DIY Tent Heater / Lantern




So, I had chilly fingers sitting in my tent watching the wasted heat shimmer away out the vent in the top of my Coleman tent.
And wishing and chilly imagined my Clay Chimnea (aka Mexican Chimney) radiating heat and how much better it worked than the olde fire-pit.



Step 1: Look at the Wasted Heat

So, basic science...

Three flavors of heat Conduction, Convection and Radiant.
Conduction (touch) is The most efficient.
Convection is the heating of the air (no good here since it leaves too quickly.
Radiation... sticks around longer than convective current going thru the vent...

Step 2: Add Clay Pot

Take a small clay pot  and pass a bit of chain through the hole, clip it it the lantern hanger so that the pot is positioned just over the top of the lantern.

Step 3: Hang Low

Hang the pot and lantern lower than usual, the pot actually blocks some of the rising heat but it works better if it can radiate outward not down...

Step 4: Done.

Now you have a lantern / heater!

Don't expect miracles, it won't heat the house.  And all the usual lantern in a tent warnings apply.
But it does use the waste heat fairly well, the pot is hot enough to evaporate a sprinkle of water in a few seconds, too hot to handle and will warm chilly fingers.
Warning though, these pots are fragile, if it's wet it may crack, but hey... DIY.



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    14 Discussions

    Actually, its not... A woman and two children died on a campsite a few years ago here in the UK, from carbon monoxide poisoning, they were using Propane gas for cooking/heating


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Actually, it is... The recent camping deaths in UK were caused by people taking a CHARCOAL barbeque into the tent. Charcoal produces carbon monoxide when it burns, propane & butane generally do not.


    Reply 3 years ago

    definitely a bad idea. If you are already sleeping in a tent outdoors, you should have already bought and learned how to use a SLEEPING BAG. nuff said

    Propane and butane do produce carbon monoxide. Ask any chemist, or look on the warnings for any gas stove or lantern. CO production is a problem especially at the low "simmer" setting on stoves. Cooking produces especially high levels because the cold metal of the pan cools the flame and prevents complete combustion of the gas. At high altitude this is even more of a problem because of the lack of oxygen in the air.
    Here is a link to a detailed study of the problem:
    and another:
    And a report by the consumer product safety commission which states that 23% of Carbon Monoxide deaths occur in tents.


    6 years ago on Step 4

    I am thinking this may work in a small green house for some added warmth


    6 years ago on Introduction

    A propane lantern should never be inside of a tent. The first issue is fire ... although most tents are fire retardant none are fire proof. The second and probably most dagerous is the carbon monoxide threat I knew and knew of more than one thinking person that "thought" knew what they were doing .... please never try this

    This is a really dangerous idea. Propane lanterns produce carbon monoxide, and people have died from using them inside poorly ventilated tents.

    1 reply

    No..It is a great idea..People just need to learn to think like they did in the old days..Completely safe for a thinking person....

    doo da do

    6 years ago on Step 2

    Seen one similar for a hand warmer three stacked and candles, not good in tent.

    This really reminds me of the radiator assembly on candle heaters . least with the three pot assembly, you can actually put your hands on it.