How to Keep Warm while Sleeping in COLD Temperatures


Wear mittens instead of gloves. Use a stocking cap or a hat with ear flaps. In a storm or strong wind, tie your neckerchief over your nose and ears, let the point down over your chin. Wear two pairs of socks in waterproof boots that are comfortable and not too tight.

Keep moving or active, this is the best way to stay warm. If you become cold let your patrol leader know. If you cannot get warm or you have a problem during the night, see the Scoutmaster or one of the other adults immediately.


Keep C-O-L-D to stay warm. COLD may not seem like the key to keeping warm, but if you look at it this way:










Remember this key, it will help you learn techniques for staying warm in cold weather!

Sleeping Bag:

When getting into the sleeping bag remove all of your clothes (including underwear) and put on clean, dry sleeping clothes. Use separate sleeping items to keep moisture from day’s activities from evaporating and chilling you during the night. You can use your sleeping bag for privacy, just make sure you put the clothes you took off outside of the bag!

Use one sleeping bag if the temperature will be above 40 degrees. Use a second sleeping bag inside the first (with zippers on opposite sides) for temperatures down to 15-20 degrees. For colder temperatures use clothing such as loose fitting wool socks, sweat suit, mittens, stocking cap, etc. (Heavy blankets can be substituted for a second sleeping bag)

If your feet get cold during the night, put on the stocking cap. This will warm your feet. If you get too warm, take some clothing off or climb on top one of your sleeping bags. The average person needs two inches of insulation around their body to keep warm at zero degrees.


Before pitching a tent in the snow, pack the snow with your feet or scrape it away until a firm layer is reached. If the snow is not deep, it is even better to dig down until the grass shows. Pitch your tent with the closed back into the wind.

For a ground bed, lay down a heavy layer of dead leaves or pine needles. Cover that layer with a ground cloth or a piece of canvas. Fluff up your sleeping bag to get plenty of insulating air into it just before going to bed.

In place of the leaves, you can use a foam pad and/or newspapers inside the tent. Place plastic on the bottom of the tent then foam pad or newspapers and another piece of plastic. The idea is to trap a pocket of air between the ground and the sleeping bag.


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