Sleeping Well at a -20 C
(Oh, yes you can!)
Sleeping systems don't heat themselves. They only slow the escape of your own body heat.
- Stuff one sleeping bag inside another.
- A second bag moves the condensation point away from your primary bag.
- Fluff your bag(s) well, and long before needing it.
- Use two foam mattresses.
My wife and 8-year old daughter enjoying a quinzhee. Note the sleep system: snow, groundsheet, closed-cell foam, thermorest, two sleeping bags and the balaclava.
Click for larger image. 28k
- poly fleece bag liners can give you another 5 degress.
- poly fleece bag liners feel warmer than nylon at 20 below.
- Try a "space blanket" shinny side up as a ground sheet.
- Use a camp or wool blanket as an underpad.
- Hollow out an indentation in the snow so you don't "slide around" at night.
- Make sure there is lots of snow below you. Snow is good insulation.
- Wear clean/dry top, long-johns and socks to bed.
- Always wear a light balaclava to bed - toques fall off.
- Wrap a spare shirt about your neck. Most draft tubes could use the help.
- Put your parka under your bag for extra insulation from the ground, or
My 8-year old daughter and 6-year old son keeping dad warm while cold-tent camping. Night temperatures around a minus 15C.
Click for larger image. 22k
- Use your parka over your bag for warmth.
- Put your spare dry clothes at the bottom of your bag. They'll help keep your feet warm and be warm the next morning.
- Do not breathe into your sleeping bag. The moisture will condense in your bag.
- Never, never climb into a sleeping bag wearing anything damp, strip if you must.
- Get warm before you climb into your bag.
- Just before bed try jumping jacks or running in place to warm up.
- Try muscle-tensing exercising inside the bag to generate warmth.
- A small amount of gorp eaten shortly before bed stoke your body's furnace well.
- Keep a small amount of gorp nearby to help out if you wake at night.
- Keep yourself well hydrated but don't drink right before bedtime.
- Don't forget caffeine is a diuretic.
- Always go for a pee before crawling into bed.