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6 Tips for Staying Warm and Comfortable While Camping

May 22, 2021

There are nearly as many camping styles and preferences as there are campsites in the Northwest. But if you’re planning to sleep under the stars or in a tent, you’ll want to plan ahead to stay warm all night. We’ve put together a few tips to keep you toasty and comfortable during the summer months.

How the Body Loses Heat

When you sweat at night (we all do), that liquid on your clothing can cause your body temperature to drop. If you can reduce the amount you sweat, you can stay warmer. Additionally, when you touch the ground or another cold source (such as the side of a tent), you can lose heat. Sleeping on a pad or cot can help a lot.


Start with the Right Sleeping Bag and Pad

A sleeping bag rated for 0º F is a safe bet for most Northwest summer camping trips. But if you want to stay extra warm, buy yourself a bag rated below zero degrees. Fleece-lined sleeping bag liners can also help keep you warm. Just avoid getting too hot, as explained earlier.

Coastal tip: Open up your sleeping bag during the day and allow it to dry. A damp bag can result in a cold night.

The ground can be cold. So, whether you’re sleeping in a tent or on the ground, adding a sleeping pad or a closed-cell foam pad under your bag can keep heat in and the cold out.


Say No to Air Mattresses

The air inside an air mattress will remain at the same temperature as the air outside. Therefore, if it’s near freezing at your campsite, you’ll be sleeping on a near-freezing mattress. That won’t keep you warm. Plus, the colder the air gets in the mattress, the more it can deflate. By morning, you could be sleeping on the ground.


Ventilate Your Tent

As you breathe at night, the condensation from your exhale can condense inside the tent, causing dampness. And that dampness can make you a lot colder. Simply open some of the vents on your tent to allow that moisture to escape during the night.


Wear the Right Clothing to Bed

Your silk pajamas aren’t going to cut it when you’re camping. Besides, if you have to get up during the night to visit the bathroom, you’ll want to be dressed from head to toe to stay warm.

Start with your head. A lot of the warmth in your body escapes from your head. Wearing a knit cap to bed is a smart choice. Or get a sleeping bag that wraps around the top of your head, exposing only your face. Your pajamas also make a difference. Synthetic wool or long underwear can be good options.


Additionally, wear clean and dry socks to bed every night. Don’t wear the socks from the previous day, if you can help it. The fresh pair will help you sleep better and stay warmer.  

Coastal tip: Need to add some extra warmth to your sleeping bag? Add dry clothing to the inside of your bag.

Eat Something Before Bedtime

Digestion will warm your insides, and that can generate heat. Some higher-calorie foods can take longer to digest, which means you’ll generate more heat for a longer period of time.


Coastal Has Your Camping Supplies

Your Northwest owned and operated Coastal has aisles of camping and outdoor gear to make your next camping trip a success. Stop by and check out the sleeping bags, tarps, camping chairs and stoves, fishing poles and tackle, rain gear, boots, and socks, as well as freeze-dried food to take on your next adventure.