Here’s the scenario: you’re in the backcountry, tucked into your sleeping bag, and you just can’t warm up. What do you do?
Eat something fatty, sweet, and delicious: introducing a pop of sugar into your system will heat you up. It’s not a sustained burn, but the extra warmth can be enough to make a significant difference.
Layer spare clothes, emergency blankets, socks, gloves, and other items under your sleeping pad. Try to keep it as even as possible for obvious reasons--you don’t want to get warm only to sleep on lumps and bumps! Any additional insulation between you and the cold or frozen ground will give you a boost in warmth. If you can, add a little additional layer where your hips, butt, and feet touch the ground.
Stuff extra clothes and soft goods into your sleeping bag to take up empty space. The less air pockets there are, the less heat you have to generate to warm them up.
Take any extra puffy jackets or vests you might have and zip them around your feet for toasty toes.
Fill a nalgene or water bottle with boiling water and put inside your sleeping bag. Make sure it’s FULLY closed first--the only thing worse than being cold in the alpine is being wet and cold in the alpine!
Wiggle! Don’t go too hard or you’ll end up sweating, but wiggle just enough to generate a little extra heat!
Things to consider:
One of the best ways to avoid the above scenario is by preparing for bedtime carefully. This means going to bed warm, but not sweaty. It means changing your wet, sweaty clothes out for a designated dry pair before bed, when space in your pack allows. It means keeping a clean, dry pair of socks in your sleeping bag and never letting them leave the tent. More on all of this later!
What are your favorite tips and tricks for staying warm? Let’s hear them!