I’ve been camping for the past + 20 years and I can guarantee you that there is nothing worse than having a bad night’s sleep due to waking up in the middle of the night shivering and feeling cold.
Your night sleep should be the special occasion to get a proper rest from your long-day activity (hiking/climbing/trekking, etc) so as to recharge energy and be ready the next day for your outdoor adventure.
That’s why I’ve come with some useful tips that will allow you to stay warm while camping.
Let’s explore them together
10 Camping Tips To Stay Warm While Camping
#1 Get A Good Sleeping Pad
Trust me, you want to ensure you perform an in-depth research of a good sleeping pad to ensure you get the right R-value (or temperature rating) which are appropriate for the temperatures you may be camping in.
Your sleeping pad will be ultimately all that will separate your body from the cold ground.
We strongly recommend the Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
#2 Check Your Campsite
You should always know in advance the type of weather conditions you may expect and the specific campsite you are willing to go to. This is the number one rule of thumb for all of the outdoor junkies out here (always check the conditions).
It may also be good to try to contact the closest ranger so as to stay up to date with any weather trends or changes on the terrain that may affect your stay. Also, you should have a specific camping plan to avoid any unnecessary stress and confusion.
#3 Disposal Heat Packs
I personally recommend investing in some disposable heat packs as I find them quite useful and handy to just pop them in either on my pocket, hoody, or sleeping bag whenever I am feeling cold.
This can make a real difference.
#4 Take Extra Blankets While Camping
Thick thermal blankets will do the trick and actually make a big difference during very cold nights. It’s always a good practice to bring an extra layer of blankets, just in case you end up feeling a bit colder than what you may have expected.
#5 Warm Up With A Hot Water Bottle Before Going To Bed
Having a hot bottle in your sleeping bag can actually mean that you can stay up warmer for longer periods as you can easily cushion it in between your legs when it’s freezing outside.
The key trick is to fill up the bottle with hot water and leave it in your sleeping bag so it warms it up. Once you are ready to go to bed, you just put in between your legs or up against your belly and voila!
Just bear in mind that if by any chance the bottle is too hot to touch at first, you may need to wrap some layers around before placing it in your legs.
#6 Ensure To Wear The Right Clothes For Sleeping
Some people will argue that the best solution to stay warm while camping is to sleep naked in a sleeping bag. The reality is that if you are camping in temperatures below 40 F, you better prepare yourself with the right clothes. Check out some of our key recommendations:
- Hiking Socks: They will allow to prevent most of the heat to escape your body through the bottom of your feet. To prevent this its always good to wear a good pair of hiking socks, although you should take them out while sleeping to avoid sweating.
- Consider fingered gloves and a warm cap
- Avoid sleeping too warm as you may experience an overall drop in your body temperature
- Avoid Cotton Clothes: They are not good for camping as they may cause your body temperature to drop, they do not wick moisture and they may serve as a medium for bacteria.
#7 Eat High Caloric Foods
Keeping some good snacks inside your tent is always good to boost your metabolism and keep you warm. In particular craving for a bar of good chocolate, some almonds, or foods that are rich in fats and sugars will ensure your body stays warm and full.
Hiking in cold temperatures may mean that your body needs to consume more calories per day. With that in mind, planning meals that contain macronutrients which are high on fats are the perfect solution as they tend to be quite caloric (9 calories per gram compared to the carbs and protein which have 4 calories per gram).
#8 Avoid Holding Your Pee at Night
Holding your pee in the middle of the night will just make you colder as your body will need to focus on burning calories in order to keep your urine warm. I know, you may be thinking its too cold outside, I am not risking it…
Well for the guys, consider taking a designated pee bottle (try to label it to remember) in case it’s too cold outside.
For the ladies, a solution could be to utilize pee funnels for women. Quick Tip: Practice the technique first on the shower so you master it before doing it on your camping tent.
#9 Bring Quality Gear
It’s a no brainer that it’s not the same to wear a $50 jacket than a $300 one. With this in mind, I am not recommending to invest in the most expensive, world-class gear, but you should perform an in-depth research to understand which are some of the top brands that will enable you both to keep warm and use for a long duration.
#10 Avoid Using A Massive Tent
You should avoid taking a big tent if you know from upfront that there is going to be a lot of empty space. An easy trick to stay warmer while camping is to insulate your tent by reducing the ambient space.
Therefore, if you are either just camping with your partner or a small group of people, consider utilizing a small tent that will ensure you get to keep your tent warmer at all times.
These are my 10 camping hacks to stay warm while camping
I hope these tips help you stay warmer on your next camping adventure. Keep in mind that there may be some other tips but I decided to narrow the list to 10, in order to provide you with the most relevant ones.
I have no doubt that if you implement these 10 camping hacks on any outdoor adventure you will stay warm while camping. Which camping hack will you experiment with?