I’ve tried every option for adding heat to my GFC that I’m aware of, and basically just settled on wearing warm clothes and using a really good sleeping bag. Until Ignik sent me their new 12V pad and blanket. The pad especially is just transformative for nighttime comfort, while the blanket is better for sitting around/hanging out.
Gonna drop a few links here for more, just wanted to get this info out there to fellow GFCers since this is working so well.
In colder climates and if all windows have to closed, adding more heat inside the tent will only lead to even worse conditions for condensation. The diesel heater has been an absolute game changer for not only warmth but also a dry tent. I will never go back or rely on another method when camping in the cold.
In the below photos not only did we stay warm, the tent was completely dry inside upon waking.
I camp at different elevations week to week, and just don’t find dealing with all the mess of a diesel heater worthwhile. Parking with the wedge angled into the wind, with the vent windows open about halfway eliminates condensation. Like any tent, you need to keep ventilation going all the time, and doing so will actually foster warmer sleep. Experimenting in different conditions will create your own set of best practices.
Adjusting the pump settings is fairly straight forward when it comes to the elevation changes. Even now with some of the cheaper Chinese diesel heaters (not the $1400 ones), they do a pretty damn good job at actually automatically adjusting AND have Bluetooth capabilities so you can adjust straight from your phone.
When there is no wind or you can’t have the windows open in the tent due to the conditions, condensation will form. The GFC isn’t meant/built to have a wind open if it’s raining/snowing. Trust me, I’ve spent nearly 60 nights in it this year alone. I have also always been under the impression “camping in a wet/damp environment will always feel colder than sleeping in a dry environment”. 40° with low humidity vs a higher humidity drastically feels different. With the diesel heater, most of the cons that you mentioned in your article can also quickly be fixed I.e set up, diesel spilling, etc. I experienced many of them at first but there are some amazing DIYers like @keeganbuilds who have created amazing DIY kits.
But for sure, if you’re camping in mid to upper 40s or even 50s, a cheap heated throw from Walmart does the trick well in the sleeping bag.
I’m sure they’re very nice once they’re up and running and I’m glad yours works for your needs. I prefer less hassle and space, and know how to ventilate a tent. The cheaper, easier solution is likely more appropriate for most users.
These seem like a decent single night out type solution, but a huge perk of a real heater is the ability to dry your gear. You clearly stated that you “know how to ventilate a tent” but having warm dry ski boots or waders on day 2 is hard to beat.
Additionally people always blow off propane because it creates so much moisture, but the propane systems that use forced air the same as a a diesel heater (propex etc) eliminate that problem and have all the perks including extremely low power draw. Not all propane is a Buddy Heater.
Everything has its use case and depends on the users needs/wants, but the Outside Magazine style of writing of “This is the best and everything else sucks” is unbearable to read and is the opposite of how the awesome folks on this forum think about things and interact with each other.
Sure, and I haven’t found a better solution for drying gear than a couple of lumbering bear hooks, a few feet of Paracord, some clothespins and the sun. I’m glad jumping through all the hoops necessary to make a diesel heater work is a solution some of you are patient enough for, but we also have to avoid the kind of forum groupthink that leads to vastly underinformed conclusions like GFCs HAaveACondeSATIONpronLEM, when they’re literally just a tent, with the same ventilation solutions any other tent has. I’m prepared to set up my MSR mountaineering tent in a manner that helps me stay warm and dry through very gnarly wind and cold, just like I realize the time it takes to rig my canvas wall tent, stove, chimney, etc is what it takes to create a comfortable, safe base camp in sub zero weather. And actual information like that might help us all enjoy our time camping a little more.
Complicated, expensive, messy, not completely safe, not completely reliable diesel heaters may be one solution, but they’re very much not the only one. Especially for those of us using the campers mostly for sleep, and not hangout spaces.
This is just the typical Wes Siler attitude and ego where “I have my own website and no one else has input that is relevant compared to my personal opinion”
You can see the arrogance in every single post that he makes, and I have to say something.
We get it man, we really do. You work for a big name outdoor brand. You have published your opinion articles everywhere. But this attitude of every person that does something different than the way you say is correct, is wrong and stupid, makes you kind of unwanted here.
Blatant paid promotions are annoying too, especially on a forum this small. We get it, Ignik gave you a nice lil check to talk about how wonderful their sleeping pad is. Doesn’t make it the end all be all for the rest of us
Personal attacks from SexyChick69420 seem like a little much when I’m here participating under my real name, in good faith…in a discussion about heat solutions.
I guess diesel heaters must work better than they have in my experience, if you’re going to get so worked up when someone suggests an alternative.
It also seems lazy to sling accusations of getting paid, come up with more creative insults please.
Back on the topic of ventilation: Any time you add heat inside shelter, whether from bodies, a heater, or whatever, you’re creating a pressure differential with the outside environment. You can use this to force (relatively) warm, moist air out of said shelter. This is how technical clothing layers work to move sweat away from your skin. You just need to give that (relatively) warm, moist air a way to escape. Your vent windows are designed to do exactly that. Adding heat, as with this pad, will speed that process along and help reduce condensation when used properly.
The hard part with battling condensation in the gfc is the hard ceiling. It’s my opinion that the majority of owners wouldn’t notice excess condensation if it didn’t drip on them in the middle of the night. Along with venting the tent, adding carpet to the ceiling is a game changer and has also, in my opinion, kept the tent warmer.
I use a buddy heater with a carbon monoxide alarm, but I definitely envy the diesel heater setup.
The condensation was not that bad when I ran a fan blowing through the open window. But I can see how a heated mattress pad would be rad, although my guess, like the heater, once it’s turned off it would lose its heat gain fairly quick.
No one is annoyed by an alternative option, they are annoyed with the “this is the best and everything else sucks” attitude and article style. In a world of clicks being everything to content creators, a response becomes the goal rather than being helpful. This forum has been free of that mentality which is part of what makes it great.
I am for sure less of an expert than you, and happy to recognize that. Glad you are stoked on your heat pad and glad there are more and more options to fit everyone’s unique needs.
If you look at a normal ground tent, the roof is just whatever SilNylon the rain fly is made from. Moisture rises upwards from your body and breathe, then condenses when it hits a surface colder than your body. That’s just usually the roof.
The best ground tents foster air flow under the rain fly, and up over the bug mesh, to clear that condensation. Little vents in the fly have fallen out of favor in recent years as computer modeling has been adopted in tent design. They look like they’re in the right place, but they just don’t flow volume like properly designed flys. Look at brands like Nemo and MSR and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
This is more or less how the tent on your GFC works. Get air moving through the vent windows, either through pressure or a breeze, and you’ll move that moisture outwards. Keeping them closed really doesn’t work in your favor. The tent is not insulated, so you’re not retaining any significant heat, you’re just keeping moisture in.