Tips To Make Your Sleeping Bags Warmer
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The best way to make your sleeping bag warmer is have proper insulation from the ground with a high R-value sleeping pad. You can increase R-value by combining sleeping pads. For example, put a closed foam pad under an inflated pad. If you are car camping, put a wool moving blanket on the floor of the tent. Then make sure to dress properly in clean, dry clothes. Do not sleep naked. That’s a myth. Wear gloves and balaclava, especially if you don’t sleep in a mummy bag. Finally, use disposable hand warmers to provide additional warmth.
Buying a quality sleeping bag can be one of the best investments you make if you are someone that camps frequently. The quality of your sleeping bag can dictate the kind of experience you have. After all, temperatures can drop significantly overnight.
This is especially true when you are camping out in the middle of nowhere or high in the mountains. This is why you want to generally go for a sleeping bag that has the right temperature rating for where you are anticipating camping. However, despite getting the right sleeping bag with the right temperature rating, you still may find yourself waking up cold in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, these ratings are only estimates. Likewise, many variables can impact the rating of a bag and how warm it keeps the sleeper. Knowing some of the tips and tricks to make your sleeping bags warmer at night can save you from restless nights while camping. Here are some of the top tips and tricks that you can use the next time you are on an outdoor adventure.
Choose The Right Resting Place and Use Insulation
One of the more important things that will dictate the overall warmth of your sleeping bag is the location you choose to rest. The fact is, a sleeping bag can only do so much. If you are going to be camping in below-freezing temperatures, you will want to bring along an insulated pad with you. This way, you can insulate yourself and the frozen ground. Without insulation between you and the ground, you can expect to lose a lot of heat due to conduction. The more insulation you can create between you and the ground, the warmer you will end up being. Sleeping pads that are designed for insulation are the best options. If you don’t have a pad or mattress with you, try to use a straw and other materials to minimize heat loss through conduction.
Fill Your Sleeping Bag With Extra Clothing
One of the very best things you can do when you are looking to make your sleeping bag warmer is to fill the empty air pockets with extra clothing. This will only work if your clothing is dry. If you have readily available dry clothing, try to fill your sleeping bag with it. This can help to add more bulk inside your sleeping bag which can help keep you warm throughout the night.
Share The Sleeping Bag
If you are camping with someone else, it might be a good idea to snuggle up with one another. If you find yourself freezing during the night, it’s likely the other camper will be just as cold. By getting into a single sleeping bag, you can warm the bag up quicker and leverage each other’s body temperature to help make both of you comfortable. In the case of sleeping with another camper, you’ll want to minimize layers. Wearing fewer layers will do the trick when you are using this method because it helps reduce insulation and allows more efficient heat transfer.
One of the main things you need to worry about when you are out camping and sleeping in the cold is keeping your extremities warm. Your extremities are furthest from your heart. Because of this, they are going to be the first to get frostbite. If you want to keep yourself warm throughout the night, you need to be wearing socks. Wearing socks is essential to keep yourself warm in your sleeping bag. However, the socks need to be dry. Always keep a pair of dry socks in your bag to protect your feet. The socks should be insulative. Good socks to keep your feet warm would be made out of wool.
Use Hand Warmers
Disposable hand warmers can be very effective for keeping your sleeping bag warm throughout the night when you are out camping. Hand warmers can be activated and kept in your sleeping bag to add to the warmth inside. You can toss some hand warmers towards the bottom of your sleeping bag and even keep some in your hands throughout the night. This can help to add more heat retention which should keep you from getting too cold even as temperatures drop.
Use The Bottle Trick
There is a trick that you can use to create your sleeping bag warmer if you don’t have disposable hand warmers with you. Simply heat some water and place it in a water bottle. Ensure that it’s cooled down enough to safely be placed into your sleeping bag. Do not place the bottle into your bag until it’s cooled down enough to safely touch. Also, ensure that the bottle is tightly shut. The last thing you want is to have the water bottle leak throughout the night and put you at risk of getting hyperthermia. Having a warm bottle in your sleeping bag should add ample heat to the bag which can help you stay warmer throughout the night.
Sleep With More Layers
If you want to make your sleeping bag warmer, one of the easiest things you can do is add more layers. Sleeping with more layers can help you add more insulation to the mix. This will help your body retain more body heat. This ultimately makes your sleeping bag warmer and more comfortable because you are retaining more heat throughout the cold night.
You don’t necessarily need to get a new sleeping bag if your current bag isn’t rated for the climate you are looking to camp in. While it’s recommended to get one that is properly rated, you could look at adding a thermal liner to it. Adding a thermal liner to your sleeping bag is a good way to increase the insulative properties of your bag. The thermal liner you will be adding to your bag is made out of the same material as the thermal clothing that you are likely wearing. Adding this liner to your bag is a good way to enhance the warmth of your bag as a whole. This can make your bag more versatile because you can always remove the liner if you are traveling to a spot where you don’t need it.
Eat Before Going To Sleep
One of the hacks you can use when you want to enhance the warmth of your sleeping bag throughout the night is to increase your body’s energy. An easy way to do this is by making your body work harder while sleeping. To do this, you would consume a meal that is high in calories. This will force your body to produce more energy throughout the night. Thus, it will produce more heat which can make your sleeping bag warmer and keep you comfortable throughout the night.
Wear a Hat
One of the problems you might have when you are sleeping with your sleeping bag is your head getting cold. Your head is important to protect because it’s the place where you will lose a lot of your body heat. While it’s not true that you will lose the majority of your body heat through your head, the average person loses anywhere from 7 to 10% through their head. This is body heat that you can easily retain if you simply wear a hat and cover your head throughout the night.
Buy a New Bag
If you want to be safe, it’s always a good idea to buy a sleeping bag that is meant for the climate that you are traveling in. Sleeping bags are tested and they are marketed using comfort ratings. Keep in mind, these ratings are estimates. There is also a lower limit rating included which indicates the temperature at which a warmer sleeper might find the bag still comfortable. Use these ratings as a guide to figure out what bag might be most suitable for your next outdoor adventure.
As you can see, there is a lot to consider when you go out camping. This is especially true if you are camping in frigid conditions. The quality of your sleeping bag is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to keeping yourself warm. However, there are ways to make your sleeping bag warmer and to keep yourself warm throughout the night. Using the tips and tricks discussed in this article, you shouldn’t have too many issues finding ways to maximize heat retention in your sleeping bag. Adding a liner to your bag is one of the top things you can do to improve the insulative properties of your bag short of buying a new one. Adding more clothing to your bag to minimize air pockets is another great hack to get your bag warmer. Adding another body to your bag is always a good way to heat yourself when it gets really cold outside. The next time you find yourself on an outdoor adventure, try to utilize some of the tips in this article and see how you fare.
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