One of my favorite parts of traveling and camping is the joy of packing light.

I can go wherever I want without a ton of junk weighing me down.

Traveling this way used to involve some sacrifices, though.

For example, creature comforts like heaters were hard to bring because they were so big and bulky.

Not anymore! I’ve found my new best friend: the Little Buddy propane heater. This thing can combat even the chilliest of camping trips. It’s compact, it’s powerful, and it keeps toes nice and toasty even in the middle of ice fishing season.

In this guide, I’ll walk through what this heater is, and my review of it.

Afterward, we’ll cover some frequently asked questions to (hopefully) clear up any questions you have about the heater.

What Is The Little Buddy Heater?

The Little Buddy is a traveler’s best friend, that’s what.

It’s a tiny propane heater that can heat a big space.

Propane heaters burn propane to produce heat any time, anywhere. They’re a great way to keep warm when electricity is scarce. That makes them a great choice for campers, hunters, fishers, or anyone else who spends a lot of time outside.

They are also a great backup to have during power outages. There’s no worse time to lose power than in the middle of winter. A compact propane heater can help keep your living space warm even when the power grid can’t.

Propane heaters are a great compromise between electric heaters and kerosene heaters.

Propane in general is much more powerful than electric heaters. Electric heaters run off of the power grid. That means that the power plant somewhere is burning fuel to create electricity, which then has to travel through the grid to your outlet, and then it finally warms up your space. Propane directly burns the fuel in your space. Efficient!

Kerosene does burn fuel to create heat right in your space. The problem is that kerosene is a dirty, smelly fuel to burn. It’s pretty easy to gas yourself out of the place you’re trying to warm up with kerosene. Propane, however, is a smoke-less, odorless burn.

So, why is the Little Buddy such a great propane heater?

My Full Review

Camping Essentials

The Little Buddy Propane Heater

MrHeater Little Buddy Propane Heater
The compact heater is easy to fit in tents, RVs, ice fishing shacks, and more.

The Little Buddy packs a big punch. This portable propane heater can run at 9,000 BTU or 4,000 BTU, depending on what you need. 

The Little Buddy can heat up to 95 square feet for hours at a time. That’s the size of a cozy RV, a giant tent, or a great tailgating party.

However, in practice on a cold camping trip, it may only be suitable for a smaller 2/3 person tent.

The greatest selling point is that it’s designed to be taken on the go. The Little Buddy has a slide-away fuel line, a compact cylinder, and a fold-down handle. At less than a foot tall, wide, and deep, you’ll have no trouble fitting it in your car to go somewhere. It’s only five pounds, so it’s not going to weigh you down.

It’s even super-safe. There’s a low-oxygen detector and a tip-over shutoff mechanism. Both of those help keep your room safe and cozy without unnecessary risks.

One drawback is the base – it’s a simple stand for the propane tank to be inserted into. This can be tricky on uneven surfaces (and with a heavy head on the heater).

The small size does help keep fumes to a minimum. Since the Little Buddy burns less fuel, it produces less carbon monoxide, and it can be run longer safely. Just keep your carbon monoxide detector on hand and you can confirm everything is still at a safe level.

Best of all, it’s a completely odorless heater. You don’t have to worry about gross smoke stinking up your space. It’s an efficient, easy to use, low-stress way to keep things toasty anywhere you need to go.

Pros Cons
PortableNot as powerful as larger options
Easy to use

Our Verdict

If you want a portable, convenient pal on your camping trips, the Little Buddy is your new best friend.

It’s easy to set up. You can get it running in less than a minute. It’s a plug and play way to heat your space in the middle of nowhere.

It’s budget-friendly. You won’t break the bank in order to keep warm.

It’s got lots of safety features, like the tip-over and low-oxygen shutoffs. It also produces less fumes than other, bigger heaters. That makes it safer to run for hours at a time.

In general, it’s an incredibly efficient option to keep yourself warm when you’re on the road or in the woods.

Video Review

While I’m not one for video, I did find this quick little review by ‘SuperStrike’ on YouTube.

They’ve done a great little summary on using the heater in a small (and ice-cold!) tent.

Frequently Asked Questions

While reading up on this heater, I saw a lot of the same questions always getting asked in forums (and by friends).

Here’s my attempt to answer them!

Can You Use a Little Buddy Indoors?

Yes, you can use the Little Buddy heater inside. It’s a heater designed for indoor or outdoor use. The included low-oxygen shutoff keeps the heater from continuing to run if conditions are unsafe.

It also has a tip-over shutoff, so there’s no fire hazard if a kid or pet knocks over the heater. Just keep your windows cracked like you should for all propane heaters, and you’re good to go.

How Long Will a Little Buddy Run?

The Little Buddy Heater can run for up to five and a half continuous hours on a single cannister. That can keep you warm all night. If you turn it on and off as you need it, it can last much longer. Refilling the cannister is a simple, quick task, so you can keep the heat blowing all day.

Can You Use a Little Buddy in a Tent?

Yes, the Little Buddy Heater works in tents. It’s safe to use in any stationary space. Just keep the heater aimed away from the tent walls for safety. 9,000 BTUs is a lot of power, and you don’t want to melt your sleeping space.

Tents are also great for ventilation. The chances of carbon monoxide building up in a semi-permeable fabric tent are much lower than in other enclosed spaces. A propane heater like the Little Buddy is a great option for keeping your tent warm.

Can You Use a Little Buddy in a Car?

It depends. It is never safe to use a propane heater in a moving vehicle. The chance of the heater getting damaged is just too high. Never use a propane heater, even the Little Buddy, in a moving car.

On the other hand, using the Little Buddy to heat your car when you’re parked is a different matter. You can use the Little Buddy to heat cars, vans, and RVs as long as they are parked and the engine is off.

In fact, heating campers, sleeper vans, and RVs overnight is one of the most common uses for the Little Buddy. Heating a car for the same purpose is no different, as long as you’re safe and stationary.

How Much Is a Little Buddy Heater?

Little Buddy heaters are some of the most cost-effective options on the market. At less than $60 per unit, they pay for themselves in just a trip or two. It keeps you from wasting time and money on hooking up to electrical grids or trying to light fires, so it’s absolutely worth it.

Is There a Heater That Runs on Batteries?

It’s not impossible to find a heater that runs on batteries. The problem is that they just aren’t very good.

Heating a decent amount of space takes a lot of power. Heating is a brute-force energy problem. In order to heat living space, it’s necessary to use a lot of fuel in one way or another. Modern batteries face two problems when it comes to heating.

First, a battery that can generate enough oomph to heat a space in the first place is usually very expensive. They’re also heavy, large, and rare. On top of that, they’re inefficient – charging a battery loses some energy, and batteries slowly lose charge as they’re stored. It’s just more efficient to burn a fuel for energy directly.

The second problem is a safety issue. Batteries should not be heated above 122 degrees Fahrenheit, ever. It puts them at risk of exploding. The higher the temperature, the bigger the risk. That means using a battery to power a heater is just not a smart decision. Using safely stored propane is much safer than a battery.


The Little Buddy is a fantastic way to stay warm no matter where you go.

It’s easy to store, easy to carry, and easy to use. You don’t have to rely on an electrical grid anymore! Just turn on your Little Buddy and you’re off to the races. It’s the ultimate in portable, practical heat.

I hope this brief review has helped give you a better idea about what owning a Little Buddy might be like.

It’s definitely revolutionized the way I think about camping trips.

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Thanks for reading – I hope you have a great day 🙂