How to Heat a Tent With a Candle – Four Effective Methods

When camping outdoors, there are several things you need to ensure before making the trip – a tent, food, a sleeping bag, and of course, heat. If you are a regular camper, you surely know how much hassle comes with sleeping nights in tents without a proper heat source. With that said, today, we are going to talk about how to heat a tent with a candle.

In situations when you are camping in cold weather, it is essential to keep the interior of your tent warm and cozy. There are multiple methods with which you can heat it up using a candle, and we are going to break down some of the most practical options you can go for. We have a lot to cover, so read on if you want to find out more.

Practical Methods of Heating Your Tent With a Candle

One of the most important things you need to be aware of when heating a tent with a candle is safety. Flames in a closed space such tent can pose various safety risks, as most tents are not flameproof, which can cause a lot of damage.

However, if you do everything right, you will be able to stay warm during the cold nights and enjoy the comforting flame that candlelight can provide. With that said, we are going to list some of the most effective and safe methods to warm your tent with a candle in the section below.

tent candle heater

1. Use a Candle Lantern

One of the safest and easiest ways to heat your tent with a candle is using a candle lantern. These lanterns are compact in size and designed in a way your safety in the tent will be ensured at all times.

Aside from providing heat to the interior of the tent, these lanterns are also a great source of light. In a 13 feet diameter space, a single candle can raise the temperature of your tent by four degrees.

Although these lanterns are becoming outdated due to the widespread use of electricity, old inventions such as this can always find their uses and are particularly great for people who love to enjoy old-school, electricity-free camping.

2. DIY Candle Heater

Another great way to heat up your tent without risking burning anything inside is a DIY candle heater. This device does not require any electricity to use, so it will be effective even during power outages.

Making this heater is pretty straightforward, and it can be done by using only a couple of supplies. You will require a metal can, some sand, a piece of foil, and, of course, a votive candle to complete this DIY project for camping.

Just punch a few holes around the upper side of the can, fill it with sand halfway up, place the candle in the middle, and top all of that with foil and create some ventilation holes in it. When it is all prepared, light the candle and place it on a heat-resistant surface in the tent.

3. Candle-Powered Natural Heater

egloo heaters for tents

These heaters are also known as Egloo and are among the most branded eco-friendly heaters for camping out there. They do an excellent job of supplying heat, scent, and humidity in small spaces such as tents.

It goes without saying that for quality energy production, especially in a covered tent, appropriate evaporation and spreading of humidity is almost mandatory, and this is where these eco heaters thrive the most.

4. Use Tea Light Candles to Heat the Tent

Although it might seem incredible, tea-light candles can actually be a viable heat source for your tent. However, it is important to mention that this heating method will only be effective when used in a smaller tent as it is not the best heat source you can opt for.

This method can be very good as long as you take the necessary precautions. Ensure that the candles are not near the top or the side of your tent and that there is nothing around the candles that can catch fire.

How Much Heat Can a Candle Give Off?

Winter Camping heating with candles

Candles can provide a decent amount of heat, and how much they will produce depends on the size and type of candle you are using. To explain this in a bit simpler terms, we are going to get technical a bit.

For starters, it is important to know that heat is measured in BTUs, which refers to British Thermal Units. This measurement is defined by the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level and standard barometric pressure.

To simplify this even further, studies show that candles are roughly 16% efficient when it comes to the heat generated. For instance, if a candle has 1000 BTU/hour of total heat, 16 BTUs per hour will feel as emitted heat.

A small candle that has a burn time of up to 15 hours generates approximately 75 to 80 BTUs with a heat output of 13.12 BTUs per hour. A medium candle with a burn time of 20 hours generates approx 120 to 130 BTUs per hour with a heat output of 19.68 to 20.48 BTUs per hour. And finally, a large candle with a burn time of up to 30 hours generates approx 200 BTUs per hour with a usable heat output of 32 BTUs per hour.

What these numbers tell us is that a simple candle can actually create quite a bit of heat. All of this, of course, depends on the size of the room you want to heat, and since we are talking about tents, this type of heat can be quite helpful.

Always Use Candles With Caution

Candle tent heating safety tips

We cannot stress enough that safety must be your priority when heating a tent with a candle. It is never 100 percent safe to light any type of fire inside a tent unless you are using a tent stove. In the section below, we have listed some precautions you should take before opting to heat your tent with a candle.

  • Put the candle in a sturdy holder and put it on a stable surface, away from flammable items.
  • Keep your children and pets away from the candles.
  • Do not leave the burning candles unattended.
  • Put out the candles before going to sleep or when leaving a tent.

The Bottom Line

When it is all said and done, we concluded that the best and safest way to use a candle for heating a tent is with a candle lantern. These lanterns typically have a metal or aluminum housing and a glass enclosure that make this heating option effective and safe.

While other methods, such as DIY candle heaters and tea light candles, can also work, they are not as safe as candle lanterns, and you will spend more time setting them up.