The Outdoorsman

How to Build a Camping Sauna

More from Outdoor Living Newsletter November Outdoor Living Newsletter
Tent sauna
Transform your tent into a camping sauna you can enjoy

You probably have seen camping saunas in outdoor stores and home depot centers. Wouldn't it be great if you could have an outdoor sauna on your next camping trip without it costing hundreds of dollars? We show you how with just the camping equipment that you already have.

Benefits of Having a Camping Sauna

There are a lot of benefits that you and your family can enjoy from taking some time to make an camping sauna, regardless if you're going tent camping or RVing with your family.

Relaxing Way to End the Day

When going camping you'll spend most of your time enjoying a variety of outdoor activities. At the end of the day, your body can be a bit sore. Just spending a few minutes inside your camping sauna can help loosen tight muscles, helping you get a good night's sleep and setting you up for more outdoor activities the next day.

Warmth on a Rainy Day

Nothing can dampen a camper's enthusiasm more than a rainy day. You have everything planned out for the day, but when you wake up, you're greeted by a huge downpour. A camping sauna can save the day by keeping you warm and sheltered while still giving you a fun way to wait out the rain.

Take Advantage of Its Health Benefits

Saunas offer a variety of health benefits. Among them include improved blood circulation, detoxification, and even weight loss.

How to Build a Camping Sauna

Materials needed:

  • 2 Tarps, each measuring at least 8 feet x 10 feet
  • An extra set of tent poles, preferably the ones that you use in building a dome tent
  • Firewood
  • Rocks and stones, enough to build a small pile inside
  • A bucket or pail filled with water

Making a Camping Sauna

The first thing to do is to find an area where you can build your camping sauna. It should be a level and flat area. Once you have found your spot, it's time to start building the frame. Make sure that it's large enough so that there's enough room for you and anyone else that will use it. You can make any shape you like, but make sure the tarp can cover it all.

Once you've completed the frame, set your firewood in the middle. Line the rocks on top of the firewood. Set the bucket of water inside the tent frame.

Using Your Camping Sauna

When you want to use your camping sauna, the first thing that you do is to heat your stones. Allow the rocks and stones to be heated by the fire until the firewood is just coals and ashes. Carefully sweep the coals and ashes outside of the frame. After cleaning the area, drape the tarp over the frame. Step inside and strip down.

To create steam, sprinkle a bit of water from the bucket on the stones. The more water you sprinkle, the more steam will be created. Sprinkling water on a regular basis will help regulate the temperature inside your camping sauna.

After using your camping sauna, lay the rocks and stones in an area where they can dry and cool off completely (safety note: never touch hot rocks and stones with your bare hands).

Reminders When Using Your Camping Sauna

A camping sauna can easily bring you hours of relaxation and enjoyment, regardless of the weather. Here are some things to remember when building and using it so that you can enjoy it at its fullest:

Get Permission From the Owners

Before setting up your camping sauna, make sure that you receive permission from the owners of the campsite to build one

Pick Dry Stones from Land, Not Ones from a Lake, River or Sea

Stones that have laid underwater for some time may contain water and when heated this internal water will turn to steam causing the rocks to explode.

Don't Start the Fire with the Tarps Down

When starting the fire to heat the stones inside your camping sauna, it's very important to remember not to drape the tarps on your frame until after you have completely heated the stones. Draping your tarp on the frame while still heating the stones with a naked flame can trap the smoke inside your camping sauna or worse still catch fire to something. The smoke can linger long after you've cleaned the ashes and coals away. This can make the steam very poisonous to inhale.

Steam Your Camping Sauna Bit by Bit

Dumping a huge amount of water on the stones can immediately generate a huge amount of steam, which can make it very difficult for you and others inside your camping sauna to breathe. This can also cause the stones to splinter, which can make them very dangerous to handle when it's time to dismantle your camping sauna.

Bring Water with You

Spending time inside your camping sauna can easily make you feel dehydrated. Make sure that you regularly drink water while sweating it out inside your camping sauna to enjoy its maximum benefits.

Be Aware of Your Health Condition

Sweating out inside a camping sauna provides a number of health benefits. However, staying for long periods of time inside a camping sauna can be harmful to people with high blood pressure, as well as people with heart and respiratory conditions. If you're planning to use a camping sauna during your next camping road trip, make it a point to first consult your doctor as to how long can you stay inside your camping sauna.

As you can see, it's very easy to build a camping sauna, and it doesn't have to cost you a fortune. So the next time that you go on a trip with friends or family, take time to build one. It will definitely make a warm and relaxing addition to your trip.

Copyright ©2013 Camping Road Trip, LLC

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