How to stay warm in a tent
When it’s cold outside
Obvious first: buy a good sleeping bag. If you can, buy a liner. Sleeping bags are labeled with the temperatures they are to be used for. Then, in addition I have a few Canada-approved tricks I collected while camping with tour guides in these past few weeks. The camping trip was part of our training for guiding. In case you missed it, this is what I did to become a tour guide in Canada.
You’ll see, we tried everything to stay warm in our tents. Even the most desperate of tricks 🙂
Hot water bottles
They don’t help to stay warm in the tent all night, but a few hours is enough to help you fall asleep. I always put one on the upper thighs, to keep my legs warm. If you’re generally cold, place it on your core.
Cold feet are the worst feeling. Humid socks contribute to cooling feet down. So, wear clean, dry socks in your sleeping bag, nit those you hiked in all day.
Depending on your sleeping bag, it may isolate so well that it reflects body hear. One camper in my group swore she’s warmest when sleeping without any clothes on in her sleeping bag.
Opening the tent window
One night, my tent mate opened the tent window. First I thought “what a crazy idea!” But then I learned that this way the humidity can leave the tent. Humidity is not your friend when you’re cold. So, yes, ventilation is important to stay warm when tenting.
Blowing up your mat each night
Even a thin layer of air insulates a lot of warmth below your body at night. Make sure your mat is fully inflated so you don’t sleep on the ground. Apart from the insulation, it’s also much more comfortable!
Fire heated rocks in the tent
This is a trick one of us tried out of desperation 🙂 even the Stoney indigenous people heated rocks over the fire. It’s how they got that name. Having a warm rock wrapped in your tent helps dispense warmth. Similar to a hot water bottle it won’t last forever. But if you have to work with what nature provides this is an option.
Eat before you go to sleep
Digestion contributes to keeping you warm! A midnight snack gives your body fuel to stay warm longer when it’s cold outside.
Layers, layers, layers
Personally, I find layers provide the best insulation. When it got really cold at night, I slept in up to 6 layers plus sleeping bag.
I hope this helps you enjoy your camping vacation! Do you have any other tricks on how to stay warm in a tent? Comment below!