Staying warm while camping is one of the most important things every camper should be prepared for. Hypothermia is always a threat when we’re out in the open, and the weather can change quickly, so knowing how to keep oneself warm is an essential survival skill.
Depending on what time of day and what month of the year you decide to go camping, the climate may range from being warm and toasty to being cold. The two most often instances where the cooler temperatures come around are during the night and the months during the fall all the way till close to spring time.
Things to Consider When Choosing Your Gear
Here are some tips so you and your group can keep warm when camping.
Tip #1: Make Sure You’re Wearing Proper Clothing
- When camping, what you wear is of utmost importance specially during cooler climates. You’ll want to ensure that you have enough layering so you feel comfortable yet nothing too thick that it hampers your mobility or takes the fun out of the adventure. In this case, many thin layers are often better than wearing one really thick layer of clothing. Doing so makes it easier to move as well as allows you to take off or put on more layers when the temperature shifts.
- With clothing, we’re not only taking about shirts and jackets. Two other pieces of apparel that really help keep the cold away are a wool hat and warm socks. Wearing warm headgear prevents the warmth from our bodies from escaping through our heads. This goes the same for socks and our feet. You can also wear gloves if you hands get cold.
- One last thing with clothing is to make sure that you don’t wear clothes that retain moisture. Wet clothes or socks will stick to our skin and quickly make us feel colder. Choosing clothing that are made from materials that are able to get rid of moisture will keep you warmer.
Tip #2: Bring Sleeping Bags that are Rated for the Temperatures
When we’re awake we are able to do things to help increase our body’s temperature. It is much more difficult to do that when we’re asleep. So you’ll want to make the preparations before going to bed.
When it comes to sleep our first layer of protection are our sleeping bags. These come in a wide variety. One of the most important features to look for when choosing a sleeping bag is what temperature rating it is made for. This will give you an idea if the bag is designed for summer camping, multiple seasons or cold weather use. The ratings serve as a guide so consumers have an idea of how warm each product can keep you.
One tip when choosing your sleeping bag is not to go overboard and choose something that’s designed for temperatures lower than where you’ll be going. If anything, choose something that’s right at the climate you need or one that doesn’t provide as much warmth.
The reason for this is you can always add more insulation to get warmer but if you use a sleeping bag that’s too warm, it is more difficult to make that cooler so you’ll end up being too hot and sweating all night, unable to sleep.
Tips #3: Consider Extra Insulation
One of the most important things to have with your sleeping bag is a sleeping pad. This provides that extra layer of insulation between the cold or damp ground you’ll be sleeping on, and your body. The pad allows you to stay warmer as well as block the cold from transferring to your body.
Other useful items that can help under the sleeping bag are liners, blankets or even thermal rugs. One really neat trick is to warm your bed up a few minutes before you plan to sleep. You can do this by placing a tightly sealed bottle of hot water on your bed a few minutes before you plan on going to bed. This makes the sleeping area warm and toasty by the time you want to use it.
Things You Can Do to Stay Warm While Camping
Those we’ve mentioned above are things you take with your so you can keep yourself warm at your campsite. The next items are some things you can do so you don’t get cold.
Tip #4: Be Aware of What Your Body is Telling You
When you’re out in nature, you’ll always want to listen to what your body is telling you. Make sure to be aware when you start feeling cold. As you get colder, you’ll start to shiver and this is an instant sign that it is time to take some action to warm ourselves up.
You can use some of the warm tips above like adding more clothing or insulation in sleeping bag if you’re in bed. Or you can do some of the things below to get your body temperature up when this starts to happen.
Tip #5: Eat a Warm, High Calorie Meal
Getting hot food into your body in cool weather is one of the quickest things to warm ourselves up. It also feels real good. A warm meal before going to bed is one of the best ways to keep yourself from getting cold as you go to slumber.
Tip #6: Drink Warm Fluids or Soups
As much as eating really helps us get warm, it is difficult to keep eating all day. So when you feel you’re starting to get cold, one quick tip is to drink warm fluids. This can be anything from hot coffee, chocolate, water or even soups.
Tip #7: Walk, Exercise or Engage in Physical Activity
Not moving and staying put in one position makes it easier for the cold to creep into our system. As such, taking in some physical activity to get the blood flowing lets our bodies warm up on its own. This can be something as simple as brisk walking or doing some simple exercises like push ups or jumping jacks.
Tip #8: Choose Your Campsite Properly
The one last thing you can do is choose a good campsite. Some areas are prone to cooler winds or temperatures while others tend to be warmer. You’ll want to avoid areas where the cold winds pass through as this will lower the temperature of your camp site.
Also, avoiding lower grounds would be a good idea if you don’t like dealing with the cold. Cold air is denser than warm air which means that it will heavier. The weight tends to make it reside in lower areas.
Reading Resources About Camping
Here are some of my favorite books on camping that will make the experience easier to learn and more enjoyable. These are great if you’re just starting out or have some experience under your belt.
Enjoy and Keep Warm When You Camp
As you’ll see from above there are a lot of different things you can do to keep yourself comfortable when outdoors. Clothing and keeping moisture away is one of the most important tools that will let you stave off the cold as these you always have on you.
You can also do things, eat or drink to get warmer. These activities though will highly depend on your ability to monitor yourself. So it is important to know if you are starting to feel colder.
Finally, it really pays off to pack the proper sleeping gear so you get a good night’s rest and enjoy your trip.