Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Tuesday Tip - getting a warm night's sleep

This week’s Tuesday tip is about sleep again! No one is on good form unless they sleep well. So today I’ll give you a few tips on staying warm.
Staying cool is easy, you open up as much of the tent as you can and lay on top of, not in, your sleeping bag, wearing as little as possible. Staying warm is trickier. So here are my top tips.
Even in summer it can be cold at night so don’t assume you won’t need these tips just because you are camping in August

  • Use a quality sleeping bag, not the cheapest one you can get at the supermarket. Down is (apparently) wonderful if you can afford it. If not do unroll the bag early and give it a good shake to give it time to puff up. (air your bag during the day too to keep it dry and fresh) 
  • At home you are toastily sandwiched between an insulating mattress and a duvet. When camping it’s easy to forget that camping beds/inflatables/roll mats etc have little in the way of insulation. On a chilly night try adding something (blanket, silver sided roll mat) under you as well as over you. 
  • Don’t be afraid to take extra blankets or throws. There are many microfiber options that are both light to carry and good for insulation. They are also handy around the campfire of an evening for keeping your knees warm. 
  • Wear a hat. Even though lots of bags offer a hood option I find wearing a hat really helps on a cold night. I also like a warm neck so I sometimes wear a snood! But take care – I don’t want you to strangle yourself, a roll neck jumper would also work. 
  • Onesies are excellent for warmth, you can wear thermals under them if necessary and they prevent cool kidneys because they can’t ride up like a pyjama top would. 
  • Socks. Warm feet are an essential to a good night’s sleep – I reviewed some great socks a while ago. Pack some cosy bedsocks. 
  • Have a hot drink before bed so at least you start off with heat to spare! Getting warm once you’ve become cold is harder than staying warm from the outset. 
  • You could make a hotwater bottle (I tried that once, had a leak and have never done it again!) or use a heat pack (you can buy one off heat packs at chemists and online) 
  • But under no circumstances take smouldering BBQs into the tent to ‘use up the last of the heat’ they give off carbon monoxide which is a heavy gas that your lungs choose over oxygen, you will die in your sleep! They are not safe even in the living or porch area. 
  • If you use a tent heater (I don’t) ensure you read all the safety info and only use it as suggested. 
  • Keep everything dry – it seems common sense but being dry will keep you warm. If you are worried that the tent might leak on your sleeping bag while you are out all day, pack things into black bin liners as a precaution. 

DD having a hot snack before bed in the tent in October
Sleep well!

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