Electric blankets for cold weather camping

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Do electric blankets make sense for cold weather camping?


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Jeffrey Dill

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Greenville, SC, USA
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Does anyone have any experience with using portable electric blankets for staying warm in cold weather camping? Either one that's actually made to be portable via a rechargable battery pack or a "normal" one plugged into something like a Jackery or a GoalZero.

I've been researching a lot of different methods that people use for keeping warm (in addition to, obviously, having the proper sleeping bag) - the most popular method seeming to be using a Mr. Heater Buddy/Little Buddy. But I don't think I want to go that route for a number of reasons - not least of which being that you're most likely going to be burning through an entire canister of propane for each night that you use it.

Any thoughts or experience?
 

Flipper

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We just use a regular heating pad between the sheets on low. Throws off plenty of heat and very low current draw. More economical with electricity than heating the entire sleeping area.
 
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Wandering Bison

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Winnipeg, Canada
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We use and love our 12V Electrowarmth bunk mattress heating pad.

It plugs in a 12V cigarette lighter plug, is thin and comfortable, lives on our mattress year round (it’s setup in a van), is very energy efficient and because it sits under you, your covers trap the heat. Think heated seat but with a more gentle heat.

We’ve slept in the van, without heat, well below10°F comfortably.

We’ve never done a power consumption analysis, but after a very cold night, it will have used 5-7% of our 200 ah battery, so very low consumption and easy to recover from. It’s thermostat based so you pick a level and the heat comes on and off gently throughout the night based on the cabin/outside temperature.

You can’t go wrong!
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

365
Greenville, SC, USA
Member #

15578

We just use a regular heating pad between the sheets on low. Throws off plenty of heat and very low current draw. More economical with electricity than heating the entire sleeping area.
We use and love our 12V Electrowarmth bunk mattress heating pad.

It plugs in a 12V cigarette lighter plug, is thin and comfortable, lives on our mattress year round (it’s setup in a van), is very energy efficient and because it sits under you, your covers trap the heat. Think heated seat but with a more gentle heat.

We’ve slept in the van, without heat, well below10°F comfortably.

We’ve never done a power consumption analysis, but after a very cold night, it will have used 5-7% of our 200 ah battery, so very low consumption and easy to recover from. It’s thermostat based so you pick a level and the heat comes on and off gently throughout the night based on the cabin/outside temperature.

You can’t go wrong!
Heating pad! That's brilliant. :grinning:

So @Wandering Bison , you're in a vehicle. That makes a lot of sense but my use case would be slightly different since we'll be in a tent and will need to power it using something portable.

@Flipper , are you using yours in a vehicle as well or are you tent-based?
 
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Wandering Bison

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241
Winnipeg, Canada
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Heating pad! That's brilliant. :grinning:

So @Wandering Bison , you're in a vehicle. That makes a lot of sense but my use case would be slightly different since we'll be in a tent and will need to power it using something portable.

@Flipper , are you using yours in a vehicle as well or are you tent-based?
Agreed, that would make a difference, both in insulating value and in power supply.

That said, a good insulating camping mattress or RTT mattress on the bottom and a good upper later would do the same. I would not want to have too much between the mattress/pad and my body however.

As for power, with an auxiliary battery of some kind, I would feel very comfortable trying this.

You can purchase them from Amazon which would give you a chance to try and return if it doesn’t work for you.
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

365
Greenville, SC, USA
Member #

15578

Agreed, that would make a difference, both in insulating value and in power supply.

That said, a good insulating camping mattress or RTT mattress on the bottom and a good upper later would do the same. I would not want to have too much between the mattress/pad and my body however.

As for power, with an auxiliary battery of some kind, I would feel very comfortable trying this.

You can purchase them from Amazon which would give you a chance to try and return if it doesn’t work for you.
Awesome, thanks for the idea! I love that approach.

It almost makes me hope that it's freezing cold this weekend so I can go ahead and give it a shot. :smile:
 

Flipper

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2,279
Longwood, Fl.
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KN4EEN
Heating pad! That's brilliant. :grinning:

So @Wandering Bison , you're in a vehicle. That makes a lot of sense but my use case would be slightly different since we'll be in a tent and will need to power it using something portable.

@Flipper , are you using yours in a vehicle as well or are you tent-based?
We are in a van. Its amazing how little heat you need in between the “sheets” we have to keep the pad turned on low, high or even med. would be way too warm. Whats a nice bonus is turning it on a couple minutes before bedtime so its nice and toasty! I have back issues so I use it on the drivers seat for long drives also.
I see you are based in SC, we go to Lake Jocassee and Fontana, beautiful country up your way.
 

Jeffrey Dill

Rank II
Member

Contributor III

365
Greenville, SC, USA
Member #

15578

We are in a van. Its amazing how little heat you need in between the “sheets” we have to keep the pad turned on low, high or even med. would be way too warm. Whats a nice bonus is turning it on a couple minutes before bedtime so its nice and toasty! I have back issues so I use it on the drivers seat for long drives also.
I see you are based in SC, we go to Lake Jocassee and Fontana, beautiful country up your way.
Very cool. Yes, Lake Jocassee is gorgeous. I've actually never been up to Fontana Dam/Lake. I'll have to venture up that way this summer.
 
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