The only disadvantage of the popularized canvas hot tent for winter camping is the cost. Prices range from $1,000 to $2,000. That’s a lot of cash to hand out, especially if you’re only going to try winter camping once or twice a season. Christina Scheuermann of the popular YouTube channel Camper Christina has found a good solution. She made her own hot tent and saved money, big time.
Here’s her breakdown of three different designs she’s created so far.
“I made my first tipi style hot tent in 2015. I went to the hardware store, used nine steel poles and created a wooden ring with 10 holes: nine for the poles to go in, secured with cutter pins, and one bigger hole for the stove pipe to go through. The idea was to open the poles like an umbrella using the wooden ring. I purchased two packages of 12’ x 15’ painters drop cloth, sewed them together on the short edge and cut a semi-circle pattern out that I found online.
Once the canvas was cut and sized to wrap around the poles, I put grommets at the top of the canvas. With bolts sticking up through the wooden ring I could easily attach the canvas to the structure. I sealed the ends with Velcro and made a door flap using a steel ruler and magnets. I added plastic-coated canvas to the bottom to keep the snow from sticking. I cut the poles in half to take the tipi into the backcountry; however, I discovered with the stove, it was 100lbs and too heavy to take into the backcountry alone.
In 2017, I made a solo tent using one package of drop cloth and one pole. I needed something small that I could take into the backcountry alone. I decided on a pyramid design: four triangles sewn together. Each corner would get staked into the ground, then the pole popped up the centre. I added plastic-coated canvas to the bottom and a stove jack, and the tent was complete. It weighs 30lbs with the stove and pole, perfect for me to pull into the backcountry on my toboggan all by myself.
In 2019, I wanted a bigger tent that I could easily use for the backcountry or car camping with friends. I made a standard tent, two rectangles on each side and a triangle at each end. I bought fourteen 6’ aluminum telescopic poles with connectors and had two 90-degree end caps to connect the ridge poles and the side poles. For the centre poles, I had a connector fabricated. To set up the tent, the telescopic ridge poles are extended to 10 feet, then a connecter is put on each end and all the side poles are added nested at 5’. The canvas is then laid on top before each side pole combo is extended to 10’. The canvas is then pulled taut and secured to the poles with Velcro straps. The front triangle has a zipper in the centre for entry. I also added windows to this tent, using 30-gauge clear vinyl. The overall size is 10’ x 13’, approximately 30lbs, and it’s great to camp in with three or four people.
I am ecstatic that all three of my homemade tipi hot tents will assist me in having countless winter adventures! Winter camping is awesome and if you want to get out there, find a way that will work for you! You won’t regret it!”
Check out Camper Christina’s YouTube channel for more info on the homemade hot tents.