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Subject Topic: Keeping warm at night in the tent!
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Message posted by GarciasMuffin17/9/2016 at 12:23pm
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Hi,

We're new to camping (started a couple of months ago), but this was one of our concerns as I absolutely hate being cold at night. We bought electrically heated duvets (king size for us and single for our daughter). No problems so far although we haven't camped in 'proper' cold yet. You can set the heat on either side of the king size to that persons preference and it has a timer which you can set for up to 9 hours of heating (so you don't forget to turn it off and heat all day).

They're called a Dreamland Sleepwell I believe.

We've also purchased a ceramic heater for the all other times which fortunately we haven't had to use yet.

P.S Hello to one and all :)

Message posted by kavsak22/9/2016 at 5:41pm
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I can't believe that people have so much clutter and still can't keep warm.

I use the same SIM (Thermarest XTherm) all year round, possibly supplemented by a good foam mat underneath if there is snow on the ground. March to November (ish), I use a down quilt with a comfort rating of 4 degrees. The rest of the year a -15 down bag. I only ever sleep in shorts and a merino top at most. Camping on the beach in the Hebrides in January at -9 and with a full westerly gale, I was too hot.

As for age being an issue - I was 80 this year.

Stop wrapping yourself up in useless layers. Duvets, blankets, and especially air beds or cotton clothing are a complete waste of time. Stick to wool and down with a good insulating layer underneath and you can't go wrong.

Above all, keep active and eat before going to bed. Your body needs fuel to keep you warm through the night.

Post last edited on 22/09/2016 18:41:53

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If you don't need to wear ALL of your clothes at least once to keep warm, you've brought too many.

Message posted by hankakampa22/9/2016 at 6:13pm
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Quote: Originally posted by kavsak on 22/9/2016
I can't believe that people have so much clutter and still can't keep warm.

I use a the same SIM (Thermarest XTherm) all year round, possibly supplemented by a good foam mat underneath if there is snow on the ground. March to November (ish), I use a down quilt with a comfort rating of 4 degrees. The rest of the year a -15 down bag. I only ever sleep in shorts and a merino top at most. Camping on the beach in the Hebrides in January at -9 and with a full westerly gale, I was too hot.

As for age being an issue - I was 80 this year.

Stop wrapping yourself up in useless layers. Stick to wool and down with a good insulating layer underneath and you can't go wrong.

Duvets, blankets, and especially air beds or cotton clothing are a complete waste of time.



well said! - i agree!

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Message posted by VangoMan0222/9/2016 at 8:42pm
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I think it would be fair to say we are all different. Some feel the cold more than others.
Some wear pyjamas or thermals and some in their birthday suit.
Some find a lightweight 3 season bag is sufficient in 6 feet of snow , others don't?

What I am trying to say again, is that we are all different in how we feel the cold and how we cope with it.

We are not all Bear Grylls or his brother bacon grills


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Message posted by kavsak23/9/2016 at 6:34am
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I quite agree that we all feel the cold differently. Women certainly tend to feel the cold about 5 degrees before men do.

However, what a lot of people don't seem to realise is that adequate insulation underneath you is at least as important as above. Regardless of how much insulation is underneath your bed, sleeping directly on an airbed or camp bed is equivalent to throwing off the covers. Good insulation in the form of a SIM or a proper sleeping mat is important. Laminate floor underlay or radiator insulation can boost a cheaper SIM. A duvet underneath you will be compressed and thus not very warm.

Use an airbed as well if you want a bit of a softer bed, but regard it as a convenience, not an essential. Some hardy souls have been known to sleep on nothing but bubble wrap!

The majority of major camping suppliers do not help as their SIMs and sleeping bags are designed for summer use only. The important figure for a SIM is the r value which is a measure of its insulation. You should aim for a figure of at least 3. The majority appear to be about 1 or less, and are often not quoted at all. Think about the difference in warmth between sleeping on polythene or polystyrene.

Sleeping bag temperatures are also often misrepresented by quoting the extreme limit temperature. This is the temperature at which you should just about avoid hyperthermia. For example you may find that a bag quoted as 0 degrees actually has a lower comfort level of about 10. The comfort figure is the only one that matters.

Women need a warmer bag than men. If you still feel cold, wear a light fleece or down jacket. Warm socks can make big difference.

Bear in mind that sleeping bags / quilts are no different to cool boxes. You need to be warm when you get in. Run round the tent a few times or do something active inside.

With a little bit of research, you can assemble a sleep system that is good to -5 degrees, weighs less than two pounds and takes up about as much room as two one litre bottles. Only twice the size if you go for double mats and bags.
If nothing else, avoid cotton clothing and bedding at all costs. It will not keep you warm.

Post last edited on 23/09/2016 06:51:15

Post last edited on 23/09/2016 07:48:05

Post last edited on 23/09/2016 07:48:18

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If you don't need to wear ALL of your clothes at least once to keep warm, you've brought too many.

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Message posted by PaulaMB23/9/2016 at 7:51am
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Kavsak - people come to camping for many different reasons and often make do with the things they have/can from home to reduce the initial spend. Nothing wrong with taking duvets and all that lark if that is what you want to do and it works for you (and you have the room of course!).

The opening poster is fairly new to camping and wanted a few simple tips on how to keep warm not how to be an intrepid backpacking explorer.

The sort of technical lightweight, compact gear you mention in your penultimate paragraph costs a fortune, I know, we have some. Not something that most people would buy, especially for a family.

Message posted by Nellie7223/9/2016 at 7:55am
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soft bobble hats. You lose most of your body heat through your head, you could pop on a beanie just before you go to bed & the difference is really noticeable

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Message posted by kavsak23/9/2016 at 8:04am
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Fair enough. My take on camping is rather extreme, but the same principles apply.

The bottom line is put the duvet on top of you and proper insulation immediately below you - and wear a bobble hat.

Post last edited on 23/09/2016 08:14:01

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If you don't need to wear ALL of your clothes at least once to keep warm, you've brought too many.

Message posted by MPSGSY24/9/2016 at 8:08pm
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I have just returned from 3 weeks camping in 7 of the national parks South West USA, I last did this 35 years ago when I was 20 and wow did I notice the difference in age and my ability to keep warm this time!

for 16 of 18 nights I froze even though I was using 2 sleeping bags (1 inside other), air mattress, fleece blanket, beanie hat and fully clothed!

Air temp during the day was always 25c+ but at night dropped to around -1 to +4 (similar to the standard range of temps used in most domestic fridges!)

The 2 nights I slept very well the air temp was about 15c

Having read through this post, it has helped clarify why I felt the cold so badly and possible remedial action I can take for next time!

Thanks for the variety of ideas that I will need to consider as and when I come to the UK for a tour...


Message posted by Ewen c24/9/2016 at 8:28pm
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Quote: Originally posted by MPSGSY on 24/9/2016
I have just returned from 3 weeks camping in 7 of the national parks South West USA, I last did this 35 years ago when I was 20 and wow did I notice the difference in age and my ability to keep warm this time!

for 16 of 18 nights I froze even though I was using 2 sleeping bags (1 inside other), air mattress, fleece blanket, beanie hat and fully clothed!

Air temp during the day was always 25c+ but at night dropped to around -1 to +4 (similar to the standard range of temps used in most domestic fridges!)

The 2 nights I slept very well the air temp was about 15c

Having read through this post, it has helped clarify why I felt the cold so badly and possible remedial action I can take for next time!

Thanks for the variety of ideas that I will need to consider as and when I come to the UK for a tour...





I feel the cold much more than 30 years ago. Then it was a four season bag on a karrimat in a tent on the snow. Now it is a 5 season bag with fleece liner, hat and insulated air mat. My nose always gets cold too.
Another way to keep warm is to get the smallest tent you can get away with. you'll be much warmer in a wee tent than a big tent.

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