There’s no better way to get close to nature than camping. It’s a change of environment, it allows you to cut off from the rest of the world for a little while, and you get to experience the outdoors. Undoubtedly, camping requires a ton of preparation, and while you might have thought of everything, the weather could play havoc. If you’re besieged by plummeting temperatures at your campsite, then the last thing you want to do is spend a night chattering away in your tent. So, what’s the next best thing to do? Invest in a non-electric heater for camping, of course! While you also have the option of a quiet fan heater for camping today, a non electric one is very helpful when you have no access to electricity. And that is true for most camping expeditions!
When it comes to camping, the broadest choice you have is that of indoor and outdoor heaters. For instance, the heater that gives off heat akin to a campfire will be different from an indoor one meant to heat up a tent with walls. So, before you go off to buy a heater, consider the kind of camping you’re going to do and the weather as well. To make this less of a daunting task, we’ve listed some great options below, along with a rather handy buying guide. To that end, here are the 13 best non electric heaters for camping.
How To Choose The Best Non Electric Heater For Camping?
When it comes to buying heaters for camping, there are multiple concerns that you need to consider. Besides size and portability, you also need to consider practical uses, safety, and warmth. So, read on to know about what all you need to consider before buying a non electric heater.
While you might be tempted to buy an electric, quiet fan heater for camping, the fact of the matter is that you don’t know when you’ll end up without electricity. Also, if your idea of camping is going off the beaten path, then it’s best that you invest in a non-electric one. Non-electric heaters can be divided into natural gas, kerosene, propane, and wood-burning heaters. Wood-burning stoves are classics and are the best excuse to ditch gas and simply use logs and sticks from around the campsite. What’s more, they work best for a campfire and even double up as cooking stoves! You might also want to check out the Best Camping Foods.
Secondly, there are propane heaters are both huge and portable with refillable tanks, and there are even some wall-mountable models. Kerosene heaters, on the other hand, heats quickly and burns efficiently, and requires a wick rather than a spark for ignition. Natural gas ones, however, aren’t portable and cannot be an option for camping unless hooked up to a fixed gas line.
Portability and weight
Deciding on a non electric camping heater involves determining its use, that is whether you plan to affix it to a specific place on the campground or want more portability. Moreover, portable heaters weigh anywhere between as little as 5 lbs (2.3 kg) to 20 lbs (9 kg). Look for ones with large handles that make them easy to carry and impact-resistant construction for rough use.
One aspect where a fan heater for camping loses out on is that it’s power-corded. If the electricity goes off in the middle of nowhere, then you’re left with no heater. That’s where non electric heaters score. When it comes to non-electric propane/gas/kerosene heaters, it’s best to go the Goldilocks way. Too powerful heaters will make a space too hot, while ones with insufficient power will leave it cold – so, you want one that’s just right. The easiest way to decide is by focusing on the BTUs – less BTUs is less heat and vice versa. Some indoor heaters are also rated by BTUs for certain square footage. Outdoor-only heaters usually have BTU outputs of more than 40,000, while portable indoor ones have outputs of 5,000 BTUs. Higher output ones are tempting, but if you’re looking for a tent heater, get a smaller one or you run the risk of overheating it.
The size of the tank is important because it will determine how long the heater works before it’s time to replace the fuel. For instance, liquid kerosene in a 1-gallon (3.8 liters) tank in a kerosene heater will run for around 14 hours before requiring more fuel. Propane, on the other hand, works differently. Since it’s compressed liquid, its tanks attach to the heater via a hose and valve. Portable ones last around 3 hours, while larger ones usually run for around 10 hours.
Mr. Heater Buddy Portable RV Radiant Non Electric Camping Heater
The Mr. Heater Buddy Portable RV Radiant Heater is an excellent non-electric heater for camping. It costs just around $70-100 and weighs just 9 lbs (4 kg) with a maximum output of 9,000 BTUs. So, it’s an excellent portable heater enough to heat a large tent. The large, fold-down handle and rugged design make it packable, perfect to be carried around and used in the outdoors on the ground. What’s more, it even shuts off on its own if it detects low oxygen levels, if the pilot light goes out, or if it’s tipped over. So, when it comes to safety, the heater is top-notch.
At the maximum BTU output, the heater has a good run time of three hours. The swivel regulator allows you to change the usage between remote gas supply (if you have one) to disposable cylinder. All you need to do to light the unit is just set the knob to pilot, and then push. Thereon, the integrated Piezo-spark mechanism takes care of the rest.
- Auto shutoff in multiple conditions for safety.
- Wide heat radiation.
- Easy to operate and handle.
- Foldable handle for transport.
- Cannot be used at high altitudes.
Stansport Portable Propane Infrared Radiant Non Electric Camping Heater
If you’re looking for a longer-in-length, portable heater, then the Stansport Portable Outdoor Propane Infrared Radiant Heater is perfect. In fact, you’ll give up looking for a quiet camping fan heater after this. Supplying up to 3,100 BTUs, the heater does a fair job of keeping the mercury levels up in a small outdoor space like a campground enclosed by tents or a large tent. While it lacks the auto-shutoff feature, the refined design with the large, convenient stainless-steel carrying handle makes it very portable. Plus, the stainless steel lends the heater longevity as well. Above all, it boasts a rather nifty shiny metal disc that reflects and focuses the heat in one direction.
What makes the heater a great buy is that the well-built round plastic bottom sits well-balanced on the floor. Moreover, it doesn’t get knocked over unless someone does it intentionally. A four-step control interface and a front cage covering protect you against unintentional contact and possible burns.
- Front cage protection.
- Precise heating with a metal disc.
- Very portable.
- No auto shut-off.
Camplux JK-1000 Portable Outdoor Camping Non Electric Gas Camping Heater (CU)
While its design might be one of the most peculiar on the list, the Camplux JK-1000 Portable Outdoor Gas Heater is one of the best non electric heaters for camping. Besides being portable, the heater is also very easy to control thanks to the good-old analog knobs. Its lightweight nature combined with the foldable handle makes it easy to carry around even on a hike, before placing it somewhere on the camp. However, its standout feature is that it can also be used for mildly heating up cooking items or liquids, besides giving off heat. So, it could double up as a basic second stove too.
With a maximum output of 4,400 BTU, it’s perfect for cool shoulder season nights outdoors, albeit a very small area, or colder nights indoors in a tent. Powering it up is easy; all you need to do is push the piezo-electric ignition button. The enamel-coated heating surface radiates heat well, and the heat-up time is all of five seconds! while the special enamel-coated heating surface helps radiate heat properly. Rounding up the features is the presence of an in-built pressure sensor canister ejection system. When the pressure reaches dangerous levels, the system cuts off airflow to prevent gas leakage.
- Quick heat-up time.
- Portable and compact.
- Easy to start and stop at the push of a button.
- Overheating and gas leakage protection.
- Easy to clean.
- Suitable for smaller areas only.
Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Non Electric Camping Heater (CU)
One of the lightest heaters on this list is the Texsport Sportmate Portable Propane Heater, which weighs just 3 lbs (1.3 kg)! Boasting a heat output of 3,000 BTUs, the heater features an aluminum and stainless steel build, which is what makes it both durable and lightweight. So, on a low setting, the heater can run up to as many as eight hours before you have to fill it with propane again. It even comes with a nice molded plastic cup holder for those morning coffees that you’ll enjoy while camping with this heater.
Not only that, but the heater even has a sturdy base, making it great for smooth as well as rough outdoor surfaces such as the ground outside. The safety grid surrounding the heating element ensures you don’t get hurt accidentally, while the auto shut-off feature when the pilot light flame goes out only adds to the safety.
- Excellent thermal output for a small heater.
- Very lightweight.
- Includes a safety grid.
- Automatic shut-off valve to prevent leakage or flame-out.
- Some users reported that the low setting is too low.
Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor-Safe Propane Non Electric Camping Heater
Mr. Heater Little Buddy Indoor-Safe Propane Heater is one of the most compact-looking non-electric heaters for camping on this list. The portable heater features the head standing on a pole whose length can be changed. So, the heater can be small or even medium-sized depending on where you’re sitting. Moreover, it boasts a wider heating surface that helps increase temperature levels quicker, no matter where it’s placed. All this, despite having an output of just 3,800 BTUs. In addition, the swivel connector allows you to switch the design between a gas system and a disposable cylinder too.
What’s great about the heater is that the porcelain coating increases both the radiation distance and strength considerably. Powering it on and off is easy with the click of a button, and it even comes with an easy-to-replace ceramic burner tile. Finally, it even shuts down in low oxygen conditions or when it’s tipped over.
- Wider heat radiation.
- Auto shut-off feature at high altitudes or when it tips over.
- Foldable handles for carrying ease.
- No use at high altitudes or in larger areas like campfire spaces.
Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Portable Space Non Electric Camping Heater
With the Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater, you’ll forget all about the quiet camping fan heaters that you were after. One of the most popular propane heaters amongst camping enthusiasts, the Hunting Buddy boasts a compact and rugged build allowing it to survive any conditions. The large handle at the top and a weight of just 9 lbs (4 kg) make it very portable. Radiating a heat output of an impressive 6,000-12,000 BTUs, the heater can easily be used in compact outdoor spaces or large indoor ones. Moreover, you can either connect it to a gas supply using the swivel regulator or use it with a disposable cylinder tank.
Coming to safety, the device has a ton of safety features, of which the highlight is the low oxygen auto-shutoff. Also, the machine shuts off on its own if it’s accidentally knocked over, thanks to the tip-over safety feature. Rounding up its features is its one-year warranty.
- Can be used for large tents and even smaller outdoor places.
- Tip-over safety and low-oxygen shutoff systems.
- Easy to start and shut.
- Not suitable for high altitudes.
Mr. Heater Vent Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Non Electric Camping Heater
When it comes to raw heating power, no quiet fan camping heater can beat the Mr. Heater Vent-Free Blue Flame Natural Gas Heater. One of the toastiest non electric heaters for camping, this Mr. Heater product blasts raw heating power of 30,000 BTUs! So, it can easily keep a large 1,000 square-feet-huge space toasty, and can be used as a makeshift campfire too. What’s more, this convection heater is versatile and can be both placed on the ground and mounted on the wall too. What you’ll like most about it is its narrow profile, sleek design fireplace-like appearance, and visible flames.
The heater also boasts a ton of features, including an auto low oxygen shut-off valve and easy temperature control. For those who prefer it, the heater even comes in a propane version.
- Heat output of 30,000 BTUs.
- Radiates even convection heat.
- Automatic low oxygen shut-off system.
Sengoku KeroHeat Portable Radiant Kerosene Non Electric Camping Heater
Tremendous heat output and excellent portability make the Sengoku KeroHeat Radiant Kerosene Heater better than any quiet camping fan heater you could possibly come across. The heater boasts a powerful heat output of 23,500 BTUs, the second-highest heat output on this list. So, it’s enough to warm a small outdoor space or a large 900 sq. feet (sq. meters) tent on any given day. Moreover, the huge 1.9-gallon (liter) tank holds fuel enough for the heater to run for a whopping 14 hours.
However, what makes it truly versatile is its size – it’s diminutive at just 2 feet (meters) tall! So, it can be carried around very easily, whether you’re hiking or camping. Additionally, you’ll find a ton of safety features such as the auto shut-off and metal grills which add a safety layer. Rounding up the features are the easy-to-read fuel gauge and electronic ignition. The best part? It has a 10,000 BTU version too.
- Automatic shut-off feature.
- Provides 12 hours of heat.
- Some users reported strong smell.
Dyna-Glo Kerosene Convection Non Electric Camping Heater
Save on your camping bills with the Dyna-Glo Kerosene Convection Heater, one of the best non electric heaters for camping. Armed with a heat output of 23,000 BTUs, this nifty little powerhouse can easily heat up a 1,000 square-feet-huge space. But, that’s not all. On a single 2-gallon (liter) tank, it can run for up to as long as 12 hours! So, no matter where you camp, this is an excellent choice for those fall and winter nights when you’re camping out in the wild.
The heater, like any other good heater, features excellent safety features in the form of an auto-shutoff feature for when it tips over. A one-touch off switch makes it easy to switch off in the middle of the night even if you’re in deep sleep. The battery-operated one slide ignition only adds to its ease of operation. Finally, it even has a one-year warranty and it doesn’t give off the pungent kerosene smell either.
- Provides superior levels of warmth.
- Massive heat output of 23,000 BTUs.
- Non-smelly and silent.
- Auto shutoff feature.
- A little too strong to be used for a long time indoors.
Mr. Heater Double Tank Top Outdoor Propane Non Electric Camping Heater
You might be reminded of a certain beloved Pixar character when you set your eyes on this heater. Enter the Wall E-like Mr. Heater Double Tank Top Outdoor Propane Heater. The easy-to-carry-and-use propane heater is perfect for outdoor use, making it the go-to product if you want to stay warm around it like a campfire. The stainless-steel-made heater is durable and can be connected to any-sized propane cylinders as well. In addition, if you don’t take into account the gas canister, then the heater is one nifty compact and lightweight bundle. Use a gas lighter or match to light the burner and use the control regulator to adjust the heat output. Moreover, the heat output is stupendous – between 10,000 and 30,000 BTUs. Moreover, the medium setting is a nice 24,000 BTUs, offering a nice mid-point for heating.
On the low setting of 10,000 BTUs, the heater has the capability to run for as long as 40 hours, and for 14 hours on the high setting. The best part? The two “heads” can be rotated independently, allowing heat to dispense in not one, but two directions. All-in-all, this great little heater is a far better bet for camping than any fan heater you can find.
- Both “heads” rotate independently for heat focus at two places.
- Excellent heat output between 10,000 and 30,000 BTUs.
- Perfect for outdoor use.
- Some users reported that it requires an additional adapter to connect to the tank.
Dura Heat Propane 360-Degree Tank Top Non Electric Camping Heater
Durable, excellent heat output and lightweight – the Dura Heat Propane 360-Degree Tank Top Heater ticks all boxes for being a great non electric heater for camping. The ‘360 refers to the heater’s 360-degree radiant heating method using reflectors, which ensures even heat distribution in a circle. So, a group of you can sit down in front of this heater, and be equally warm without having to turn the heater every few minutes. Assembling this freestanding heater is a five-minute job, and it’s both versatile and stable. Furthermore, the heat output can be adjusted between three levels – 30,000, 35,000, and a whopping 40,000 BTUs.
Running of a 20-lbs (kg) propane cylinder, the heater can run for 40+ hours at the highest setting. Plus, it can heat up a place as large as 1,000 sq. feet (sq. meters). This is a far superior heat output as compared to the other excellent heaters on this list. The stainless steel construction is not only rust-resistant but also corrosion-resistant and rugged. Rounding up the features are a few handy safety features such as auto shut-offs in case of lights out and tip-overs and lights out. Moreover, the robust chrome guard around the heating elements protects you from accidental touches and burns.
- Portable, lightweight, and runs quietly.
- Includes all basic safety features of heaters.
- Offers multi-directional. 360-degree heating.
- Features heat outputs between 30,000 and 40,000 BTUs.
- Not suitable for indoor usage.
Dyna-Glo Cabinet Non Electric Camping Heater
Another powerful option for a non-electric heater is Dyna-Glo Cabinet Heater. The gas-powered heater has a heat output of anywhere between 6,000 and 18,000 BTUs, which is enough for a 600-square-feet large area. On the lowest setting, it can run continuously for as long as 64 hours, which is the longest one on this list. The three-plaque heating system and the piezo ignition with heat controls make it easy to operate. What’s more, the side carry handles make it extremely portable too. Hence, the highly mobile design makes it perfect for larger spaces such as a spacious tent or a small campfire setting.
You won’t be disappointed with the safety features of the heater either. The front safety grill keeps you from accidentally burning yourself. Meanwhile, the tip-over and oxygen depletion sensor help it automatically shut off, conserving energy and keeping everyone safe.
- Can run for 64 hours on the low setting.
- Very portable.
- The casters are made of plastic.
TMS Portable Military Non Electric Camping Heater-Stove
Are you looking for a unique non electric heater for camping? Behold the first, or rather the only wood stove on the list – the TMS Portable Military Camping Stove. That said, this stove is ideal only for a large tent for multiple people, such as an outfitters tent with a flue for ventilation. Coming to the heater-stove, it’s portable and very convenient to have around your campground, no matter the season. The removable dual side cooking tubes help cook meals quickly and even heat the place up efficiently and quickly. Moreover, the airflow regulators at the front and back keep everything burning smoothly.
There’s a lot more to this stove than just the above. For safety, there’s a spark arrestor. The foldable grates are ideal for drying smaller items such as gloves, hiking apparel, and socks. Finally, the hinged top grate and doubles as a carrying handle when you’re hiking and the stove isn’t being used.
- Doubles up as a drying rack.
- Great for cooking.
- Sturdy construction.