How To Have a Good Night’s Sleep While Winter Camping

Hi! I’m Eric Hanson and I want to talk to
you about sleeping great while winter camping. When you sleep great in winter camping there’s truly nothing better but I do know that it can be an intimidating
thing to think about the long, cold nights and so I want to talk to you
about a few simple ways that you can really improve your sleep quality and
make sure that you’re having a really good night’s sleep—and not just making
it through and surviving—there’s a big difference. So a few things that are
really important. One, just having a really good sleeping bag. There is a big
difference between, say, your standard like 15 degrees sleeping bag that you’re
gonna get at an outdoor shop and a four-season bag, so here I have the
Marmot Col MemBrain bag, it’s from the Col series, it’s a negative 20 degree
bag I’ve used this in some serious blizzard conditions and slept amazing. So
first of all, it’s the bag is going to make a huge huge difference and second
of all, what I think is often overlooked is what is actually separating your bag
and you from the ground. So snow is obviously very cold but it doesn’t
matter if it’s snow or just cold ground that ground is going to sap your energy
and your warmth and you really need a good mattress or pad or something type
of insulation that’s going to separate you from the snow. So this here I have
the Sea2Summit Comfort Plus mattress, this is their four season mattress. A couple important things about this is that it has on the underside, it has one chamber
of air that’s going to be where the cold air is and on the top a warmer chamber
of air that my body warms up and then that stays the same or basically so that
I’m not constantly warming up air as it’s getting cold from the ground. One of
the things that a common mistake that people will make is that they’ll have
their foot box where the end of their sleeping bag is kind of hanging off the
end of their mattress and that means that if you are sleeping, say especially
stomach down, your toes are pointed forward even further or they’re actually
off of your mattress and any part of your body that is touching the snow is
going to have the ground sap your energy, so you’ll notice toes
and feet are always the first thing to get cold, no matter what, and if your feet
are hanging off the edge then they’re you’re really in trouble so one of the
things that I like to do is I’ll just take extra things from around my tent. So
this is the bag that my sleeping bag came in, this is the bag for the sleeping
mattress, this is my tent bag… I’ll just start to make a little nest of things at
the base of my mattress and basically it doesn’t have to be super expensive
things, it’s just maybe clothes— it could be anything—but make a little extra
barrier of stuff to keep your feet separated and that way if your toes hang
off in the middle of the night over your mattress, you’re not gonna wake up with
ice-cold feet. That will go a really long way. Something that I think is not very
well understood about sleeping bags, especially winter ssleeping bags is what to do with cinching the bag around your face. A lot of people, they get cold, they
think that they’re gonna be freezing so they dive their head into their sleeping
bag and one of the big mistakes is that is that you are breathing out moisture,
you are breathing out a lot of water. There is, I’m not sure the technical
science behind this, but what I’ve heard is that you breathe out about a liter of
water over the course of the night, so if you think about your face being inside
your sleeping bag you’re actually putting about a liter of water into your
sleeping bag and you would be mortified to have somebody pour a liter of water
into your bag, but you’re doing it through breathing so… don’t put your face
into your sleeping bag. It’s much better to cinch the front of your sleeping bag
so that you’re breathing all of that moisture out and not into your bag and
another thing that is not very well understood are draft ccollars, but they
make a world of difference. So this sleeping bag here will have this
inner layer right here that is this is the draft collar, right here and then you
can cinch this up around your neck and what this does is every time that you
are shifting in your sleep, you’ll notice if you don’t drought if
you don’t cinch that up a puff of warm air is going to be coming out every time
you move and that is air that your body has worked hard to heat up and if you
don’t cinch this up you’re losing it every time and if you do cinch it up
you’re basically reducing the amount of effort and energy that your body is
putting forward to keep you warm. And then just cinching, you have another
couple of cinch points also since this tight around my face on a particularly
cold night and then that way only or basically my nose and my mouth is
exposed and then I’m much much warmer and comfortable and dry. If you are not super tall, so this is a
six foot long sleeping bag, let’s say you’re 5 foot 10 or 5 foot 6 that means
your feets are coming down to about here and then you have all this extra space
at the bottom of your seeing bag if you are if you are one of those people that
don’t absolutely fill your sleeping bag, that means your body is working extra
hard to fill that space with warmth. So one of the things that you can do is
take your down jacket or take some other layer of clothing and just stuff
it at the bottom of your bag. Basically, it just needs to take up space so that
you’re not having to work as hard to heat up the least efficient part of your
bag or really the least efficient part of your body because that’s where
your feet are and then your feet are super cold, so just fill that space with
with extra material and of course my favorite thing is to throw a warm
Nalgene in the end of the bottom of your bag. My favorite thing is just, yeah,
putting something warm in the bottom of your bag. It acts as a heater and if you
think about it you sap that energy and just in the same way that everything
that’s warm is going to lose its heat to something that’s cold,
so that’s why we want to insulate ourselves from the ground. That’s what
we’re getting out of the Nalgene bottle that’s full of hot water we get that
benefit this is something I’m truly passionate about but I truly have a
strong opinion actually about this that if you have to go pee in the middle
the night you better do yourself a favor and get out of that sleeping bag and go pee because there is nothing worse than having to pee all night long. You’re guaranteed to not sleep if you refuse to get out of your sleeping bag but
there is sweet relief—if you actually go and spend a few minutes of misery
getting outside of your tent and then get back inside I guarantee you you’ll
instantly fall asleep and it’ll be the best sleep of your life so do yourself a
favor get up and go pee when you have to. Perhaps the most important tip of all
for how to enjoy winter camping is to find a good cuddle buddy. Oh hey there
buddy, keeps you warm all night long. So good. Let’s go winter camping! Yeah
come on so wonderful. Oh, hey, oh! I was just getting amazing sleep but if you enjoyed that video and liked it, found some nugget of value in it, please like
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about your favorite trip or trip or experience and we’ll see you around!


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