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Old 02-02-2019, 07:23 PM
SurvivalNewb SurvivalNewb is offline
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Default Heating empty pan in tent?



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I know that having flame heat sources inside a tent is dangerous. I'll try to make this short: my SHTF pack is already way more than is reasonable, I'm trying to cut down where I can. Generating a heat source inside the tent in an emergency is something I'm trying to accommodate. Let's say I can't leave the tent, we have a real emergency situation where we need some heat and I can't exit tent to start fire, maintain fire, etc., I just want to get some heat radiating inside and the hot water in a tin or wrapping ourselves in sleeping bags just won't cut it. I like the idea of the propane heater that works with the 1lb propane bottle, etc. but I'd like to cut down on all the stuff I have to carry. So how about I just have the propane stove burner like this (and I assume linking to anything on Amazon already shows I'm a super newb):

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Bottl...propane+burner

or my Trangia alcohol stove or whatever; let's say I have a source of small flame.

Can I radiate heat just as well inside the tent by putting an empty stainless steel pot on the fire source rather than having a completely separate thing like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Texsport-Port...ne+tent+heater

In other words, can I just use a stove burner and an empty pan instead of a completely separate device for radiating heat?

I realize any open flame inside a tent is a bad idea safetywise, I'm talking super big emergency, I'm able to make sure we don't tip it over, I can't exit the tent or safely maintain an outside source of fire, etc. Will an empty metal pan on a burner perform basically the same function as that propane radiator? Or will heating an empty pan ruin the pan? I don't want to boil water in it because of the condensation on a single wall tent.

Again, I realize it's not safe. But just in terms of radiating heat inside and not needing to have a separate device, can I heat a pan over an alcohol or propane burner and achieve the same effect as the separate heater device?

Any advice, feedback welcome, and please assume I already know the dangers of a flame source in the tent; this is wild worst case scenario; windy snow storm outside, hypothermia setting in, sleeping bags are wet, all is lost, etc.
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Old 02-02-2019, 07:54 PM
PoorRichard05 PoorRichard05 is offline
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There are a lot of options and a lot of different things you can do.

Having a open flame in a tent is a bad idea.

No matter how cold it is.

Why exactly do you need to be in a tent in very cold weather? Is there some reason you can't be in a heated building?

A great prep you might want to keep on hand is common sense.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:02 PM
Rifleman69 Rifleman69 is offline
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An open flame in a tent is a really bad idea, But if your looking for a safe as possible heart source and your already committed to carrying a propane cylinder, I would look at one of the small catalytic heaters such as the Mr Heater Little Buddy or one of the Coleman SportCat heaters. Most have a tip over safety shutoff switch and always be mindful of necessary ventilation.
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Why exactly do you need to be in a tent in very cold weather. Is there some reason you can't be in a heated building?
Well, you know...perhaps because its an....how did he put it?

Quote:
emergency
Yup. Thats the word. The thing we are supposedly here to learn to deal with.

Anyway, no need for an empty pan, heat is heat.

But the best thing you can do is heat up an uninsulated stainless water bottle (or as many as you need) to boiling,(lid off while its heating obviously) wrap it in a sock and crawl inside a sleeping bag with it. Makes a huge difference. Last winter I did a "get soaking wet in the snow and try to camp" experiment and I spend hours unsuccessfully trying to warm up in a sleep bag but when I finally broke down and tried the hot water bottle I was actually cozy warm and comfortable in about ten minutes and was able to sleep warm the rest of the night.

Trying to heat the air inside a tent is the least useful thing you can do with your fuel source.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:01 PM
chuckklr98 chuckklr98 is offline
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A straw nest/bedding would be a better choice. requires no heat, and gets you kudos from board experts.
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:10 PM
pengyou pengyou is offline
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Burning propane generates water vapor. As long as it is burning you will have warmth. if you shut it off or run out of propane you are going to have a very damp tent interior and it will be very uncomfortable damp and cold, your clothes may even be damp. I have to deal with the same thing in my van when I camp in my van. In an emergency you must do what you can do, but keep in mind what the result of your actions are.Brtter to have lower heat longer, for the duration of your stay in the tent rather than high heat for a short time followed by nothing. I am guessing that you are trying to capture as much of the heat as possible by heating the pan to use as radiant heat. IF you are knowledgeable about rocks and there are some around that are not going to explode, you might want to consider heating them up with your hot water bottles. Keep in mind that a hot water will not likely get above 212 degrees (unless you keep heating the bottle and the metal heats up too) but rocks don't have the temperature limitation that water does. You would most likely benefit from wrapping hot rocks in heavy cloth.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:00 AM
johnmcd johnmcd is offline
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You didn't indicate how big of a tent you're dealing with - is this a small one-person bivvy, or is it something big enough for a small family? If it's a smaller tent I agree with the comment that with the right sleeping bag, a separate heat source shouldn't be necessary. The rule that I usually follow when winter camping is that if I'm inside the tent, I'm inside my sleeping bag. I have one with arm holes, so I can 'wear' the sleeping bag when I'm heating up a meal or doing other things in the tent. With a decent 4-season tent/bivvy and sleeping bag you shouldn't really need a separate heat source. Make sure you've got good insulation from the ground (pine needles, leaves, thick pad, etc.), since that's where you'll lose a lot of your heat.

If you're really worried about additional heat you can carry some of those instant hand/feet/body warmers or a powered hand warmer (Zippo fuel-powered hand warmer or one of those USB rechargeable electric ones you could charge with a small solar panel).

If you're talking about a larger tent I'd recommend against it, since it'll be heavy to carry and harder to keep warm. If you have multiple family members you'll probably be better off with multiple small 1- or 2-person tents/bivvys.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:30 AM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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Another prep: move to the south where something like your emergency never happens.

You will have to deal with heat and flying roaches, but no freezing in the tent scenario.

Also, if you have children, they are going to screw with the flame and start a fire, no matter how you talk to them. It's pretty and warm and they will want to play with it.
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Old 02-03-2019, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleKitty View Post

You will have to deal with heat and flying roaches, but no freezing in the tent scenario.
And palmetto bugs: flying roaches the size of a bat. And mosquitoes. And mosquitoes. And mosquitoes. Also, houseflies, gnats, fire ants, cow ants, and yellow jackets. And mosquitoes.
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Old 02-03-2019, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaSierraCharlie View Post
And palmetto bugs: flying roaches the size of a bat. And mosquitoes. And mosquitoes. And mosquitoes. Also, houseflies, gnats, fire ants, cow ants, and yellow jackets. And mosquitoes.
I think you should have mentioned mosquitoes
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Old 02-03-2019, 11:09 AM
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You can do anything you want.

When was the last time you heated an empty pan on your range top at home? How’d it work out?

Good to think outside the box, but don’t get too far outside where you can’t get back in...
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:13 PM
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Burning propane open flame creates carbon monoxide. My propane Coleman stove did and set off the CO detector in my shed. Sure, a tent is far from air tight, but nevertheless.
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Old 02-03-2019, 12:42 PM
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If you invest in a good sleeping bag, unless you're in the arctic there's no real reason to be uncomfortably cold. Before zipping up, you can walk around a little to warm up or do some situps and then rely on body heat. Maybe use a little backpacking stove to boil some broth to get you warm before zipping up. I've always loved covering my face with a wool scarf and then zipping up so only the scarf is showing and sleeping like a baby on a below zero night.
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Old 02-03-2019, 01:34 PM
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Years ago, I brought the white gas stove into the tent and heated up a large rock on low heat so as not to have it explode. BTW, the rock was already pretty warm from being part of the fire pit. It worked very good, I turned off the heat before we went to sleep and it kept the chill off all night
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:19 PM
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Just have a hole in the ground inside your fent where you can put hot stones from the fire in. Simple way and you dont need to carry extra gear.
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Old 02-03-2019, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Exarmyguy View Post
Just have a hole in the ground inside your fent where you can put hot stones from the fire in. Simple way and you dont need to carry extra gear.

Worked for Jeremiah Johnson
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:37 AM
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Hot Hands and Toasti Toes. No flame at all. Some of the medical companies sell warming stick-on warming pads, and someone makes a water-activated heating pad.

Snuggle with your wife/husband. Dogs and cats are little furnaces, too take care not to squish/smother cats or small dogs
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Old 02-04-2019, 05:34 AM
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Burning efficiently produces heat + water vapor + carbon dioxide.

The displacement of oxygen by carbon dioxide will kill you.

Impinging the flame with a pot produces absolutely no more heat + water vapor + carbon dioxide + carbon monoxide.

Even if you only do it a little while each night, it will kill you. Carbon monoxide is a cumulative poison.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:56 AM
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You want the heat to be contained and retained as much as possible. So fill the pan full of water to be heated. Then put the hot water in a sealed container to continue to radiate safe heat through the night.
When I lose electricity in cold times, I heat a large cast iron pot full of water on our gas stove to help with the heat. And use a lot of candles at night while we are awake.
Note to other repliers:
Corbon monoxide buildup takes a lot longer IN A TENT!
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:26 PM
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Using water to trap heat is not a terrible idea. On a larger scale it works great. I saw a version like this on a homesteading video. It's called a passive solar generator. They used black barrels filled with water to trap heat during the day. Because water has a really high specific heat, it traps the heat and then releases it slowly. This quality in water is why us earthlings are not dead. But for the ability of water to temper our weather, we'd be doomed....plus it works pretty good when you're thirsty.

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