Heating a Campsite

Just because the nights are drawing in, and it’s getting a little cooler outside, doesn’t mean you should spend all your time indoors. You may think camping is for summer alone, but this isn’t true, either. There are several ways to heat a campsite. Freestanding Radiant heaters are usually the go-to option, but they’re not exactly the cheapest to heat. However, there are plenty of other ways to effectively, and efficiently, heat an outdoor space such as a campsite or garden. Still not convinced? Bear with us, we’ll show you how…

How do you heat a campsite?

LPG heating

If you’re environmentally conscious, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, known as LPG heating, is one of the most eco-friendly options available. LPG burns relatively cleanly and emits very little sulfur emissions and no soot. It is used both for industrial and household purposes and can even be used for heating and cooking.   

LPG usually consists of either Butane or Propane, but for campsite heating, Propane is favored as it can still be used in sub-zero temperatures, making it perfect for winter camping trips. These heaters are ideal for heating an outdoor space as they don’t require a mains gas supply, making them easy to use and perfect for traveling with. Another advantage of LPG heating is that it’s a safe, non-poisonous gas, meaning you won’t have to stress about it leaking and potentially causing harm to others.

Outdoor Radiant Tubes

Outdoor Radiant Tubes are another popular option for warming up your outdoor space or campsite. These work in a similar way to the sun in the sense that they radiate rays that heat nearby people and objects and then the heat, via convection, warms up the surrounding area. This method of heating is favored for its immediate effects that not only heat the area, but keep it warm for a prolonged period of time once the heater is turned off – even in colder outdoor environments. This makes them a highly energy-efficient option, ideal for areas with excessive ventilation such as outdoor spaces.

Warm air heating

The third heating option we recommend is Warm Air Heating, which is both cost and energy-efficient. This method of heating works by funneling the outside air through a heat exchange before heating it and sending it back into the air, increasing the overall temperature. This type of heater distributes the heat evenly to maintain a consistent temperature and widespread heat – so you don’t have any annoying cold spots.

Warm Air Heating is extremely versatile as you have a choice when it comes to how you heat it; you can use gas, electric, or oil-based air heaters which provides you with a greater choice if you don’t have access to a gas or electric outlet in your site. That said, this type of heater is less powerful than other options, so you may need several of them to effectively heat a large outdoor area such as a campsite.

What temperature should a campsite be?

While climate scientists and camping enthusiasts may have the expertise and equipment to withstand the harshest weather conditions, it’s safe to say that most of us will struggle in temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime temperatures of about 50°F to 70°F are most comfortable for camping. However, it’s not to say that you should immediately write-off camping trips during the cooler months. With an effective and efficient heater, the right thermal layers, and a sturdy, insulated tent, you’ll be good to go.

How to heat an outdoor space

Heating an outdoor space isn’t as complex as you might think. We’ve put together a handy guide for the best way to keep warm in the great outdoors:

  • An outdoor heater is by far the most effective and efficient way to heat an outdoor space. LPG heating is environmentally friendly, safe to use and if it’s a propane one, will heat an outdoor space even in sub-zero temperatures. On the other hand, outdoor radiant tubes can provide immediate heat which is long-lasting making it more efficient, while Warm Air Heating is versatile and cost and energy-efficient. Which heater is best for you depends largely on your individual needs and how cold the area you need to heat is.
  • A classic firepit is also an option when it comes to heating an outdoor space, and it also doubles up as a natural source of light, too. While fire pits are unlikely to provide the same amount of warmth as an LPG heater or Radiant Tubes, they do provide a cozy, charismatic environment that is perfect for spending time with family and friends outdoors during the fall and winter.
  • A Windbreak, Gazebo, or Awning are a great way to shelter from the wind, which in turn helps to retain heat. Wind is the biggest threat to outdoor heaters as it can basically send the heat in the opposite direction of where it’s directed. Though if you’re using it alongside a firepit or heater, it’s obviously a good idea to go for a fire-resistant material to avoid any accidents.
  • If you’re particularly prone to the cold, it’s worth investing in some quality wool blankets in addition to a heater and windbreak, as these are sure to keep you cozy outside and will help retain body heat. While it sounds obvious, it’s also important to dress warmly, especially if you’re camping, as this will help you maintain warmth and keep comfortable outdoors.

Final say

While we’re not suggesting you go camping in the depths of winter, you shouldn’t limit your time outdoors to the spring and summer months alone. With the right outdoor heating, you can generate a warm, cozy environment that doesn’t have to cost the earth – or damage it. The options we’ve suggested above take into account elements such as efficiency, environmental impacts, and overall effectiveness, and you can further retain the heat with the simple use of windbreaks, a gazebo, the correct outdoor clothing, and thick blankets. This will allow you to get the most out of your garden or campsite and will make your overall experience far more enjoyable and comfortable. Not to mention it’s the perfect excuse for outdoor gatherings and socializing.

Ben Winrow