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Canvas tents and tent heaters

PostPosted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:57 pm
by trevbo
I am interested in getting a tent heater but am worried about the fire hazard in my regular nylon tent. I had been thinking about getting a canvas tent as it would be a lot more fire resistant. So does anyone on here ever use a canvas tent? Either the old school types like they had in the 1980's or an outfitter (hunting) wall tents.

The heater would be one of these http://www.rei.com/product/799532/coleman-blackcat-catalytic-heater either that or camping someplace with electric plugins for RV's and using an electric (ceramic) heater with a similar safety rating. Yah, I know... to some people, if you bring a heater than that is not real camping. But dagnabbit, we have a 9 month old that is an extremely poor sleeper... it might help us to get out a bit more knowing that we have this just in case etc.

My family had a canvas tent back in the 80's and as I am sure with all canvas tents it was HEAVY but fine once you got it up.

While researching this I cam accross the following website that lists some of the more robust outfitter tents that a person could buy http://www.livabletent.com/ They even make wood stoves for some canvas wall tents... who knew? Neat concept but I'm not all that interested in blowing a huge wad on on a tent I may or may not use very often! I may just sneak over to my parents and see if I can find our old canvas model... hopefully the moths haven't eaten it!

Re: Canvas tents and tent heaters

PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2011 10:13 am
by Pocketlint
I don't own a canvas wall tent. I have stayed with friends in theirs while hunting. They have what I believe is a Woods tent of some kind. They use a wood stove for theirs. However they leave it set up for weeks at a time when hunting. Very comfortable even in near zero temps. We make the women stay in camp to stoke the stove :) JUST KIDDING!!!
Actually one guy's 13 year daughter is a crack shot, killing her first elk with one shot from her .243

The catalytic heaters suck imo. They do stink just as those reviews suggested. I can't believe y'all would put up with that smell inside your tent with your baby and all. That and personally, I don't like any sort of heater inside my tent since it is synthetic, etc.

Electric heaters might work--I guess, but powering it may be a hassle. I don't know. I never owned one.

One relatively inexpensive idea that you might consider is rigging a couple big tarps over/around your tent...then building a fire underneath the tarps(or maybe use a wooodstove). I've did this many times with my 3 season REI tent while hunting back east in winter. One time I did use one of those radiant propane heaters that mounts directly on top of a standard 20lb propane tank like for BBQs. It worked well but I prefer a real fire if possible. Shielding/sheltering your tent from the wind and having a fire underneath helps a lot in keeping your camp warmer.

pocketlint :wink:

Re: Canvas tents and tent heaters

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 8:45 pm
by trevbo
Hey pocketlint,

Well so far I've managed to resist the urge to purchase a canvas outfitter's tent or a propane heater. I can see canvas wall tents working great for hunting expeditions where they are set up for an extended period, as you have described.

Made a great discovery last weekend - KOA campground in St. Mary and their little cabins. I guess KOA is a pretty big chain but we had never heard of them before and had never wandered down to check out the joint. We rented the most basic (ie cheapest) model. An economic alternative to a tent trailer or RV while it is still cold at night (although last wkend, it felt fairly warm even at night when we had to go outside to use the bathroom). Our little guy had a great time crawling all over the place in the cabin and the little heater kept the small room warm. There are a couple of other outfits scattered around the edge of the park with 'tent-cabins'. I think we'll use KOA or one of the other places a couple of times this summer rather than purchase another tent or a tent heater and try tent camping when it is really warm in July/August. In any case we have decent sleeping bags, even one for our son, although I have the feeling that camping with him will be a challenge! Will definitely try that in the back yard before heading out.

I have way too many tents as it stands... two 2-person backpacking tents, one 3-person tent and last year's purchase of a really awkard to set up, ginormous 6 person tent (I like the concept of large tents for car camping but the 'Roots' 6-man tent I bought is a bit of a dud... still... I am determined to use that huge thing this summer!)

T.

Re: Canvas tents and tent heaters

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 9:04 pm
by Pocketlint
I've stayed at that KOA in St Mary. I liked it. It can be noisy though. Lots of your fellow countryman and ladies come down to visit and party :) Keep that in mind. Noise/partying probably won't be too bad up where you'll be staying.
Their Hot Tub down by the pool really feels GOOD after a day out hiking.
I was tent camping there last September. I remember how good it felt laying back in that hottub with it hailing like crazy LOL!! But it was soooo nice after a long day in bad weather, but great hiking company!!

pocketlint :wink: