Believe it or not, you can heat a tent while camping with just one candle and some ingenuity.

A candle won’t provide as much heat, but for those times when you don’t have an electrical supply nearby and need some warmth in the night a simple votive may be just what your body needs.

So, if you want to heat your tent with a candle but don’t have time or energy for all that hassle then we’ve got just the thing. You can use these tips and tricks in order to trap as much warmth inside of it.

But, first, we should address the number 1 thing is safety.

Safety Is Priority Number One

When you bring a candle into your tent, the top concern is safety. You need to be extra careful because it can take less than one minute for flames from candles and other lit items such as matches or cigarettes easily engulf fabrics like those used in tents.

In the event that you’re searching for a way to make your stay in camp comfortable and safe, consider using candle lanterns. The UCO Candlelier has made it easier than ever before so that mountaineers can light up their tents with ease while warming them from within.

So, just remember that you should exercise extreme caution when heating your tent with a candle and never leave an unattended candle heater.

Let’s learn how to heat a tent with candles in two effective ways.

Using A Candle Lantern

Just a little over 100 years ago, candle lanterns were the only way to see in the dark and fire was all that kept you warm. What better time than now for us to get back on our feet by using this primary source of heat?

If you’re looking for an easy way to heat and light the interior of your tent, consider aluminum candle lanterns from companies like UCO.

The UCO Candle Lantern is one of the most innovative items in this company’s lineup. It not only provides light but also warms up tents, making it an essential item for any outdoorsy person.

uco candle lantern
uco candle lantern

Nine hour candle in a spring loaded, retractable glass tube. The Nine Candles lantern is the perfect way to create your own wind proof environment for when you need it most! With all of these features plus easy slide locks on base and chimney system that keeps things nice an tidy no matter where they’re being stored there are really only two logical conclusions one must have this product or be crazy without any reason whatsoever other than just having fun with life.

DIY Candle Heater

For those who want to make their own candle heater, this is an easy and affordable option. The only materials needed are tea lights which can be found at any grocery store or superstores like Walmart they usually have a variety on the shelf.

Below is a popular way to make your own candle heater using clay pots and convection heating principles.

DIY Candle Heater

what will you need:

  • A flower pot made of clay without a bottom hole
  • A bigger pot that the small one can fit inside, this time with a hole in the bottom
  • A ceramic, copper, or glass container that can hold your candles without burning
  • Four to six tea light candles

DIY Clay Pot Tent Heater Instructions

  1. To make your home feel like it’s cozy and inviting, light some scented tea lights. Place them in a ceramic casserole or other containers to give off the perfect mood.
  2. Place the smaller clay flower pot on top of your candles and make sure that it is elevated enough with something like a brick. If they’re not large enough, then you can use another container or even lay some books across from each other at an angle in order to raise them up high enough so they won’t go out due lack of oxygen.
  3. Lastly, turn over your larger pot to cover the smaller one.

How It Works

A candle by itself does not give off much heat. But, the idea behind placing clay pots over it is to capture what little warmth comes from a candle and transfer that power into heating an inner pot. By doing so we are able to create convection currents which build up more energy in both mediums eventually leading them all sorts of different directions through their own individual properties.

Does It Work?

Yes… and no. It will put off a little heat, but it won’t keep you warm in the coldest tent on earth. Will those candles burn long enough for your needs? Is any part of this setup safe or could something go wrong with these items as well?

The only way to answer this is by testing it out before relying on it and using extreme caution if you’re trying to heat your tent with method like this one.

How To Trap Heat Inside Your Tent

No matter how warm your candles burn, if you don’t trap heat inside the tent and prevent cold from seeping in then all of that hard work will be for naught.

Here are a few ways to help keep your tent warm in those frigid conditions. And be sure to check out our full guide on how to insulate a tent for winter camping for more tips.

Use A Tent Footprint

I always forget about my tent footprint. This handy camping accessory will keep me warmer by providing another layer of insulation between you and the ground.

  • Definitely make sure the ground is flat. Tear any rocks or roots out in advance to prevent them from damaging your tent during setup. A level surface will allow airflow under it, which keeps things more evenly distributed when you sleep inside of  it too.
  • When camping, it is important to place your footprint beneath the tent so that you can insulate yourself and stay warm.

Line Your Tent With Blankets Or Rugs

Extra insulation is always a good idea when it comes to staying in your tent and cold weather. If you’re going out for more than two days, make sure that there are some rugs or blankets around so that the floor doesn’t get too icy.

The last thing you want when camping is an uncomfortable or wet sleeping situation, so cover the floor of your tent with a few clean rugs. You can pull off some innovative combinations by tarping underneath and lining interior walls but remember that these become unbearably heavy after being saturated in rain especially if they’re large enough for use as covers on top of floors. So keep them dry at all times even during storms where it might seem like everything else around us has fallen apart anyway.

You can also use fabric clips to hang blankets over the tent windows and doors, which will help keep you warmer during winter months.

Pick The Right Spot For Your Tent

Picking a campsite with plenty of sun exposure and next to an object that can block wind is important for keeping your tent warm. If there’s snow on the ground, build yourself some snowy walls in order to gain extra insulation from harsh winter conditions.

Use The Smallest Sized Tent Possible

Why sleep in cold when you can stay warm? A small tent will keep your core temperature more evenly heated while providing all the space and comfort needed to relax at night.

The perfect way to beat winter blues is with a cozy shelter that protects from chilling winds, snow-buried ground or below freezing temperatures outside.

You should consider the size of your tent, as a smaller one will be easier to heat and keep warm. Especially if you’re using candles for heat.

By Anthony Paton

Anthony Paton, the outdoorsman who loves to report all sorts of interesting stories about camping in Great Britain. He's based out London and doesn't get much time for himself these days because work commitments keep him away on occasion but does what he can with what little free time there is.