Should we heat our tent at night?

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In the evening we enjoy sitting around the woodstove while we eat dinner.

The temperature is dropping. Last weekend the temperature dropped to -20F at night. We have really warm sleeping bags that keep us warm, even when it is -20F or -40F. Our tent has a stove in it that burns wood. We have to add logs to the stove every hour to keep the tent warm. We also cook on the wood stove. Usually we crawl into our sleeping bags at 9 or 10 o’clock and after about 2 hours the fire goes out and the tent gets cold. Then in the morning we build a fire in the stove. After about 20 minutes the tent warms up. Once the tent warms up we start cooking breakfast, get dressed, and go about our morning chores.

Last week some friends joined us and they decided to keep the fire going in the stove in their tent all night long. We have thought about keeping the fire going, but we are not sure if it is worth the extra effort. We are hoping you can help us decide.

There are several benefits to keeping the fire going all night. One benefit is that the tent stays warmer. Amy and I stay warm in our sleeping bags even if the fire is not going. However, it is chilly in the morning when we get our of our sleeping bags to start the fire. Another benefit is that if we put a pot of water on the stove about an hour before it is time to get up, we would have hot water right away when we wake up in the morning.

However, there are several disadvantages to keeping the fire going all night. One disadvantage is that one of us has to wake up every hour or two all night long to add wood to the stove and keep the fire going. Another disadvantage is that we would burn about twice as much wood each day if we kept the fire going at night. We would have to spend approximately one extra hour each day gather, cutting, and splitting firewood.

What should we do? Should we continue to let the fire go out at night, or should we try to keep the fire going all night long? What other advantages or disadvantages can you think of? Remember to explain your answer.

How is your house heated? Does your family turn the thermostat down at night?

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