Imagine taking a trip to the woods to explore wilderness and appreciate every part of nature around you. What would be at the top of your travel packing list? There’s probably going to be no lodging at a 10 km distance/ radius, and you will need a place to sleep. What should you do?
An easy and comfortable way to get a good night’s rest is seeking homage in your very own sleeping bag. At times though, the temperature can stoop to minuses leaving you cold and frustrated throughout the night. In that case, you’ll need to know How to Increase Warmth in your Sleeping Bag
You could use a thermal liner, perhaps jack yourself up with some more clothes, but there’s more to these basic tips. You need not suffer through the night anymore because we’ve got you covered. I bet no one would want to wake up with their legs numb, nose red, and hands shivering.
At least we won’t. It’s a terrible feeling and we don’t want you to go through any of it. Below we will talk about how to increase the warmth in your sleeping bag and provide you with some tips and tricks so that you can make the best out of it.
How to Increase Warmth in your Sleeping Bag: 8 Ways
It’s imperative to note that these tips work both ways. What I mean is there are a few things you’ll have to alter in your sleeping bag itself to raise its temperature. However, you’ll also have to put in some effort to make your body warm. Sounds like a tedious and cumbersome task, but we’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.
Washing the Old Sleeping Bag
There’s a straightforward scientific reasoning behind this point. Every sleeping bag has something called a filling. It’s the part that allows heat to trap inside your bag and keep your body warm.
Overtime, as moisture and oils from your skin start to accumulate in the filling, most of its pathways get blocked which prevents it from fluffing up.
In most cases, the heat escapes and the level of insolation decreases. You’ll be able to notice a significant drop in temperature after that starts happening. Thus, wash your bag inside out to avoid collection of unwanted materials.
How do you do that? Well, step one is to protect it. Put a sheet or pillow cover on it to prevent ripping. Use a washing machine that rotates on a gentle and slower cycle. Increasing the speed could lead to tearing. Also remember to use a front-load only.
Once washed, dry in the machine itself or hang it on a clothesline. You need some sort of solid material to break up the filling so that it can fluff up properly. Use a racket or set of tennis balls.
The Thermal Liner and Hot Water Bottle Technique
A thermal liner works on a simple principle. It boosts the warmth of your sleeping bag. At times you may not have the access to a washing machine to break up your filling, so always ensure you carry a liner with you on your trip. It can be added or removed anytime you feel like the temperature does not suit your likings.
Generally, people use silk or cotton liner because they work best with a sleeping bag’s filling. The best part about this technique is that it does not maintain a constant temperature and can be altered as per your preferences. You are the supreme controller.
If you don’t feel like purchasing a liner, you could opt for a hot water bottle instead. Heat up some water and pour it into the bottle for the warm experience you crave. Just ensure you properly seal the bottle to avoid leaking. You really don’t want hot water trickling down your body in the middle of the night.
Again, this technique also works with what you want since it can be removed whenever your body starts to heat up too much. It’s sure to make you feel snug and cozy while you look up at the stars.
Put on Thicker Clothes
Here’s where you’ve got to do the work. In cooler places, it’s important to layer your clothing so that you don’t end up getting a cold after a day well spent. There are clothes specially made for cooler conditions. Consider buying those. The most common ones you’ll find people wearing are thermal underwear, tights, or full-sleeved t-shirts.
These act as the first lining because they’re in direct contact with your body. As suggested by the name, thermals have inherent materials that are warmer than normal clothing. After wearing the first layer, put on a fleece, sweater, or full-sleeved warmer and finally top your outfit up with a jacket. Zip-up and you’ll be ready to sleep!
Ensure you don’t layer yourself too much for bed because that can cause discomfort when you’re sleeping. These kinds of clothes can cause itching and rashes at times, so wear as many clothes as you can bear.
Beanies and Socks
This is your classic pair of clothing when you have no option left. Beanies and socks are popular because they ensure your head and feet remain warm, even if the rest of your body is longing for a heat source.
Apparently, humans lose a little less than 40% of their heat from their heads and feet, so this clothing combination should be a saving grace for you. Put on some gloves if you’re feeling extra cold on a particular day. This should keep you warm and allow natural blood circulation, a vital functioning process needed for survival.
This technique acts as an effective alternative when you don’t have access to a warm water bottle, thermal liner, or a washing machine. In such cases, you’ll have to act quickly, wisely, and responsibly!
Have a Solid-Solid Dinner
Weird, right? We’re asking for food to save you from freezing? As much as you think we’re joking, this tip actually works.
All you need to do is treat yourself with a decent sized meal that will take up lots of energy to digest. Naturally, the more you eat, the harder your body needs to work to carry on its natural processes.
This will boost the consumption of energy which in turn will produce heat. Your body then will use the same warmth to survive. Eat lots of protein and carbs. Let go for one night and notice how the human body will naturally adapt to temperatures it isn’t familiar with.
However, that does not mean you go bonkers with food. Don’t hog too much. Indigestion is a minor risk compared to the one you’ll be suffering with all night- lack of washrooms.
In the wilderness, where we presume you’re going to stay, nature is the only restroom you have access to. Once you step out of your sleeping bag to clear your stomach, you’re exposing yourself to the cold which literally takes you back to square one. Know your limits!
Exercise Before Sleeping
This is the subtle art of raising your own body temperature. Once you start to give off heat, you’ll naturally feel warmer. For that to happen, all you need to do is some exercise. After having a heavy dinner, move around the wilderness to get your metabolism going. It’ll not only help with digestion, but will also warm up your body before you get into your sleeping bag. Do some burpees, jumping jacks, jogs, or go for a little run.
Get back to your little lodging and tuck yourself in bed. You’ll automatically be on the hotter side. Just ensure you don’t overdo anything. If you begin to sweat, the cold breeze will hit your body, and you’ll lose all the warmth you worked so hard for.
Tents and Layers for the Win
Albeit, a sleeping bag is highly effective when you’re trying to keep your trip simple, but a tent or any other form of outside layering is going to be way more effective compared to your first remedy. If you don’t want to buy one, you could simply use a layer of blankets to cover yourself. Choose ones that trap the most amount of heat and nothing will be able to ruin your sleep. Keep it thick.
Use Your Partner
For the people travelling alone, this tip won’t be as effective. Well, unless you take a thermal teddy bear you can cuddle with. For others that have friends, family, a significant other with them, this is your chance to bond.
Sleep close to each other so that you’re able to gain heat from one another. It’s a two way process. Keep yourselves warm by maintaining the least amount of distance between your bodies and finally top it off with a blanket so that you’re able to create a big heat source, adequate and cozy for the both of you.
These were a few tips for my fellow campers. It’s super important to know how to increase warmth in your sleeping bag, especially when you’re away from civilization, enjoying your time in paradise. Follow these eight simple techniques and you’ll never want to distance yourself from the cold!