Sleeping in Freezing Temperatures: 24 Tips to Stay [Alive]

gray dome tent on snow surface overlooking snow capped mountain under blue sky at daytime

Sleeping in Freezing Temperatures

Winter camping allows people to sleep outside and see the natural world without damaging it – something that’s not possible during other times of year.

Camping can be a great way to experience the outdoors, get some fresh air, and see new sights. However, there are some temperatures that are too cold for camping.

In this article, we will explore what those temperatures are and how to stay safe when camping in cold weather.

Is Cold Weather Camping Dangerous?

When it comes to camping, there are two types of seasons: summer and winter. And while both have their own unique dangers, cold weather camping can be especially hazardous if you’re not prepared.

That said, there are some things you can do to make your experience a bit safer. For starters, it’s important to remember that cold weather camping doesn’t attract the same crowds as summer camping does. So if something goes wrong, you’re less likely to find help out in the wilderness.

Of course, with great risk comes great reward and winter offers some amazing opportunities for outdoor activities such as skiing or hunting that simply aren’t available during other times of year. That being said, it’s important to camp close to good skiing spots or base climbs in order minimize your travel time on glaciers – which is by far the most dangerous part of any cold weather camping trip

What is the lowest temperature a human can survive outside?

Every individual has different tolerance levels for cold weather. The lowest temperature a human can survive outside is around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. In general, if the temperature falls below this threshold there is a chance of our body temperature goes way too low and we freeze to death.

Frostbite is a state where the skin becomes blue and feels numb. The coldest recorded frostbite occurred at -84 degrees Fahrenheit. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention right away.

man swimming on frozen water

How Cold Can It Be To Sleep Outside?

In general, you can sleep outside in temperatures above 30 degrees Fahrenheit. However, if it’s colder than that, you may want to use a professional sleeping bag and extra blankets. Keep in mind that the safe temperature to sleep outdoors varies based on the ambient temperature- so be sure to check the weather report before settling down for the night!

Sleeping outside can be a great experience, but it’s important to make sure you’re doing it in a safe environment. The temperature at which it is safe to sleep outside without a tent will vary depending on the time of year and your location.

Tips and Tricks While Camping in the Cold

When camping in cold weather, it is important to remember that the temperature will not be regulated like it is at home. You will need to endure the outdoor temperatures and take necessary precautions to stay warm. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out:

Use a good insulating sleeping pad between you and the ground – make sure to put the sleeping pad on top of an air mattress for maximum warmth and comfort! Moisture in a bag can cause condensation, which leads to cold spots because your body heat attracts water vapor from the cool air outside of the bag.

The most important tip is to not go to bed cold! Keep your face outside the bag when you breathe inside because it will create a clammy atmosphere and make you cold. The more people in your group, the warmer you will be.

Safety Tips from the Experts

When you are camping in cold weather, it is important to remember the “old adage” that states “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing”. You will want to wear layers of wool or synthetics and not cotton.

First and foremost, make sure you have a good sleeping bag. If you are considering a winter trip, it may be necessary to camp in the wilderness. When camping on a glacier, make sure you plan for excursions from camp in case of an emergency. Finally, always be prepared for all possible scenarios!

1. Do Your Research

One of the most important things that you can do when preparing for a winter camping trip is to do your research. This means checking in with the ranger stations at your chosen location and learning about the trails before you head out. You may also want to consider packing a map, compass, and/or GPS unit to help you navigate in case something happens and you lose your way.

In addition, it’s always a good idea to check the weather conditions ahead of time so that you can pack appropriately. And remember: even if the forecast looks good, always be prepared for colder temperatures and more severe weather conditions than expected.

If you’re having trouble with your forecast, don’t worry! There are plenty of great websites like which will help you find the right weather station nearby with an elevation of similar height to the campground you’re visiting.

2. Practice With a Trial Season

When you are first starting to learn a new skill, it is best to do a practice run before trying it out in the “real world.” For example, when I was learning how to bicycle, I did not start out by driving on the motorway. I started out by practicing in a residential area where there was little traffic. This allowed me to get comfortable with the basics of cycling before moving on to more challenging tasks.

The same principle applies when learning how to sleep in freezing temperatures. If you are less experienced with camping or have never slept outside in below-freezing weather, it is best to start off with short trips. This will allow you to become more comfortable with the necessary skills and reduce the chances of encountering any problems while sleeping outdoors.

3. Your Body Needs Energy

In order to keep your body running while you’re camping in freezing temperatures, it’s important to eat the right foods. You’ll need plenty of energy to stay warm, so be sure to pack a winter camping diet full of dense foods like chocolate, cheese and nuts. These foods will help your body’s metabolism run more efficiently and make you feel more full than carbs or protein alone.

4. Your Body Needs Water

Drink plenty of water as well, especially if you’re planning on spending a lot of time outdoors in the cold weather. Dehydration can quickly lead to hypothermia, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day (and avoid caffeine and alcohol).

Drink a warm meal before bedtime to help your body stay warm overnight. A hot bowl of soup or chili is perfect for this!

5. Have the Right Winter Sleeping Gear

Camping in the winter can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to make sure you have the right gear before you head out. One of the most important things is your sleeping system. You’ll want a good quality sleep system with a base layer, mid-layer, insulated layer and hard-shell outer layer to keep you warm in the cold.

Another key piece of gear is your clothing. Layering is important, so make sure you have a few different layers that you can put on or take off as needed. And don’t forget about your head and hands – they need protection from the cold too!

dome tent on mountain top with sun as background sleep outside outdoors

6. Camping Gear Basics

Don’t forget about your camping basics like tents, cooking supplies and first aid kits. Make sure you have everything you need to stay safe and comfortable while camping in the winter weather.

7. Sleeping Warm – Layer Up!

When you’re out in the cold for long periods of time, it’s important to be able to control your thermal comfort. That means knowing how to layer your clothing and having quick access to the next layer of warmth. As soon as you finish an activity, put on another layer so that it retains heat and doesn’t dissipate too quickly.

Wear as many layers as you can, especially around your core. If you get too warm, remove a layer or two. In cold weather, staying dry and warm is essential.

Sleeping bags can be purchased with different levels of warmth: microfiber liners add 5 degrees Fahrenheit, flannel or merino wool liners add 17 degrees Fahrenheit, and microfiber/flannel combinations offer 25 degrees Fahrenheit of warmth.

8. Clothing layers

If you’re a cold sleeper, dress in layers! Thermal underwear is a good place to start, followed by a wicking layer like a T-shirt or tank top. You’ll want an insulating layer like a fleece jacket or wool sweater, and then a waterproof and breathable outer shell. Make sure all of your clothes are tightly woven so that they don’t let the wind through.

9. Feet, Hand, Head protection – Hat, Gloves, Socks

Always have a warm hat and gloves handy! A knit cap will help conserve heat with your head. Dry socks before you go to bed can keep you warmer; however, it may be too hot for sleeping so remove layers or use a vent bag when needed.

10. Communicate When Needed

In order to be successful in the cold world, it is important that you are able to communicate with your family or friends in case of an emergency. This means being able to freely share information. In order to do this, you need some satellite or mobile phones which can operate in the cold. Don’t forget about batteries!

11. Rain Protection – Dry Gear is important

Camping in the cold can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to take some precautions to stay safe. Make sure you pack plenty of warm clothes, and don’t forget your rain jacket and pants! They’ll help keep you dry and warm when the weather turns bad.

If it starts raining while you’re camping, don’t worry. There are plenty of things you can do to stay dry and comfortable. One great option is to build a shelter out of tarps and rope. You can also make a fire to keep warm. Just make sure your tent is pitched on dry ground, away from any water sources.

And don’t forget to dress appropriately for the weather! Wear several layers so you can adjust as needed. With the right preparation, camping in cold weather can be just as enjoyable as any other kind!

12. Campfire Safety

Campfires are great for warmth and can be used to cook food. However, campfire safety is important, with a portable fire pit or shelter being needed when necessary. Bear in mind that not everyone knows how to make a campfire, as it isn’t always easy with wet wood or limited amounts of material!

So before you head out camping, choose a campground where you can make a fire.

13. Cooking in Cold Weather

Cooking at below freezing weather can be a challenge. Many people are not aware that isobutane stoves do not work well in cold weather. It’s best to use liquid white gas to cook food in cold temperatures instead of using an isobutane stove.

14. Sleep in Two Sleeping Bags

When camping in cold weather, many campers use two sleeping bags. One camper said that 15F + 35F = comfortable at zero degrees F when it’s cold enough to warrant a second sleeping bag, but not too warm. Two sleeping bags should fit inside each other, with the thinner-profile bag on the bottom. The thicker-profile bag can be put inside of a synthetic bag to prevent moisture from seeping outwards and wetting down the down sleeping bag’s insulation.

15. Avoid Common Sleeping Bag Mistakes

When camping in cold weather, there are a few mistakes to avoid. One is putting your head inside the sleeping bag if it is cold. This will reduce the bag’s effectiveness and you may end up getting very cold during the night.

If you’re too warm, change into a lighter/cooler sleeping bag instead of sweating profusely because it will get very cold at night. Choose a sleeping bag that is slightly too warm rather than one that is slightly too cool when camping in winter weather. The extra room in an adult-sized bag means that it won’t trap as much warmth.

16. Store Some Heat – Hot Water Bottle

When camping in cold weather, one of the best ways to keep warm is to use a hot water bottle. Here are some tips on how to do that:

  • To keep your sleeping bag warm, fill an un-insulated water bottle with hot water and place it in the foot of your sleeping bag.
  • To take extra precautions, put a second bottle filled with hot water in the middle of your sleeping bag.
  • Bring a sturdy, plastic bottle that is designed to hold hot liquids.

17. Use a Foam Sleeping Pad in Your Tent

When camping in cold weather, it’s important to have a close-cell foam pad to sit on. This will help keep your butt dry on the cold ground. A camping mat with a higher R-value is necessary for below freezing temperatures and can be used to create an extra layer of insulation over the primary air mat. If you don’t have a good sleeping pad, the ground will suck heat out of your body, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. So choose the highest R-value pad you can afford, and then stack pads to make it warmer. Never use a pump-type air mattress – they are ineffective in cold weather.

18. Follow the Sun

When camping in cold weather, it is important to orient your tent towards the sun. The sun will help to thaw frost and warm you up. In addition, make sure your tent will get morning sun. This will help to keep you warm throughout the day. Tents don’t actually trap heat; they block wind and snow, which is important for warmth. If possible, use a double wall tent in cold weather. This will provide an extra layer of insulation and protection from the elements. Lastly, grooved tent stakes may be helpful in digging into the ground when it’s wet/snowy outside

19. Go to the Bathroom Early

Camping in cold weather can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to go to the bathroom before bed. That’s because you’ll need gear for camping in cold weather, such as a sleeping bag. If you have to go in the night, it will be difficult to get up and out of your warm sleeping bag.

When this happens, it makes you colder and can disrupt your sleep cycle. So try not to procrastinate and go quickly!

20. Beware of Condensation

If you have a tent, keep it closed to prevent the formation of condensation. Condensation can cause your gear to become wet and increase the weight you’re carrying.

Pack your sleeping bag in a waterproof stuff sack so it will stay dry if it rains.

When packing up camp, make sure all your gear is completely dry before putting it away. This will help prevent mildew and other damage.

21. Get warm before bedtime

When camping in cold weather, it is important to get your body warm before bed. One way to do this is by drinking a hot drink like tea or cocoa. This will help your body heat up and get to sleep faster.

22. Stuff the bottom of your bag

Your feet are one of the most important parts of your body when camping in cold weather. To keep them warm and toasty, try stuffing some clothing into the bottom of your sleeping bag. This will help insulate your feet and keep them warm all night long.

23. Elevation Does Affect Temperature

Camping in cold weather can be a lot of fun, but it’s important to know how the elevation will affect the temperature. The general rule is that for every 1000 feet in elevation, the temperature decreases by 4°F (9.8°C). This is because there is less air pressure at high elevations, which causes temperatures to decrease.

Another factor to consider is the difference in temperature between high and low elevations. If you are camping near a higher elevation, be prepared for colder temperatures than what is forecasted. Conversely, if you are camping near a lower elevation, the temperatures may be warmer than expected.

To get the most accurate forecast for your campground, find a nearby weather station and take into account its elevation as well.

24. Be Prepared for Sudden Weather Changes

Fall and spring temperatures can be unpredictable, so it is important to plan for winter camping trips. Be aware that while daytime temperatures may be mild, nighttime temperatures will likely be much colder. Make sure you check the weather before heading out on a winter camping trip and avoid extreme cold conditions.

Also, familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and resources in case of any unexpected changes while on your trip. The closest ranger station is a great resource for updated information about trails or terrain during different times of year.

Can You Freeze to Death While Sleeping?

It’s a myth that you can freeze to death while sleeping. In fact, your chances of dying from hypothermia are much lower when you’re asleep than when you’re awake and trying to survive in the cold. This is because your body temperature drops more slowly at night, giving your system time to adjust and preserve heat.

That doesn’t mean it’s safe to sleep through a blizzard, though! When temperatures drop below freezing, it’s important to take precautions against hypothermia – which is a core body temperature drop below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The first sign of hypothermia is usually drowsiness, so be on the lookout for people who may be sleepy or unsteady on their feet. If someone appears to be suffering from hypothermia, try to get them up and walking around in order to warm their body back up again.

In extreme cases, hypothermia can lead to death within minutes without proper clothing and gear. That’s why it’s important for everyone – especially those living in cold climates – to know how to stay warm when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Some tips include layering clothes, wearing a hat and scarf, drinking plenty of fluids, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

What Are Cold Weather Sleeping Bags?

When the weather starts to get cold, it is important to have the right gear to stay warm. One essential item for cold weather is a sleeping bag that will keep you comfortable in freezing temperatures. There are many different types of sleeping bags available, but one type that is especially well-suited for cold weather is the mummy-shaped sleeping bag.

Mummy-shaped sleeping bags are designed to keep you warm in very cold temperatures. They have insulation and a hood that helps trap heat and prevent it from escaping. In addition, these sleeping bags typically come in sizes that are appropriate for temperatures below freezing.

Can you sleep outside in 40 degree weather?

In the 40 degrees range, sleeping outside can be a pleasant experience as long as you have the right gear. You’ll need to dress in layers and make sure you are covered up well. Sleeping warmer than 68 degrees will keep your body producing melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone which promotes sleep and can also be used as an anti-aging remedy.

Sleeping bags come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and what’s right for you will depend on your individual needs and lifestyle. That said, there are some general tips that can help you stay warm when sleeping outside in cold weather.

How does a cold room affect the body?

When the temperature is cold, our bodies have to work a little bit harder to maintain a normal body temperature. This is because when we’re cold, our blood vessels constrict and keep the warm blood close to the skin’s surface. In other words, our internal organs are working a bit harder than usual to keep us warm.

While sleeping in a cold room won’t cause you to gain weight, it can help boost your metabolism. This happens because when your body has to work harder to maintain its core temperature, it burns more calories. And since you’re probably not going to be moving around much while you sleep, even this small increase in calorie burn can help you lose weight over time.

Contrary to popular belief, sleeping in a cold room doesn’t contribute to nightmares. In fact, if your room is too hot it can actually lead to bad dreams. This happens because when we’re too hot our brains become restless and tend produce more intense or disturbing dreams.

At what temperature can you sleep outside?

The best temperature for sleeping would fall between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything lower or higher than this range might make it difficult to sleep.

If you are looking to purchase a sleeping bag, choose one with a rating between 30 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that you stay comfortable throughout the night.

It is also important to research the lowest temperatures that occur during your planned trip. By knowing this information, you can be better prepared for the weather conditions on any given night.

When looking for the temperature rating on a sleeping bag, it’s important to remember that this is only an estimate. The temperature might change throughout the night, so you’ll want to be prepared for colder weather. It’s also vital that your sleeping bag stays dry, as wet insulation will lose its effectiveness.

Down fill provides the best insulation and should be a priority when selecting a sleeping bag for cold weather. Be sure to look for outer fabrics that are water-resistant or waterproof, as this will help keep you warm and dry.

Can Getting More Deep Sleep Help Me Survive Sleeping in Freezing Temperatures?

Getting more deep sleep can actually help you survive sleeping in freezing temperatures. During deep sleep, your body temperature drops, which can make you more resistant to the cold. To ensure quality sleep, maintain a consistent sleep schedule, create a comfortable sleeping environment, and avoid caffeine and electronic devices before bed. These tips for better sleep will help you feel well-rested and better equipped to endure extreme temperatures while snoozing.

Can you sleep outside in degrees?

When the temperature dips below freezing, it’s important to take some precautions if you’re planning on sleeping outside. A cold weather sleeping bag is essential for keeping warm in frigid temperatures, and it’s also a good idea to dress in layers and have a hat and gloves handy. In addition, make sure you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.

It’s possible to sleep in very cold weather as long as you are prepared. Dress in layers, wear a hat and gloves, and drink plenty of fluids so you stay hydrated. If you have a cold weather sleeping bag rated for 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be able to rest comfortably outdoors even when the temperature is well below freezing.


By lezt

Lez Taylor, Founder and CEO of Corala Blanket. She tried every sleep system and trick to conquer her insomnia for good.