Keeping cozy while camping can be a real problem during the winter. Nothing will keep you from getting comfortable like a brisk breeze creeping through your tent. If you’re not willing to give up the Great Outdoors just because of a little snowfall here are some hacks that’ll help keep you warm, and rested.
Warmth originates from within the body and sleeping bags work by bouncing that heat back toward you to keep you warm. Right before bed do a little exercise to help get that blood pumping and your body heat rising. Jumping jacks, pushups or a quick jog are all great options. Just don’t run so hard that you sweat.
Eat Fatty Foods
During digestion the body increases energy in the body, thus helping to raise internal temperatures. The higher the healthy fat content in the food, the more energy required to successfully digest it. The process is known as diet-induced thermogenesis. It’s actually a little more complicated than that, but the point is that if you want to keep yourself warm while camping at night eating a hearty meal high in healthy fats is a good way to do so. The body takes hours to full digest foods with high fat content, which can give your internal temps a boost for most of the night.
If you’re trying to warm up while hiking to your campsite you can do so by adding some insulation to your outfit. Homeless people have developed a knack for coming up with ingenious ways of staying warm, one of which is packing themselves with newspaper. It’s a great trick that anyone can use. Stuff old newspaper inside of your coat and jeans. It’s not the most comfortable thing in the world but it works in a pinch.
Stay Off the Ground
One of the best ways to keep warm is to stay off the ground. It might seem like common sense, but many people don’t always take this into consideration. The ground is cold and damp during the winter months and that lack of heat can quickly transfer to your body upon exposure. Avoid sitting on rocks and place multiple layers between your sleeping bag and the floor of your tent when possible.
Toast Your Thighs
Did you know there’s an artery in your thighs that helps regulate your body’s internal temperature? You can utilize this artery by placing something warm in between your legs while you sleep. Boiling water and putting it in a thermos is a great way to add a little heat down below. Just don’t put anything down there that could cause burns or, you know, set your tent on fire.
Drinking alcohol might seem like a great way to unwind after a good hike, but it can have disastrous affects on the body. Most importantly, it can lead to dehydration, which can throw your entire body out of whack. One of the symptoms of dehydration is that the body loses its ability to regulate temperature leading you to either feel too hot or too cold, without really knowing whether your body is warm or not. Leave the booze at home and allow nature to help you unwind instead.
Shake the Bag
Understanding how a sleeping bag actually works can mean the difference between shivering through the night and getting much needed rest. They help keep you warm by trapping pockets of air and preventing it from circulating. That air is then warmed by your own body heat and wraps you up in a cocoon. When unrolling your sleeping bag or the night be sure to shake it out well, starting from the bottom, to increase the air inside.