Camping in cold weather can become an ordeal if the wrong tent is used. Here are five ways to insulate a tent in order to help you stay warm when the temperatures drop.
No matter which method is chosen, there are things to keep in mind:
- · Always leave ventilation space to allow moist air to escape, fresh air to enter and to prevent the tent from becoming stuffy.
- · Never use fiberglass insulation inside a tent.
- · Use cold weather clothing and sleeping gear as the tent will be kept above freezing, not at regular house temperatures.
- · The size of tent used in cold weather makes a difference; small, compact tents are easier to insulate. The smallest tent that is comfortable should be used.
An Inexpensive Way To Insulate A Tent
Hang reflective insulation inside the tent walls; this is widely available at DIY stores as water heater insulation. It consists of two aluminum foil sides and a bubble wrap interior. Use a utility knife to cut the insulation into the same shapes as the tent walls; connect pieces together with aluminum tape.
For the floor, use foam mats or recycled indoor/outdoor carpeting.
Insulate The Tent And Strengthen The Walls
Hard foam panels will provide insulation and strength to tent walls and floors. The downside to using this material is bulk and weight. For those camping close to a vehicle, for more than a week or for hunting, this will provide protection from the cold. Panels with a reflective side should have the reflective facing pointing outward.
Reflective Blankets As Tent Insulation
There are many reflective “all-weather” blankets on the market. The cost can vary between manufacturers and merchants; purchase them on sale for the best savings. Most of the blankets are an average of 5-feet by 7-feet and have grommets around the edges. This allows them to become emergency tarps, blankets or tents.
Use them inside the tent on the floor with the reflective side pointing up. Attach them to the tent walls with double-stick tape, PVC pipe or flexible fiberglass rods. The reflective side should point inward.
Use Natural Materials For Tent Insulation
In an emergency, nature can provide insulation for any tent. Gather all the leaves in the area and pile them over the tent. The tent door should be facing away from the wind. The leaves should be at least a foot thick over the tent from the top to the bottom. Keep a large pile of leaves near the tent door and as the door is zipped closed, gather leaves against the door.
Determine the wind direction and set up a tarp to use as a windbreak to direct the wind around the tent. Hang the tarp in a “V” configuration with the “V” pointed into the wind. This also keeps the leaves from blowing off the tent.
In A Pinch, Keep Your Tent Warm With Things On Hand
Use things in the house, automobile or RV will help insulate the tent if money is an issue, or in an emergency. Woolen blankets or quilts fastened to the tent walls with double stick tape will help raise the temperature by a few degrees inside. Line the floor of the tent with rugs or carpet pieces.
Under the tent, layers of leaves or cardboard act as additional insulation from ground temperatures.
Notes For Staying Warm:
- · If freezing rain or snow has fallen, remove it from the outside of the tent as soon as it is safe to do so. This will prevent inside temperatures from falling further.
- · If it is necessary to heat the inside of the tent, use a 12Volt heater and a battery inside an insulated box; follow all safety precautions.
- · Heat rocks or bricks in a campfire and wrap in flannel blankets; place in a brazier. The radiant heat will raise the internal temperature inside the tent.
Staying inside a tent during cold weather may be due to an emergency, camping or other reason. By preparing ahead of time or gathering materials as funds and time permit, cold weather camping can be enjoyable and warm.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse subjects and skills such as DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.