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Sleeping Warm

Are you brave enough to brave the cold? With the right equipment and gear, there is no reason to get cold feet over cold winter camping. Follow a few of these tips for staying warm when temperatures drop.


  • Chose a sleeping bag that is rated for the lowest temperature you will experience during your backcountry adventure. The debate between down and synthetic among outdoor enthusiasts continues and is ultimately a personal preference, as both are designed to keep you warm. For help deciding, you can read about the differences between down and synthetic materials. Fit is very important. While a little wiggle room may allow you to curl up in a cozy position, the extra space makes your body work harder to stay warm.


  • Layer up! A lining for your sleeping bag is lightweight, packs easily and adds an extra layer of warmth during chilly nights. Don’t get overwhelmed by the variety of options. They come in many different materials, including silk, fleece and even flannel. For extreme conditions, it may be worth getting a vapor barrier liner (VBL). These liners are made from a non-breathable, synthetic material that won’t permit any transmission of moisture.


  • Use a thick, full-length sleeping bag pad. This is a good way to insulate the space between you and the ground. And if you have some spare layers, such as a couple long underwear shirts or fleece jackets, it doesn’t hurt to lay those down between your mat and the ground as well.


  • If there is snow on the ground, your body heat will melt the snow, then refreeze, creating a bumpy, uneven surface and prevent a good night’s sleep. So be sure to dig a depression for your tent before you set up camp.


  • Your mother always told you not to eat cookies in bed. Now is your chance to rebel! Consuming a few calories before you hit the sack will increase your body’s warmth as it works to metabolize the food.


  • While there is nothing better than sipping whiskey by a campfire, this is a sure way to get a chill in your bones. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and steal heat from your core, causing your body temperature to drop. Waking up with a hangover is hard enough, waking up freezing cold and hung over is twice as bad.


  • Throw a pair of hand warmers in your sleeping bag. These air activated heat packets are inexpensive and last around 8 hours. The modern day hot water bottle!


Heat escapes from our heads. Keep your hat on while you sleep to prevent this loss.

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