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Heating in canvas tents.


Rick W
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Thinking of getting a canvas tent at some point. If we do then the family will have to be accommodated in it. I can imagine they would be a little on the chilly side. What do people do to heat their tents safely without any risk of CO poisoning etc?

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More on Carbon Monoxide here for those that don't know http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/helpandadvice/camping-safety/carbon-monoxide-poisoning/

 

And let this be a warning to those that don't know how dangerous Carbon Monoxide can be, 30 years as a gas heating engineer & I still come across people all the time who have no idea what Carbon Monoxide is..

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2140326/Shropshire-campsite-death-Girl-14-killed-tent-barbecue-fumes.html

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We are fully aware of potential CO poisoning, we have 2 wood burners in the house with alarms by both of them. We were bloody cold weekend just gone in our "hi tech" tent and resorted to bringing our youngest in to act as a hot water bottle! The kids didn't seem to feel it. But the people camped in 9x9s, it must have been colder, just wondered how people overcome that, or do they just sleep somewhere else?!

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We are fully aware of potential CO poisoning, we have 2 wood burners in the house with alarms by both of them. We were bloody cold weekend just gone in our "hi tech" tent and resorted to bringing our youngest in to act as a hot water bottle! The kids didn't seem to feel it. But the people camped in 9x9s, it must have been colder, just wondered how people overcome that, or do they just sleep somewhere else?!

 

What you need is a catalytic heater like... http://www.coleman.com/product/2000004317#.UbjcTtjNkt0

 

They should still not be used while sleeping though & you have to make sure you have adequate ventilation.

 

Falling that boil the kettle & hot water bottles..

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What about military tent heaters with a flue?? I have one of those I wouldn't use it overnight myself its just plain common sense. I bought mine to keep me warm in the winter while I was working under canvas.

 

I've experienced carbon monoxide poisoning from an old house not fun.

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Keep continuous ventilation and invest in a couple of monoxide alarms for peace of mind. One beside stove and another close to sleeping area.

 

Sleep safely but not like the dead..... :nono:

 

Alec.

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A couple of Tilly Lamps can be very effective. But your back at stage one, never safe to leave running overnight, a couple of chemical heating pads in the bag. Or the other very effective way, wear a wooly hat! (If all else fails, buy a Caravan!:D)

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I dont want to sneer at the obvious risks but I had a little giggle at this thread having spent rather too long freezing my nuts off under Army (and more latterly Tri-service) canvas. I can smell it now!

 

First (from experience) there is no shortage of ventilation in any army tent........

 

The standard heater was no heater - green maggot (extra large) and a hat. Things We Did To Stay Warm included split down compo boxes under the sleeping bag, stripping off as much as you dared so that when you did get up and dressed it seemed warmer and (where we could get hold of them) the old paraffin heaters. Tilly lamps were indeed good but only heater the top couple of feet of the tent....

 

As far as both the latter are concerned spare a thought for a couple of sgt tank transporter motorcylists who on one big exercise returned to find their 9x9 a sort of charred 9x9 patch on the field by the side of the old B3 at Gronau. Their tilly lamp had exploded, leaving them with nothing for the rest of the exercise bar that they were wearing at the time. Obviously they got lots of sympathy (none whatsoever...) although someone did make a "come home to a real fire...." sign.

 

But my best keeping snug technique turned out to be a wall-eyed sheepdog called Difflock who accompanied us everywhere with the tank transporters. Fed up with finding herself cold and with no opposable thumbs to light a heater of any sort she took to climbing into my (extra long) green worm and curling up at the bottom. There is a lot to be said for a canine hot water bottle. She also single handedly saw off a dawn attack by Danish special forces on one exercise...no sooner had the lead viking ripped the side of the tent up to inform us that we were all captured then she shot from the bottom of my sleeping bag like an excocet missile and sank her teeth into his groin and did not let go. Talk about "shock action". His SF mates completely lost the plot seeing him howling and twisting - now being shaken in the trouser department by one very wild collie - and the whole attack descended into howls of laughter. It seems that regardless of nationality there is nothing funnier to a soldier than seeing one of your mates in trouble....

 

She let him go when told and sat and growled at him threateningly while he checked if he really would sire a danish dynasty. Luckily only his pride was hurt. Being Danish and SF they though this was all huge fun, even the victim took it all in good heart. They stayed for breakfast and a natter, and Diff even made a bacon-led truce with her victim. They then headed off laughing from wence they came, leaving us to get on with the important stuff. Difflock followed them out to the field where their chopper was going to pick them up from just to make sure they left.

 

So there we go. The long term effects of exposure to Army canvas.

Edited by paulbrook
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Most army tents are draughty and have plenty of ventilation. We use a wood burning stove in a 9x9, bell tent, 160lber etc and no ill effects as long as not tied up like a kipper, even a flap loose will give good vent as most of smoke and nasty gases go up flue being replaced by the through draft into the bottom of the stove.

 

for extra peace of mind put a monoxide alarm slightly above level you sleep at and position biggest snorer nearest stove- when he stops snoring then time to evacuate lol:D

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All your suggestions are brilliant and given me a right good smile:D. So the answer is , put a small child in the bottom of your sleeping bag with a protective dog and a hot water bottle, combine that with a wood burner with flue and lots of gaps in the tent. I bow to your knowledge...;)

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Ive heard 2 sheets of steel with a hole in, pot riverted through canvas, cut hole in canvas and shove flue through it works well. We have a tent and a burner, just havent had the balls yet to cut a hole. Want to see one in anger before i cut the canvas, the steel is enough of a heat sync to stop canvas burning.

 

Burn more wood, drink more beer, sleep in a warm truck

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I'm no expert but I'm not too afraid of CO poisoning in a canvas tent.

After all they aren't airtight.

A good chimney and fire precautions are allways a good idea.

Don't let a hot surface hit the canvas and keep a extuinguisher and sharp knife nearby. The knife in case you need to cut the tent in a emergency.

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I was a van living hippy for 18 months in my yoof, and believe me any non-flued gas/parafin fuelled heat sources such as a catalytic heater or Tilley lamp will put out a lot of moisture, this can make your bedding much damper than it was before you warmed it, you may feel snug but you may suffer a bit of extra stiffness in the morning after a few nights!

 

I know we're talking flappy tents here but believe me arthritis in your twenties isn't funny!

 

Wood stoves and dry radiant heat make for happy campers..

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