- What's up, everybody?
I'm Miranda with REI.
There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle
of the night when you're at camp because you're too cold
Not only is it really annoying but it can also be dangerous.
Let's talk about how to stay warm
when you're sleeping at camp.
So the first thing is probably the most intuitive
and that's make sure that your sleeping bag
is warm enough for the temperatures where you'll be camping.
I have a whole separate video on ISO temperature ratings
and how sleeping bags are tested and rated
and I'd highly suggest checking that out.
So once you have your sleeping bag, it's a good idea
to make sure that your sleeping pad is also warm enough.
Sleeping pads are severely underrated
and they are a crucial part of your sleep system.
When you have a sleeping pad that has a high R value
or insulation value, that's gonna add a ton
of warmth to your bag.
Part of this is because the sleeping bags are not tested,
they're tested with a pad underneath,
and there isn't as much insulation in the bottom of the bag.
This is also because when you sleep on the bag
obviously you're body's compressing the bag on the bottom.
And so that's where the sleeping pad will add
There are pads like this one, which have an R value
or an insulation value of 5.7, and then pads like this,
which have an R value of 2.
So if you feel like your sleeping bag should be warm enough
but you're still sleeping cold, check your sleeping pad
to see if that could be the problem.
If both your sleeping bag and your sleeping pad
have an appropriate temperature rating
for the temperatures where you're camping
and you're still cold, consider adding a sleeping bag liner.
Liners can add up to 25 degrees of warmth
to your sleeping bag.
I have a 23-degree sleeping bag and I use a 15-degree liner.
And I feel like with those two combined, I'm pretty much
comfortable in all temperatures where I camp.
This will also help keep your sleeping bag clean
as this is a lot easier to wash than the sleeping bag
on its own.
So now that you have your sleeping bag, your sleeping pad,
and maybe a liner dialed in, let's talk about other tips
for sleeping warm at camp.
So when sleeping bags are tested and rated,
they're tested with a test dummy that is wearing
a full set of base layers, so a top, bottom, hat, and socks.
And I'd suggest you do the same thing when you sleep
in your sleeping bag.
You can use a wool tee-shirt if you feel like
you sleep warmer but I tend to like to sleep
in a long-sleeve wool base layer and long-sleeve
wool bottoms as well as wool socks.
I also use a buff and a hat when I sleep.
So I'll pull the buff on over my ears
and then I'll put the hat on top of that
and then tuck all of that into the hood of my mummy bag.
And it's just a really cozy way to stay warm
and it helps block out some noise at camp as well.
It's a good idea to have a designated set
of sleep clothes rather than the clothes
you've been hiking in all day as dry clothes
are gonna do a much better job of insulating
than damp or dirty clothing.
If you have extra space in your sleeping bag
you can also fill that with more dry clothing
as that's going to help keep the sleeping bag snug
which then means you don't have to heat as much
air around you and overall will keep you warmer.
Once you have your sleepwear dialed in
you can try doing some light exercise
to get your body temperature up before you go to sleep.
A good way to do this is to do a couple sit-ups
in your sleeping bag but don't go crazy and don't do
too many because you don't wanna do so many
that you wake up physically and mentally
and you definitely don't wanna do so much
that you start to sweat.
Again, damp clothes don't insulate well.
Once you've done a little bit of exercise
you can have a light snack before going to sleep.
Some people will have designated sleep snacks
such as shortbread cookies as that calories
is going to then cause digestion, and digestion
actually generates heat and that will help keep you warm.
You can have a hot beverage with your nighttime snack
as well as that will heat you from the inside out.
It's a good idea to avoid alcohol though
because alcohol will actually dilate your blood vessels
and then that's going to cool you down.
If you're sleeping in really cold temperatures
or on snow or frozen ground, you can always add
a closed-cell foam pad like this one.
Having a closed-cell foam pad between the frozen ground
and your air pad is going to add a lot of insulation
and protect your air pad from that cold ground.
The last tip for sleeping warm at camp is one
of my personal favorites and that's to use your Nalgene
as a hot water bottle heater.
So it's actually safe to pour boiling water
into a Nalgene bottle.
And as long as this is sealed really tightly
you can put this into your sleeping bag
so that it will warm the sleeping bag before you get in.
And then when you get into the bag, you can hold this
under your arm or put it between your legs
by your femoral artery.
And that's gonna help keep you warm throughout the night.
I have on good source that these will stay warm
sometimes all the way up until the morning.
It's just a really, really nice thing to sleep with.
It's very comfortable.
That's it for tips on how to stay warm
when you're sleeping at camp.
If you have any suggestions of your own, I would love
to see them in the comments below.
And as always, come in and talk to the local experts
at your REI and I'll see you out there.