The Best Portable Outdoor Heaters for Camping

By Emma Stein , last updated January 4, 2012

When you go camping, it is essential, especially during the winter months, that you stay adequately heated, and a good portable outdoor heater can assist with this. Unlike a fire, which can be difficult to light during winter months when there is snow on the ground, a heater can be reliable and less dangerous, particularly with smaller children. Here are some solid outdoor heaters to pick from that are perfect for camping in a variety of price ranges and types. Pick the one that is right for you and your family.

Coleman ProCat Portable Catalytic Heater With Electronic Ignition

A great bet is the Coleman ProCat Portable Catalytic Heater With Electronic Ignition, which retails at a variety of stores like Walmart for around $100, though prices will vary from location to location. The heat it generates is both safe and flameless. Best of all, it is specifically designed with heating up tents in mind. Its 2D fan also operates for up to eight hours (the perfect amount of sleep for a night) on one 16.4-oz. propane cylinder.

Coleman Hot Water On Demand Portable Heater

In addition to a space heater, Coleman also offers a water heater, the Coleman Hot Water On Demand Portable Water Heater. The heater, which is expensive at $250, can be purchased online from Campmor. It has a five-gallon collapsible container that can be filled with water and is connected to the pump. The water temperature is adjustable up to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and water comes out in under five seconds. The heater retails for $250, and while this is expensive, having a good water heater is an important tool.

Supawarm Oscillating Halogen Heater

Another good idea is the Supawarm Oscillating Halogen Heater, with different heat setting settings at 400, 800, and 1200W. The heater also boasts an automatic oscillating action and a sturdy base. Additionally, and importantly, it has a safety tip-over switch so that it will automatically turn off if it tips over for any reason. While this heater is fairly cheap, it retails from the UK, so the cost is in pounds. Right now it retails for only 18 pounds, which is around 28 dollars in American currency. However, there will be additional shipping costs added on, as with any online delivery, though this will depend on where you plan to ship your order to.

Alternatives to Heaters

However, it is often best to try options other than a heater. Heating pads, like those sold in drugstores, can generate heat in an even safer way. Sleeping bags can also be a great way to keep your body warm. Most sleeping bags have temperature ratings and the higher the rating is, the better it will keep heat in it. A good bag can keep you warm even if the temperature falls under 10 degrees Fahrenheit if you wear long underwear and use a sleeping pad underneath it. This is a much safer way to keep warm than even those portable heaters advertised as being extremely safe . Hot objects in tents, especially those left on for countless hours while sleeping, have been known to malfunction.

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