One piece of camping gear you may not have considered is a camping heater. Experienced campers who know just what camping supplies and equipment they need when camping swear by a camping heater. When it comes to outdoor camping gear, technology has altered the face of camping equipment, and camping heaters are no exception. The camping heater design has evolved, and the market now offers a variety of styles ranging from battery powered to propane heaters that can also be used as camping cooking equipment. Some heaters are made for use inside a heater-safe camping tent, while others are strictly for use outdoors, around the campsite. Other models serve as emergency camping survival gear for extreme camping. Determining which camping heater is right for you might seem overwhelming. While trial and error can be costly and frustrating, understanding the basics can help lead you down the right path.

Is a heater necessary camping gear?

Most seasoned campers probably already have a reliable name-brand propane camping heater that they lovingly refer to as “old faithful” on their camping gear checklist. Novice campers, on the other hand, who have yet to spend a night in a cold tent, may wonder if they even need a camping heater, especially with so many other camping supplies and equipment on their wish lists. One may pose the question, “Should I invest in a good quality camping heater that is built to last or will a cheaper version suffice?”

To answer this, consider your campsite. If you’re camping in the Everglades in the middle of summer, you’re not likely to need a camping heater at all. Ever. However, even in hot-climate camping destinations, temperatures can drop at night. In these places, a camping heater is a much appreciated component of a well-rounded assortment of camping gear. An outdoor camping heater can actually put off more heat than a traditional campfire, so adding one of these heaters to your outdoor camping gear can really allow a more comfortable experience.

Camping Heater: Electric

When making your camping gear checklist, consider that an electric heater must be plugged into an electric outlet just like the ones you have at home. So, while there are camping sites that offer camper access to electrical outlets, it’s not the norm. In the case that an electric outlet is available, a long extension cord running into the tent would be an adequate solution to power electric heaters. Just make sure you confirm that your campsite has this option beforehand.

With innovations in camping survival gear technology, new space heater designs such as ceramic heaters offer a safer and more advanced electric heating element. However, these too are limited to electric outlet access.

If your outdoor camping gear includes a propane-powered generator, you can use this to power an electric heater. But keep in mind, generators are typically loud, heavy, and large. They are not an ideal addition to camping hiking gear if you plan on taking any length of trek to your campsite.

Camping Heater: Propane

Avid campers who spend a lot of time camping, and thus, put a lot of thought into their camping gear, probably want a camping heater that is more universal and not dependent on an electric outlet. Veteran campers, who have learned from experience, will tell serious campers one of the best investments they can make in their camping supplies and equipment collection is a good propane heater.

This isn’t the same type of element as your camping cooking equipment, though. If using the heater inside a tent, make sure the package indicates it is safe to do so and uses catalytic technology for safety. Also, make sure your tent is safe to use with a propane heater inside. The best kind have built-in timers, so they do not run all night.


Regular tent camping is best warmed by a propane gas heater. Don’t forget to put propane on your camping gear checklist. Invest the time and money into your outdoor camping gear will make your camping trip more enjoyable.

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