Sleeping Warm 101


I sleep in cold places sometimes. I have warm clothes - down jackets, wool long underwear, warm hats and socks. These are all useful and intelligent to use in cold environments. Sleeping in the cold can be challenging sometimes though. Winter camping, or Spring camping with a sleeping bag that is not quite warm enough — one of those bags with large spots, barren of insulation. I have learned a few tricks to sleep warmer. 

Here's one:


• Take a pot of water and boil it. 

• Take a water bottle with a tight waterproof seal and one that will not get soft or melt when filled with hot water. I prefer the large mouth Nalgene-style bottles. 

• Fill the bottle with hot water. Now make sure that the seal is tight and that there are no extra drops of water on the outside of the bottle or trapped in the threads or in the cap. I usually bang the bottle with my hands a few times to shake off any excess water and wipe it off.  

• Place it in your sleeping bag. 

• While the bottle is heating up your bag, do some jumping jacks or run in place for a while. Do some push ups. Get your blood moving and warm up. (A sleeping bag is like a thermos bottle. Hot stuff stays hot and cold stuff stays cold. You will sleep much warmer if you put a warm body into that insulated sleeve. Warm yourself up with light exercise before getting into your bag.) 

• Wear a warm hat. 

• Jump into your bag with the hot water bottle. Move it down to your feet, then bring it up to your groin and curl up with it. The water will still be warm in the morning when you wake up. You can make your morning oatmeal and tea with it. 

Good morning. Nice sleep. Even though it was cold outside and your bag was a little thin. 

Try it next time you're sleeping in a cold place. 

More sleeping-warm tips to come...