Are Electric Blankets Safe For Camping?

Camping can be fun during the day, but the nights can get chilly and long, especially if you’re not well prepared. Finding ways to keep yourself warm throughout the night can make your entire camping trip memorable, and using an electric blanket is one of them.

It’s safe to use an electric blanket for camping as long as you follow the safety precautions, such as switching it off before you sleep, avoid running the cord under the mattress, and keeping the blanket flat when using it. 

That’s not all since there is a lot to know about using electric blankets for camping, and you can learn about them if you read on. 

Can I Use Electric Blankets For Camping?

Electric blankets can and have always been used for camping. Actually, they’re a preferred option because of how easy they are to use and maintain, as long as you follow the safety precautions. 

However, if you’re going to spend a few nights camping, you might want to know what to look for in an electric blanket. This way, you’ll be adequately prepared to handle the chilly nights while still enjoying your camping. Here is what you need to look for in an electric blanket:

  • Make Sure it’s Comfortable: The last thing you want when out camping is to have a blanket that feels rough and edgy. It’s hard to get a good sleep under such a blanket, leading you to experience fatigue during the day. Choose an electric blanket made of micro plush and faux fur material for added comfort. 
  • Maintenance of the Blanket: Things can get a bit messy when camping and most likely, your blanket will not be spared from dust, mud, or food stains. A washable electric blanket is ideal for camping as it helps you maintain the hygiene levels you prefer. A machine dryable electric blanket might be rare, but they do exist. It’s best to follow the manufacturer’s guide and instructions when washing the blanket. 
  • Check for Features: Modern electric blankets are packed with amazing features to keep you warm and safe. A majority of these blankets have multiple temperature settings giving you the option of regulating the heat as you see fit. 

One such feature to consider is the automatic shut-off. The blanket is equipped with sensors that detect heat levels and adjust accordingly. Not only does this feature help to regulate the heat when you’re asleep, but it also cuts off the electric current from the blanket if it detects a faulty connection that might cause you harm.  

What To Know Before Using Electric Blankets for Camping

While technology has changed, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take proper precautions, especially when dealing with electric blankets. Not only will tampering with the blanket damage it, but it’ll also expose you to significant dangers such as electrocution or burns. To make sure you remain safe during camping, you need to keep the following in your mind:

Turn Off the Blanket before Going to Sleep

Modern electric blankets come equipped with an automatic shut-off system to keep you safe. However, you might not know if the switch is working or faulty, and that’s why you need to turn off the blanket before you fall asleep. Given that it takes a few minutes for the blanket to heat you up, you don’t have to fall asleep waiting for it to start working. 

Avoid Using Older Electric Blankets

Do you have an electric blanket you have been using for a decade and still cannot let go? Holding on to it is not a good idea, even if it’s still functional. It’s easy for an electric blanket to wear out once it gets older than ten years. The wires inside the blanket will get exposed over time, which poses health risks such as burns and electrocution. 

Avoid Prolonged Use If You’re Pregnant

Every electronic device produces a certain amount of electromagnetic fields (EMF). Even though the amount of EMF produced by the electric blanket is very weak in low settings, it could get three times stronger with higher heat settings.

Prolonged exposure to such high amounts of EMF could increase the risk of miscarriage, especially during the first seven weeks. 

Avoid Placing Another Cover on an Electric Blanket

Electric blankets generate sufficient heat to keep you warm during a cold night. Not only is placing another cover on the blanket unnecessary, but it also leads to the blanket overheating.

Once the blanket overheats, it creates a fire hazard to you and anyone around you. Also, the electric blanket should always be used when unfolded. For added safety, make sure you unplug the cord when you’re not using the blanket. 

Avoid Using Pins, Needles, and Sharp Objects

It’s not wise to have sharp objects lying around or near the electric blanket as they could prick it and expose the wires. The risks of electrocution are very high once the wires get exposed. Pets such as cats and dogs shouldn’t be allowed near the electric blankets either due to their sharp claws. 

Don’t Use the Blanket on Infants and the Elderly

The electric blanket is not ideal for infants and the elderly since they could oversleep and might not be alert of what’s happening around them. This way, the blanket might overheat, malfunction, and burst into flames without them realizing it. When out camping with the elderly or infants, it’s best to choose ordinary blankets together with sleeping bags for them to use out there. 

Only Use the Blanket in a Dry Tent

It’s impossible to predict the weather when you’re out camping; without notice, it might start raining. When this happens, avoid using the electric blanket to prevent getting electrocuted. It’s a no-brainer that water and electricity don’t mix, and that’s why you must bring another pair of ordinary blankets with you just in case. 

(Source: The Sleep Judge, State Farm, Indiana Electric Cooperatives)

Will Electric Blankets Melt My Sleeping Bag?

Safety is the primary concern when camping and planning to use an electric blanket. Electric blankets tend to overheat and should never be used on top of a sleeping bag since you risk the blanket melting the sleeping bag. 

The electric blanket tends to emit enough heat to cause damage to taffeta, polyester, and nylon, which are the primary materials used in making a sleeping bag. The damage is guaranteed if you use your electric blanket in high heat settings over a long time. 

Polyester Sleeping Bags

Polyester sleeping bags might be tough on physical objects, but they tend to melt when exposed to high temperatures for long. The same problem is experienced by nylon and taffeta sleeping bags. 

Nylon Sleeping Bags

Nylons also tend to catch fire easily, especially when they’re exposed to certain temperatures. By using such a sleeping bag with the electric blanket overnight, you risk severe burns caused by the molten sleeping bag. 

Overheating and Catching Fire

Lying in a sleeping bag is enough to generate heat to keep you warm through the night. Combining this heat with another from an electric blanket could result in the blanket overheating. This could lead to the blanket malfunctioning and, in most cases, bursting into flames. 

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