When you go camping, you end up compiling a lifetime’s worth of memories, get closer to nature, and also end up doing a lot of self-reflection.
However, sometimes these experiences can be dampened by terribly cold weather conditions, and you end up spending a lot of your time trying to figure out how you are going to survive the night, rather than enjoying the moment.
So, in order to keep yourself warm, here is a list of tips and tricks to help you out the next time you go camping in a cold area.
1. Eat Heavy
Eating heavy food can help keep you warm, so avoid picky diets while you are out camping. Foods which are particularly rich in fat and carbohydrates are usually the ones which help raise your body temperature.
Some ways to easily make your meal richer is by adding butter or peanut butter to whatever dish you will be preparing. Other dishes which will be able to increase your body temperature are chili, avocado, chocolates, and sweet potatoes.
2. Stay Hydrated
Not drinking a sufficient amount of water can affect your body in many ways, including your body temperature. Blood flow is what keeps your body warm, and when you are not adequately hydrated, the flow of blood slows down. This, in turn, will result in you feeling colder.
So, think twice before you decide on not finishing your bottle of water because it is too cold outside. On the other hand, some other ways of staying hydrated is by eating foods that are rich in water, and avoiding alcohol, which is a very dehydrating beverage.
3. Invest in a Good Sleeping Bag
For people who are new to camping, the idea of having different sleeping bags for different conditions might be surprising. There are sleeping bags for various types of weather conditions, different comfort levels, and some are also gender specific.
One of the most important things to do is to get yourself a sleeping bag for winter camping. Even if it is a bit expensive, get something of good quality, or else you may end up getting sick.
You can also purchase sleeping bags that are catered to your body shape or gender. If a sleeping bag hugs your body perfectly, it warms up faster and leaves less room for pockets of cold air to form.
4. Keep a Warm Bottle in Your Bed
While you are tucked in your warm sleeping bag, keep one or two bottles of hot water, or hot bags inside. This will help warm up your sleeping bag faster because the heat from the bottles will stay trapped.
Furthermore, another trick is to strategically place the bottles. There is an artery which runs in your thighs, and placing something warm there will help your warm up. So, you can place it between your thighs and forget about the cold.
5. Wear Proper Clothes
It is a given that you should wear warm clothes to bed to stay warm, but there are tactics to this as well to keep you warm
A. Wear Dry Clothes
It is better to exclude socks entirely rather than going to bed with slightly damp socks. Wet clothes will not only make you feel colder and slow down the warming process, they can also make you sick.
You should also keep wet items entirely out of your tent, not just your sleeping bag, because it can cause condensation.
B. Do Not Layer Clothes
Clothes and sleeping bags alike, trap the body heat you produce to keep you warm. The problem is that when you wear too many layers of clothes, it gets harder for your body temperature to reach the sleeping bag.
Additionally, if you suddenly start feeling too hot, it will be difficult to get out of all those sweaters while trying to wriggle out of a sleeping bag.
So, keep it simple and trust your sleeping bag to keep you warm.
C. Don’t Skip Accessories
Before going to bed, do not forget to put a hat or beanie on to keep your head and ears warm. You should also put on warm socks and gloves to protect your toes and fingers. These parts of the body are more prone to frostbite so, you will notice that they are the part which seem to hurt the most when you are out in the cold.
6. Use a Sleeping Bag Liner
A sleeping bag liner adds extra insulation, and so, can increase the temperature of your sleeping arrangements. Throughout the night, the temperature might fluctuate, so it is a good accessory to keep around when the need for more insulation arises.
7. Warm Up Before Going to Bed
As previously mentioned, warm clothes will use your own body heat to keep you warm. However, if your body does not emit enough warmth, then it will be more difficult to stay warm.
So, before going to bed, you should do some exercises to get your blood flowing. This will help you stay a lot warmer once you layer up.
However, make sure not to sweat too much before bed, because the sweat is basically moisture, which will not be able to evaporate. This will leave you with damp clothes and a chill.
8. Call it a Night
You can opt for going to bed early as, the deeper you go into the night, the colder it will get. So, if you go to bed as soon as the sun sets with all your proper gear on and measures taken, it will be easier for you to fall asleep.
Camping should be a memorable experience to cherish forever. On the other hand, this memory can quickly turn sour if your only memory of it is of suffering, or even illness because from the weather conditions.
So, next time you go camping, do not let the weather conditions stop you from creating great memories, and use these tricks to keep yourself warm.