Sleeping outside under the stars is something everyone should experience at least once. However, there are a few fundamental survival hacks you should follow before heading out into the wild with nothing more than a mummy sleeping bag.
Here are 7 Sleeping Bag Tips You Should Know
Always Shake Out Your Sleeping Bag
Humans aren't the only ones who feel comfortable in a nice comfy cocoon. Your bag is prime real estate for snakes, spiders, and scorpions. Always shake out your sleeping bags and clothing before putting them on. You don't want to wake up Mr. Scoprion with a barefoot.
Wear Dry Clothing
If you spent the day working up a sweat enjoying the outdoors, it's best to slip on a dry pair of clothes before you retire for the evening. If you can, rinse yourself off or wipe yourself down. Even small amounts of sweat can drain your body heat. Now add that cold night air to the equation and you'll be pretty miserable. Use it has an opportunity to make a paracord clothes line to dry your gear.
image source sierratradingpost.com
Putting on too many layers can be counter productive, especially if you're using a mummy bag (since they generally fit tighter). Instead, make sure your hands, head, and feet are bundled up. You lose more heat through your extremities so keeping these warm are more important than layers on your core.
Use a Sleeping Pad
There are three types of sleeping pads - self-inflating, air, and closed-cell foam. When car camping, weight is not an issue, so you can enjoy a thicker, wider pad or mattress for comfort. When backpacking, weight is crucial, so a super-lightweight air pad or closed-cell pad may be your optimal choice. The lighter pads do not have the same insulation so they won't be able to keep your warm on frozen ground, but it will still be much better than sleeping right on the ground.
Pee Before You Sleep
Image source Outside Magazine
Getting up in the middle of the night to empty your bladder isn't fun. First, you have to get dressed and second - you've gotta try to do everything one handed.
Have a Light or Lantern Nearby
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Keep a flashlight or lantern within reach just in case. You may have had one too many beverages, making nature call even if you did take care of business before laying down. Also, having a high lumen flashlight in your tent is good because they can scare critters and predators that might have started getting too close.
Be Prepared for Cold Nights
Use portable hand warmers in the foot of your sleeping bag on cold nights. If you don't have hand warmers, you can fill up a water bottle with hot water. The heat will radiate through the bottle and heat up your bag. Keep your hand cinched tight to keep the heat in.
Recommended for overnight backpacking