As hunting season approaches, many outdoorsmen and women are going to be looking for a convenient, efficient way to stay warm while hunting. In the dead of winter, it won't take long before even the most hard-core outdoorsman is chilled to the bone in a drafty box blind or deer stand.
When it comes to efficiency and low cost, many hunters turn to a small, propane-fueled portable heater. Perfect for outdoorsmen, these heaters typically require no special venting or electric supply. They won't weigh you down during your hunt, thanks to their lightweight designs and convenient fueling options.
So what will be looking for as we shop for a box blind or deer stand heater? Let's take a quick look at your options:
Light My Fire
Since most deer stands won't have much in the way of electric outlets, we'll need to find a space heater that ignites and runs without electric power. Without an electric or natural gas supply line, propane fuel is likely going to be your best choice -- especially considering that propane refills are available at almost all superstores and gas stations.
Usually, you won't need to worry about your prey sniffing the fuel or exhaust gases from your propane heaters. Propane fumes should never be noticeable unless there is something wrong with your heater, such as a supply leak. The gases produced by the exhaust of these heaters are odorless and shouldn't worry you.
While the exhaust may be odorless, that does not mean that it can't be dangerous if you're operating the heater without proper ventilation. You'll want to follow all manufacturer's safety recommendations for your space heater.
You'll want to purchase a wall mount heater that ignites manually. Some hunters instead keep a candle lighter with them, and use the lighter to manually light the heater at start up. Ignition switches of some heaters create a loud pop that may spook deer or other animals within earshot. You may be familiar with these loud piezo ignition switches from large, free-standing patio heaters and other, no-electricity units.
Lightweight and Portable
Check out the Portable Buddy Heater from Mr. Heater as a great example of a heater that is lightweight and versatile, and can be used as both a wall-mount unit and a floor heater. The Portable Buddy can be operated as a small, portable heater with the disposable 1lb. fuel cylinders, or can be hooked via a hose attachment to the larger 20lb. refillable fuel tanks.
After you've made a kill, you can even take these smaller heaters along for gutting and field dressing.
Some Final Notes About Safety
Be certain to follow all guidelines for safe use. Proper ventilation is always necessary when operating an outdoor propane heater. And don't forget the fire extinguisher -- even with the limited space in your deer stand or box blind, you can always find room for a small extinguisher.