How to heat ice fishing tent

How to Heat Ice Fishing Tents

Last updated on July 13th, 2021

One of the most exciting outdoor sports in the winter season is ‘Ice Fishing’. Although ice fishing is fun, keeping the tent warm may be challenging for some. Given that the weather would be very cold, you can’t ignore the risk of getting frozen. So, how to heat an ice fishing tent? 

With different types of space heaters as well as their alternatives available, you can choose one over another to heat your fishing shack or tent. Here, we will discuss how you can heat ice fishing tents and what to do to avoid the risk factors. 

Learn Different Aspects on How to Heat Ice Fishing Tents

Heaters: Propane Vs Electric

Depending on the size of your tent or ice shack, you can interchangeably use a heater and a wood stove. In case you need one, you can check out some affordable 6 person tents here. 

Despite there are alternatives available, most ice fishing enthusiasts love space heaters. Now, there are two types of heaters: Propane and electric. 

Propane heaters are known for their simplicity and easiness of use. You can engage small propane canisters with the heater, or you can use big bottles of propane. There is even some single space heater in which 16-ounce bottles suffice. The size of canisters or bottles depends on the number of people staying in the tent. 

Electric heaters, however, are not that popular in the ice fishing arena. It is because those heaters consume so much electricity that there is no point in spending money on that. Especially when you have another option available. 

Adding more to that, propane heaters are very affordable, easy to move around, and perform even better.

Risk Factors of Using a Propane Heater

When you use a propane heater, chances are you will get exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning. If you feel any bad or see any of the following symptoms, immediately get out and inhale some fresh air. The symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Impaired Judgement  

If you want to continue your ice fishing adventure, you must develop a ventilation system in your tent. You should never undermine the risk factors you may come across. 

Wood Stove Can Be a Substitute 

When we discuss how to heat ice fishing tents, we often ignore a wood stove. If there is enough room for a wood stove, you can use one to keep your shack warm. A wood stove, however, takes a lot of wood to light up. So, if there is a lack of space, you can keep a pile of wood somewhere away from the fishing tent, but not too far. This way you can get enough supply of wood to ignite the stove. 

When dealing with a fire-burning wood stove, there are two things to consider. 

  • Smoke Inhalation: There is a chance of smoke inhalation as the stove produces much smoke. To avoid this issue, you have to place the stovepipe precisely. 
  • Fire Incident: Another problem is your tent may accidentally catch fire. Although fire incidents are rare in ice fishing, you shouldn’t ignore the possibilities. A fire extinguisher can be your companion in this regard. 

But, it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. No, ice fishing is always fun. You just need to be aware of the possible shortcomings.

More Alternatives 

What if you can’t afford those heaters and stoves, or if you want to avoid them? Yes, there are more alternatives. Rather than being frozen in the cold weather, you can wear some warm outfits.

Let’s take a look at them:

Heated Gloves & Socks

Rechargeable heated gloves can keep your hands warm. But, the heat doesn’t last more than 4 hours. You can also have a pair of heated socks to keep your feet warm. You will not feel any cold within 5 hours of wearing them.

Heated Vest

You may wonder how you could keep your body warm as a whole. Well, there are rechargeable heated vests that keep your body warm for more than 12 hours. That’s enough for a long day of ice fishing, isn’t it? 

Possibility of Ice Melting

Heat generally causes the ice to melt. So, is there any chance of ice melting when you apply heat in your tent? Well, most of the ice shacks have a floor. If you add a couple of pads on the floor, your ice shack or tent will become more secure and there would be a real barrier between the ice and the heater. 

Moreover, the ice on a lake in the winter season is generally thick enough and the heat produced by your heating equipment just keeps your tent warm. The heat is not enough to melt the thick layer of ice. All you need to do is, set your heater upwardly, not on the ice. There must be some sort of insulation between the layer of ice and the heating equipment. 


Ice fishing is fun as long as you don’t feel extreme cold weather. But, when you fish from your tent, you can heat your ice fishing tent. As we discussed above, there are a lot of options to choose from. 

However, a propane heater rises above all as it produces more heat than electric heaters. Although you can use a wood stove, you may not love to carry the laud of firewood on the fishing day. As for the warm outfits, those are also a good substitute if you plan for ice fishing on a day out. 

Now that you know how to heat ice fishing tents, go fishing and have a great winter.  

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