Camping Comfortably: How to Keep Warm at Night
Camping is a great way to reconnect with nature and develop deeper bonds with your family and friends. But if you’re going camping in the cooler months, keeping warm can be a challenge. As a father of three kids and someone who’s been camping for many years, I’ve gathered some tips on how to stay warm during a camping trip.
Make sure you’ve got full camping gear for everyone in your party. Warm clothes, hats, gloves, and boots are essential for keeping the cold at bay and having a comfortable camping trip. Opt for clothing made of natural materials that insulate you well such as wool, fur, or sheepskin. It’s also a good idea to bring an extra pair of long underwear.
Having a good sleeping bag or quilt is also important in helping you keep warm at night. Invest in a sleeping bag that’s rated for temperatures lower than what you expect you’ll encounter. Make sure it fits you well and provides enough insulation. If you’re camping with friends or family, double or even triple sleeping bags can help you keep each other warm.
Before you set up camp, be sure to test your tent’s insulation. If there’s a draft, you can use a tarp, additional blankets, or other materials to plug the gap. Using an insulated air mattress when camping is also recommended as it acts as another layer of insulation and helps keep you warm at night.
Start a Fire
The biggest benefit of a campfire is its warmth and the ability to cook your food. Before you set up your campfire, make sure that it’s legal to have one in the area and you’ve got enough firewood. If you’re camping in an area that’s prone to rain, make sure that the fire is sheltered from rain and wind, and has enough fuel.
Gathering twigs and other naturally occurring materials can help reduce your reliance on firewood. An alternative is to use fuel stoves, the downside being that you can’t snuggle up close to the heat like you would with a campfire.
Hot Drinks and Snacks
Another way to stay warm is to sip something hot before you drift off to sleep. Hot chocolate, tea, coffee, or even a soup can help keep you warm in the night. If you’re fond of snacks, carry along some chocolate bars which will also help in keeping your body temperature up.
Utilizing Campsite Facilities
If you’re camping in developed campgrounds, take advantage of their utilities. Some campgrounds install washrooms in the winter and provide hot showers in smaller yurts or cabins. Make use of the stoves or heaters where available. Make sure your clothing and gear stay dry. If they get wet, air them out and place them in direct sunlight so they can dry quickly.
Maximize your tent space by placing sleeping bags close together. Your body heat helps keep each other warm in the night. If you’ve got kids, snuggle them as close as possible. This can help provide extra heat if needed.
If you’re short on camping gear, you can find tricks around the house that help keep you warm. Wear layers of clothing and wrap yourself up in a blanket inside the tent. A hot water bottle at your feet can also help keep you toasty.
What Not to Do
Avoid drinking alcohol as it’ll make you even colder in the end. Alcohol also disrupts your sleeping pattern and makes you more easily dehydrated. Exercise before going to bed as it helps keep your body warm. Likewise, avoid caffeine as this also makes you cold in the long run.
Now you’re ready to hit the campsite – happy camping!