Especially tent campings and winter activities, where temperature decraeses much during the night, can become scary even for camping lovers. Without the proper equipment, winter camps can go very painful. Likewise, with the misuse of right equipment, even summer camps might turn into a nightmare. In this case choosing the right tent, right sleeping bag and right mat is really important. When it comes to camping, most frequently encountered problems are having to sleep in a wet sleeping bag and waking up because of the water leaking through the roof of the tent. These are all possible but on the contrary to popular belief, it’s possible ot stay warm in tent in winter. Of course I don’t promise a heating like a radiator or stove. All I’m saying is that spending a night without feeling cold is possible. Let’s look at 15 rules to stay warm in a tent while camping in cold weather.
15 rules to stay warm in a tent
Right and dry clothes
If you’re going to sleep in a sleeping bag, dry clothes are crucial. Maybe the nights when your pajamas matter most is going to be the nights that you’re going to spend in a sleeping bag. The clothes you’ll be wearing determines majorly whether you’re going to feel cold during the night. The clothes you wear while sleeping in a sleeping bag have to be dry for certain. Since the clothes you wear during the day absorb moisture from your body, you shouldn’t be wearing those at night. You shouldn’t use those clothes to fill the voids in your sleeping bag, either. Remember, moisture is our most innocent enemy in tent camps.
Material significance of the clothes you wear at night
Material of the clothes that you wear while sleeping in a sleeping bag is also very important. You shouldn’t prefer cotton clothes because they don’t conserve the heat and they absorb moisture. Synthetic or woollen clothes can be the right decision for warm sleep.
It’s no use to wrap up
If you think that wrapping up will protect you from cold, get that idea out of your mind. That doesn’t work in sleeping bags. Sleeping bags work with a mechanism that reflects your body heat. That’s why putting fewer clothes on is another golden rule. According to research, the best way to keep yourself warm in a sleeping bag is to wear a synthetic or woollen thermal long johns. So, wearing only long johns is the best way to sleep in a. sleeping bag.
Keep your head and neck warm
Head and neck are the sections where most of the heat loss of the body occurs. In sleeping bags, these two sections are usually out in the cold. Covering your neck with the help of a bandana and wearing a beanie that won’t sweat you will protect you from losing heat.
Stay away from things that tighten your body
Things that tighten your body slow down your blood circulartion. If you have anything tightening any part of your body, get rid of it. These are usually the socks, bandanas on the arms, or thick clasps. Besides their effect on blood circulation, they make you uncomfortable. Who needs them?
Use the right sleeping bag
Everything aside, in the cold camp nights, the most important equipment that will protect you from the cold is going to be your sleeping bag. Therefore, it’s very important to choose the right sleeping bag. For detailed information you can read “Things to consider while choosing your sleeping bag“ but in the interest of brevity, one of the most important factors on the sleeping bag selection is the degree of the sleeping bag. If you don’t choose your sleeping bag according to your activities and temperature of the place, your experience may turn into a nightmare. The comfort degree of your sleeping bag must be at a level that allows you to sleep well at the lowest temperature of the night. For example, on a place where the temperature at night falls down to -5 celcius degrees, considering the characteristics of your body, a sleeping bag whose comfort degree is at least in the range of -5 -15 is suggested.
Zip up, pucker up
I’ve already told you that sleeping bag reflects your body temperature. The best way to conserve this heat is to block the air inside. So, zipping up the side zipper and puckering up the gathering in the head part will prevent the heat lost to a great extent. This is one of the most important rules to stay warm in a tent at cold nights.
Our noses are doomed to stay out in the cold
Nose is the one the members of body that is affected by the cold most. Putting our beloved noses in the sleeping bag to keep them warm, and at the same time getting warm by our breath may sound like a good idea. But when considering the moist it creates in the long term, putting the noses in the sleeping bag is something that should be avoided.
Keep your sleeping bag dry
We said that sleeping bag is the most important equipment to protect you from cold. Thus, keeping it dry is crucial. The inside of your sleeping bag must be dry just like the outside. So, sweating in your sleeping bag may be the last thing you wish. Because the moisture inside causes your body to lose heat.
Keep the air vents of your tent open and stretch
I know it sounds crazy. You’re right to think that you should keep each part of your tent closed to stay warm. However, when your hot breath meet with the cold air blowing outside of the tent, waterdrops are formed on the surface of your tent. Keeping the vents open and if you’re staying in a tent with outer awning, streching the outer awning in such a way that it doesn’t touch the inner awning minimize this sweating.
Exercise is beneficial in all conditions
Before going into the sleeping bag, warming-up exercises, that won’t make you tired and sweat but that will increase your blood circulation and body temperature, help you stay warm all night. Similarly, if you wake from your sleep feeling cold, you can heat up your body by doing these kind of exercises. Be careful not to sweat while doing all these!
Importance of right mat choice
Another thing that will help you stay warm is your mat, which provides you a comfortable night by blocking the cold coming from the ground. Without a good mat, a good sleeping bag might not be enough to keep you warm. Especially, if we’re talking about winter camps, don’t even think about spending a night without a mat. Each mat has an R value. As R value gets higher, the heat loss from the mat decreases. Especially in winter, to get the maximum efficiency, it might be a good method to use a well-insulated inflatable mat above a foam mat. Apart from this, adding up two well-insulated foam mats is another frequently used methods. Inflatable beds are definitely not suggested because they don’t have insulation inside. As a matter of fact, inflatable beds usually shrink before the morning because of the cold coming from the ground. I’m just telling you.
There is no harm in getting help from some helpers
While sleeping in a sleeping bag, spending a warm night is very important. If you’re saying that “I did all these but I’m not going to leave it to chance”, then you can get some help from hot water bags, pocket warmers, and even plastic bottles filled with hot water. Of course, you need to make sure that these helpers won’t leak and the hot materials won’t damage your sleeping bag. Also, you don’t want to sweat because of the overheating, believe me. Therefore, it’s important to use these materials in a controlled manner.
Your water level is important but be careful!
Although we drink liters of water in hot weather, we don’t usually feel thirsty in cold weather. But we need to supply the daily amount of water our body needs. Therefore, don’t forget to drink necessary amout of water that won’t make you have to visit the toilet constantly. Hot drinks are good for you. But overdrinking them, after a while, causes you to feel cold because they increase the amount of liquid in your body. And also may cause a continuous need to use the toilet.
Don’t hold your pee
I know I’ve got into the middle of the point but this is one of the most common mistakes. This is the last but not least rule to stay warm in a tent while camping. It can be a torture to leave your nice and warm sleeping bag and go to the toilet. But we can’t ignore the fact that your body consumes more energy to keep this liquid inside. Remember that instead of holding your urine, it’s better to get rid of it to stay warm.
You can find out about the things you’re wondering about the clothing and equipment choice in winter camps.