To get in direct contact with nature, there is nothing better than a camping outing or a hike. However, a hike without a sleeping bag, or camping without a mattress is not possible. To make a cosy nest and stay warm at night, here are some tips.
What equipment do I need to sleep outside?
Properly preparing your equipment should be your main concern before going camping or hiking. The camper’s equipment for sleeping at night consists of a sleeping bag, a floor mattress (self-inflatable, air or closed cell foam), a pillow, a travel mask and earplugs. If you are travelling by motor home, an air mattress may be comfortable but heavier. For hikers, the choice of a sleeping bag is crucial. A down sleeping bag is lighter, warmer and more comfortable. On the other hand, it loses its properties easily when wet. Synthetic sleeping bags are heavier than down, less warm if the temperature is lower, but they retain warmth even when wet or damp.
Do you want a cosy and warm nest for your night out? Here are some additional tips:
The camper’s sleeping equipment is not the only thing to worry about if you want to be warm during your hike or bivouac. The choice of the place where you are going to set up your camp also plays an important role (flat surface, sheltered from the wind…). You must set up your tent and sleeping bag before nightfall to enjoy a good night’s sleep. A flashlight or lantern should be a camper’s faithful companion. To keep warm in your cozy nest, avoid bulky clothing and wear light, dry clothes instead. You can add a foam mattress under your regular mattress for extra insulation if you are going out in your camper. If you are going on a hike, a mummy-shaped sleeping bag is more comfortable.
What are the components of a sleeping bag?
A sleeping bag is made up of many components: the hood (to protect your head from the cold), the collar (to block draughts with an airtight closure inside the bag), the foot box (foot comfort zone), the storage bag, and the pockets (accessory item). As the sleeping bag is the camper’s equipment for sleeping at night, the choice can be complex due to the materials used. Indeed, a sleeping bag is made either of down (mainly goose or duck feathers), which makes the bag lighter, or of a synthetic plastic fibre that has properties equal to down by imitating its thermal character.