The Voice of Experience

How to Sleep Warm

1.       Ground Insulation: Insulating ground pads make such a difference that seasoned winter campers usually take two. The warmest combination is a full-length closed-cell foam pad with a self-inflating mattress (a Therm-A-Rest, for instance) on top.

2.      Keep the bag dry: Through respiration and sweat, you give off moisture at night, which ends up in your bag. Don’t breathe into the bag; it may feel warmer initially, but it soaks the liner with condensation from your breath. Vapor from normal perspiration condenses inside the outer shell in sub-zero cold, which isn’t a problem for a night or two. Sun-drying will help offset moisture build-up, but the only way to stop it is with an
impermeable vapor-barrier, or VBL.

3.      Wear clothes to bed: Always wear a warm hat and keep the bag hood snug because half your body heat escapes through your head. Wearing long johns and pile apparel to bed often makes the difference between cozy slumber and all-night shivering. Try not to overdress because bulky clothes in a tight bag will compress the insulation, or you could overheat and wake up sweat-soaked. Either way, you get cold.
4.      Drink: It’s hard to stay hydrated in cold, dry conditions because you play and sweat all
day then breathe out lots of water while sleeping.

5.    Warm up before bed: Remember, a bag can’t retain body heat that’s not there in the first place. Eat hot dinner, have a hot beverage, and warm up before retiring by walking around, waving your arms, or going for a quick moonlit walk. Just don’t overdo it and go to bed sweaty.

Recipe of the month
Turkey Jambalaya (Serves 6)

  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 2 cups water 1 medium green pepper, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. Cajun seasoning
  • 1 lb. smoked sausage, cut into small chunks
  • 3 cups minute white rice, uncooked
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 cans (14-1/2 oz. ea.) stewed tomatoes, undrained

Cook and stir celery, green pepper, onion and smoked sausage in hot oil.

Add stewed tomatoes with their liquid, water turkey and seasoning; mix well. Bring to boil.

Stir in rice. Reduce heat to low; cover. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Mix lightly and serve.

Spice It Up! Season with your favorite hot sauce to taste.