Mammoth Lakes may be known for its winter snow, but there is enough camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities in the area to keep outdoors enthusiasts active all year long. Even if you’re camping in the summer though, the high elevation could mean you end up shivering at night instead of resting under the stars.
To help you avoid losing sleep to the cold at any time of the year, the ASO Mammoth team has put together a list of tips to keeping warm while camping that apply to cool summer nights as well as frigid winter mornings. While other tips and ideas may be better suited for extreme cold, for this list we’ve focused on warming techniques that can be used year-round. Check out our tips and warm up today!
Heated Water Bottle
If you’re camping and feel a cold snap coming, prepare yourself by filling a bottle with water and heating it before bedtime. This trick works best if you have an insulated sleeping bag, but the main idea here is to hug the warm water bottle to an area near a major artery or other area that will help you spread the heat throughout your body. Your inner thighs, neck, or stomach are all good examples of these areas. If you have an insulated sleeping bag and use the hot water bottle technique, then the heat will create a sauna-like effect inside your sleeping bag and further help you keep your core temperature up. We should note that if you begin to sweat then you should remove the water bottle as moisture will only make you colder in the long run.
Keep Your Clothes Dry in Your Sleeping Bag
No matter what the temperature is, you want to keep yourself and your gear dry. One method to keep your clothes safe from moisture is to store your clothes in your sleeping bag at night.
Not only will this method keep your clothes dry, but it will add an extra layer of insulation to your sleeping bag and keep you warm all night long.
Keep Your Tent Ventilated
As we said, moisture and cold air are a bad combination. When sleeping inside a tent, moisture naturally builds in the compact space, (especially if you have multiple people sleeping inside) so the best practice to keep warm is to keep your tent ventilated. Although potentially allowing cold air inside your tent will seem counterintuitive, the flow of air will keep moisture from building, and a dry camper is a happy camper.
Along the same lines, if morning frost is forming on your tent make sure to knock it off before it thaws. If you don’t then the frost will thaw into water that drips onto you and your gear and makes the task of keeping warm that much harder.
Plan Out Your Bathroom Trips
We all know how hard it is to leave the warmth and comfort of your sleeping bag to make a bathroom trip into the cold night air, but the reasons to avoid nighttime bathroom trips don’t stop there.
When you need to pee but hold it in instead, your body is actually burning calories in order to keep your urine warm. As a result, holding it in can result in you losing heat. You should always use the bathroom before you go to bed or limit your liquid intake before bed to avoid this problem, but if you find yourself with no choice then there are other options. While there are products on the market to make going pee in your tent easier, all you really need is a bottle that you trust to not leak and steady aim.