Sleep Warmer in Winter

December 8, 2014

It’s hard to sleep well when you’re cold. A few simple techniques can make all the difference.

  • You need fuel to keep your furnace burning all night. In case you wake up chilled, have a quick energy, high-calorie snack at the ready for a middle-of-the-night refuel. 
  • Use a thick, full-length sleeping pad; what works in the summer often won’t cut it in the winter. Look for a minimum R-value of 4.0 (an R-value of 5.0 or more is ideal) or consider doubling up pads for maximum warmth. 
  • Wear a liner balaclava and snug hat that won’t fall off during the night. 
  • Have a designated set of dry sleepwear, including a pair of warm socks. 
  • Avoid breathing into the hood. The moisture in your breath will compromise the insulation and reduce its warmth, especially in down bags.

Photograph by Shutterstock.

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.