Are Propane Heaters Safe In A Tent?

Camping is a popular activity for many outdoor enthusiasts, providing a unique opportunity to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. However, when it comes to spending time outdoors during colder seasons, staying warm becomes crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable experience. This is where propane heaters come in handy, offering a convenient and efficient way to heat up your tent. But the real question is if the usage of propane heaters is safe in a tent? This is a question that many campers ask, and it’s important to know the answer before bringing a propane heater along on your camping trip.

First and foremost, safety should always be a top priority when using any type of heating equipment. Propane heaters can be safe to use in a tent, but certain precautions must be taken to ensure that they don’t pose a risk to your safety. One of the most important things to keep in mind is proper ventilation. Propane heaters produce carbon monoxide, a colorless and odorless gas that can be extremely dangerous when inhaled in large amounts. It’s essential to ensure that your tent is well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide inside. This means keeping a window or door partially open and avoiding using the heater in a small, enclosed space.

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Another important safety measure is to make sure that your propane heater is in good working condition. It’s important to check for leaks, cracks, or damage before using the heater. You should also make sure that the propane tank is securely fastened to the heater and that the fuel line is free from any kinks or twists that could cause a fire hazard.

When using a propane heater in a tent, it’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This includes things like keeping the heater a safe distance from any flammable materials, such as clothing or bedding, and never leave the heater unattended.

What are the safety features that a propane heater should have?

When it comes to using a propane heater, safety should always be a top priority. While different propane heaters may have varying safety features, there are some essential safety features that every propane heater should have. Here are a few key safety features to look for when choosing a propane heater:

  1. Automatic shut-off: A propane heater should have an automatic shut-off feature that turns off the heater if it tips over or if the oxygen levels in the room become too low. This can help in preventing fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
  2. Carbon monoxide detector: Some propane heaters may come equipped with a carbon monoxide detector that alerts you if the levels of carbon monoxide in the air become too high.
  3. Overheat protection: Overheating can be a common problem with propane heaters, so a good safety feature to look for is overheat protection. This feature will automatically turn off the heater if it reaches a certain temperature to prevent it from overheating and causing a fire.
  4. Sturdy base: A propane heater should have a sturdy base that keeps it stable and prevents it from tipping over easily. This can help in preventing fires and injuries.
  5. Quality materials: Look for a propane heater that is made with high-quality materials that can withstand the high temperatures and pressures involved in propane heating. This can help prevent leaks and other safety hazards.

It’s important to note that while these safety features can help reduce the risk of accidents and injuries, it’s still essential to use a propane heater with caution and follow all safety guidelines and instructions carefully. By taking the proper safety measures and choosing a propane heater with these essential safety features, you can enjoy the warmth and comfort of propane heating without putting yourself or others at risk.

Our Choice of the Best Propane Heater With all the Safety Features

1. 18,000 BTU Big Buddy Portable Propane Heater

propane heaters

The 18,000 BTU Big Buddy Portable Propane Heater is a popular and powerful propane heater that can heat up large spaces. It is manufactured by Mr. Heater, a well-known brand in the outdoor heating industry. Here is a detailed review of this heater, including its pros and cons.


  • High heating capacity: The 18,000 BTU output of the Big Buddy Heater is capable of heating up to 400 square feet, making it an ideal choice for large outdoor spaces, including patios, decks, tents, and cabins.
  • Dual heating modes: The heater has two heat settings – high and low – which give you the flexibility to adjust the heat output based on your needs. The low setting provides 4,000 BTUs, while the high setting provides 18,000 BTUs.
  • Easy to use: The heater comes with a simple control panel that allows you to adjust the temperature and control the pilot light. It also features an automatic shut-off valve that turns off the heater when it senses low oxygen levels or when it is tipped over.
  • Portability: The Big Buddy Heater comes with a fold-down handle that makes it easy to carry and transport. It is also lightweight and compact, which makes it an ideal choice for camping and other outdoor activities.
  • Versatility: The heater can be used with both propane cylinders and a propane tank with a hose attachment. This gives you the flexibility to choose the propane source that best suits your needs.


  • No fan: The Big Buddy Heater does not come with a fan, which can be a disadvantage for those who want to circulate the heat throughout a large room or outdoor space. This means that the heater may take longer to warm up the area, and the heat may not be distributed evenly.
  • Propane consumption: The heater has a high BTU output, which means that it consumes propane at a faster rate compared to lower BTU heaters. This can be an issue if you plan to use the heater for an extended period of time, as you may need to refill the propane cylinder or tank more frequently.
  • Noise: The Big Buddy Heater can be noisy, especially when it starts up or shuts off. This can be a distraction for some users, especially if they are using the heater in a quiet environment.
  • Safety concerns: Although the heater has a number of safety features, including a low oxygen sensor and an automatic shut-off valve, some users may still have concerns about using a propane heater indoors. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use the heater in a well-ventilated area to minimize the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Overall, the 18,000 BTU Big Buddy Portable Propane Heater is a powerful and versatile propane heater that is ideal for large outdoor spaces. Its high heating capacity and dual heat settings make it an ideal choice for colder weather, while its portability and ease of use make it a convenient option for camping and other outdoor activities. However, its lack of a fan and high propane consumption may be a drawback for some users, and safety concerns should always be taken into consideration.


In conclusion, propane heaters can be a safe and effective way to heat up a tent while camping, as long as proper safety precautions are taken. It is important to ensure adequate ventilation, check the heater for any damage, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. When selecting a propane heater, it is important to choose one that has essential safety features such as automatic shut-off, carbon monoxide detectors, overheat protection, and a sturdy base. Additionally, it is recommended to choose a propane heater that is certified by a recognized safety organization such as CSA or UL. By taking the proper safety measures and choosing a propane heater with essential safety features, you can stay warm and comfortable while enjoying the great outdoors.

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