high altitude heaters???


Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2011
I hunt elk/deer during the archery season in colorado each year with my dad. We pack horses in and use a wall tent. My dad is getting up these in age and is cold reguardless of bag used. We have been looking for a propane type heater (buddy heaters) and I've read that they don't work above around 9k ft. Our tent is at around 10k ft. We don't want to go with a wood stove because of the hassel of keeping wood stocked. any suggestions?????
I've read where many people say not to try to use propane at altitude or at any level inside a tent for sleeping and to use wood. Any type of burning is going to give off carbon monoxide, so I'm not quite sure why they say that. Anyway, I have a camper with a propane furnace, but whenever I don't want to operate the generator that's needed to run the thermostat and blower motor I use a Mr Heater that screws right into a 20# or 30# propane bottle. Regardless of which one I use, I always have two carbon monoxide/smoke detectors (I always have a backup running just in case) and one or more windows cracked open a few inches for fresh air as a safety precaution. You can get them in one, two, or three to a unit, but even one will burn more propane than the Buddy Heater because they put out a lot more BTUs even on low. I usually figure 5 or 6 nights on low with a 20# bottle and I've used them up to about 8000' with no problem. If you go that route, use the safety precautions I mentioned.
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I pack in on horses in archery and rifle. We use wood ,it is available , you dont have extra weight packing fuel, been done for 100 yrs. If it is a long wilderness hunt, we do our homework and pre cut the wood earlier.Get a good small pack stove, bring a small propane bottle for starting if you like, 1 # TYPE.
Use wood......propane is not a good deal. Been there done that. I have two wood stoves that I pack depending on which tent is being used. I had them built to my specs so as to fit the pannier's. I had the stove pipe made so they would nest inside the stove along with the detachable legs.

Remember in a wilderness no chain saw but good everywhere else. Fall a dead standing limb it then drag in with a horse. Cut it to length right at your camp. Carry an axe in a leather scabbard right on your saddle. Takes no space and always with you.

Tell your dad to try two thermarest pads or similar on his cot. As I have gotten older the cold bothers me more and this has made a big difference.
If you want a better pad try one of these.


They are bulky and heavy but if you have a beast packing it it's not that bad. I use one on a cot and they are great. We have the 3" think ones but that was more for added float when we are rafting and you want to lounge on them in the water.

These guys make good products. I haven't tried thier pack stoves but they look nice. I have one of there wall tents and they are great.

Wood Stove, tent stove, wall tent stove, tent wood stoves

The argument against pressurized gas at high altitude is that when it's real cold it will not turn from liquid to gas fast enough to keep a steady output and you can get a little bit of liquid out of the bottle. It is also much less efficient so it takes more propane for the same btu output.

I know you said it didn't matter what bag he used but I had never seen a -60 bag until I was looking at wiggy's web page.

Hooded Antarctic Hunter

Good luck
I used a propane buddy heater last year in Colorado at 11k plus ft, so yeah it worked just fine. It also has a carbon sensor on it for if it was to get carbon monoxide in your tent it will automatically go off. We didn't have any problems.
thats great to know. I was hoping someone had used one at high elevations without a problem. the box says not to use over something like 7k. no problems with lighting it or keeping it going?
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