View Full Version : Cold sleeper to warm sleeper
Is it possible to train yourself to sleep warmer? Even on a warm summer night I prefer to be inside a 30 degree bag. If I could "train" myself to sleep comfortably with a fleece liner/summer bag/sleeping bag liner I'm sure I could cut some weight.
Anyone have a similar experience or thoughts on how to make this change?
The elderly often complain about being cold presumably because their circulation is not what it used to be. So, ensuring your cardiovascular system is pumping well is a place to start. You can also play games with wearing different pieces of clothing in your bag, snacking before and during the night, wearing a balaclava, etc.
But everyone adjusts to their own environment. That's why, when I was in Alaska and again in England, my neighbors were very uncomfortable with temps in the mid 80s. Conversely, I've been relishing highs of mid-40s this season here in western Montana while my San Antonio friends shiver at the thought.
Because my house is passive solar my heating is set to about 60 -- pretty cool house temps for most people. Any warmer temp is reached thru the grace of clear, sunny days. I used to dress pretty heavily in the house but no longer do so because I've grown use to the cool. In fact, when the house hits 70+ I now start to feel warmish. Of course when those buds from Texas come visit they dress in long johns, sweaters and watch caps and wrap up in blankets...in the house! They are such good sports! And funny, too!! :p But I noticed last visit they weren't wearing caps at the end of their stay.
So yes, you can adapt and/or train for the cold. And it may be why last season I was able to hammock-hang in sub-freezing temps without a bag and just sleep in my cold weather clothes on a 1/4" pad. But I think it's very important to get 'adapted' before you hit the trail :D . I'd start by turning down the house temp.
Great response by Fiddle, and like him, I agree that it is more of an adaptation. For our thru starting Feb 1, we tried to adapt our perception of temperature comfort by turning off the heat in our house during the winter and by wearing shorts during the winter. Sometimes we would also open the windows in our bedrooms. The inside temp of our apt hoevered around 50-55 during the day and was just a tad cooler at night. We tried not to wear a lot of clothes inside the house so as to become adapted. We got a few stares wearing shorts and a lightweight jacket in 35-40 degree weather, but I believed it helped us.
yes but like the old boy said start by turning heat down at house,while hiking I shun the concept of starting a fire at nights,not all the time but usually so that my body does not get use to the sudden heat change,Im speaking in cold weather respectfully.:rolleyes: Hipo
Put on 40 pounds of body weight, and you'll sleep alot warmer. Seriously, I wouldn't try to cut pack weight be becoming a warmer sleeper as the weight difference between a 30 degree bag and a 20 degree bag isn't that much. My Highlight (40 degrees) and Ultralight (20 degrees) differ by about 14 oz. This isn't the kind of weight savings that is worth the years of being uncomfortable to be able to sleep a little warmer.
Incidently, I used to be a much warmer sleeper than I am now. I was also 60 pounds heavier.
I've always been an ICY cold sleeper, and I started my thruhike more than 40 pounds overweight...
I'm extremely thin...5'10 130...so I have no built in insulation and can't take the slightest bit of cold...well couldn't...
I started a new job in December working on the water near Boston...and it has been a long Cold Winter. Somehow in the last three months I have become acclimated to the cold to the point that I can shed a layer at 30 degrees. (the nights of the -27 wind chill must've done that...I'm still in Polypro and wool sweater...but I don't need the Carhartt over that anymore.)
I think it could be dangerous to intentionally acclimate oneself to colder temperatures, especially if you try to exceed the bodies natural rate of acclimatization. Meaning, I noticed a slight change over the course of three months...I don't think opening the windows in my bedroom a week or two before a cold weather hike would probably would do anything.
As for trying to hike with a lighter bag...I want a temp rating down into the thirties even in June as a safety measure...a Frost Night is not impossible up here any time of the year...just read about what happens on Mount Washington. To lighten up...I switched to a homemade quilt. Thick enough to get down to the thirties. If it get's too warm, I just flip it off my torso, or stick my feet out the end. Cool feet chill down the body in a hurry. Loosing the Hood, Underside, and Zipper from a mummy bag lightens it up in a hurry.
Learn some meditation. Budhist monks have been shown to raise their body temperature enough to melt snow around them. Try some of that out. It will also help you attain nirvana.
This winter for the first time, I have been VERY cold doing day hikes in minus 30 F temps. Especially, my hands and feet. NUMB after 30 minutes... Probably brought on by my age. My breakfast has always been a POT of coffee - no food. Changed that routine and now eat "something"; usually pancakes.
Now, I am WARM...!!! I am a complete novice at hammock-hanging; but, in my back yard tests at 14 F, I found that eating a big meal before sleeping out there in that cold made a LOT of difference. I was warm & toasty.
I have seen several Posts here re: food and keeping your body core heat UP. Somewhat confusing as to whether it should be lots of fats or sugars or proteins; but, experiment with a good meal and keep eating all day - every couple hours eat something. It has -<AMAZINGLY>- worked for me...<g>...
I understand good digestion, or rather a powerful digestion, causes me to sleep warmer than most. May I suggest "digestives" like friendly hot peppers sauce? stuff like that works.
I also have used tsumo meditation, grasshopper. ;) It is also possible to slow everything down, and not mind the cold, if the ambient temperatures are not too cold. Risk. The tsumo meditation is safer: it is the fire in the belly, hara point.
My favorite is hormones in the feed of cheap hamburger, packaged or dried. It's that "time 'o life" for "hot flashes". No kidding. It works! The women get away with everything! Especially LOL.
My favorite is hormones in the feed of cheap hamburger, packaged or dried. It's that "time 'o life" for "hot flashes". No kidding. It works! The women get away with everything! Especially LOL Good ole Meat Sweats, I guess one more reason why I don't eat the crap.
What I have found to work best for bringing up my perception of hot/cold is to raise my basal metabolism by use of daily exercise. I've been doing that in preparation for my upcoming hike, and it has changed my outlook drastically as to what feels cold and what doesn't.
I get out and walk hard with a heavier pack than I'll be carrying on the AT for a couple of hours per day. It has to be up and down steep-ish hills to help much. I wasn't able to exercise for the last week or so because of a nasty case of the flu, and now a sinus infection. I think I'll be able to work out with this sinus thingie, I'll just be uncomfortable doing it. That should be no big deal though.
Try the heavy exercise thing. It should work well for you.
Hey, if it is -34 F and no wind, I can walk the 4 miles into a nearby grocery store for coffee and socializing. I know. I did.
I never remark about grits SGT Rock mentions.
I may even TRY grits someday: grits are not sold around here.
Grits and Baco bits and hot stuff. Yum. :p
On an even more serious note, I have had a bicyclist tell me his secret stuff, better than Cytomax he says, because it is all natural stuff: increases oxygen uptake and no lactic acid buildup. The secret health food store is at Judah and 24th, I think, in San Francisco. I am going there. I am doing important "research". No Montana cold winter, for me, no sir.