Tents can be very cold and humid, especially at night. Many of us will have experienced waking up at 3 a.m. frozen to the bone with no real chance of getting warm until the sun comes up. Depending on where you’re camping, the climate can vary, but pretty much regardless of where you are the ground gets cold at night, and it seems moisture always gets into your tent, making everything damp. Knowing how to stay warm in a tent is a useful skill that every camper needs to learn. You don’t want your trip to be spoiled because you can’t sleep at night. Here are some tips you should follow to stay warm and dry in your tent all year round.
Keep your clothes dry
Sweaty clothes suck out the warmth from your body and make it cool off faster. Be sure to have dry sleeping clothes to keep you warm during the night. Wearing a few layers of clean clothing is always a good idea, as well as a pair of warm socks and a soft wool hat. There is a myth that says that sleeping naked in a sleeping bag is best, but research shows this is not true.
Keep your sleeping bag dry
Your sleeping bag must be kept dry at all times because any moisture pulls heat from your body and you’ll feel uncomfortable. Keep it in a waterproof compression sack and air it every morning.
High R-value sleeping mat
R-value is the ability of a sleeping mat to retain heat. A sleeping bag is not enough to keep your body warm, so a mat is a must-have item for every camper. The higher the R-value, the better for your body. You can even join two sleeping mats together for greater protection from the cold. You want to look for a pad with a value of 5 or more for cold nights. Combining two mats with lower value works as well.
Add more layers underneath
Even two sleeping mats underneath you can’t always protect you from the heat-sucking ground. If possible bring wool blankets, spare clothes, and extra tarps too, all of which will help you stay nice and warm during a cold night. Essentially, put as many things as you can between your sleeping bag and the ground.
Hot water bottle
This old fashioned trick is one of the best things you can do to add some extra heat to your tent. This practical invention will keep you warm for hours.
Do some exercise before bed
Get the blood circulating around your body by doing a few push ups or jumping jacks before you hit the sack. Don’t do too much because you’ll start sweating and your body temperature will go down. Also, try to change your clothes in a zipped up sleeping bag – this in itself is good exercise!
Eat a high-fat dinner or snack
Before going to bed be sure to eat something high in fat and proteins. The slow digestion during the night will make you sleep longer and produce some extra heat.
Don’t drink too much water
Stay hydrated, but don’t drink too much water before you go to bed. Getting out of your cozy sleeping bag in the middle of the night is a real nightmare, especially in cold areas.
Do some sit ups if you feel cold to make your blood flow faster. You don’t need to get out of your sleeping bag for this one, and you’ll have great abs in the morning! Good luck!
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