Keeping warm is one of the biggest worries for people sleeping in the outdoors. To keep you cosy warm this winter we have put our heads together and come up with a few great tips on keeping warm while camping this winter.


Go to bed warm

Sitting around a toasty camp fire is one of the most enjoyable things about camping and as a bonus it will warm you up. If you’re not lucky to have a camp fire a spot of exercise like some star jumps or jogging on the spot will get the blood flowing. Going to bed warm will help you warm up your sleeping bag quickly and you will have a toasty warm sleep.

Wear a beanie, gloves and socks

If you get cold feet and hands put on a beanie. If your feet or hands are still cold put on some gloves & lose fitting clean socks.

Caroline Gleich/Patagonia

Loft up your sleeping bag

To take full advantage of your sleeping bag its best to lay it out and give it a shake well before you want to go to bed. Doing so will allow the sleeping bag to loft (puff) up and give the bag its best chance to keep you warm.

Sleep off the ground

Sleeping directly on the ground is a sure way to have a cold and miserable sleep with the ground conducting your body warmth away. Using an insulated sleeping mat will keep you off the ground and provide a warm sleep.


Hot water bottle

Fill your water bottle up with hot water, wrap it in a spare shirt and pop it in the sleeping bag 10 minutes before you do. Added bonus of doing this is that if you get thirsty at 3 in the morning you will have some water close by.

Sleep in some clothes

Were not talking about a Victoria’s Secret nightie here but sleeping in a fresh set of Merino or synthetic thermals will help you stay toasty, as a bonus they will also keep your sleeping bag clean from body oils and grime from the days activity. I keep a spare set for sleeping in only and keep them stored in a dry bag for peace of mind. However don’t get tricked into putting on to many layers, as your body will struggle to warm them and your sleeping bag up.

DCIM100GOPROG0203781.Jack & Georgie all layered up for a chilly night on the Larapinta

Go to the loo

Go to the loo before you go to bed. If you wake up and need to go in the middle of the night, go! Holding on all night will make you cold as you body now has to try and keep a full bladder warm as well.

Use a liner

Using a sleeping bag liner will add an extra layer and help keep you warm. If your sleeping bag isn’t quite warm enough but you don’t want to shell out for a new bag, Sea To Summit’s Reactor Liner can boost your sleeping bags warmth by a good number of degrees.

Keep hydrated

Keep hydrated throughout the day as a hydrated body is a warm body.

image 23Photo @wilderphoto @PatagoniaAus


Have a slow burning snack just before you go to bed (don’t forget to brush your teeth though). Burning the extra calories overnight will help fuel the furnace.

With all of these tips in mind you are sure to have a great nights sleep whatever the temperature & if you have any of your own feel free to add them to the comments section below.

Chris Burkard

About The Author

Dave Casey

Dave has worked as an International Expedition Leader and in Outdoor Education for over 15 years. He has extensive travel and guiding experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, South/North America and Europe. In his spare time Dave is a keen bushwalker, mountain biker and climber while also dabbling in some mountaineering and sea kayaking. He is currently working at Paddys as the National Account Manager, to fund all of the above.

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