How does a sleeping bag keep you warm? I know you have always been curious to know this.
It’s snowing heavily outside, the fireplace is lit and your room is cozy, you can hear the whooshing sounds of the wind from outside.
This is your favorite time of the year because you know how to keep yourself warm regardless of the turbulence occurring outside.
Each night you would snuggle into your soft heated-down bag, zip up and you’re off to the wonderland. Now, this is luxury, isn’t it?
Most people are of the opinion that sleeping bags are meant for just backpacking and other outdoor activities but I can assure you that sleeping bags are also good indoors and during cold seasons.
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HOW DO YOU STAY WARM IN A SLEEPING BAG?
There are several ways how to increase the warmth in your sleeping bag. If you are already used to not zipping up your bag when sleeping in it, you might need to reconsider.
Zipping your bags halfway will result in a loss of heat which will increase the cold level.
For extra warmth, use the following, sleeping bag warmer, insulator, hand warmers, extra clothing or materials stuffed in the bag, heated or electric blankets, and bag liners.
HOW DOES A SLEEPING BAG KEEP YOU WARM
A sleeping bag keeps you warm in four major ways, which are as follows:
- A sleeping bag can keep you warm by trapping air and preventing it from circulating.
- The heat generated by your body’s metabolism warms the trapped air around you.
- Your sleeping bag serves as a barrier between the trapped air and the colder ground or air outside.
- Smaller spaces warm up faster and hold heat more effectively.
SLEEPING BAG LINER
A sleeping bag liner is used in hostels, indoor and outdoor camping, and huts to provide warmth and extra comfort.
The reason you use a sleeping bag liner is the same as why you put sheets on your bed: warmth.
There are several factors to consider when selecting a liner:
1. Pay attention to the weight and packed size.
2. Examine the fitting and construction.
Sleeping bag liners are mostly made of polyester and come in a variety of sizes, capacities, and colors. They are simple to maintain and long-lasting.
For more information on sleeping bag liners, read this article: do sleeping bag liners work?
DO SLEEPING BAGS LOSE THEIR WARMTH?
Have you ever experienced a decline in the usual heat your sleeping bag emits? Have you ever wondered why it’s so?
Well, it could be that the sleeping bag is becoming worn out and probably needs a revamp!
I’m going to give you some ideas on what you can do to make your bags warmer, but first, you must do this, clean up your bag.
HOW TO KEEP YOUR FEET WARM IN A SLEEPING BAG?
Clean up properly and make sure that you are dry. Wet feet can cause cold.
Avoid oils in between your toes, this can make you sweaty and cold
Wear airy stockings if you normally have sweaty feet.
Use feet warmer for extra warmth. Getting sleeping bags that have pockets for foot warmers can do the magic.
Use a blanket. There are heated blankets that can increase warmth in extremely cold weather.
You can throw in a hand warmer around your feet. The heat emitting from this hand warmer can help keep you warm.
REASONS WHY SLEEPING BAGS LOSE THEIR WARMTH AND REMEDIES
Wear and tear due to frequent use:
Sleeping bags can last up to 5 to ten years when handled with care. However, in cases where the bags begin to lose their warmth due to age, the best remedy could be to revamp or get a new and better one!
Add a few tennis balls to it and throw them into a dryer.
Dirt has a lot of underrated effects. A dirty sleeping bag will not only make you very uncomfortable but will start losing its warmth.
When a bag is damp with accumulated dirt, it could get sticky, and sleeping in it cannot be as warm as it used to be.
What am I saying in essence? Wash up your bags when they get dirty.
If washing occasionally seems like a big deal due to your schedule, then getting a sleeping bag liner will help prevent the bag from easily getting dirty.
Damaged sleeping bag heaters can make the bags lose their warmth. When such happens, it’s better to find a way to fix the inbuilt heater or get a new one.
WHY AM I STILL COLD IN MY SLEEPING BAG?
You are probably always cold when inside your sleeping bag because of one or more of these reasons, you have a habit of wearing damp clothes to bed, you have night sweats, you padded up with more layers of extra clothing than needed, and you are sleeping in an empty bag.
Damp clothes: While you are out backpacking, there is a high tendency that you will engage in extracurricular activities that might make you sweaty afterward.
Accumulated sweat can go unnoticed, especially when in places like your collars or tiny dots in your armpits.
It’s always important to wash off sweat before heading into your sleeping bag. Sleeping with sweat lurking somewhere in your collar or armpits can make you feel cold in your sleeping bag.
Night sweats: There are health conditions like night fever that can make you wet at night. If you are met with this challenge while backpacking, it’s advised to either go home or devise strategies on how to remain dry at night.
Keeping extra clothes and occasionally changing into these dry clothes after each bout of fever, will keep you warm.
More layers of extra clothing than needed: In a bid to stay warm, you might want to wear as many clothes as possible. This is common with those who are new to backpacking.
Too many clothes will hinder your natural body heat from oozing out and circulating around your sleeping bag. If you must use extra layers of clothing, use 2.
Empty sleeping bag: Imagine venturing to a campsite, with just a sleeping bag! No extra blankets, no insulator, nothing to give you extra warmth.
The case will be that of a bunch of clattering teeth till daybreak.
DO YOU NEED A BLANKET WITH A SLEEPING BAG?
Yes! There are one thousand and one benefits of putting a blanket inside your sleeping bag.
Blankets not only serve as additional warmth givers but can increase the overall comfort and coziness you can feel when inside your sleeping bag.
Wrapping yourself in a blanket whether heated or not is a very normal thing during backpacking. Apart from the warmth and comfort it gives, heated blankets are a masseuse to the muscles.
Blankets can be folded to serve as headrests while sleeping in your sleeping bag. They can also be thrown into the bags as extra layers of materials for the purpose of heat generation.
Lonely nights are best with blankets around. Cuddling yourself with your blanket can serve as a support mechanism for your bones.
Cold hands and feet can also be cured with blankets. Wrap the blankets properly around your knuckles and your feet, and engage in some frictional activity.
It could be rubbing your palms together to increase your body temperature. The same can be done to your feet.
IS SLEEPING IN A SLEEPING BAG BAD FOR YOU?
At the end of the day, our major concern is not only to keep ourselves warm and comfortable, but we are also grossly concerned with the health hazards that can occur inside sleeping bags.
The manufacturers of sleeping bags will always specify the temperatures that should go best with a sleeping bag.
It’s always important to follow these instructions so that you don’t supercool or choke depending on the risk you are exposed to.
In as much as summertime is the best time for camping, sleeping directly beneath the moonlight with loved ones with a cozy fire lit somewhere around you, let’s be guided to remember that we can be at risk.
Most people are unaware that sleeping bag zippers can kill.
Yes, they certainly can kill. Zippers made of lead when inhaled all through the night can be very fatal, especially for someone who has an underlying health challenge, it could be asthma or any related deficiency.
Hence, while we are more concerned about several ways to enjoy our summer holidays, and keep warm and comfortable during winter, we should also be careful enough to consider that there are risks that can be associated with sleeping in a sleeping bag.
These considerations should reflect on what we decide to wear beneath our bags coupled with what we decide to put inside the bags as well, hand warmers can be hot at the tips and when not wrapped properly can be hazardous.
IMPORTANCE OF HAND WARMERS IN SLEEPING BAG
Hand warmers aren’t just for your hands. Some are made to be used with sleeping bags.
The type of hand warmers used for sleeping bags is highly dependent on the situation.
If kept in an enclosed space, refillable carbon monoxide hand warmers can be hazardous to one’s health.
Let’s look at five things you can do with a hand warmer:
- Hand warmers provide warmth to the hands and are essential when going outside during the cold season.
- Physiotherapists use them to provide soothing heat for muscular joint aches.
- They can be used to keep your filter from freezing at home.
- They can be improved to make foot warmers for people who are prone to having cold feet during the winter.
- Hand warmers can be used as warmers for sleeping bags.
Our attention will be drawn to the fifth application of hand warmers. Throwing hand warmers into sleeping bags can provide extra warmth and comfort.
The materials used to make hand warmers are intended to keep one warm. To avoid direct contact with them while sleeping, stuff them inside your stockings or old clothes.
PAD INSIDE SLEEPING BAG
Cold winter nights are sweet on padded sleeping bags for extra warmth and extra comfort. There are sleeping bags that come with heated pads. These pads are designed to provide the sleeper with maximum warmth.
The Mantuole Heated Sleeping bag pad has an inbuilt heated cushion with about 4 to 5 heating zones and is supported by multi USB power supplies.
The sleeping bag heaters can be operated using a battery power bank or any other source of power supply.
The sleeping bag comes in various sizes and is designed to carry both children and adults.
The pads are more like cushions and are designed to carry both children and adults with durable polyester shells and soft flannel lining.
This bag despite the fact that it’s been padded is light and easy to carry around.
You might ask, how does the heated pad operate?
Now, let’s remember that sleeping bag heaters normally come with plugs that can be plugged directly into a power bank or any other USB power supply.
Plug this chord, directly into its source, it could be the power bank, and long press the power button. This done, relax and allow yourself to feel the warmth that would envelop you thereafter.
HOW TO USE A SLEEPING BAG?
Step 1: Lay a mat on your floor if you are out camping
Step 2: Gently unstrap your sleeping bag pack and bring out your folded sleeping bag
Step 3: Unfold your sleeping bag and spread it neatly on the spread-out mat
Step 4: Unzip the bag, most sleeping bags have zips attached by the sides or adjustable ropes at the neck or mouth of the bag. Assuming your sleeping bag has the zip attached by the side, unzip this zip but be careful not to unzip to the end.
The effect if unzipped to the end, could be the bag opening and spreading out beyond the mat underneath. Your sleeping bag can get dirty in the process.
Step 5: Climb in through the unzipped side and adjust your legs till they are at the foot of the bag.
Step 6: Zip up the unzipped side and snuggle in as comfortably as you can. You can pull up the upper end of the bag to serve as a pillow if you don’t have a pillow.
Stepping out of the sleeping bag is also as easy as stepping inside the bag.
Step 1: Snuggle out your head and arms.
Step 2: Unzip the bag till it gets to your legs
Step 3: Step out, one foot first, followed by the next foot.
Remember that we are focused on sleeping outside the home, probably in camp, hence be careful not to stain your bag.
Step 4: Gently zip closed the bag and fold it into your sleeping bag pack
Step 5: Undust the mat and fold it into its satchel.
SHARING A SLEEPING BAG?
Can two people share the same sleeping bag? The answer is yes. 2 or even 3 people can share a single bag provided that weight is not an issue.
If the sleeping bag is large enough to contain a small family of 3, mum, dad, and little Nina, then there’s no issue making an unnecessary fuss out of it.
It’s even more ideal to be naked beneath the sleeping bag while sharing with a partner. In cases of hypothermia, when one person is freezing out, direct body contact will help keep him warm.
Even though research has proven that the body to body contact does nothing much in cases like this, let’s not disregard the fact the body’s natural furnace is necessary if one intends to keep warm.
A warm body against a shivering body, no matter how little science has credited it, is better than nothing at all.
However, in a situation where the size of the bag is a major challenge, then abstain from sharing. People can choke in harsh weather conditions, poor ventilation becomes an even bigger issue.
The best thing to do if a sleeping bag is too small to contain two lovely dovies would be to lie two separate bags close to each other, that way there is closeness even though you both are not in the same bag.
IS A SLEEPING BAG GOOD FOR WINTER?
Winter is one of the coldest seasons and the only way to keep warm in the such cold is to surround yourself with lots of insulation. Sleeping bags are designed to have lots of insulation.
The down bags are the best bags for winter.
The down sleeping bag has lots of down which naturally traps warmth due to design. It becomes more difficult to lose heat when sleeping in a down sleeping bag.
The feather down and synthetic insulation are the materials used in producing the down sleeping bags, which retain warmth and are not bulky.
IS IT WARMER TO SLEEP WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON IN A SLEEPING BAG?
Extra layers of clothing when worn inside a sleeping bag in very cold seasons can help increase the warmth of the bag.
However, these extra layers of clothing when overused can abate the initial purpose of keeping warm. Let’s remember that our bodies have a natural furnace which is very useful during cold weather.
Hence, while trying to kit up, create a breathable space for your body furnace to express itself.
This furnace if squashed with too many layers of clothing can lead to even colder.
There are so many ways one could keep warm while inside a sleeping bag. However, it’s important to always look out for some of the dangers that might occur in a sleeping bag so as not to fall victim to any of such dangers.