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Grab a good night’s sleep

Image of the December 2017 Wilderness Magazine Cover Read more from the
December 2017 Issue

Increase your chances of some decent shut-eye by following these tips.

Boost your self-inflating mat: If you’re anticipating a cold night, take a closed cell foam mat and place it under your self-inflating mat. It’s a light and cheap way to increase the R-value of your insulation.

Wear clean and dry clothes: It’s tempting to dry out your clothes overnight by wearing them inside your sleeping bag, but you’re increasing your risk of rashes and skin infections, and there’s nothing comfortable about damp clothes.

Be prepared: By having your headlamp and a water bottle near your head at night, you’ll reduce the time spent fumbling around in the dark and make it easier to drift off again.

Have a bedtime snack: The digestive process boosts your internal body temperature – so a snack just before bedtime means you’ll drift off feeling warm. Avoid alcohol, which dilates the blood vessels and increases heat loss.

Heads up: We lose most of our body heat through our head. A snug fitting, lightweight beanie will do more for a good night’s sleep than a bulky jersey worn inside your sleeping bag.

Bulk out your sleeping bag: By adding spare, dry clothing to your sleeping bag, you’re reducing the air that your body needs to heat – meaning you’ll feel warmer faster.

Use a liner: A silk sleeping bag liner will add warmth when it’s cold, and breathe and wick moisture when it’s hot. The liner also helps keep your bag free from sweat and body oils, which means you have to clean it less often.