Tips for a Toasty Night’s Sleep

The Mountain Mail Order team shares their top tips for keeping cosy in the great outdoors...

There’s nothing worse than the endless torment of slowly freezing solid during the night because you didn’t properly prepare for your trip. Keep yourself comfy-cosy and give your body the shut-eye it needs to enjoy every second of your adventure with Mountain Mail Order’s tips for a toasty night in the great outdoors…

● Layer Your Sleep Set-Up

One of the best ways to stay warm is to create as much insulation as possible between you and the ground/air, and that means layering! This includes placing a ground sheet underneath your tent, using a sleeping bag liner, and layering up on sleeping pads. For this last tip, we recommend using a closed-cell foam pad underneath your standard mat not only to preserve warmth but also to protect against punctures.

MMO Recommends:
JR Gear Ultralight Ground Sheet
First Ascent Contour Sleeping Pad
Forclaz Inflatable Trekking Mattress
First Ascent Ultralight Self-Inflating Mattress
Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme Liner
Sea to Summit Reactor Thermalite Liner

● Ride the Thermals

If you want an extra cosy night, sleep in just your thermal base layers. The may seem counter-intuitive given the above advice, but wearing too many layers inside your sleeping bag can keep your body heat from filling the sleeping bag – so you’ll end up sweating away in a cold sleeping bag. SCIENCE. For comfort all-adventure-long, bring along one set of thermals for sleeping and one for activities.

MMO Recommends:
Core Merino Base Layers
Ice Breaker Base Layers

● Vent That Tent

Again, this may seem counter-intuitive, but having some air flowing through your tent will actually keep you warmer. If your tent has no ventilation, you breath (i.e. warm, moist air) will become trapped and condensate on the inside of your tent, either dripping on your or freezing solid if it’s cold enough.

● Bottle Up

This is a pretty well-known trick, and there’s good reason for that! By filling a Nalgene (or other heat-safe) bottle with hot water, you can keep yourself cosy all night long. Common beta is to place the bottle at the foot of your sleeping bag, but we recommend placing it by your hips to warm blood flowing to both the top and bottom half of your body.

● Choose Your Gear Wisely

Handy DIYs and extra layers will only take you so far if you are simply camping with the wrong gear. Virtually all sleeping bags and tents are rated with the type of conditions that they are designed for – if you are going to be battling snow and blizzards, get yourself a proper 4-season sleeping bag and a tent. Similarly, weigh the pros and cons of down vs synthetic gear. On the one hand, genuine down sleeping bags and jackets are very light and very warm, but will do little to keep you cosy if they get wet – synthetic down may be heavier and slightly less warm, but it is more affordable, cruelty-free and will provide slightly better insulation when wet.

MMO Recommends:
First Ascent Amplify Down 900 Sleeping Bag

● Get Reflective

For an extra boost of warmth, grab yourself a reflective sleeping bag and liner – any reflective material, such as that used for thermal and emergency blankets, reflects your own body heat back to you for maximum cosy.

● Eat Strategically

Keep your belly warm and cosy with meals high in protein and (healthy) fat. These kind of nutrient-dense foods take a fair amount of digestion, which in turn raises your core temperature. Refuel your body and kickstart a great night’s sleep with a fatty, protein-y dinner.

Pop into your local gear store to stock up on winter adventure essentials, and chat to the staff or check out the below blogs for more advice on staying warm, well-rested and ready to rock the great outdoors.

9 Tips for Staying Warm While Winter Camping from MSR
How to Build a Sleep System from Thermarest

Happy camping!