5. Keep Warm at Night
First and foremost, stay dry: Your clothes and sleeping bag work best when your body can keep a warm air layer closeby—sweat, wet socks, and a damp shirt can turn that warm layer of air into heat-sucking water.
“I’ve also never subscribed to the theory that you should sleep in as little clothes as possible while in a sleeping bag,” he says; adding that if you’re chilly, throw on another layer. “I’m a huge fan of wearing a balaclava and hat,” he says.
Secondly, don’t let valuable heat inside the bag escape. Make sure the draft tube is aligned properly along the zipper, and the actual zipper is closed. Larsen also tucks a hot water bottle and his boot liners into his bag at night.
As for choosing the optimal sleeping bag, try The Polar Ranger -20F/-30C Sleeping Bag by Therm-a-Rest. The company worked with Larsen on its design, and it contains overlapping draft tubes, side vents, and a synthetic snorkel hood meant to funnel air in a way that keeps condensation from chilling your face.
You end up losing a lot more heat through conduction (direct contact with the cold ground) than convection (air), Larson says. In very cold weather, Larsen uses two sleep pads, such as a Therm-a-Rest RidgeRest SOLite on the bottom, and an inflatable Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm mattress above it for added warmth.
Also, while a toasty sleeping bag is an oasis compared to an outdoor bathroom, it’s important to heed the call. “Having extra fluids in your body is actually wasting energy that could be used to keep you warm,” Larsen says.
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