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Thinblueline

Cold Weather Tent Camping With Dog(s)

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Thinblueline

My hunting season has to be done on the cheap so my lodging will inevitably include some cold weather tent camping. I’ve got a Cabelas 6-Person Alaskan Guide Model Tent which is loosely considered a 4-season tent with a full coverage fly and the design to withstand high winds and some accumulating snow. 

 

I’ve got good quality cold weather sleeping gear such that I wouldn’t require an active heat source overnight while I’m sleeping, but I’m worried about my dog’s comfort when the temperature dips. I can foresee some nights dipping into the teens, and possibly even single digits at times, so I worry about my French Brittany freezing while sleeping on his dog bed. 

 

I have the Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater with bulk propane tank attachment, but people say not to risk sleeping with a propane heat source due to the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning. I’ve also heard propane heat can really cause a lot of condensation in a tent. 

 

Most of my cold weather camping I have planned will be at campgrounds with electricity at each campsite. I’m wondering if anyone has any experience with running an electric heat source such as a ceramic heater inside a tent? Obviously I’d know to keep it away from the sides of the tent or any other obstructions but I’m curious if an electric ceramic heater will be able to run all night long and produce enough heat to keep my dog comfortable. I also question if an electric ceramic heater will produce the same condensation problems as propane or if it is a drier heat that will prevent the build up of condensation. 

 

Thanks in advance for anyone who can offer any advice or answer any of my questions. You guys have been a great source of information for me. 

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Tony Moore

excellent questions, I have been cold camping, and had similar thoughts.

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UplandHntr

you could buy battery car/mono detectors.

As far as heat - Ive slept in the back of my Suburban the past 5 yrs in MT and I have a 2 person 0 degrees canvas sleeping bag. We all snuggle inside to keep each other warm. Its worked well, I think the coldest its been is 3 or 4 degrees.

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Hub

Most campgrounds turn off water and electricity after Labor day.  I would be surprised if there was electricity for winter camping.  Ceramic heaters work great.  I used to run an extension cord to heat my pickup truck cap with my dogs in it overnight at a motel I stayed at.  Your dog would be way more comfortable in your vehicle off the frozen ground in a good kennel with an insulated kennel cover than in a tent even with a heater.

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mister grouse

Treerooster on here is an ardent cold weather tent man.  Surely he will chime in here?

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Kieffer

It's been a few years, but I've used a buddy heater inside a canvas tent on multiple occasions and don't recall a condensation issue.  I've had condensation issues with just the dogs and I sleeping in the vehicle, but not the tent. The buddy heater does a good job of keeping the tent warm enough in cold temps. There were nights where it got down into the teens, and the heater was able to keep the tent above freezing.  The dogs slept close to the heater, so they stayed comfy.  The carbon monoxide detectors would be a good idea.  If you can find a good electric heater that might be the way to go.  You wouldn't need to bother with the propane tank. 

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Canuck

We used to camp out in a wall tent on our annual mid to late-October pheasant hunt in ND (we now use trailers!).

A Buddy Heater will warm things up quickly. We used a small electric heater through the night and it worked well keeping the tent comfortable. 

If you or the dog get cold at night curling up with your pup solves both problems. 

I still run a small cube heater in my trailer most nights when it gets cold and just fire up the furnace to warm things up quickly.

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homelessadam

Spoon 

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grouse28

If you have electric how about an electric blanket or pad under the dog bed and a blanket over top if needed.

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fourtrax57

As far as your dog goes.... Any dog will fare at least as well as you  IF, he has a crate with a cover (mud river insulated or simply an old bedspread or blanket).

Dogs heat their own space nicely in the coldest weather if they have some hay bedding or even a pet bed / pad and a tight draft free (not over sized) crate.

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Rockdoc

I used to stay at a campground that had electricity when I hunted Iowa pheasant. The cheap $20 Walmart heater I used worked fine to keep the tent comfortable. BTW my favorite part of hunting season was December so I spent some single digit nights in that tent. Don't overthink this, if you have access to electricity use it.

 

Steve

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bmeador

As grouse28 said - ELECTRIC BLANKETS and HEATING PADS will do it for you if you have electricity. You will also have the ability to run electric lights in your tent that will also generate a little heat too. Ceramic heat bulbs like the ones used in helping boxes work great too.

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fishvik
37 minutes ago, fourtrax57 said:

As far as your dog goes.... Any dog will fare at least as well as you  IF, he has a crate with a cover (mud river insulated or simply an old bedspread or blanket).

Dogs heat their own space nicely in the coldest weather if they have some hay bedding or even a pet bed / pad and a tight draft free (not over sized) crate.

I've left my GSP in her kennel over night in the back of my uncovered pickup many times during the winter in Idaho and Montana. The kennel has a cover and I fill it with straw. When I open it to let her out in the morning it is like opening a sauna. Your Brit should be fine.

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co_setter
36 minutes ago, Rockdoc said:

I used to stay at a campground that had electricity when I hunted Iowa pheasant. The cheap $20 Walmart heater I used worked fine to keep the tent comfortable. BTW my favorite part of hunting season was December so I spent some single digit nights in that tent. Don't overthink this, if you have access to electricity use it.

 

Steve

Those cheap heaters make tent camping in the cold a lot more fun.  I lay a piece of carpet down on top of the groundcloth and that adds a lot of comfort.  The heater fan moves enough air to get rid of the condensation.  Dogs curl up on thier pads and go right to sleep. 

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SelbyLowndes
1 hour ago, homelessadam said:

Spoon 

 

 

Dog don't like that very much...SelbyLowndes

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