Stay Warm Winter Camping in a Hot Tent

Stay Warm Winter Camping in a Hot Tent

November 07, 2017 1 Comment

Camping in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the summer is a great and very popular activity.  Sitting by a warm campfire with family and friends is good for the soul.  However, when the leaves start to fall and the temperatures drop, most people put their camping gear away.  Even though the scenery and stars are incredible and there are no bugs, the thought of shivering through a miserably cold night doesn't sound enjoyable.  Believe me.  It's not.  There is a better way.

Let me introduce you to the hot tent.  A hot tent (aka wall tent) is a canvas tent with an internal wood burning stove.  These tents are ideal for cold weather and winter camping for the following reasons:

  • Canvas material let moisture escape so you don't wake up to a frosty coating inside your tent that begins to drip, soaking all your stuff as soon as the sun comes up.
  • Typically roomier so you can stand up, cook, and move around more comfortably.
  • Don't have a built-in floor so you can setup for your particular needs.  You can leave it bare and leave your boots on or lay down a tarp and take your wet and muddy clothing off at the door.
  • Very quick and easy to setup and take down with no need to pound stakes into the frozen ground.
  • Wood burning stove allows you to stay warm even on the coldest nights and can be used to boil water and cook.
  • Heat from the stove is great for drying out clothes hung on an internal clothes line so they are ready for the next day.

hot tent with bunkable cots

They truly are amazing and will allow you to camp in the coldest of days in comfort and style.  They are perfect for family camping, hunting, or as a warming house for a cold day event.

What Do You Need?

In order to hot tent there are a few items you'll most likely need/want:

  • Hot tent appropriate for the size of your group
  • A tent wood burning stove with externally vented stove pipe
  • If sleeping on the ground:  warm sleeping pad/air mattress made for cold temperatures, warm sleeping bag (0 degree recommended)
    If sleeping off the ground:  cot, warm sleeping pad/air mattress, warm sleeping bag (0 degree recommended)
  • Small snow shovel
  • Tarp for floor if desired
  • Gloves for handling hot things on the stove
  • Wood
  • Axe or hatchet
  • Rope for a clothesline

hot tent stove

Why Isn't Hot Tenting More Popular?

You may be asking yourself if hot tenting is so great, why don't more people do it.  The two main reasons are lack of knowledge and cost.  Most people I talk to have no idea that you can get a tent with a wood burning stove and thus don't consider it.  Those that are familiar with hot tenting are dissuaded by the initial cost of the tent, stove, and cold weather sleeping bags which can cost $1500-$3000.  For many, spending this amount on something you use infrequently halts them in their tracks.

How Can I Try It?

Renting a hot tent and gear is a great way try out cold weather or winter camping to determine if it's for you.  It's also perfect for those that will only do it occasionally and don't want to invest in and store the gear.  You may have to look around to find an outfitter with a tent that meets your needs as there are not many south of Lake Superior.

If you're local, DIRO Outdoors has a hot tent, bunkable cots, and all you need for rent to give it  a try.  We also have packages where we'll setup everything for you at a local park, get the stove pumping out heat, and take it down when you're done.  It doesn't get easier than that!  Call 651-233-6059 or visit to learn more.


Winter camping is a great experience everyone should try.  The early nights provide ample time to sit by the bonfire and watch the stars, the landscapes are incredible, and the peace and quiet from being away from people lets the stress melt away.  Pair it with a hot tent where you can stay warm and dry even in the coldest of nights and it creates memories that will last a lifetime.

For those that like to camp, does hot tenting sound interesting to you? Please post your comments below.

1 Response


January 05, 2018

I am about to go full-time in a 6M Emperor tent. Very excited!

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