Does the cold bother you when you go camping? Unless you’re from a country that has winter almost the whole year, the cold will bother you even more than you can admit. For some people, just the thought of getting cold at night is already uncomfortable that it makes them want to back out of the whole trip.
But don’t do that! There are lots of ways to get cozy at night even when it’s cold and windy outside. After all, that’s what sleeping bags are for. Wondering how you can be warm and cozy in a cold camping spot? Read on for 11 tips that you try.
Tips for Keeping Warm and Cozy in a Tent
1) Don’t camp at the top of the mountain.
A lot of people forget that where your tent is located makes a huge difference in how cold you’ll feel at night. Did you know that the highest points are often the coldest? While that seems common sense, you guessed it, it’s not usually thought of.
So where should you make camp? The most ideal spot for your tent is the mid-peak where it’s not the actual peak, but just in the middle height of the mountain. This area often has enough trees and wood that will help increase the temperature. Compared to the top, there’s not enough that can block all those strong winds.
If you still think that the highest point is the most ideal place for your tent, know that it’s also often the most dangerous spot. Why? It’s vulnerable to changes in weather. You’re going to be exposed there so a sudden drop of temperature will be felt immediately.
2) Put a heat-conducting mat over your tent.
Have you ever heard of heat-conducting materials that absorb more heat than others? That’s the material you will need for a mat. A heat-conducting mat is often dark in color because dark colors absorb and retain heat longer than those that are lighter. If you ever wondered why wearing black makes you sweat more, that’s the reason behind it.
When you leave your camp during the day, make sure to drape a heat-conducting mat over your tent so when you get back for the afternoon or night, there’s enough insulation to keep the inside of your tent warm for hours. When the cold sets in, you’ll be glad you didn’t forget to place a mat over it.
Take note, though, that you should also choose a mat that can still maintain the airflow in your tent. It has to be breathable, in short, so that not a lot of moisture builds up inside the tent. More moisture equals a colder camp.
3) Choose a smaller-sized tent.
Think about it like this – a large home is hard to heat up even if you have multiple heaters. If you have a smaller home, it heats up easily in less than an hour. The same logic is applied to a tent. If you have a large tent that only you stay in, then it will take a long time for it to warm up inside.
Of course, you have to take into account the number of people that will be staying inside the tent. If there’s going to be three of you in there, choose the right size so you don’t end up sweating. Remember, the last thing you want to experience is sweat and chills at the same time.
4) Get a high-quality sleeping bag.
This tip is one of the most important things you should remember. Even if you think that a sleeping bag doesn’t need to be expensive because, well, you’re just going to sleep on it, it’s more important than you think.
Your sleeping bag will be your best friend during those chilly nights and you just want to go back to your warm bed way back home. So, to save you all of the regrets, choose a sleeping bag that has a temperature rating for the temperature of your camping area. You have to do a little more research here because your sleeping bag has to be made exactly for cold weather.
When shopping for a sleeping mat, look for the R-value. This is the rating for its ability to retain heat. Higher R-value mats are able to retain more heat.
5) Keep your clothes and sleeping bag dry.
Why can’t you just soak your clothes in warm water so that there’s added heat? In all honesty, doing that is just a recipe for disaster or illness. Your goal here is to reduce moisture everywhere including your clothes. This is because you’ll just end up freezing in wet clothes. Plus, wet clothes are very uncomfortable.
What you should do is pack your sleeping bag and your sleeping clothes at the very bottom of your backpack. In this way, it stays dry and warm all throughout the day. By the time you need them, they’re comfy to sleep in.
6) Add more layers.
Wearing two jackets might sound uncomfortable, but you will love the fact that it keeps you warm and cozy. Jackets are not the only things you can layer; there are wool blankets and another sleeping mat that you can tuck into.
What you’re trying to do here is to keep your body heat inside so that your temperature doesn’t drop. Moreover, you want to add more layers between you and the ground because cool air sinks to the ground so it’s going to be very cold when you lay down. Just tuck some blankets inside the bag and wear another set of dry clothes.
7) Warm yourself with hot water.
No, we’re not suggesting taking a bath in hot water, but rather, you’re going to put hot water in a tumbler. This tumbler will be helpful in keeping your belly warm. Did you know that a warm belly helps generate heat in your body and in your sleeping bag? If you didn’t know that, then this is a quick body heater that will help save you.
Before you sleep, heat water in your kettle and pour it in a jug. You can also have more just in case you find the need to add more heat inside your sleeping bag. Just avoid sweating as a side effect because you don’t want more moisture inside the sleeping bag.
8) Stock up on fatty food.
Looking for an excuse to eat a lot of fatty food? Now’s your chance. When you’re camping in cold weather, fatty food will help keep you warm by increasing your metabolism. Needless to say, fatty foods are actually healthy in this circumstance.
Snacking on butter-filled food and protein-rich bars will help create more heat. If you love these kinds of food, then you’re in luck because it’s going to be a win-win! But don’t overeat because that’s just going to be counterproductive.
9) Stay hydrated.
At this point, you should know that staying healthy is important even if you’re already consuming a lot of fat-filled food. One of the ways to stay healthy (and warm) is drinking enough water. No, you’re not supposed to drink a lot of water. All you need is to drink enough.
Staying hydrated does wonders for your body. It helps with digestion and it also makes sure that you take enough minerals in. The only thing that is risky here is going to pee all the time. Since there’s no exact volume of liquids you should drink before going to bed, you have to experiment a little.
10) Keep your feet dry.
Socks are important for a reason. Do you know why? Your feet are areas where heat usually escapes from your body. Sure, heat escapes through every part, but most of the heat escapes from your feet.
To prevent that from happening, cover your feet with thick hiking socks. This way, you stay comfy and snug even if you’re in the middle of nowhere. Besides, socks give you a semblance of your home so it helps in making your comfortable over the course of the night.
11) Take care of your body during the day.
It might not seem obvious, but you have to take care of your body when you hike. Are you supposed to push yourself to go the extra mile? This is one instance when you shouldn’t. Why?
The more you tire your body and lose the nutrients and liquid you have inside, the more you are susceptible to getting sick and getting cold during the night. There’s always another day to take that extra mile, but when you feel that you’re already tired, rest and drink or eat up. What you do during the day highly affects how warm you stay at night.
Still afraid of the cold? With these 11 tips, there’s no need to worry about the cool winds in the mountains. As long as you do all these, you’re guaranteed to sleep well and comfortably during the night. You might even feel so snug that nighttime is a welcome experience especially when you’re surrounded by nature and silence.