How to Sleep Warm While Camping || REI

- 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

to sleep.

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.

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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

additional insulation.

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.