Camping is no fun at all if it’s freezing and/or wet inside your tent the entire time. You’ll be quite uncomfortable and you could even end up catching a nasty cold!
If you’re a camper or even a backpacking hunter, you need to know how to stay warm in a tent. To do so, you need to know how to retain heat and dry off fast. This will allow you to have a pleasant outdoors experience any time of the year. So, in this article, we’re going to be going over some hacks for keeping your tent warm.
Once it’s time to get in the tent, a warm hat can make all the difference in staying warm.
1. Bring Along Warm, Comfortable Sleeping Clothes
When camping, it’s best to bring along a separate set of clothes for sleeping and store them in a stuff sack so that they’re always kept dry.
This should ideally include warm socks, base layers and a hat that can cover your ears. Make sure that none of the base layers are so tight that they prevent your blood from circulating properly!
When picking clothes, you’ll definitely want to go with those made of synthetic fibers and wool instead of cotton. This is because cotton is notorious for absorbing heat from your body, leaving you shivering when the temperatures drop.
2. Choose An Appropriate Sleeping Bag
Be sure that the sleeping bags you choose have a rating that is acceptable for the temperatures you will be camping in.
All sleeping bags will have a ‘lowest recommended temperature’ limit on their labels, which should help you determine whether it’s worth bringing along to the particular campsite you’re heading to.
For instance, if a sleeping bag’s limit is 45 degrees Fahrenheit, then it wouldn’t be ideal for camping in high altitudes, where temperatures may drop below freezing.
Just like with your pajamas, it’s important to keep your sleeping bag completely dry. When your body comes into contact with moisture, it can lose heat pretty quickly. Therefore, make sure you keep it stored in a stuff sack during the day.
3. Waterproof Your Tent
The bare minimum you could do is to spray water repellent on the roof of the tent and on the rainfly as well.
Since most leaks occur at the tent’s seams, you may want to invest in a good seam sealer as well. Keep in mind that not just any sealer will work on your tent’s fabric, so it’s best to do your research on what kind you need to buy.
Tents typically contain urethane coating which acts as a sealant against moisture. However, the coating tends to wear off over time. So, if your tent is a bit old, we recommend applying a brand new coat before setting out on your trip.
4. Get Yourself A Good Sleeping Mat
Be sure that your sleeping mat has an appropriate “R-value” so that your body heat loss will be minimal in a cold tent.
If you’re going camping during cold weather, keep in mind that the ground you’ll be sleeping on will be cold as well. While a sleeping bag will keep you elevated, it’s not going to be enough to keep you warm, certainly not as much as a good sleeping mat.
When buying a sleeping mat, it’s very important to pay attention to its ‘R-value’ which indicates how good it is at retaining heat.
A high R-value means you’ll lose less body heat when you’re lying on top of the sleeping pad. We recommend going for one with an R-value of at least 5.
5. Dress In Layers
Most campers only put on warm clothing when they start to feel cold. This is a huge mistake, because by then you’ve already lost a significant amount of body heat (hence why you’re feeling so cold in the first place).
So, the best thing to do is to put on the extra layers before night falls.
Thermal attire is absolutely essential when you’re camping in cold weather. So, bring along a fleece hoodie or a warm windbreaker and make sure to keep them dry at all times.
6. Cover Your Head And Feet
Did you know that most of your body heat is lost through your head? That’s why you should always cover your head with a warm beanie before you go to sleep inside the tent.
Similarly, we tend to lose a lot of heat through our feet as well. Hence, thick socks are a must to bring with you. It’s especially helpful to have a long pair that extends beyond your ankles.
7. Snuggle A Hot Water Bottle
Keeping a hot water bottle close to your body can help you stay warm in a tent.
An effective way to keep yourself warm at night is to fill a hot water bottle and hug it close to a cold spot on your body while you sleep. Make sure the water bottle is a secure one and that the lid can be closed tightly, so that you don’t end up burning yourself!
In addition, we recommend choosing a bottle that is BPA-free so that you can safely drink from it if you wake up thirsty in the middle of the night.
8. Help Yourself To A High-Fat Dinner
Eating food with high fat content can help you stay warm on cold camping nights.
This is like stuffing as much wood into the fire as you can before you go to sleep. A high-fat dinner or snack will give your body tons of fuel with which to generate heat, allowing you to sleep comfortably for longer.
9. Drink Enough Water
You won’t feel as thirsty when you’re camping out in cold weather. However, this doesn’t mean that your body needs less water!
Hot coffee is certainly enjoyable and cozy when camping, but you’ll still need to drink enough water to keep regular body functions like digestion and blood circulation running smoothly. At the same time, make sure you don’t go overboard with hydration. Otherwise, you’ll have to go outside several times in the middle of the night for bathroom breaks.
Final Thoughts On Staying Warm In A Tent
In this article, we’ve covered several different ways to retain heat and keep dry, from waterproofing your tent to staying hydrated.
If you plan to camp out in cold or rainy weather, be sure that you’ve got everything you need to keep your tent warm and dry. Staying warm will make for a very pleasant camping experience and more importantly, it will keep you from getting sick.