Camping 101- Staying Warm

So one of the biggest challenges at Battlemoor was the fact that it could be 80+ during the day but then dip down into the 40’s at night. Needless to say, it lead to many folks being rather cross each morning complaining of a lack of sleep due to shivering half the night.

So how on earth can we combat that and make camping a delightful experience? Some of it is realizing unless you have endless pockets to fund things you want to rely on some modern cheats. As staying safe and warm is way more important than forgoing gear for authenticity.

Step one get off the ground.

 

The ground will siphon off your much-needed heat faster than hopping in the snowmelt stream. (Also a bad idea before sundown)

A period bed frame and mattress or a cot are two of the best ways.

The cot is the most cost-effective and tends to take little space when they fold down. Cots sadly are no known for their comfort, but an Air pad, egg crate or a few furs can change that.

A period bed will hold up well for you, however, they tend to chew space so if your horse and carriage is Smart Car-sized you may want to pass. Keep in mind the sturdy frame allow you a real mattress and for those of us who really need the support, it may be worth getting it to fit.

Note I skip an air mattress, they tend to leak and worse they tend to become cold leaving you sleeping on an ice block. IF you must, get a good layer between it and the ground and then you and it. This is a good place to lay down some polar fleece, or if you can a wool blanket.

Now if you can’t get off the ground, remember layers. A pad even just some egg crate between you and the ground is better than nothing.  Another thing to keep in mind is sometimes a late-night rain shower may pop up. Make sure you have a ground cloth and that you have picked a place that isn’t low laying were the water will pool.

Once you have a bed now you need bedding.

 

The next thing you should look in to is a good sleeping bag.  I know not period however unless you have plenty of wool and fur the sleeping bag is the fastest and often cheaper way to combat the cold. They come with a degree rating, aim to get one with the coldest rating you can. Remember we had 40’s in JULY; SEPTEMBER could spell snow.

If you feel constricted in a sleeping bag look at getting a set that can zip together and give you some more wiggle room.

A good blanket. Wool or down make good picks. Polar fleece is good too but less period. This can be added to the bag to help add some more layers. OR you can lay it over to cover up the sleeping bag. Better yet do both.

Furs can also add a warm layer and give more of a period vibe. However, they do tend to run a pretty penny so do your homework and shop around.

How you get ready for bed can help keep you warm.

 

Many of us are tempted to sleep in the clothing we wore all day. Saves on laundry right?

WRONG.

You spent all day sweating in that clothing, and whether you notice or not you just became a big hydro cooler once the sun and temp drop.

So step one, strip.

If you want a real treat when you heat the dishwashing water boil some extra for a quick wipe down with warm water.  Trust me it is worth it.

Step two start redressing in warm layers.

PJ’s, mundane or a nice long nightshirt, Heck go with some longjohns! Remember things like flannel, silk, and wool are good at keeping you warm.

SOCKS, warm fuzzy socks. Warm feet are key in the staying warm game.

Really cold? Cover your head. I manage to sleep under a blanket or all the way in the sleeping bag, but a nightcap isn’t a bad idea. Your head is where most of your heat is lost so covering it helps you out.

What about warming up your bed?

It is a nice touch and nothing is better than a warm bed. A hot water bottle OR warm stone can make climbing into bed less of a chore. A nice warm bedmate is also a good plan…and yes the dog or cat works and will probably be happy to snuggle with you then hang out in a kennel.

What about a heater?

 

Well, heaters are nice but they do come with a risk. Heaters need to be vented, otherwise, you get a CO2 build up. They also need to be watched, fire is a real issue. They also need a fuel source, so you have to either get propane or kerosene.

I know you just rolled your eyes and said well my nylon tent all zipped or my canvas tent up should still breath!  Sadly that isn’t the case, make sure you crack a window or the door. Invest in one that has a CO2 sensor, or buy a sensor that can run off batteries. Remember they are a heat source, so keep bedding, and other flammables well away, and have a fire extinguisher on hand.

Also be mindful, the Outlands tend to be dry and fire bans have been common and a heater may be a no go depending on the level of the ban.

 

So let me know what other tips do you have for keeping warm while camping in the Outlands?

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