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Wood Stove Heat Shield for Hot Tents

Updated: Feb 15

Why add a heat shield to your hot tent or sauna tent? More heat and comfort!

Why would ANYONE not want more heat in their winter camping hot tent - or year-round sauna tent? Why would ANYONE not want to reduce the amount of firewood required to enjoy a warm tent or invigorating sauna?

NO ONE wants to cut more wood than necessary. NO ONE wants to endure a scorching stove on their frontside while their backside is cold and drafty!

A simple heat shield both protects your hot tent or sauna tent AND creates a more even heat distribution.

The Great Out There supplies hot tent stoves and sauna tent stoves with integral heat shields. These metal baffles are designed to direct heat from the sides of the stove upward and away from the soft tent fabrics. We also have other stove options that do not have built-in heat shields. Normally, wood stoves should be positioned about 36-inches from the tent side walls.

In both of these cases, the performance of the hot tent and sauna tent heating stoves will be improved by the addition of a very basic metal heat shield or reflector. You will enjoy a more comfortable interior and reduce the firewood consumption at the same time.

Let's assume that 60% of the heat generated rises from the top of the stove and stove pipe and that 40% radiates from the sides of the stove. Placing a heat shield or reflector on the backside of the stove redirects half of this heat (half of the 40% = 20%) back into the "living area" of the tent. Soft fabric hot tents and sauna tents reflect very little heat. Any heat generated from the sides of the stove close to the fabric is mostly lost.

Adding a reflective barrier behind the wood stove prevents the radiant heat from contacting the side walls of the tent. More heat is retained inside the tent with the same amount of fuel. The reflected heat also adds to the circulation of heat within the tent, increasing comfort and decreasing cold spots. I also believe the reflection of this heat will add to the lifespan of the hot tent or sauna tent. Win-Win-Win!

Protective, non-combustible surfaces are STANDARD in all residential wood stove installations. Heating stoves, fireplaces, and sauna stoves typically are surrounded by stone, brick, cement board, or ventilated metal guards. We are only applying the same commonsense and safety principles to hot tents and sauna tents.

Are there any "downsides" to an added wood stove tent heat shield/reflector?

Yes, the first is a small added expense. But the simplest corrugated metal heat shield pictured here should cost no more than $50.00 to build, or less if you can salvage any of the parts (corrugated metal, scrap boards, or hinges.) In my opinion, the added longevity of your hot tent or sauna tent will FAR outweigh this cost. (Ask about including this option in your hot tent/sauna tent package from The Great Out There store.)

The only other drawback is the added weight and bulk if you are transporting your tent. This isn't a concern for car camping or hunting camps where you drive to the campsite. But the added bulk is not practical for most pack-in hunting trips or snowshoe winter camping trips. In these cases, we still recommend using a hot tent stove with integral heat shields.

I think you will agree that an added wood stove heat shield has many benefits for both your hot tent and sauna tent. Contact The Great Out There with any questions about adding a reflective heat shield to your tents.

hot tent sauna tent wood stove heat shield


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