Can’t beat winter camping
  |  First Published: July 2007

Warm up with the little sun heater

Camping during winter is one of my favourite pastimes. Whether it's in the bush or at the beach, I just love those crispy mornings and the campfire at night. Unfortunately, there are many places where a cosy campfire is not allowed anymore, and that’s where the Little Sun heater comes in.

The Little Sun is a very efficient heater unit, operated by a liquefied butane gas cartridge that fits into a special carrier in the back of the unit. With dimensions of 275mm x 190mm x 320mm and a weight of 2.1kg, the heater is certainly compact, yet it can produce 1.7kW of radiant heat output. And it’s made of metal too, so it’s quite robust.

Ignition is simple: turn the ‘on’ switch to the left and a Piezo ignition system will ignite the butane/propane gas. The flame then spreads rapidly up through the meshed burner system to radiate a brilliant red glow that heats an area 2m in front of the unit.

In operation the unit is entirely odourless, can be moved around if necessary and is strong on safety features. It has an oxygen depletion safety switch, an anti-tilt cut-off and a canister over-pressurization cut-off switch.

There’s a comprehensive instruction booklet which sets out a list of suggested clearances for use, disconnection of cylinder when not in use and the correct 70% butane, 30% propane mixed gas canister required to operate it.

Canisters have a 220g capacity and the heater uses 105g per hour. Luckily, the flame is adjustable so there's no need to waste fuel.

The Little Sun should not be used near flammable articles or in tents, caravans, boats or other enclosed areas without proper ventilation.

I recently used the Little Sun in my large lounge room on a cold night, making sure that the windows were open to provide adequate ventilation. To my surprise, the room became warm within minutes.

Given its compact size, robust construction and good heat output, I consider the Little Sun Heater a must-have for camping in places where fires are not allowed. Its retail price is $130.


Roman Big Man’s the name and sleeping big blokes in comfort is the game! With an overall length of 210cm and width of 90cm, the Roman Big Man is ideal for those who struggle and squirm to fit into a standard-sized sleeping bag.

Packed with Insufil 4-fibre insulation, this big sleeping bag is rated for temperatures down to 0 degrees, which makes it perfectly suited to camping during winter in Queensland.

I gave the Roman Big Man a test with my son Scott who is around 185cm tall. Scott fitted easily into the bag and found it comfortable and warm.

The sleeping bag is neatly finished and made to last. Another Roman Big Man sleeping bag can be zipped onto the first bag to make up a double bag for those times when you want to have a snuggle. All bags feature top quality, guaranteed YKK zips.

At around $90, the Roman Big Man is excellent value for money and able to fulfil its roll with ease.

The Little Sun heater and Roman Big Man sleeping bag were provided by the Great Escape Camping Company, which has stores at Slacks Creek and Coopers Plains.

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