Wintertime Camping Calls for Coleman Heater

You'll stay cozy and warm inside your tent

Mature woman sitting outside tent at night, Skaftafell, Vatnajokull National park, Iceland
••• Henn Photography / Getty Images

The most dedicated campers don't let a little cold weather stop them, but the right gear is essential. if you've armed yourself with the right stuff, you'll love pitching a tent in cold weather. The Coleman SportCat catalytic heater is a safe, portable propane tent heater that is ideal for winter and cold weather camping. The heater provides comfortable warmth, but proper ventilation is required and necessary.

The 1,500 BTU output operates up to 14 hours from one 16.4-ounce propane cylinder (not included), and a portable integrated handle makes the heater easy to carry. Its stable, detachable base provides a strong stand for the heater. 

The flameless catalytic process is what differentiates catalytic heaters from other propane appliances. Don't be confused in thinking that it's the fuel that burns clean because it's actually the platinum in the heating unit reacting with the burning propane that results in little, if any, harmful gas emissions. 

The ProCat model is an option; it has a built-in fan, but it requires batteries. The ProCat produces 3,000 BTU and burns for eight hours on a canister of fuel. For safety's sake, follow the manufacturer's guidelines for using this heater in your tent, and be sure to always allow for adequate ventilation to compensate for the oxygen being used by the heater.

Coleman Heater: Pros 

  • The SportCat is a safe heater for tents
  • Built-in handle makes it easy to carry
  • Heats up to 14 hours on one fuel cylinder
  • Includes a stable, detachable stand

Coleman Heater:  Cons

  • None!


  • Adjustable heat control knob
  • Available with or without electronic ignition
  • Also available: SurvivalCat (800 BTU), BlackCat, ProCat (with fan), XtremeCat (backpacking)
  • Soft Carry Case available holds heater and two propane cylinders 

Winter Camping

You might be thinking, "Why would anyone want to camp in a tent in the freezing nights of winter or in the snow?" The answer: why not!  Winter, snow and cold weather camping is a completely different experience from warm weather camping, and it's a lot less crowded than summer, the high season for camping. Without all those other people around, it is much easier to have a "Walden" moment and really commune with nature. Gathering around the campfire is a pleasurable must. Plus the winter scenery is beautiful in its minimalist glory, with evergreens against a muted or snowy background, the stars sparkling through crisp, clear air and the sky a startling blue. 

The importance of having the right gear, including the right heater, cannot be overstated. That includes the right clothing -- layers of clothing -- and plenty of socks and waterproof boots.

With tips and advice on cold weather camping, camping gear reviews including the best winter camping tents, and how to get your RV ready for the cold, we've got you covered. Now all you need to do is pack up and go.