Safety of Tent Heaters

Safety of Tent Heaters
While a wool cap and down jacket will guard against the cold, a tent heater helps take off the chill at night in camp. Remember that heaters pose fire and burn risks, so take precautions to stay safe while you stay warm.

Proper Ventilation

Tent heaters can emit carbon monoxide. Always keep your tent properly ventilated by opening a door or window.

Never Leave Unattended

If your heater tips over when you're gone, you can start a fire. Never leave your heater on unattended.


It's easy to knock over a heater while you sleep, creating a fire hazard. Turn off your heater before you go to bed. Use a warm sleeping bag and sleeping pad to keep you warm overnight.

Safe Spot

Heaters become fire hazards when left too close to heat-sensitive objects. Keep your heater away from the walls of your tent, sleeping bag and gear.


Mechanical failures can cause fire and safety hazards. Check your heater before you leave home to address any problems.

Adults Only

Kids may be more likely to leave a heater on, or tip one over without noticing. Make a rule with your family to use your heater inside a tent only when an adult is present.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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