comfortable space for sleep, they rely on conventional methods like sleeping bags and insulating pads to maintain warmth

  • All in all, they might not offer the same level of comfort during cold nights as hot tents do


Hopefully by now, you know what hot tent camping is and why it’s so effective against freezing weather. With the right gear, techniques, and safety measures, you can now go winter camping and have an awesome experience. Don’t let cold weather ever deter you again.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Ensure Safety When Using a Hot Stove?

Follow safety protocols (including when setting up the stove), maintain a safe distance between the stove and tent walls, and use fire-resistant materials to minimize any risk of fire hazards.

Is Hot Tenting Only Good for Extreme Cold Weather?

No: hot tent camping is not limited to cold camping in frigid temperatures and can also be great during milder weather backcountry camping trips.

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