If someone tells you that camping is only a warm-weather activity, don't believe them. Camping can be done year-round, and sometimes, winter camping is a chance to see the most popular parts of nature with a whole different aesthetic (can anyone say, snow-covered?). If you are hiking or camping in cold weather, one essential part of ensuring your trip is enjoyable is making sure that your sleeping arrangements are warm enough. Sleeping bags can be incredibly warm, but sometimes, just a sleeping bag alone won't do the trick. Here are some tips to follow so you can learn how to be warmer in a sleeping bag.
Use a Sleeping Bag Liner
Don't just slip right into the nylon of your sleeping bag. Instead, use a sleeping bag liner. A sleeping bag liner is like a sheet that goes inside your sleeping bag. Not only does it give you an extra layer for warmth, but it also helps to keep out drafts that might get through the surface material of your sleeping bag. It can also enable your sleeping bag to stay cleaner for longer (without the need for a wash-and-dry) because it absorbs your sweat while you sleep, and then you can simply wash the liner post-trip without worrying about the bag itself.
Put a Hot Water Bottle at the Foot of Your Sleeping Bag
If you want to know how to be warmer in a sleeping bag, an old hiking and camping trick is to warm up water over a campfire. Then, when it's close to boiling, pour it into your Nalgene or heavy-duty hiking water bottle. If you do this right before bedtime, then shove the water bottle down into the foot of your sleeping bag, your sleeping bag will be toasty just in time for you to crawl into it. Be sure not to make the water too hot so it doesn't damage the water bottle and it doesn't burn you when you pick it up or stick your feet into your sleeping bag.
Cover the Ground
No matter where you're camping, you should never place your sleeping bag right on the ground of the tent. Make sure it is at least on a sleeping pad, if not a cot, so that you're up off the ground. Heat rises, so the ground is always the coldest part of the tent. Protect yourself from frozen earth or the temps of the ground by getting yourself (and your sleeping bag) up and off of it.