Hate camping because you always end up waking up in the middle of the night, shivering? Even if the weather is warm or mild during the day, it can get pretty cold at night, especially when you’re camping in the desert. Here’s how to stay warm and get a good night’s sleep, even when a thin sleeping bag and the ground is your only bed.
1. Use a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag.
This can keep you warm for hours, giving you plenty of time to drift off into dream land. If you have a hard plastic water bottle, fill it with warm water and put it between your legs. Just make sure the bottle is okay to use with warm water. By putting it between your legs, the warmth will hit your femoral artery. If the bottle’s too hot at first, wrap a thin t-shirt around it before putting it between your legs. Otherwise, you could burn your skin without even realizing it.
2. Keep some snacks in your tent and eat something if you’re freezing.
This will get your metabolism working, which will warm you up. Just don’t do this if bears or other wildlife are an issue. If that’s the case, you’ll want to leave food tightly sealed and far from where you sleep. There are even bear canisters that you can purchase in order to keep your food as sealed as possible. At the very least, wildlife could steal your food if it’s not packed up well; at the worst, they could provide a threat to your safety.
3. Use the bathroom, even if it’s a makeshift one.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to get warm if your bladder’s full, because your body is using energy elsewhere. When your bladder is empty, your body doesn’t have to use up all that energy just to stay warm. If this is too far outside your comfort zone, get info on hotels in Vegas and plan day hikes instead of overnight trips.
4. Invest in an extra warm sleeping bag.
Sleeping bag ratings are based on the temperature that you’ll still be able to function at, but not necessarily one that you’ll be comfortable at. If you’re usually cold and you’re camping in an area with 15 degree temperatures at night, invest in a zero degree sleeping bag to stay extra warm. Mummy bags are ideal for locking in heat without adding too much weight to your pack, a big consideration if you’re doing backcountry camping for a few days.
5. If you’re a woman, get a sleeping bag specifically designed for women.
These are contoured to a woman’s body, which means there are fewer air pockets and less space to heat up. When the sleeping bag stays closer to your body, you’ll stay warmer through the night.
6. Put more items between you and the ground.
Use a foam sleeping bag underneath an inflatable sleeping bag. Or, use flat pieces of gear to put more items between you and the cold ground. The more space there is between you and the ground, the warmer you’ll be.
Don’t let the fear of a chilly night deter you from having an amazing camping experience.