57 votes
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What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Common mistakes, some of which I've made: Unfamiliarity with equipment - this isn't specific to winter camping of course, but if you've used all the gear before in milder conditions, then there's ...
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  • 4,348
40 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Some common mistakes, definitely nothing close to exhaustive, so feel free to edit (I'll make it a community wiki if appropriate). If the point is about what you should do, the mistake is not doing it ...
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  • 21.5k
35 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

To add to the already-good other contributions: Wearing cotton clothing is a common mistake. When cotton gets wet (from sweat or external sources), it doesn't quickly get dry, and that cold moisture ...
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  • 740
33 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

As to why you're still cold with those specs: it happens to me as well, and I think the specs are for the 'average' person meaning not only average amount of body fat but also average temperature ...
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  • 871
28 votes
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Sleeping in unheated outbuilding for a prolonged period

The biggest heat loss will be to the concrete floor and there too will be the greatest condensation from body moisture, with potential for mould growth and rotting. I would provide insulation and a ...
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  • 2,805
27 votes
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What coat should I wear when camping that won't be damaged through melting by embers from a fire?

Wool does not melt or drip This answer might surprise you: wool! Wool (...) does not melt or drip(.) Wool ignites at a higher temperature than cotton and some synthetic fibers. It has a lower rate of ...
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  • 23.4k
25 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

If you're consistently cold in your sleeping system, then you need to change your system. An adequate sleep system for cold weather constitutes two sleeping pads: a solid foam sleeping pad underneath ...
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  • 53k
21 votes

Sleeping in unheated outbuilding for a prolonged period

Moisture is absolutely the biggest problem here. It will build up under you, so you have to get yourself and your sleeping bag off the concrete. A bare minimum would be a ground sheet and a foam ...
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  • 1,030
19 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

Here are some other things you can try, Fill a water bottle with hot water, wrap it in a t-shirt and put that inside your sleeping bag. Don't drink warm tea before you go to bed, as that will ...
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18 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Winter outdoor recreation can be a place where the margin of error is a lot smaller than in warm-weather/typical camping season. Winter stuff also just takes a lot more overall energy to do anything, ...
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  • 181
16 votes
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How could a lighter winter sleeping bag also be warmer?

I think it is easiest to see the difference here: Specification Chart The heavier one is a semi rectangular bag while the lighter one is a mummy bag. Both bags have the same amount of loft, which is ...
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  • 10.5k
16 votes

Sleeping in unheated outbuilding for a prolonged period

As the others point out, you need to get off the ground a bit; my suggestion is to get hold of a couple of wooden pallets - where I live (UK), I can find them for free wherever there is building work ...
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  • 261
15 votes

Is it safe to wear a down jacket while building a fire

In the context of camping, it's perfectly safe to wear a down jacket. Keep in mind that fleece is typically also made from synthetics, and so can be expected to have similar properties to your down ...
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  • 8,358
15 votes

Do truly all-season tents exist?

Of course. You can (almost) always cool down a 4-season tent, but you can't very well protect a 2-season tent from a blizzard. The primary concern is weight, but if you're going to be camping near a ...
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  • 8,620
14 votes

Any tips to reduce chance that I have to get up and pee in the night (not counting dehydration, of course)

What has already been said: pee and don't drink before sleeping. Have a bowel movement in the evening if necessary. The full rectum pressing upon the bladder can trigger urination. From the same ...
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  • 1,309
13 votes
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Do "R" values add proportionally?

Yes, the R-value will add of your different layers. If you wear layer A with R=5 and layer B with R=2.5, the overall insulation value will be R=7.5. To explain this a bit, we think of two layers or ...
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12 votes

Is there a simple at-home test to objectively measure the insulating value of a sleeping pad?

If you want to test a sleeping pad's insulation yourself at home, then the way to do that would be to try sleeping outside your house in and see how they work. That is worth doing because you might ...
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12 votes

Will I be warmer in my sleeping bag inside or outside of my tent, when winter camping?

The tent will definitely be warmer because it keeps the wind away. As you are sleeping your body produces heat and a tent helps keep that warmer air around instead of it blowing away in the wind. ...
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11 votes

Do truly all-season tents exist?

Well... a 4 season tent is a 4 season tent... You can use it during the whole year without any problems while a 2 season tent might not be as pleasant during the winter. I receive questions like this ...
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  • 2,338
11 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

A point others haven't stressed enough is that the sleeping bag specs I have encountered are way off, in my experience. My experience is that the sleeping bag should be as warm as possible, under ...
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11 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Don't underestimate condensation. Other answers have mentioned sleeping mats. The problem is that if you're camped on cold ground, you've got a cold groundsheet, and that's going to get condensation ...
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  • 2,209
11 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Haven't seen this one yet: It may be tempting, but don't pitch your tent under a snow-covered tree, unless you're prepared for that snow to fall on you. Speaking from (youthful) experience here.
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  • 111
10 votes

Why do I always wake up freezing?

Putting together a lot of ideas already covered and adding some tips I've gotten over time. I don't have much natural insulation and get cold easily, so these tips have all been important for me. ...
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  • 3,931
10 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

Underestimating how hard it is to walk in the snow I have done quite a lot of summer hiking and decided to go in winter on a track I knew well. The track was layered with about a meter of snow. It ...
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  • 280
9 votes

Is there a simple at-home test to objectively measure the insulating value of a sleeping pad?

It is not clear whether you are motivated mainly by scientific curiosity or mainly by a desire to ensure comfort in the wild. My answer assumes the latter. This answer adds only one point to Charlie'...
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  • 22.4k
9 votes

What are some common mistakes to avoid when trying winter camping for the first time?

I have camped for a month in March/April in Alaska. The biggest problem that we had was managing moisture of clothing, and bedding. Things slowly get more moist, largely from breathing and you ...
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8 votes
Accepted

Tent Fly Coloured Reflective Tape

I recommend reflective lines for at night, and standard flagging tape for during the day. Both are lightweight and the triptease line really jumps out at night when hit with a light.
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