Getting Started with Hot Tent Camping

When it comes to hot tent camping, the tent is the most important consideration: You need a tent that is designed for use with a wood stove. Such tents are often made of canvas or another heat-resistant material and have built-in openings through which you can fit a stove pipe. These openings in the tent canopy, called stove jacks, are reinforced even further against heat, so you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be warm as well as safe from fire and smoke. 

Another characteristic of hot tents is that they tend to have plenty of headroom to allow the stove sufficient space to operate away from the tent’s ceilings and walls. When looking at hot tents, you’ll find the most common models are wall tents and tipi-style tents. The former usually reserve a corner of the tent for the stove, while the latter permit the stove to sit in the center of the tent. Wall tents tend to be heavier and are designed to be left in place for several days or even weeks. They can be used as longer-term winter shelters. Otherwise, you can get a relatively lightweight—8 to 12 pounds—tipi-style tent that can be set up and taken down quickly and easily if you’re on the move.

One final thing to be aware of is that hot tent shelters are typically floorless. This, of course, is to accommodate the stove. So, when planning a hot tent camping adventure, you need to be aware of the ground conditions in the area where you’ll be camping. For example, if you know there will be snow cover, plan to bring a shovel or other implement to dig out a floor for your tent. Or, if the ground is frozen or rocky, or muddy due to a lot of rain, you’ll want to bring the right type of stakes or anchors to accommodate the terrain and to seal the bottom of the tent as tightly to the ground as possible.

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