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Old 01-19-2015   #11
90Duck's Avatar
Bend, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1992
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 282
Originally Posted by View Post
I have never used something like that. I would worry most about fire if it got knocked over than anything else. I think it would be great for a cook tent/clothes drying/floorless tent that was not being slept in. I use Grabber mega 12 hour warmers one per night in the winter and have never failed to stay toasty.
My group has used catalytic heaters for a floorless communal tent on shoulder season (or even winter) trips. Even when it's freezing outside you can get a big circus tent to comfortable shirtsleeve temperatures for card games and such during long dark evenings, and it has been well worth the effort of hauling it along. It works great for that kind of application with lots of people and activity, but I don't think I'd feel too comfortable having one in an enclosed sleeping space for all the reasons already stated.

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Old 01-19-2015   #12
elkhaven's Avatar
Belgrade, Montana
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,661
My issue with heating with propane (non vented, not catalytic) is that it creates a lot of moisture. Things don't seem to dry out and while you may feel warm, there always seems to be an inescapable dampness to everything. I don't think the catalytic heaters remove moisture from the exhaust gases, just CO but I'm not possible. Can anybody that uses them comment? As it is I plan on building an ammo can wood stove because I love wood heat, just wondering really and it seems pertinent to the conversation...

Edit: non vented as in exhaust gas not directly vented like an rv furnace. Usually old school mister-heater type heaters.

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Old 01-19-2015   #13
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
Originally Posted by View Post
I would say if you can hold up the tent fabric to your mouth and breath through it, it would probably pass enough oxygen to keep you from suffocating.
The key word in this post is PROBABLY, not a real confidence builder. I agree with a earlier post to turn off before getting in the rack and turning on in am to get the tent toasty.[/QUOTE]

Canaries are cheap. Test or just leave the flap open on the tent. Something like a big buddy will keep a tent warm even with a door open.

from their site:
Emergency Heat, Tents, Campers, Workshops, Job Sites, Porches, Patios, Decks, Garages, Storage Buildings, Picnics, Tailgate Parties, Construction Trailers, Sporting Events, Barns, Sheds, Hunting Blinds, Shelters, Ice Fishing Shanties

it has an oxygen depletion detector that shuts down the heater if it senses the o2 supply is too low. I'm guessing this is for that exact reason.
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Old 01-19-2015   #14
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Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 857
I have used only catalytic heaters, and although I have not had any issues, does not mean that they do not exist, BUT, I can mitigate risks by venting and using a battery operated CO2 detector. In the 10x10 popup wall tent, there is plenty of air circulation and large mass of air space. Have slept all night with the heater going in freezing temps. Moisture buildup was a factor. In the VW Westfalia, I open one or both of the side windows 1/4 to 1/2 inch and open the "skylight" hatch about an inch or two. Have slept all night in freezing temps, moisture buildup was noticeable, but not above average for 2 bodies sleeping in a small space. In the safari van, I only use it to heat before bed and upon waking up. Keeping Propane supply outside might help reduce moisture build up, but output on a cooling tank (gets colder as propane is released to the heater) and freezing outside temps may cause the heater to kick off.
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Old 01-20-2015   #15
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I too have used the buddy heater in the tent, it has a tip shutoff and low O2 shutoff. Don't use it when you sleep and keep the rain fly tight so there there is air flow. It really saved a Thanksgiving float a few years back were the temps were in the low 20s, we sat in the tent and ate thanksgiving dinner, played some Yahtzee then went to bed. In the morning our booties were frozen and we stuck them in the tent loft with the heater on too thaw them out. another nice bonus, the buddy heater fits perfectly into a rocket box along with two share green bottles.
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Old 01-21-2015   #16
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 168

I see you're from North Creek, is Smith's still there? I spent a lot of time in an old miner's cabin in the Garnet Hill area while growing up.

One of the issues you should consider is that out west, where this forum lives, a lot of people have huge tents carried in rafts (no Carries) (no portages for those of you that don't speak Adirondack), many hunters have canvas tents that accomodate cots and furniture. If you are looking to use any heater in a tent you need to be careful about melting your tent, pack, fleece, expensive gore-tex shell, sleeping bag/pads etc. If you only run it while awake to heat a communal space, or you have a huge tent, heed the above experiences. If you are hoping to use it in a <12 lbs tent that is canoe carry friendly, I would advise caution. Best of luck.
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Old 01-21-2015   #17
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Donkey Town, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 145
Grand Canyon Wood Stove!!

Wall tent with a wood burning stove=toasty plus u can dry all your gear out

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