Tips How To Make Your Tent Warm

10 Tips On How To Keep Your Tent Warm

(Last Updated: February 8, 2019)

Camping is increasingly becoming a very attractive getaway for many urban folks who never manage to see an hour of decent sunshine because of work. Of course, the choice of the tents available in the market is making things easier, but only for people who know how to choose a good tent. Buying a tent is not enough; you will need to know how to keep the tent warm at night when the temperatures drop. Is that hard? No, but it will take some work, as you will see in this article. But first…

Why should you keep the tent warm?

  1. To get rid of chills. Did you read the story of a group of people caught out in winter where it got so cold such that when one spoke, the words froze and the other person had to fry the words to hear what his friend was saying? Well… just pulling your leg. It is not enough to wear heavy and warm clothing that can keep the cold away; the tent has to be taken care of. If you catch the chills, you may end up sick and be forced to cut short your camping vacation. You will have ruined your camping, wasted your money and time. Stay warm!
  2. When you sleep your body temperature goes down. Science shows that when you are asleep, your body temperature goes down. This means you are more likely to catch chills and colds at night than in the day.
  3. You will have the camping experience of a lifetime. You can have even more fun when everyone is warm and comfortable. You see, there is a bond that forms among people who face overcome the cold together. Here, you will all be warm, cozy in your tent while the temperatures outside are freezing. There is no better feeling than that one in the world.

This article includes tips for campers who go camping in mild or cold temperatures. However, some of them also apply for camping in summer, because summer night often also get chilly.

So, what can you do to keep your tent warm?

1. Buy the right size, make it a small-sized tent

Before you go camping, you should start thinking about how you will keep your tent warm when you go to the stores or online to buy one.

Buy The Right Size Tent

Buy the right tent size. If a few of you are going camping, buy a tent that will accommodate all of you cozily, but snugly – just the right size. When people sleep packed closely together, they share the warmth unlike when they are far apart. So save yourself the trouble by camping with the right tent. You can even share one of those mammoth sleeping bags that can fit two adults and a kid.

2. Do not close you tent vents – they serve an important role

Open Camping Tent Vent

Just like in the house, you do not close the ventilation openings. They play a very important role. They help you to keep warm, that is, if you keep them open. During the night, you exhale air and if there is no place for it to be released into the atmosphere, it will condense inside the tent and turn into moisture, making things quite miserable for you. This will make the tent humid and chilly. You do not want to freeze when you are supposed to be asleep.

3. Carry camping heaters

Propane And Electric Camping Tent Heaters

This is the 21st century and there are camping heaters that you can carry with you. The way you can have heaters in your house during the cold season is the same way that you can have heaters in your camping tent. You can buy a propane heater or an electric heater. It will help you keep warm. However, never sleep in the tent with the heater on. Just warm the tent before going to sleep and then switch off the heater.

Be sure to check out our article on portable heares.

4. Why not use a blanket

Camping Blanket

There are certain types of blankets and quilts that you can buy and cover yourself or cover the upper part of your tent to add some insulation. Therefore, instead of the heat in the tent getting out, it remains inside thus keeping the tent warmer and more conducive for sleep.

5. Camping mattresses and sleeping pads are helpful too

Sleeping Pad And Camping Mattress

You can place pads under your camping cot or camping mattress. At night, the ground is usually too cold. The pads help a lot as they create a buffer zone between you and the cold ground. They prevent the moisture or cold air on the ground from reaching your body. Just like the blankets, pads act as insulators.

Don’t miss this article on sleeping mats.

6. Buy the right sleeping bag

Sleeping Bags In Tent

Sleeping bags are temperature-rated. You are advised to go for the 0° F (-18° C) rated sleeping bag. Your tent might be warm but if your sleeping bags are not well insulated along the zips, you will still feel cold. This extensive article about sleeping bags will show you what to look for when choosing a sleeping bag.

7. Take good care of the tent – keep it dry

Keep Your Tent Dry

As much as you think about how to keep your tent warm, you also need to think about the tent itself. After using it for a night, do not just fold it and keep it away. It will be wet, so let it dry. Proper maintenance of the tent also ensures that it lasts longer.

8. Wear long underwear under your sleeping clothes

Warm Clothes Camping

When you are going camping, that is not the time to wear sexy lingerie to bed. You should wear heavier underwear under your camping pajamas. Look for long johns like a cowboy. It is better to be warm than sorry.

9. Keep warm before bedtime

Tea Before Bed Camping

Wear stockings, eat enough food and take hot drinks but be careful so that you do not have to wake up in the middle of the night to take a leak. You will not love the idea of slipping from your sleeping bag at night to go to the toilet. Do physical activities that will warm you up and then slip into your bed while you are still warm.

#10 Are you warm? It is not only about the tent

You need to take care of yourself first before you even think of how to keep the tent warm. This mostly has to do with the type of clothing you put on when camping in chilly weather. Here are a few tips:

  • Consider warm clothes and jackets, when you go shopping. Go for heavy jackets and clothes too. This will help you handle the chilly nights and days, depending on when and where you are going camping.
  • Heavy socks are important when dressing for camping. Buy cotton socks to keep your feet warm and wear them when the temperatures start dropping. When you have cold feet, it will be very hard to sleep.
  • You will need to keep your hands warm work during camping. That is why you should take care of them. Get protective gloves to keep your hands warm.
  • Do not let dew accumulate in your footwear. The dew will freeze and inside the shoes and if you wear them that way, they could cause frostbite.
    Use a camping cot so that you can sleep off the ground. It helps you evade nasty insects crawling on the ground.

Outside the tent (bonus tips)

There are a lot of activities you can do out of the camping tent that can help you keep yourself warm before you slip into the tent or before you go to bed. However, it is not only during bedtime that you need to keep warm. You also need to keep warm throughout the day if you are camping in winter, for example.

Here are a few simple things that can keep your blood running hot all the time:

  • You can go for a run in the morning or jog around. This will warm up your body and help you get rid of the chilliness you might have experienced during your night of camping.
  • When you play physical games with your kids, your body generates heat. Therefore, be active when out camping. It will help your body a lot. Did you know that you burn more fat when it’s cold?
  • Make a fire if it is allowed. The idea here is to bask in the warmth of the fire and then crawl to bed when you are still warm. Make sure you put out the fire so that it does not cause damage.
  • When the chill hits, always wear woolen socks and hat because wool is more insulating and it keeps the warmth inside. Do not be afraid to wear as much clothing as you want when going to bed. If it is too chilly during the day, play “indoor” games inside the tent.

BONUS: This guide from the U.S. Antarctic Program will give you the insider tips on how to keep your tent warm in extreme conditions.


To keep the tent warm when camping, you will be required to do all of the above, maybe more. Remember, it is not only about the tent, but it is also about how you all dress up and the sleeping quarters that you use. A cot can keep you off the cold ground while a pad will create a buffer zone between your sleeping bag and the cold floor.

Remember, do not make the mistake of waiting to get cold first so that you can wear warm clothes later. You should do that before the cold sets in.

What do you think?

Drop a comment below to let us and other people know what you think about this article. Do you have any other tips on how to keep the tent and yourself warm when camping? Your three cents are very welcome 😉

5 thoughts on “10 Tips On How To Keep Your Tent Warm”

  1. Hey, these are really useful tips. I like going camping with my family at least once in two months. We live in an area where it is chilly at night, even in summer. I was looking for complex solution on how to make tent warm (besides warm socks).

    Thanks for putting it together. I appreciate that.

  2. It feels like hell when it is cold in the tent. Man, you cant go to the other room and turn on the heater… I just had this kind of experience two weeks ago in the mountains. Man, this was sick. I wish I had read this article before.

    Thanks, George

  3. Thank you for awesome tips. George
    I have a propane heater but I don’t enough propane for a camping trip in 7 days. Maybe I must buy more propane tank now. And wear long underwear under my sleeping clothes

    • Solhim,

      You should always read the instruction on the propane tank you intend to use. You will always find the duration of burning. This way you will be able to plan your propane stock for you trip.

      Yes, warm underwear always helps 😉


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