September 10, 2021 2 min read

Whether you have a new spanking sleeping bag, or you rely on an old trusty bag to keep you warm on your backpacking trips, we have some tips on how to help your sleeping bag keep you warm and toasty:

  1. Avoid Major Causes of Heat Loss – You can add to the warmth and defend against heat loss by using a sleeping liner, an insulating pad, a good tent, and finding the right campsite.


Your body emits a natural heat, and your sleeping bag keeps it intact for you. You could crank up the temperature a wee bit by adding an insulating pad that could add up to `15 degrees Fahrenheit, and keep the inside of your bag cleaner, too.


Furthermore, sleeping in an open area with cold air surrounding you could whisk away heat. Hence, sleeping inside an enclosed area—like a quality tent—could keep your warmth from escaping like a thief in the night.


  1. Defend Yourself from Other Causes of Heat Loss – By wearing dry clothes, covering your head, and taking a pee before sleeping, you could help keep yourself warm inside your sleeping bag.


Moisture from sweaty and damp clothes saps away heat and puts you at risk for hypothermia, so always sleep in warm and dry clothing. Also, opt for wool or synthetic underwear over cotton, since the former tends to wick away moisture from the body.


Your body keeps everything inside you warm—including your pee. Hence, it is also using up precious energy to make sure you don’t pee icicles. Keep your drinking to a minimum so your body doesn’t have to heat up too much liquid, and empty your bladder before hitting the hay.


  1. Add Warmth – Eating foods high in carbs, exercising lightly before sleeping, and sharing body heat could help you get through a chilly night.


Fuel up on complex carbohydrates, like energy bars with whole grains. They keep a steady amount of heat for you as your body slowly digests them.


If you are backpacking with your significant other, spooning could do wonders for you both emotionally and physically as it would keep you both warm throughout the night.


Lastly, you could do some very light exercises like a few crunches before sleep to produce body heat, but not so much that you already sweat.

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