When you’re camping or backpacking in the wilderness, the days can be hot, and the nights can get very cold. While your tent is a great way to protect you from the elements, you can still spend a restless night feeling cold and miserable. To avoid this unpleasant situation, we have some tips that will help you to stay warm in your tent regardless of the temperature outside.
Insulate the bottom
In many cases, the reason that you get cold in your tent is because the ground underneath you radiates a chill through the tent floor. To lessen the amount of cold that comes through, place a tarp on the ground and follow up with a layer of warm material that offers insulation. A waterproof tarp will help keep moisture out and an old blanket or pad will help to keep you warmer in your tent.
Choose a tent with heavy materials
While this isn’t the best option for backpackers, because of the extra weight, campers could benefit from a tent that is made of canvas or heavier materials that keep the heat inside. If this isn’t an option, you can place blankets or sleeping bags on the tent floor to help keep it warmer inside.
Warm up before you go to bed
If you’re cold when you retire into your tent for the evening it will be harder to warm up. It’s recommended that you warm yourself by the fire and rotate on all sides until you feel toasty and have thrown off any chills. Going to bed warm increases the odds of maintaining your body heat inside your sleeping bag when the air is cool all around you.
Choose a heavy-duty sleeping bag
Some sleeping bags are intended for warm weather use and they don’t offer the insulation to keep you warm on cold nights. If you have a heavy-duty sleeping bag that is rated for cold weather use, you will stay warmer because it will trap the body heat inside that you generate as you sleep.
Take a hot water bottle along
Even backpackers can spare the room for a deflating hot water bottle. Simply heat the water over a fire, fill the bottle and place it in your sleeping bag before you go to bed. You’ll appreciate getting into a bed that has already been warmed. The water should stay warm for between 15 to 20 minutes which gives you a good start.
Use hand warmers
You can also use portable hand or foot warmers to stay warm in your tent when it’s cold outside. They’re useful for placing in cold spots on your body for instant heat. If your hands or feet are cold, this can make you feel cold all over. Sometimes just warming the parts of your body that are the coldest will help you to drift off into a comfortable and restful sleep.
Double up in the sleeping bag
If there are two of you feeling a chill, sharing a sleeping bag will help each of you to feel warmer. You will both generate body heat and this is one of the best ways to stay warm in a tent.
Wear layers to bed
If you’re cold in your tent, a good way to warm up is to wear a shirt with a zip up hoodie over the top. The layers trap air in between them which serves as insulation for keeping your body heat inside the clothing. Don’t forget to wear a pair of thick wool socks to keep your feet warm. You may not look stylish, but wouldn’t you rather be warm and comfortable?
Use extra blankets
Speaking of layers, throwing a few extra blankets over the top of your sleeping bag will increase the insulation and help to keep you warmer through a cold night. If possible, pack along a fluffy comforter with air pillows and you’ll have it made.
Use a smaller tent
Larger tents are great for the extra space they provide for additional campers, storage or recreation, but if you don’t need the extra room, it’s just more air space that is harder to keep warm. The final tip is to use an appropriately sized tent and if you do have a multi-room tent, consider zipping the flap and enclosing yourself in a smaller room so the air will stay warmer from your body heat.
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