There’s an age-old theory that if you find yourself getting cold at night in your sleeping bag, it’s better to take the clothes off rather than layer up. Talk to any group of avid campers, especially an older generation, about being cold at night and at least one of them will suggest you wear too many layers. But doesn’t that go against everything we always talk about outdoors, the need to wear layers to stay warm?
Throughout the summer, you can usually get away with paying a little less attention to your clothes. Of course there are rules to follow, avoid cotton, wear active layers, but as fall arrives and the nights get colder, you will notice that the conditions affect you more. So, is there any truth to the idea that you should sleep naked in a sleeping bag?
How do sleeping bags work?
Sleeping bags are filled with down or synthetic fiber insulation that traps the heat generated by your body. This then creates what can be considered a micro-climate inside your sleeping bag, where warm air circulates around your body. This circulation is the root of the myth. People believe that if you don’t let the air circulate, your body won’t all benefit from the warmth inside the sleeping bag.
However, there is some truth in this theory. If you’re wearing too much or if your clothes are bulky enough to push against the outside of the sleeping bag, there’s no room for this micro-climate to build up. You need your sleeping bag to be able to inflate where the insulation has room to trap warm air and your bulky clothes pushing against this can prevent this from happening. It’s the same reason why if you have a sleeping bag that’s too tight in the toe box and your toes push against the toe, you’ll always wake up with cold feet.
Should you sleep naked in a sleeping bag?
This one is easy: no, you shouldn’t. This doesn’t mean you have to layer up in your sleeping bag, but regardless of the temperature, it’s generally a good idea to carry at least one pair of absorbent underwear for hygienic reasons. It also means that if you get caught out in the middle of the night and desperately need to leave your tent to answer nature’s call, you don’t have to scramble in the dark to find something. to throw away.
The only time it’s a good idea to carry nothing in your sleeping bag is when your clothes are all soaked. In this case, warmth and comfort trump hygiene and decency, but don’t forget to keep some clothes on hand for nighttime outings in the bushes. Wearing clothes in a sleeping bag certainly keeps you warm, as long as they are the right clothes, but they also help regulate temperature and humidity levels.
What to wear in a sleeping bag?
When looking for clothes to wear in a sleeping bag, it’s a good idea to follow general camping tips and clothing guidelines. The most important thing here is not to wear cotton which retains moisture and does not breathe and to ensure that you have a clean and dry set of clothes to sleep in. The best choice for sleeping when camping is to wear long merino wool underwear. and a merino wool base layer. Avoid bulky layers that press against the outside of your sleeping bag, but you can layer them within reason if you need more warmth.
Merino layers not only provide excellent warmth for their weight, but they also wick away moisture effectively. Most campers take care not to get wet from the outside (by re-waterproofing their tent and staying away from the sidewalls at night), but without moisture-wicking clothing you can get just as wet from the outside. inside. The moist air inside your sleeping bag cools more quickly in the early morning hours and can make you feel cold and uncomfortable.
Don’t forget the hat either. While the studies that have shown that we lose the majority of our head heat have been debunked, you should always keep a hat handy for those chilly nights. Any exposed areas of your body will spill heat into the tent, so put on the hat, and if you’re still cold, pull the drawstring on your sleeping bag hood.
Bonus tips for camping comfort
Wearing the right layers unfortunately does not guarantee a warm and comfortable night under the stars. Agreement camping sleep systems will keep you warm. These include everything from getting the right size tent to avoid having to heat up a company’s space, to properly pricing your sleeping bags. Don’t forget to also add a sleeping bag liner, this keeps your sleeping bag clean and can change your sleeping bag from a 2 season bag to a 3 season bag.
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