Tricks for Sleeping Warmer

Right at the start we pointed out that a sleeping bag will not make you warm: it will only limit the rate you lose heat. That heat comes from within you. But there are many tricks of the trade we can use to improve our comfort and warmth.

Tricks for Sleeping Warmer

A sleeping bag will not make you warm: it will only limit the rate you lose heat. That heat comes from within you. But there are many tricks of the trade we can use to improve our comfort and warmth. 

  • Eat a good dinner before sleeping. No food, no energy.
  • Your head loses a huge amount of heat: keep your head warm.
  • Pull the liner over your head to keep your hot breath inside your bag.
  • Use the bag upside-down to keep your head warm, or do up the hood around your face.
  • Forget bed socks and extra padding in the box-foot: cold feet mean you should read the previous lines.
  • Air (dry) your sleeping bag regularly.
  • Make sure you have enough insulation between you and the ground.
  • Make sure you have insulation under the heels of your feet as well as under your body.
  • Don't blow up your air-bed too much: let it be soft and spread the load.
  • Remove any tight or restrictive clothing: it stops the flow of warm blood. (This includes bras and watches.)
  • Use a double skin tent in the snow and close the up-wind door completely: stop the flow of cold air through the tent (but watch out for condensation).
  • Camp among the trees rather than in the open: the trees trap warm air (but watch out for falling branches).
  • Don't camp at the bottom of a valley where the cold air flows, especially in the alps and snow.
  • Have a tent partner you can snuggle closely up to: a built-in hot water bottle.
  • Use the neck baffle or the hood to limit cold air flowing into the bag.
  • Wear a thermal top with a close neck to further block cold air.
  • Skip the idea of alcohol: it does not warm you up. Eat!