Indiana Daily Student

What to do when you have to sleep outside in the cold

<p>An IU student walks to class on one of the first snowy days of the season Nov. 16, 2022. Layering up and staying dry is the most important thing to do when sleeping outside during the winter.</p>

An IU student walks to class on one of the first snowy days of the season Nov. 16, 2022. Layering up and staying dry is the most important thing to do when sleeping outside during the winter.

As temperatures start to drop, more people must be prepared for sleeping outside in the cold. 

Dressing in layers 

A pair of socks, hat or thicker clothes can go a long way when needing to stay warm.  

Change your clothes – After an entire day of wearing the same clothes, there is going to be sweat on them, especially in your socks. Dry clothes will hold body heat more effectively. If possible, keep an extra pair of socks just for sleeping in. 

Wear an even amount of clothing – Try to layer your clothing evenly on your entire body so you do not wake up with a warm upper body and cold feet. 

How to use a sleeping bag effectively 

There are ways to utilize a sleeping bag when thinking about being cold at night. Going to bed warm – Sleeping bags trap heat but cannot create it. Get warm before you get into your sleeping bag. Try drinking or eating something warm before going to bed — preferably something high in fat that will take longer to metabolize, thus creating more heat.  

Clothes in the bottom of your bag - If your sleeping bag is too long, your feet will get cold due to the extra space. To keep your feet warm, take extra clothing and stuff it at the bottom of your sleeping bag for extra insulation.  

General sleeping tips 

There are ways to stay warm while sleeping in colder conditions besides just layering up. 

Do not fall asleep right away – Before falling asleep try moving around to get your blood circulating, which will raise your body temperature. 

Do not cover your face – It is okay to wear a hat or cover your neck while sleeping. Do not cover your face with your sleeping bag because you will wake up cold from the moisture.  

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