My 10 easy tips to stay warm in your Pop Up Camping Tent without using electricity or fuel.
It was late October and my son and I was camping on a beautiful white sandy river bank. By 4 pm we had our Pop Up tent set up, campfire going and our campsite was surrounded by all the vibrant colors of fall. Just gorgeous. The temperature was in the low 50's and we were looking forward to a wonderful evening of dining on our fresh catch from the days fishing. So, we finish supper and talk for a couple of hours, and turned in for the night.
Along about midnight a brisk north wind sprung up and in no time the temperature had dropped 20 degrees with a sharp wind chill. I started shivering in our tent and for the rest of the night, neither of us could get warm. Having put on all the clothes we had brought we were still miserable. All we could do was wait for the morning so we could start a roaring fire.
After this, I discovered the following 10 things we could do to stay warm in our pop up tent and here they are.
Don’t sleep on the ground. Get an insulated sleeping bag. Fleece blankets can cover your sleeping bag at night. Use a sleeping bag liner. Disposable heat packs are great to start the night off. For cold feet use insulated inserts. Keep your head warm. Keep your arms and legs warm. Use a lower profile tent.Space Blankets.
1-Don’t sleep on the ground.
As obvious as this seems it never occurred to us to not be sleeping directly on the ground in cool weather. Instead, use a foam pad that can help insulate you from the cold ground. Or use a sleeping cot. Read my article, What is The Best Camping Cot to Buy.
2-Get an insulated sleeping bag.
Again, this is a no brainer that we had not thought of. You can get sleeping bags that are rated for the climate temperature of your campsite. It’s simple to check a weather app for the temperature range for the area for your campsite for the month you go camping.
Here are my three suggestions for sleeping bag temperature ratings so you can pick a sleeping bag that is warm enough for your camping season.
Bag Type and Temperature Rating (°F)
+30° and higher
+15° to +30°
+15° and lower
3-Fleece blankets can cover your sleeping bag at night.
This option is great if you already have a great sleeping bag and just need some extra warmth. Fleece blankets keep the heat in really well and are not very heavy. You can throw a couple in your SUV just in case you need them unexpectedly as we did. I will say they are easy to ball up in your bag if you shift from side to side at night.
4-Use a sleeping bag liner.
I like this sleeping bag liner because it’s lightweight and comes with its own little pouch to store it. In colder climates, this Litume Velour Fleece Liner is the ticket. It's alight weight sleep sack that you can put over your sleeping bag or inside of it. Works great leaving only your nose to get chilly at night.
Want to know more check out Why use a sleeping bag liner?
5-Disposable heat packs are great to start the night off.
I like the HotHands Body & Hand Super Warmers. These single-use packs are ideal for keeping your body warm. It takes about 15 minutes for them to warm up once activated. They get to 135 degrees and last about 18 hours. They are safe and have been around for 20 years.
6-For cold feet use insulated inserts.
If you are like my wife and your feet are always cold, use these bootie slippers. Not only can you use them inside your tent or home, but you can sleep in them. They have not skid bottoms as well.
7-Keep your head warm.
Since your head represents about 10 percent of your body surface you could lose about that much body head sleeping at night without cover for it. A knit cuffed beanie works really well to keep your noggin warm at night. You could also use any soft but warm beanie if you have one. Your ears are especially sensitive to the cold and frostbite.
8-Keep your arms and legs warm.
Extremities like your arms and legs have very little body fat to insulate them from cold temperatures so I like to use soft thermal underwear. Ladies should especially consider using Ultrasoft thermal underwear.
9-Use a lower profile tent.
Tall tents have too much volume to warm up especially in cold windy conditions. The lower the ceiling height the better. You need just enough room to move around without rubbing your head on the ceiling. A tent, like this Coleman Pop Up Tent, is just under 5-feet (4’11”) which is plenty of room yet helps save more of your precious body heat.
I know right. Sounds like something from Star Wars, however, these are for real. These Space Blankets are insulated mylar and designed originally by NASA for space exploration. They are reusable, windproof, and waterproof. They come sealed in a 4" x 3" pouch and open up to an amazing 84" x 52". And they are not expensive because you get 50 for $27. You can put these over your sleeping bag or under it for added insulation.
You can also use Space Blankets to insulate the inside or the outside of your tent. For use inside or outside you will need a small hole punch and Zip Ties. If your tent has internal fiberglass poles just Zip Zie the blankets to the poles around the interior perimeter of your tent. You can do the same for the outside as well. It won’t be pretty and they may see your tent from outer space, but it will do a super job of insulating your Pop Up Tent to keep in your precious heat. Just remember to bring a pair of large fingernail clippers to cut the zip ties when you break camp and pack up your pop up camping tent.
Don't forget your Patriot Solar Power Cells.
This was a lot of fun writing this article for you. I just see you taking advantage of these helpful tips! Until the next article…do yourself a favor and take a kid camping, it will change your life.
All the best, Alex