If you are going camping and hiking your are going to sleep in your sleeping bag. With a sleeping bag there are a few tips to stay warmer during the night. In this blog post I will give you the tips that have always worked for me.
- Go to the bathroom before bed.
- Wear a warm beanie hat
- Wear a nice fluffy pair of wool socks
- Make sure there is no draft sucking warm air out of the tent
- Sleep in your comfortable clothing
- If your sleeping bag has a higher temperature rating than needed, bring a sleeping bag liner
- Buy a good sleeping pad
Going to the bathroom before bed
Your body has a lot to do, if you did not go to the bathroom before crawling in your sleeping bag it keeps working on that. By going to the bathroom you don’t need to get up at night(usually). And make sure you go number 2. In my experience going number 2 before bed makes a huge difference in staying warmer during the night.
Wear a warm beanie hat
You lose a lot of heat through your head while laying in a sleeping bag, wearing a warm beanie hat prevents heat loss. When your in a pinch I always use my Merino wool buff as a hat. Just a buff on your head can make all the difference when it is colder out.
Wear a nice fluffy pair of wool socks
This can go either way and you have some people that swear by this and other people that hate it. From my experience when going winter camping I always take a pair of warm wool socks that my mother knitted for me as my sleeping socks. I only use those wool socks to sleep in and not for hiking. When you use your hiking socks that are full of salt and sweat then this will make your feet a lot colder during the night.
Make sure there is no draft
This depends on the sort of tent you have, in my MSR Hubba NX 1 person tent you have the option to close off the vent. The vent makes it nicer in the summer and colder in the winter /fall. If your tent always has a draft then put your fleece sweater of jacket on the worst of the draft. This can block out a lot of the cold air.
On my particular tent the bottom part of the inner tent is from a closed material. This also helps with a good percentage of the draft.
Sleeping in your comfortable clothing
Your sleeping bag is the warmest piece of gear you have, when you layer and layer and layer up your creating a buffer zone. If this buffer zone can contain a lot of air then this can heat you right up.
But when everything is packed together to tight it can actually sap all the heat away from you. When your almost nude and you have a decent sleeping bag there is a lot of room for air between you and the bag. This can take a little time to warm up but after that your nice and toasty. Supplement this with a loose fleece sweater and long underwear and you will be even more toasty. Sleeping almost naked is an option when its hot outside but the myth that sleeping naked in your sleeping bag keeps you warmer has been long since debunked.
Look here for my AegisMax UL sleeping bag review!
Bring a sleeping bag liner
With my 3 season sleeping bag I’m set till about 10 degrees Celsius. When it drops below that or close to it I always bring a sleeping bag liner. A sleeping bag liner can make sure to extend the buffer zone of air in your sleeping bag. With the Thermolite reactor sleeping bag liner I can get away with temperatures around the 5 degrees Celsius mark. Lower than that and I take my winter sleeping bag.
Buy a good sleeping pad
It doesn’t matter how awesome your sleeping bag is or how insulated, when you forget about a sleeping pad you will be cold as hell. The ground sucks all the warmth. So getting as much insulation between you and it is a must. also the better your sleeping pad the better you will sleep in the outdoors. The better you sleep the better you function. And the further you can hike in a day. My sleeping pad is from Exped and I can highly recommend it.
Well stay warm while camping and hiking and make sure to share your tips on staying warm!