Taking gf camping for the first time. It’ll get to ~45 degrees F and she gets cold easily. Suggestions on how to make sure she stays warm?

  1. For the future, if you plan to do this more often, I'd suggest a sleeping bag rated colder than that for this temperature, like a 20 degree bag at least. With the extra blankets you mention you'll be fine this trip though. Is it a mummy style bag? That would be best.

  2. It’s mummy style. And yeah a warmer one would be a good idea for the future. I was thinking a liner would be useful to add another ~10 degrees to what we have

  3. Make sure she’s already warm when she gets ready to sleep. That is, don’t hang around the campfire too long so she gets cold. It’s easier to keep warm than get warm. I’ve had a few chilly nights.

  4. Yeah, I've seen on some of the mountain climbing docs or Antarctica things they do situps in bed to make sure they're warm before sleeping. But not sweaty warm.

  5. This is what I came to say. Super cheap and will stay warm almost all night if you prime it.

  6. Hot water bottle is the obvious answer here. I always boil up some water for my partner’s hot water bottle in my jetboil before we get into our sleeping bags and it’s usually still fairly warm in the morning too

  7. Seconding this! I put a proper hot water bottle in my sleeping bag some minutes before going to bed. This way the sleeping bag is already warm and I keep it in there all night - best place to heat the entire body for me is in between my legs - usually it's still warm in the morning. And I put a Picnic-layer around my sleeping bag... one of those with the insulated layer on the bottom.

  8. I have two singles that can zip together, and they're great. There's a little gap at the bottom when they're joined, but you can stuff some socks in there.

  9. I used a Little Buddy tent heater when camping in the fall. Thing works great! You sir will probably get hot though so be prepared for that. But DO NOT get the knock of Version. Make sure it says safe indoors.

  10. not sure if this came up already ... put next day's of clothing (to change in the morning) into the sleeping bag with you so they are not freezing cold when you want to change.

  11. Mittens instead of gloves. Even hiking during the day in snow mittens were miles better than gloves. I like the ones that have liners with fingers but outer layer that's a mitten.

  12. Came here to say this. A complete change of clothes at night is key - socks and underwear too Sleeping naked is warmer m than sleeping in clothes worn during the day that have sweat moisture built up that will chill u when you’re resting.

  13. Apart from a warmer sleeping bag, merino wool and so on, we always make a thermos full of sweet tea to bring in the tent - hot tea while still in the sleeping bag in the morning will get the mood and temperature up in no time.

  14. Insulated layer between sleeping bag and tent floor. Long John’s, wool socks. Warm some water up before bed, put in empty bottles and throw them in the sleeping bag. Mr buddy propane heater will keep you toasty. Double sleeping bag and cuddle naked. Skin to skin contact is best. 😉

  15. First, remember that sleeping bag ratings are based upon survival, NOT on comfort. Also, I'd recommend a thick blanket between your bag and the ground. Also, did you consider 2 identical rectangular bags that you can zip together into a double bag? Regardless, an additional rectangular bag that you can unzip and use as a blanket is a good idea too

  16. Yeah I’ve used the bag in 42 degree weather and was comfortable enough with some hand warmers and some clothes, but she has a much lower tolerance for cold.

  17. I place a fuzzy blanket folded on top of my air mattress and lay my sleeping bag on top of that. Gives a layer of insulation for cold air coming up from the ground. I wear a hoodie with the hood up to bed. Prevents hot air from leaving through my head. My lovely H gets ups before me and gets coffee started and a roaring campfire so I can sit there with a blanket until the air warms.

  18. Fleece fleece fleece! So helpful even when its windy out. Mummy style is good so she can really envelope her whole body if it really starts to get cold out there.

  19. Get her some good long johns, wool socks, and a beanie. I personally wear and recommend Carhartt, Smart Wool, and CC respectively. When buying CC be careful of knockoffs, the real ones are lined. You also can’t go wrong with a nice pair of Carhartt bibs for the daytime.

  20. I have a cot with an air mattress on top and love it. In colder weather I put a fleece sleeping bag liner unzipped on top of it, then a blanket, then me and the 2 dogs, then a cold weather sleeping bag on top. I stay nice and toasty.

  21. Def recommend a liner if the bag is only rated to 32. Or get a bag rated to 20. It was the best move I ever made and I was incredibly comfortable in cold weather camping.

  22. I don't think I can add anything else at this point looking at the comments. Man, gotta love a healthy community where everyone helps each other. Good shit

  23. Little buddy tent heater- at least 10 minutes before getting in the tent, while getting into bed and for 5-10 minutes while I warm up. (Brand name has a tip sensor and oxygen monitor for if I were to fall asleep.) Turn back on if I need to pee or get up.

  24. I'm was so confused reading through all of these comments and I was the only one who had mentioned the heater to this point. It's a game changer.

  25. Everyone talks about external sources and even a few exercises but, drinking hot water has a way of warming up the core that no other way can.

  26. I make my husband drive me around the truck to warm up in the mornings. Bonus if we’re at a national park, great time to spot moose where we’re at (CO). Sorry man, I’m a chilly bitch too. It’s hard on us.

  27. Eat something nice and fatty before bed. When I’m extreme winter camping a little bit of butter usually does the trick. Also instead of a nalgene if cad camping bring a red rubber hot water bottle from a pharmacy usually like $4.50 at a wal mart. Way better than a nalgene (I’ve had leakage with nalgenes in the past). If your worried about all night warmth also bring a 32 oz thermos and at bedtime make 2 liters of water one for the hot water bottle and one to refill the hot water bottle in the middle of the night. If you don’t use the second liter of water it stays hot enough to be water for coffee and oatmeal without having to reboil water!

  28. If you are heavy/car camping, i use a thick air mattress, with cheesy walmart foam pads under it, and a heavy fleece blanket on top of the mattress, then bring extra blankets to stack up on top. I dont own a sleeping bag, and waking up on a cold morning when you can see your breath but youre completely sandwiched up in 5-7 lbs of blankets and not sleeping on the ground is just luxurious haha. Obviously not very applicable if you light camp or are backpacking.

  29. Night time snacks. Fatty ones. I’ve used chocolate peanuts in the past. Have some nearby for if she wakes on the night.

  30. Get a thermal blanket to put in the sleeping bag. Works best when you zip two matching sleeping bags together and put the thermal blanket inside with the two of you.

  31. 32 deg bag is not warm enough, bring extra blankets. It got down to 40 a few weeks ago and I was still a little cold in my 20 deg mummy bag

  32. You can try carrying a space blanket (mylar). They're cheap, tiny, and work really really well. Practically single use, but it's good to have that option. I've slept in a tent in winter before with nothing but a non-rated sleeping bag (the really cheap ones), a yoga mat and a space blanket. Slept like a baby too, space blanket worked a bit too well so I like rolled it down into my armpits to take my arms out.

  33. Suggestion for the future and colder weather. If you have some weight to spare Walmart has a 10F(adult male comfort) Ozark trail sleeping bag, I have used it down to 20F and felt very warm (I am an adult male).

  34. Camped in 30 degrees this spring and wore cuddle duds fleece, cozy beanie on my head and put hand warmers in my sleeping bag, I actually got hot 😂. We also pushed some leaves up to the outside of our tent to provide extra insulation from the wind.

  35. If you’re car camping, and if your tent is small enough (2-4 person), try to bring some extra comforters and pillows. Put a comforter under the sleeping pads (also this make the tent super cozy), and a comforter over the sleeping bag if needed. I once camped in 30 degree weather with my wife and dog in a 3 person tent, and it was more than comfortable. The reason I bring up a smaller tent is because if you fill it with yourself + comforters and pillows it really insulates the tent from the outside. Similar to how a cooler holds temp better if it’s full.

  36. Down socks, they’re like boots with down feathers for insulation. That’s next on the list to get my girlfriend. They also sell down pants, and you can always use an insulated jacketed if it gets too cold.

  37. I also get cold easily. In addition to what you suggest, I'd pick up some thermals/base layers, and make sure she's got a decent jacket. Have her try out the mummy bag before you go - they seem like something I would like, but I found out I hated them while on a weeklong camping trip and was uncomfortable the entire time. We've got a hot water bottle (the old fashioned rubber kind) we throw into our sleeping bags when it's cold - it stays warm for hours, and when empty it doesn't take up much space. Get good socks - wool socks (sometimes layered over a thinner sock) have kept me from freezing plenty of times. Bring along warming foods and drinks.

  38. Don't sleep in the same clothes you've worn all day. Use clean clothes. Moisture in the clothes wick away your body heat.

  39. Sleeping bag ratings (Unless its a Western Mountaineering) are garbage! Get a Sea to Summit "Reactor Extreme" sleeping bag liner and she will be warm as toast!

  40. I’m anemic and only winter camp. I’m only able to achieve this because of my Sea to Summit sleeping bag liner and the 12hr Zippo handwarmer which you put some fuel in it so it won’t die unless you run out of fuel (I say this because I tried the rechargeable ones and they don’t last and it’s annoying waiting for them to charge). Sea to Summit has multiple versions but I’d recommend the fleece liner. I throw the handwarmer in the sleeping bag at night otherwise it lives in my jacket pocket during the day like I said it is the gift that keeps on giving.

  41. Lots of folks commenting about air pads. If it's an air mattress, they are cold af. But if it's more like a small camping pad that has air in it, you'll be fine. I use the Big Agnes

  42. I have one of those flannel sleeping bag type things (rated for 55 but good to about 65 for me). It can work as an extra liner in a sleeping bag if needed. Another option I’ve done at temps below 20 is to just tent it lightly over my head. I’m a side sleeper so it doesn’t bug me, but using something to anchor it near the head is probably effective also. I just pulled it up over my face area and it kept me a little better insulated. I would not recommend it if anyone has respiration problems or younger kids, as I’m not sure about any CO2 issues, but lightly tented around my head area (and much of it just laying across my torso) did help a bit at temps that low.

  43. Go buy a pack of hand warmers and keep them in your pockets during the day. And throw some in your sleeping bag with you at night. They make a big difference

  44. Haven’t read through the comments but I’m sure you’ve received some good advice by now. Something I found that I like to bring when I’m going camping with someone who is particularly prone to getting cold is a portable heating pad. Ignik is the brand that I came across at REI, but I’m sure there are other options. They’re primarily made to plug into an auxiliary port (cigarette lighter) in a car, but you can also run them at a low setting off of a power pack, like the type used to charge call phones on the go. I also keep mine in my truck because my girlfriend experiences particularly rough cramps and such during her period, so she can use it to help with that if we’re on the go.

  45. First time camping with my SO, I heated up rocks on the fire then wrapped them in foil and stuck them at the foot end. Worked well for us, but no guarantees it will prevent a stubbed toe.

  46. My wife has reynauds, a liquid fuel hand warmer (or two) works wonders both night and day. The Korean Peacock ones work great, can use various fuels, and stay going for a day or so. Downsides are they can smell a bit depending on fuel, and they can be putzy trying to get them lit. But once you figure it out, they are dependable and get hella hot.

  47. My boyfriend bought me battery powered heated socks and they are magic! They're no good for hiking because the wires rub sore spots but they're amazing for warm feet while camping as well as for kayaking.

  48. Wearing plenty of layers might do more harm than good. If the mummy bag fits her properly adding more layers will only compress the bag’s insulation. Lots of layers can reduce circulation too, which will make her hands and feet extra cold. Thick wool socks, a heavyweight baselayer top and bottom, a hat, and maybe a thin fleece is typically all you want to wear inside a mummy bag. Some air pads are insulated but many are not. Check the r-value of yours. If it’s not insulated you can layer it with a closed cell pad, ideally one with a reflective surface. Feed her a big dinner with lots of protein. The thermic effect of protein is much greater than carbs or fat.

  49. I'm not great at converting to Imperial but you can definitely get -20 or better rated sleeping bags. And dressing in layers is the easiest way to adapt to changing weather. A thermal layer under your clothes and warm pajamas as well as fresh dry socks can make an enormous difference to your comfort. Use 4 season tents to block out the wind and chemical hand warmers are cheap and easy to use. A good wind and water proof jacket helps as well. Hot tea/coffee/hot chocolate over the fire is also a great way to warm up. Place your tent out of the wind and well sheltered. Have fun.

  50. BOIL water. Pour into nalgene. Put nalgene into boot sock. Toss into foot box of sleeping bag. Kept my feet warm in sub-zero camps.

  51. bro...if you have to go through so much..is it worth it? I know this is not the advice you want here but consider what you're doing: enabling her to not prepare and expect you to do all the work.

  52. Order for the sleep system is Foam pad in the ground and air mattress on top. Don’t over fill the air mattress or she will feel like she’ll roll off of it. Get enough air in it so the hips don’t hit the ground when side sleeping.

  53. Just got back from a cold at night tenting trip; definitely get a toque/beanie and sleep with hoodie on over that as well. Also, I found putting a sheepskin on top of my foam pad worked even better than an extra blanket.

  54. Electric heated vest. I have a power bank that is solar charged. It’s so helpful waiting for public transportation in NE winters. It’s been great to take late autumn camping. Also, they make gloves and socks. Good luck , you are both brave to try this for her first time out. Enjoy!

  55. If your gf is anything like me, once my feet get cold I find it difficult to warm up no matter how many layers I’m wearing. Get a couple packs of toe warmers to wear in her shoes. Having warm feet can make a huge difference. Wear wool/wool blends (socks, base layers, beanie). Most importantly, as others have mentioned, get a good sleeping pad instead of an air mattress. No matter how warm the sleeping bag is if you’re using it on an regular air mattress it will feel like sleeping on a block of ice. I have an Exped self inflating mattress that has an r-rating of 9 (I think) that I use in my RTT and sleep comfortably in temps down in the teens.

  56. I’m not quite as cold as your girlfriend but most of the way there….I regularly have to use toe warmers in my house during the fairly mild winter where I live. Just wanted to say that you’re awesome for trying to get advice on this. Being painfully cold ruins so many things and your girlfriend is lucky to have a partner who is going out of their way to help! I think you got great advice already. I wear long underwear at all times, sleep in a down coat plus sleeping bag if the bag doesn’t cut it in its own, wear the thickest wool socks I can find, use toe and hand warmers as needed, have huge down-filled mittens for when it’s cold, and bring spare socks in case the toe warmers get too warm and make my feet sweat. I also have these down-filled booties from REI that I use in the tent sometimes, but I think they only sell them in the winter or around Christmas time.

  57. A sleeping hat!! I used to have a silly toque I wore as a kid when we went camping as the always frosty one - it kept me cozy and from complaining all night.

  58. Wisconsin here! Get her a nice pair of Sherpa lined lounge pants and same type of top. Regular socks with a good (new) pair of slipper socks over them, with heating pads between. Winter headband, with a hat over the top. Have a great time!

  59. Look at hot tents (luxe outdoor) and the winnerwell flatfold titanium stove and you’ll soon have her wanting to camp every weekend!

  60. Sleeping bags are getting a lot of attention. Get two good quality bags that will zip together to make one big bag. Get in and let nature take it's course. You'll be plenty warm all night long.

  61. Just make sure the mummy bag is actually a comfortable way to sleep - I hate the way even my flat basic sleeping bag restricts my leg movement. My solution is to throw a queen-size blanket over my sleeping bag so if I end up unzipping the side through my wiggling as I sleep and get comfy, that opening still has something over it.

  62. Don’t let her put the blanket over the top of the sleeping bag, which will compress the down/poly and may even reduce the overall warmth. Instead, try using a thin fleece blanket to use as a sheet inside the sleeping bag.

  63. Wool layers for her for sure. Wool pants that are not too tight. Wool long-sleeve shirt. Wool loose socks. Wool hat. I say loose because it’s much more comfortable to sleep in. That’s my trick. It really makes a difference and I get cold just like your gf.

  64. Prep for a reheating of the water bottle in the middle of the night if she needs to get up and use the bathroom. I setup my stove, pot, and another full nalgene out my vestibule so i can lean out the door (while still in my sleeping bag) and get another hot water bottle ready for when she gets back. In my cold trip experience, my partner was fine going to bed with the steps you mentioned but came back from the bathroom freezing and needed a second hot bottle to get back to comfortable.

  65. I’m a backpacker and I absolutely freeze at night if it’s below like 50 degrees. Hot water in a nalgene/hot water bottle is great, especially if you wrap a towel around it. Wool hat/gloves/socks. If this is going to be a regular thing, I cannot recommend down booties enough. Hand warmer for the foot box and a hand warmer to hold. I’ll also sleep in my puffy in addition to the other layers. Make sure to eat a heavy, hot meal shortly before bed!

  66. You pretty much have it down pat. What is the R rating of your air pad? A normal air mattress has no insulation and you would need to put something underneath it and ideally a wool blanket on top, but even then it might not be warm enough. Some more expensive thinner inflatable pads have insulation but it wouldn't hurt to also put something underneath and on top of it.

  67. Staying off the ground is the main thing in my opinion. It’ll just suck the heat out of you and never get warm. I don’t trust air pads because I’m a heavy person and I just end up contacting the ground anyway, so I use a foam mat and it works wonders. Well advised.

  68. I don’t know if anyone mentioned side sleeping yet .. as a side sleeper that loves camping I can 100% tell you most gear doesn’t work for side sleepers. Pads can deform where your hip digs into the ground and the air spreads to the left and right. So you need to maybe also bring some foam for that high pressure small area. Mummy sleeping bags can be restrictive around hips and knees. And cold round the feet or the zip slips. Pillows can be a nightmare. My solution is an inflatable neck pillow like you get at airport and an inflatable square pillow. I bought a ultra light camp bed. I have a wool/fleece bag liner mummy with hood and thermal pjs and a square bag. I think the great ness of a square bag is unzipped it’s like a comforter for two.

  69. Sleeping bags are designed to use your body heat so it seems counterintuitive, but the less clothes you wear in your sleeping bag, the better the bag does. You obviously need a bag rated for where your camping. I’ve had great luck with the sticky hand warmers. It was 35 one night and I stuck a hand warmer to my chest and one in the center of my back and slept great! Whiskey helps 😛

  70. It's important to determine how the sleeping bag is rated. Is it meant to keep you comfortable or alive at 32°F? I always use a bag comfort rated for 20° lower than what is expected, if rated for comfort.

  71. Just make sure she pees before because if she has to get in middle of the night you never get back. Lol

  72. So I read the majority of comments and didn't see any recommendations about a hot tent. They are a bit pricy but it sounds like it might be worth it for you. I have three different tents depending on the weather but I regularly camp in overnight lows of 0° - <35° and feeling super cold is part of the charm for me. That being said I know it's not for everyone and a hot tent resolves this. I usually wake up once or twice a night to start a new fire and I can get the internal temperature up to 70°F at times.

  73. The coldest I ever camped I had to pee in the middle of the night. I was so cold I peed into a cup and my boyfriend at the time threw it out. Horrible story to share, but maybe you can get her a “go girl” “she wee” or another peeing apparatus to make that more convenient.

  74. I suggest plenty of hot drink mixes to keep her toasty (caffeine helps some stay very warm), extra pairs of wool or alpaca socks (if available). Maybe bring gloves just in case. Plan to snuggle at night because that's the nicest way to get warm. I have a thyroid condition so I know how much getting cold sucks!

  75. I just went car camping with my kids. I have a big old stock pot that I use to warm up water for camp showers. I filled it up and let it sit over the camp fire for most of the night. When it was steaming I put it inside the tent (I have a large tent with room to put it between everything else) with the lid partially off. It did an alright job of taking the edge off the cold by adding warm moist air to the tent.

  76. I really like to make sure there's a thick layer between me and the ground. I keep an extra sleeping bag to lay on top of my mat, under my bag, just for extra insulation from the cold ground. And personally, I'm always warmer when I sleep as close to naked as possible. Body heat bounces off the sleeping bag immediately without having to go through layers.

  77. As a little woman who gets cold easily and loves camping I would recommend a sleeping bag with a rating below temp you anticipate it will be and fleece onesies are really handy to wear as pjs/ round the fire in the evening.

  78. You say air pad to keep her off the ground, just make sure it's an insulated one, an air mattress without insulation will be freezing, her sleeping bag will compress under her and offer almost no insulation.

  79. Maybe consider not taking her camping if she gets cold easily. Be more considerate of your gal. Seems like you want to torture her.

  80. Three major tips. Change socks right before bed. Socks accumulate moisture during the day and even if they feel dry, will likely get very cold because of said moisture. Thermal layers. The base layer thermals should be changed into shortly before bed. Then add your regular clothes/ jackets on top. The thermal layer greatly amplifies the effectiveness of all other layers. An inch on insulation below is worth three above. If you have the chance for more insulation between you and the ground use it there rather than on top.

  81. All for the Nalgene in a bag trick. Put a towel around that bugger to keep it insulated! That's really all you need IMO. I would avoid hand/foot warmers while you sleep.

  82. Take the clothes she plans on changing into when she gets up in the morning and stuff them in the bottom of the sleeping bag the night before. That way her fresh clothes are nice and toasty. Nothing gets you crankier than having to roll out of a nice warm sleeping bag to put on chilly clothes in the cold air.

  83. First thought is ditch the air pad entirely, those damn things cool off way too quickly. On the cheap, those egg crate foam mattress toppers on a cot make for good, warm beds. I've had my 1 man tent on a cot with an egg crate "mattress" down in -15C/5F weather, & didn't loose any heat through the bottom (sides, however, due to the too-small blankets I'd brought... 😅 haha oops).

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