1. Layer Under Your Sleeping Bag1 of 8
In colder temperatures, utilizing several layers of clothing is the best way to trap heat and stay warm. The same is true inside your tent, since the ground beneath you will absorb the heat you create. While a thick mat roll beneath your sleeping bag can help to negate some of this, using a blanket or two as extra layers in between you and the ground can help keep you even warmer on those really chilly nights.
2. Eat Up2 of 8
The bigger the meal, the more calories your body will have to use as energy to regulate body temperature and stay warm. Plan to enjoy heavy meals like biscuits and gravy or beef stew that will leave you feeling satisfied. At night, have snacks handy to combat dropping temperatures.
Don't forget to drink enough fluids. Staying hydrated is essential to keep your core temperature elevated. Warm beverages like coffee, tea and hot chocolate are fine every now and then, just make sure you don't skimp on your water intake. Alcohol will dehydrate you, so just say no to that extra gulp of whiskey, no matter how warm (and fuzzy) it makes you feel.
3. Choose Your Campsite Carefully3 of 8
While the top of a hill with the perfect view of the mountains or that spot down by the river seem like ideal choices, choosing your campsite wisely can make a big difference in how warm you are at night. Here are a few tips to help you pick a good spot:
• Stay away from bodies of water as the air will be cooler
• Avoid summits that are open with little tree coverage, particularly if wind is an issue
• Try to choose an area with boulders, trees and other natural features that will keep you out of the wind's way.
4. Get Moving4 of 8
If you're shivering before you get in your tent, chances are you're going to continue shivering once you crawl inside. While you'll want to avoid working up a sweat, doing some jumping jacks, pushups or a few other exercises to elevate your body temperature will keep your body from cooling too much while you sleep.
5. Splurge on the Right Camping Gear5 of 8
Do not pinch pennies by purchasing a cheap jacket, tent or sleeping bag. A $300 down jacket will keep you warmer than that $50 polyester puffer that doesn't actually work. Keep these things in mind when purchasing cold weather gear:
• Get down with down: It's one of the best insulators on the market. And though it's expensive, it's warmer than synthetics and less bulky, making it easier to layer.
• Go Sub-Zero: Sleeping bag ratings are the lowest possible temperature it can be used in. If you're expecting zero-degree weather, choose a sleeping bag with a lower rating than zero. Also note that sleeping bags are usually rated for men, so women who generally find themselves colder at night than their male counterparts should opt for a lower-rated sleeping bag than the expected temperature.
• Wrap Yourself: Choose a mummy-style sleeping bag. It will trap heat and allow you to cover everything but your face and mouth.
• Tent Talk: Four-season tents will provide more warmth and are an overall better investment. Smaller tents are easier to keep warm than larger ones, so buy the right size.
6. Warm Your Hands, Feet, Groin and Head6 of 8
To stay warm, layering your core is a must. And obviously, you should keep your head covered with a hat. But let's talk about your extremities. If you've got cold hands and feet, staying comfortable will be tough. Put Hand and toe warmers inside your gloves and socks to prevent your digits from freezing during the night. You can also place a hot water bottle between your legs where there are arteries that regulate warmth.
7. Grab a Snuggle Buddy7 of 8
Want to know what will keep you really warm at night? That's right--good ol' fashion snuggling. Instead of opting for separate tents, share one with a friend. If you're lucky enough to have a special someone along, use each other's body heat. Sleeping bags like these from Teton Sports have the option of making two sleeping bags into one, or you can choose a double bag, which makes it easy to get up close and personal.