Home Camping Tips How to Heat a Tent with a Candle

How to Heat a Tent with a Candle

by Nadir

When temperatures drop at night during camping, you’ll want to heat your tent by any means. It can be with a tent heater, an extra tarp, or even a candle. As long as it keeps your tent warm and comfortable to sleep in, you are good to spend the night camping.

Now, speaking of candles, you might wonder how to heat a tent with a candle. We know it seems challenging to warm up a tent with candles. But it’s possible.

And in this article, we’ll provide our top tips on how to heat a tent with a candle. This is a good option if you only need to heat the tent for a short while or you’re trying to conserve fuel.

So, without further ado, here’s how you may do it:

1. A Candle Lantern

Candle lanterns are an easy and efficient way to light up any space indoors or outdoors. And not to overlook the fact, they can also serve as an excellent heat source for your tent.

So, when it comes to warming up a tent with candles, choosing a candle lantern is the best option. It’s the natural means of heating that people have been using for centuries.

And compared to the old days, today’s candle lanterns are far more inexpensive and advanced in function as a heating source. Here are a few tips on how to heat a tent with a candle lantern,

  1. Choose a lantern that is made of aluminum or glass. These materials will help to reflect the heat from the candle back into the lantern, making it more effective at warming up the area.
  2. Put the lantern in the middle. This will facilitate an even distribution of heat throughout the space.
  3. Use a large candle lantern. The bigger the candle, the more heat it will generate.
  4. Make sure that the wick is trimmed before lighting the candle. This will minimize the risk of smoke and soot building up inside the lantern.

Lanterns come in all shapes and styles. So you’re sure to find one that fits your needs.

Additionally, most lanterns have safety shut-off features. Thus, you can stay risk-free and enjoy an eventful camping night with your friends.

2. DIY Candle Heater

Another way to heat a tent room without burning anything is to use a homemade candle heater. This DIY project doesn’t require electricity, so it works even during power outages.

You can make your own candle heater with just a few supplies. All you need is a metal can, some sand, a votive candle, and a piece of foil.

To make your heater, start by punching a few holes around the upper side of the can. Then, fill the can with sand halfway up.

Put more sand around the candle and place it in the middle of the can. Then foil the can top and create some ventilation holes in it.

When ready to use your heater, light the candle and place the can on a heat-resistant surface. The sand will help evenly disperse the heat and keep the can from tipping.

Additional Method:

You may use another method to build a DIY candle heater. Here’s what you will need,

  • A clay flower container without any holes.
  • A larger pot with a bottom hole can fit the little pot inside.
  • A candleholder made of ceramic, copper, or glass.
  • 4–6 tea light candles


  • Place the tea lights inside a container and light it up.
  • Then place the smaller clay pot upside down, covering the candles. You can put a block or any other object to hold the pot higher above the candles if it is too large or small to sit on the container.

But remember not to cover the candles entirely as they’ll burn out owing to a lack of oxygen.

  • Finally, place the larger clay pot on top of the smaller one after turning it over.

How It Works:

A candle doesn’t produce much heat on its own. However, the purpose of putting the clay pots over the candle is to heat the inner pot by capturing the little heat that the candle emits.

The air between them quickly warms up, and current convection forms when a larger pot is placed on top of a smaller pot.

Other Ways to Trap Heat Inside Your Tent

There are several other ways to trap heat inside your tent to keep yourself warm at night. Here are a few examples,

Reflector Panels

Reflector panels are materials that reflect heat towards their source, which can help keep your tent warm even in sub-zero temperatures.

Additionally, they can be used to reflect light, making it brighter inside. This can be a lifesaver in a cold snap while camping.

Plus, it can also help you to save on heating costs if you use them in conjunction with a portable heater.

Sleeping Bag Liner

Utilizing a sleeping bag liner is another technique to keep the heat in. It comprises a breathable fabric that aids in temperature control and shields against moisture accumulation.

Furthermore, compared to sleeping bags, they are typically lighter, simpler to use, and more adaptable. Just slip one over your sleeping bag before you go to bed. It will add an added insulation layer to provide extra warmth all night.

However, keep two things in mind when utilizing a sleeping bag liner.

  1. First, think about the temperature range you’ll be camping in. If camping in very cold weather, look for a liner rated for low temperatures.
  2. Second, keep in mind the liner’s weight and packed size. Heavier liners will be more insulating and bulkier to carry.

Thus, it’s a good idea to strike a balance between the two depending on how much space you have in your backpack.

Space Blanket

A space blanket is a thin, reflective covering that helps in heat retention. So they can keep your tent warm in cold weather much more effectively. You can find these blankets at most camping or sporting goods stores.

To use a space blanket, simply drape it over your tent, ensuring the reflective side is facing in. This will help to reflect the heat into the tent, keeping you warmer.

You can also use a space blanket to line the bottom of your sleeping bag. Make sure to wrap the edges of the blanket around you, tucking them in or tying them off to create a seal.


Candles might not seem like a good source of heat, but they can still keep your tent warm in colder temperatures.

And so, in this article, we have shared two effective tips regarding how to heat a tent with a candle, which we believe would be helpful to you.

Heating a tent with a flame is quick and easy. So, if you have no other means of warming your tent during chilly camping, consider utilizing this method and enjoy a cozy, warmth-filled night.

Frequently Asked Questions

A few crucial things can be done to retain heat inside your tent.

For instance, you can buy tents with built-in insulation or add your own with a foam pad or blanket.

Then, use a ground tarp to protect against the cold ground and keep heat from escaping through the bottom of the tent.

To prevent heat from escaping through the tent’s edges, seal any cracks.

Finally, don’t forget to ventilate your tent to avoid condensation buildup, making it colder inside.

A candle can be used as a tent heater in a pinch, but it is not the most effective way to heat a tent.

Candles produce heat, but not very much of it. They also produce light and smoke, which can be a problem in a confined space like a tent.

When using a candle as a tent heater, keep it far from anything that could catch fire.

When heating a tent with candles, it is vital to use candles made specifically for this purpose.

Candles for heating tents are typically made of paraffin wax and designed to burn slowly and evenly.

It is also essential to use a candle holder that is safe to use with candles.

When it comes to BTUs, candles aren’t exactly setting the world on fire. The average tealight candle puts off around 75 to 80 BTUs per hour.

To give you some perspective, a typical space heater puts out around 60,000 BTUs per hour.

So, while a candle might be able to heat a small tent or room, it’s not going to replace your furnace anytime soon.

A candle heater is a device that uses a candle to heat a small space, such as a small tent, room, or car.

It’s an alternative to traditional heating methods, cheaper to operate than electric heaters, and much more eco-friendly. Plus, they add a touch of ambiance to any room.

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