How To Stay Warm In A Tent

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There are many people who ask is “how to stay warm in a tent?” Being cold at anytime is not something anyone ever really wants. When you are in a tent you don’t have a lot of protection from the elements with its thin sides, it’s not like when you are safe and cozy at home. How to stay warm when camping is something everyone wants and can be difficult when the weather turns cold.

No-one wants to be shivering with cold when they want to be sleeping. Do they?

Having the right clothes to sleep in
The key to staying warm at any time when it’s cold with clothes is layering. You want to have more than one layer on, to be able to trap layers heat. The best materials for your clothes are synthetic or woolen materials. Avoid cotton as this does not work to help insulate you. A lot of heat is lost through your head so wearing a woolen hat or cap can help to keep you warm. Don’t wear wet or damp clothes as these will act to cool you down and keep you cold.

Getting dressed

When you get changed you can lose a lot of heat as you take off one set of clothes and put on another. A way to overcome this is to get changed in your sleeping bag either when getting up or going to bed. When going to bed you can use the clothes you have taken off to stuff your sleeping bag so there is less air in the bag for you to warm up and this will help to keep you warm.

Choosing a sleeping bag for the temperature

Sleeping bags are rated according to the temperature they are appropriate for. So, it is important to know the likely temperature you are likely to encounter on your trip by checking the weather forecast. And then by being properly prepared for it with the correctly rated sleeping bag. The recommended sleeping bag for cold weather is the mummy bag as it ties and pulls around your head. Not everyone likes this type of bag because it can feel a bit claustrophobic.

Sleeping Pads

A lot of cold comes up through the floor of the tent. Having your sleeping bag straight on the floor of the tent will mean you get cold and can be very uncomfortable as well. A foam sleeping pad or an insulated air mattress will get you off the floor, be much more comfortable and you’ll be warmer too. Another, thing that you can try is to put a wool rug on the floor of the tent to help insulate against the cold ground.

Sharing Your Sleeping Bag

There are sleeping bags that you can join together to make a double sleeping bag. In this way you cuddle up close to another person and you can share each others’ body heat to keep both of you nice and warm.

Warming Up Your Sleeping Bag

Getting into a cold sleeping bag can be a bit of a shock to the system. Just like at home when you get into a cold bed. A hot water bottle can be used to warm it up. If you don’t have a hot water bottle you can use another watertight container that can handle hot water and wrap it in a towel and put this in your sleeping bag. If you are boiling water for drinking water you can use this trick as an added benefit.

A Tent Season

Tents are rated according to the number of seasons they can cater for. A 4 season tent is good for all the seasons, whereas a 3 season tent is not designed for the winter months. Depending on where and when you are camping a 3 season tent with a fly and the vents closed may be enough for the weather conditions you are going to encounter. A 4 season tent is normally made of higher quality materials and has less vents to reduce the amount of heat escaping from it.

Tent Heater

It is important not to use a naked flame or a propane heater in your tent to warm it up, as this can be very dangerous. Tents can easily catch alight and burn very quickly. However, there are a number of heaters that are specially designed for tents. These portable tent warmers and heaters have a number of built-in safety features and it is important to be familiar with how to use them to avoid any mishaps.

Camping in winter is when you are likely to encounter very cold weather so it is important to prepare and plan properly for the weather conditions. However, it can still get cold at night during the summer, so it is important to know what to do and also be prepared. It may not be life threatening in the summer but as said before it is no fun being too cold to sleep or being cold at any time for that matter. So be ready.

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2 Responses to “How To Stay Warm In A Tent”

  • Go Camping Australia Family on September 20, 2012

    Hi,
    Great advice on keeping warm. I am a ‘cold sleeper’ so have spent some miserable nights in a tent as I try to perfect the right temp for me. The hot water bottle is something I have used and its worked brilliantly. Last time camping, I remembered the hot water bottle too late – I was already in the sleeping bag, and too lazy to get out and get one ready….Big mistake. Spent the next 2 hours trying to get warm!

    • Paul on September 24, 2012

      I am like you. I don’t like being cold. I’ve done that too when I can’t be bothered to get up and not being able to get to sleep. Thanks for the reply.

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