Going Winter Camping? Is It Warmer to Sleep in the Nude?

By Chad Taylor on December 8, 2015

Some people think that stripping down before they get in that sleeping bag will help them keep warm and cozy as the temperature dips. True or not? NOT! According to outdoor experts, nude is not warmer. So if you’re going camping this winter, here are seven tips to keep you nice and warm in that sleeping bag.

  1. Layer up! You hear about dressing for the cold all the time. It works in the sleeping bag too. Layers of clothing trap heat and keep you warmer. You want to be comfortable — so not too many layers. A layer or two should be enough but don’t forget the sock and a hat. Sleep well – and warm!
  2. One exception! If your clothes are wet or sweaty, naked might be better if you don’t have something dry to change into. Moisture takes heat away from your body quickly. So, if you can’t get dry – get naked.
  3. Buy the right bag. Make sure your sleeping bag is rated for the lowest temperature possible in the area where you’re camping. A summer sleeping bag won’t keep you warm on a winter night.
  4. Get comfortable. And, get away from that hard, COLD ground. Use an inflatable sleeping pad or a closed cell foam pad. You’ll have a better sleeping surface and a layer between you and the cold ground.
  5. Your feet count. Keeping your feet warm will help keep you warm because when they’re warm, there’s a smaller cold area that your body has to work to keep cozy. An old-fashioned hot water bottle is fabulous, but it it’s not practical, take some of your extra clothing (nothing with moisture) and stuff the bottom of the bag. Your feet can burrow in and stay warm.
  6. Get ready for bed. First, eat a snack for some extra energy to help your body keep warm throughout the night. Next, warm yourself up a little. Jog around the campsite or do a few jumping jacks. Do NOT work up a sweat! Just warm up your inner core.
  7. Bears do it. And, so should you. If you feel that urge to use the woods for nature’s call, do it. In the long run, you’ll sleep better and you’ll actually be warmer as your body doesn’t have to keep that internal liquid warm.

If you’ve given camping on the cold, hard ground some thought as you read these hints, here’s another alternative. Take the money you’d have to spend to get ready for winter camping and buy yourself a new latex mattress for your bedroom. Latex is cool in the summer and comfy in the winter and it you’ll wake up feeling much more rested than if you slept on that cold, hard ground.