Warmth without wood
  |  First Published: April 2005

Camping out in the open around the campfire is without a doubt one of life’s little pleasures.

However, because of a greater awareness of protecting our environment, more and more areas are becoming no fire zones. Cooking in the open is easily managed with one of several portable stoves, but what about warming up the campsite safely?

Coleman Brands have released a new concept in camp heaters. The new catalytic heaters are small, compact and easy to use. They can even be used inside the tent, provided there is adequate ventilation.

The Blackcat Portable Catalytic Heater is a flameless, whisper-quiet heater that uses platinum catalytic technology. The heater weighs just 1.7kg and has a maximum 3000BTU heat output.

The Procat Portable Catalytic Heater is a larger model, which incorporates a fan unit that operates on two D-cell batteries. This model weighs 3.5kg and has a maximum 3,000BTU heat output. However, because this unit has a fan, the area heated is significantly greater. The Procat also has electronic ignition for easy lighting. With its sleek styling, this heater wouldn’t look out of place in the family home.

Both heaters have pressure regulated, fuel controlled systems and use Coleman LPG disposable bottles. The average burning time for each cylinder is 8hrs. Batteries for the Procat are not included, but if alkaline are used they should run the fan for about 20hrs. Because these are catalytic heaters, burning occurs within the pad at a lower temperature than a normal flame and the catalytic process takes approximately ten minutes to reach full heat output. Once burning, the warmth radiates out to a generous area.

It’s important to remember that even though the burning occurs within the outer pad at a lower temperature than normal, the heat guard and the burner rim still get hot enough to burn you.

Also, don’t use the heater for cooking or warming items as this can destroy combustion and catalyst actions by restricting air flow.

The Procat can be operated without the fan, but heat distribution will be reduced.

Your local camping store is the best place to purchase your new heater. Special thanks to Meredith at “The Camping Company”, 108 Boat Harbour Drive, Hervey Bay, Ph (07) 4124 7233 for her assistance.

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