Surprisingly enough, camping in Upstate NY in November can get pretty cold. There can even be snow. And in a tent, even a heavy canvas one, staying warm can be a challenge. That’s where Mr. Heater comes into the picture.
The background here is that when we travel to Upstate NY to visit family, I usually bring the CDN M101 trailer with OzTrail 375 tent. It is a heavy, waterproof tent, with vinyl floors and a queen size elevated mattress. Based on that, it retains heat quite well, keeps water and wind out, but has a large interior area to keep heated. For Thanksgiving 2014, I decided to camp as usual. Conditions were 20’s during the day, single digits at night, and we received about 18″ of snow the night we arrived.
On with the review.
***Disclaimer: I am no expert, nor am I telling anyone what is safe, or what is not safe. If in doubt, follow the manufacturers instructions at all times. I am simply relaying what I did, and the results. Carbon monoxide is nothing to fool with and if you do not understand its hazards, I suggest you familiarize yourself with them.
Now, I have no idea how long one of those cute little propane tanks will last, but I bet not long enough to stay warm through a 5F night, and definitely not 3 of them. Thankfully, I already use a 20 lb propane tank (same as a gas grill) for all my propane needs. Just make sure you use the Mr. Heater filter to remove impurities in the tank. The last thing you want is poor combustion and the generation of carbon monoxide. Also, since 5 lb and 20 lb tanks have different fittings, an extension/adapter hose is needed. There are many options for the hose, I myself use a distribution tree that mounts on top of the tank and acts as a manifold to a lantern and 2 other propane devices, coupled with 2 additional extension hoses. Just make sure to verify all your hoses and fittings match up before you are huddled in a freezing tent.
Using the 20 lb tank, I was able to run this unit on high (9000 BTU/hr) for 3 days, 7 hours/day. Not bad at all. The only watch out is that your normal breathing produces water, as does the combustion of propane, and that water will go somewhere. In my case that somewhere was on the ceiling of the tent which rapidly turned to ice. After 3 days, there was a bit of a light rain every time the tent roof moved so be sure to provide adequate ventilation and/or something to wipe down the ceiling with and remove the accumulated condensation.
Compact, powerful, and rugged, this is a great addition to anyone’s gear when propane is available and you need to take the chill off, or even survive an arctic blast.
Simple, lightweight, rugged design
Built-in Oxygen and tip over sensors
Be aware of condensation issues
Carbon Monoxide is always a concern and must be managed
Hot element may be an issue if you have pets or kids nearby
Basic Extension/Adaptor Hose
Tank Manifold Tree