A sleeping bag is like the cover of your smartphone on a camping trip. It provides you with cover, protection, and warmth. It is just unimaginable how a camping trip would be if you don’t have a sleeping bag with you.
The temperature here in the States drop drastically at night, especially in places at higher altitude. Even in the months of summer-like in June and July, the weather can suddenly change and drop the temperature below your comfort level.
At, that time, you need your sleeping bag to provide you with as much warmth as possible so that you can get a good night’s sleep. So, let us dive right in and find out How To Stay Warm In A Sleeping Bag
Right Way Of Lying In a Sleeping Bag
Many people find it difficult to fall asleep in a sleeping bag at night, particularly if they are camping after quite a while. Having the perfect setup with your sleeping bag can help you avoid this problem of insomnia, but everything will have to be right, and you will fall asleep in no time.
- Always choose a safe environment to lie inside your sleeping bag. The fear of any possible danger can take away your sleep very easily.
- Relax and sleep will find you in no time. Always whenever you lie down to sleep, forget about stressful thoughts and leave them for the next day.
- Follow your sleep schedule you do at home and you will see the results immediately. Many campers do this rookie mistake of not following any sleep schedule, but this isn’t right. Your body has a habit of adjusting to sleep time, and so always start unpacking your hammock and sleeping bag, at the time when you are supposed to sleep at home.
- Always pick your best position because your body is functioned to sleep in that position. This position is different for everyone and you will know your favorite position to sleep in. For this reason, have a sleeping bag that can cover your entire body and have a little room to move around.
- Cover your hands and feet completely to keep them warm at all times. You may be inclined to keep your hands out of the bag, but it is best to keep them tucked inside your sleeping bag.
There is no one right way of lying inside a sleeping bag and for finding your best position inside a sleeping bag, it may take you two or three nights with the bag. So, it is best to practice sleeping inside your sleeping bag a few times in your backyard before the main camping trip.
Sleeping Bag Temperature Guide
Before buying a sleeping bag, you should always look for the temperature ratings of the bag. There are two types of bags available, when we talk about sleeping bags, down bags and synthetic bags.
- Down bags have a fill of natural materials like wispy plumage found beneath a water fowl’s exterior feathers, the most popular one being of geese. They are very good for comfort and providing heat inside. They are costly though but in terms of portability, down sleeping bags are a very good option.
- Synthetic bags have a filling of synthetic material on the inside. As synthetic material is cheaper than natural material, synthetic bags are cheaper than down bags. They are heavy and less durable than down bags. But when it comes to water resistance, synthetic bags are the best. Also, they tend to dry very quickly when they get wet. But they do not provide much insulation in cold weather.
So, you have to know the condition in which you are going to camp and choose the sleeping bag according to that.
If you are camping in a cold but dry area, you can use down bags, but if the conditions are going to be wet, you have to get synthetic bags.
Also, after you choose the type of bag, look for the lowest temperature at which the bag is suitable for camping. If it is lower than the lowest temperature you are expecting to encounter, you have found your ideal sleeping bag.
For chilly nights here, your sleeping bag has to have a temperature rating of at least up to 15 degrees F.
How To Stay Warm In A Sleeping Bag: 7 Hidden Tricks
So, now that you know how to set up your sleeping bag and how to fall asleep, you have to take some measures to keep your sleeping bag warm throughout the night. Because you don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night feeling cold and have to worry about how to get to sleep all over again.
1. Keep Your Bag Clean:
First of all, starting with a basic one, you have to clean your sleeping bag every day. After sleeping overnight, dirt and dried sweat get collected in your sleeping bag. If you go to sleep the next day on the same bag, these dried sweat particles can take away some heat from your body and keep you cold.
So, after you wake up from sleeping, you should clean the sleeping bag, to make you feel better and keep yourself warm the next night.
2. Keep Your Bag Dry:
This is the most important point for keeping yourself warm inside a sleeping bag. You cannot stay warm if your sleeping bag is dripping wet, it’s as simple as that. To keep your bag dry, you can use different techniques like using a waterproof bag, hanging your bag to dry every morning, and sleeping away from the tent walls.
If you want to know how to keep your sleeping bag dry, in details, you can check our article How To Keep A Sleeping Bag Dry While Camping: Keep Your Nights Comfortable.
3. Use Heating:
Your sleeping bag can stay warm if there is a source of heat-generating or getting trapped inside your sleeping bag. The best way to having a heating source inside a sleeping bag is by keeping a hot water bottle with you inside the bag. Instead of a water bottle, you can use a hot water bag as well, because it can keep water warm for a longer time.
A hot water bottle can be easily manageable and for a camping trip, it works best. If you don’t want to sleep with a hot water bag or bottle though, you can opt for lighting a campfire nearby your sleeping bag. This will surely keep you warm throughout the night and you can have a sound sleep.
You can find the best way of lighting a campfire in the article How To Make A Campfire? Easy Step By Step Guide
4. Invest In A Sleeping Pad:
If you are camping in a tent, you will most likely, sleep on the ground. Now the ground will have tarps laid and you may have sealed it for preventing water from seeping in. But still, the temperature of the ground will be lower than your sleeping bag, and so when you sleep at night, the heat from your back will slowly go out outside and you may feel cold.
So, try to bring a sleeping pad with you on your trip. This will prevent heat from escaping to the ground by insulating your back from the ground. For hammock camping as well, a sleeping pad is a very good option.
5. Wear The Appropriate Amount Of Clothes:
When it comes to sleeping inside a bag, you have to make sure that the appropriate amount of clothes are worn by you at all times. You have to cover your hands, feet, and head with the right number of layers.
- For the head, you can wear caps made for the winter season and make sure that your ears are covered by the cap at all times.
- For feet, you have to wear socks at all times, and you can add another layer of winter clothes as per your convenience.
- Hand gloves are also important when it comes to sleeping inside a bag. You have to keep your body’s core temperature to yourself and prevent any heat from escaping.
Other than these, you have to wear multiple layers of clothing for your body as a whole if you want a warm and cozy night. You can use sweaters, sweatshirts, etc. and it would be best to wrap a blanket around you. Also, the area around the neck is very susceptible to catching a cold. Keep it unattended and you will wake up with a cold or cough without you even realizing the problem.
So, try to cover every part of your body especially the head, neck, hands, and feet.
6. Have Multiple Persons Inside The Bag:
If you have a partner or lover with you in your camp, it is best to have both of you inside the same sleeping bag. Snuggling between both of you can help in retaining heat inside the sleeping bag and your body heat will keep both of you warm.
It works even better if you are camping with your family, and you can sleep in between two persons. They will block the exterior heat from reaching you completely.
7. Use Liners And Eat Well:
Have a liner for your sleeping bag to add more insulation to your sleeping bag. Also, eating food rich in fat can keep you warm, so maybe have a candy bar, hot chocolate, or something similar before you go into your sleeping bag.
These aren’t scientifically proven, but we can from our experience in camping that they do help sometimes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Other than all the things we have mentioned, you can have some extra clothing to cover your feet because feet get cold before any part of your body since it is farthest from the heart.
Also, try to pick out a location that is blocking wind from flowing through your tent or hammock. This will surely help your sleeping bag from getting cold.
Now that you know everything about how to keep your sleeping bag warm through the night, you can head out camping in the cold without having to worry about anything.
We prefer to have a good quality sleeping bag that is insulated properly for our trips and you can do the same and we are sure you will also not be disappointed.
Share with us your adventurous camping stories and tell us if these tricks helped you survive the chilly nights throughout the year, through the comment section below.
Happy Camping Mates!