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Monday, December 31, 2012

Tent Heater, Propane

Original Article

A tent heater is a very useful camping goody but not much for raising the temperature inside a tent which is almost impossible because it’s not insulated. However what a tent heater can do is dry the damp night air inside the tent. For me there’s nothing worse than trying to stay warm and comfortable when the sleeping bag, pillow or blankets are damp from the condensing humidity. The propane tent heater will burn off most of that excessive moisture in the air and keep your sleeping gear reasonably dry and comfy.

I’m just beginning to set-up my truck as a hunting/fishing and possibly Bug Out Vehicle. Even though I live in North Florida it does freeze up here for a few days during the winter. So on my overnight shore fishing outings and occasional hunts outings having a propane heater inside the cap of my truck is mighty nice.

A couple things I wanted from the heater was a long run time using just the 1 lb. propane cylinders, compact in the overall size and very easy to light. Coleman makes a catalytic heater that fits the need.

The Coleman Spec’s has some of the features I was looking for:
  • Electronic ignition for quick and easy matchless lighting.
  • 1,500 BTU output operates up to 14 hours from one 16.4 oz propane cylinder.
  • Portable integrated handle makes heater easy to carry.
  • Stable, detachable base provides a strong stand for the heater.

The on/off valve and start button.

Here’s the fold-out feet extended for additional stability.

The test run:
I set up the heater in the back of my truck (inside the cap) where I would normally be sleeping. The lowest outside air temp that test night was 45 degrees. To check the temperature I used a remote digital temperature reader to monitor the temps inside and outside. The temperature differential was between 10-15 degrees above the outside air temp. Naturally the colder it became the narrower the temperature differential was. Bottom line it was 55-60 degrees inside the trucks cap overnight. Just about perfect for Florida!

The actual test runtime was just a few minutes over 13 hours on one 16.4 oz propane cylinder. I’m happy with that because I can start the heater 3-4 hours before bed time to pre-heat the bedding and cap, then sleep all night without the heat going off before it’s time to get up.

For lighting the heater, if the built-in lighter fails then matches or a Bic lighter can be used.

Bottom line, I happy with it!


  1. Kifaru and Titanium Goat make teepees with wood burning stoves. The stoves and stove pipes pack flat for backpacking.

  2. I have this heater and love it! Super quiet, perfect for the deer stand. Virtually silent. No loud hissing sound like most propane heaters. Not a giant heater, so don't expect huge amounts of heat. But it is the perfect one-man, small area heater.

    1. I had the original BlackCat, which was very similar to this. Great little heaters.

      Thanks for commenting!