How do you stop the cold night air getting in your bed?

Submitted: Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 08:59
ThreadID: 79104 Views:9067 Replies:16 FollowUps:11
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Good Morning all, Just finishing unpacking from 6 days in NSW outback regions of Menindee and Mungo. The weather was great with clear sunny days and very clear cold nights. Some road closures while other were a little slippery. Plenty of mud on the truck. I camped in my tent each night and had what I thought would be plenty of insulation between me and the camp stretcher bed. I had a sliver lined ground cover sheet, an old sleeping bag and a thick blanket, no mattress, and my old trusty sleeping bag, and still the cold night air managed to get through into my old bones. Has anyone else had this problem and successfully solved it without having to drag along large amounts of bedding. It has been suggested that I sleep on the ground there by eliminating the cold air between the ground and the bed. I thought that I may have to look at a new sleeping bag but it was warm enough on top just the cold coming through from underneath. It has also been suggested to have a blanket draped over the stretcher down to the floor of the tent which is what I tried but no difference, still cold. I have looked at so called insulation mattresses but don't wish to spend that sort of money if the end result is the same, and it becomes just something else to pack up each day.
Maybe it is time for roof top tent. :-)
Any thoughts.

Cheers Dave
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Reply By: Member - Julie P (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:07

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:07
Try using a rubber backed picnic blanket underneath - rubber side down - we always used one on top of the bed in our camper trailer ant it worked, so maybe it would do underneath as well. Worth a try.
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Follow Up By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:19

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:19
Thanks Julie for you prompt reply, I know the type of picnic blanket you mentioned and I have tried that last trip but unfortunately still cold aching bones :-(

I have a home made teardrop camper that I take away when my wife travels with me and it's not going off road. I built in 50mm of floor insulation so no such sleep problems in there. Maybe I am spoilt, or just getting old but you would think that someone would make an insulation blanket that works.

Cheers Dave
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Reply By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:07

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:07
Gday Dave
I use a piece of 3mm rubber under myself and sleep on the ground in a sleeping bag. Sometimes i use my sons self inflating mattress when he is not there. But the 3mm rubber stops the moisture coming through. I use 3mm because it is readily available.
Murray
I am in the 3195 area. If that is close come and have a look.
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Reply By: Spana - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:15

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:15
Before I upgraded to the swag, the old stretcher was my home away from home too. I still remember using using a few blankets plus my dog on top, but yeah still got cold, was a bit slow to realise at first that it was coming from under me. On that trip I had no extra blankets, so used the one blanket folded double underneath me, and with my sleeping bag, drizza-bone coat and dog on me was a heap warmer!
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Follow Up By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:24

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:24
I know what you mean, My uncle told me in the army year ago they issued you with 4 blankets, three for underneath and one on top. You guessed it still cold :-)
Maybe a good swag is what I need!!!

Cheers Dave
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Follow Up By: Spana - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:33

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:33
Swag was the best thing i spent my hard earned on for years! a heap bulkier, but I sleep as well in there as I do in in my own bed! Good insurance for when I get moved to the doghouse too :)
Have now upgraded to a camper trailer, recieved it this week, so sawg might get a bit more shed dust now

Troy
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Reply By: Member - Amy G (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:37

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 09:37
I think the mattress makes a huge difference- a high density foam one (like a 4WD mattress or 60mm swag high density mattress) really helps to keeps the cold from the ground out. I know they are a bit bigger to roll up but they keep you so much warmer. The higher density the foam, the better insulation it provides- a good one is well worth the money.

As you've been doing, put something under the mattress (we're outside in a swag so we use tarp or shadecloth), and then something on top of it to provide an extra barrier (we use a queen size polarfleece blanket, double it over for extra warmth). Then put your sleeping bag, and something over the top of that (ie your old sleeping bag or an old quilt). Then put your beanie on to keep your head warm.

Is a swag an option? If you get one of the flat ones without bendy poles, you can put the swag in the tent for an extra layer of canvas on top as well and you don't need to carry the bottom ground cover. You can roll up the bedding inside the swag so you're not carrying around heaps of blankets etc. We actually omit the sleeping bag and make up our swag like a bed- mattress, under blanket (polarfleece), bottom sheet, top sheet, top blanket (wool- two if it's going to be freezing temps), polyester-filled old quilt- it is so warm (we wear summer pyjamas) and doesn't actually roll up much bigger than with nothing in it- we use the same straps. In single form I don't imagine it would be any bigger than carrying a stretcher, two sleeping bags, a tarp and a blanket.

Anyway, just some ideas from someone who can't often stay warm :) Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:13

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:13
Gday,
Get a swag?
Problem solved.....


Cheers
AnswerID: 419744

Reply By: Fab72 - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:42

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 10:42
Went camping with a mate once who recons the only solution to avoiding the cold night air from getting into your bed was to stay up all night drinking by the camp fire.

Personally, I used to take away a cheap ($40) spare sleeping bag and stuff all my clothes, towels, etc into it and use that directly on my roll out rubber mattress. Worked a treat and clothes were pre-warmed in the morning. Cheap, and easy to carry.

Now with wife and three kids in tow, I am regretabley forced to stay in cabins.

My advice...try it on the back lawn and see what you think. It worked for me and I HATE the cold with a passion. Anything less than 18 degrees drives me into hibernation. And wear a beanie.
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Reply By: robertbruce - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:16

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:16
my vote is more blankets underneath than above and a beanie - cold feet means cold head...
AnswerID: 419758

Reply By: sweetwill - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:25

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:25
mate.
a good swag,with 3" foam base, and a quality sleeping bag, inside the tent if needed that is all you will need. cheers bill.
AnswerID: 419761

Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:26

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 11:26
Gaday David. Your problem is the cold will always come up from the below because your bedding is being compressed by your weight. Upgrading to a better sleeping bag wont change much as again the loft will be flattened. Silver ground sheets too make almost no difference. If you are going to sleep on a raised mattress the best option is to lie on a sheet of closed cell foam. Available from Clark Rubber they are cheap & roll up fairly compact. 10mm should be thick enough to do the job. We use them when snow camping so they do work well.
Cheers Craig.............
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 12:05

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 12:05
Craig is absolutely right.

If you cant get a 10mm one, get 2 cheapies and lay them onto your stretcher before any bedding is put down....no more cold.

That being said a Thermarest is a better and more comfortable solution, but will cost way more $$.

For sleeping in a hiking tent in the snow, I use a very thin 2mm closed cell foam mat which covers the whole tent floor and then my Thermarest and I have no problems with cold from beneath. In fact when it gets really cold (I have slept in -23C) it is actually colder from above, but a high quality sleeping bag will sort that out.

Bottom line is you really have to spend a little to be comfortable in all conditions.

Cheers,

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - MUZBRY(Vic) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 12:58

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 12:58
Gday Mark
I have a ready supply of closed cell neoprene , so i will test it out next trip.
Murray
Muzbry
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Reply By: Member - Kevin J (Sunshine Coa - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 13:51

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 13:51
Grew up in cold country and bed was a straw filled matress on a wire base on a partially enclosed verandah. There is only one answer. Newspaper. The old Courier Mail (Broardsheet) opened out provided several layers of insulation between the body and the air. Was also how we 'ironed' our school uniform pants. Spread the trousers on top of the paper underlay and then cover with a couple of extra pages. Did a great job.

In our van we use a sheet of cardboard under the innerspring mattress - I've got old and need my comfort - as well as putting carpet on the floor of the storage area under the bed.

All the old swaggies carried their newspaper eiderdown as they travelled the Downs in winter.

Kevin J
AnswerID: 419781

Follow Up By: johnsuzy - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 14:06

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 14:06
When I was little I can remember my mum putting newspaper under our mattresses. We were heaps warmer.
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 15:53

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 15:53
Know what you mean - if you can't stay warm, nothing else matters much ! Coupla lessons I've learned first hand, re the cold - synthetic thermal long johns and long sleeved T's work very well - the one's I have are very thin and light - they add nothing to one's 'bulk' (just as well for me). About $50 the pair at most - end of winter sales are a good time to buy them - teamed up with warm outer clobber they can make a huge difference. The other one was sleeping bags - we started to get cold in our 'favourite old zip together sleeping bags" at one stage - bloke in a camping store convinced us that despite being well looked after, they do lose their effectiveness - the fill collapses and won't restore itself. We bought two new bags for a very reasonable price and he was dead right - a huge difference. Out with the wallet Dave - let those moths go free ! :-o)
AnswerID: 419788

Reply By: Peterbilt - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:37

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:37
I use a Thermarest to stop the rising cold but as someone else mentioned, they are expensive. A silk sleeping bag liner ($60) will retain body heat more effectively than a cotton one; a good -5C or even -10C sleeping bag is not that expensive ($150?) and well worth it for those cold desert nights. Nothing worse than being cold in bed. - Peter
AnswerID: 419806

Reply By: Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:42

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 17:42
One of these should help keep you warm and supply the beverages at the same time.

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Follow Up By: Fab72 - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 18:29

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 18:29
Haha...love it Doug. Don't know how much sleep I'd get if I had that in my bed.!!!!
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 19:52

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 19:52
I'm with Doug....+ more Rum is your answer.

Trevor.
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Follow Up By: Ianw - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:05

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:05
Too skinny!! She would be colder than me!!!

Ian
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:17

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 20:17
C'mon Ian, think outside the square...surely she has a sister or a friend that could help her keep you warm? ;-))

Trevor.
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Reply By: Member - Serendipity(WA) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 21:19

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 21:19
G'day David

As mention before - Get a swag.

We use a swag with a -10deg sleeping bag on a camp stretcher and not a problems

David

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Reply By: Member - Christopher P (NSW) - Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 22:14

Sunday, Jun 06, 2010 at 22:14
me and the wife use, a removalist blanket tent floor, tarp , selfinflating materess, sleeping bag and then on top, two doonas and a blanket, but if we get really cold we always take a second removalist blanket for extra warmth.
AnswerID: 419855

Follow Up By: Madfisher - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:31

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 21:31
I have been using a removealist blanket since 1972 Chris, though I was the only one lol. I also put a thin foam mattress under my air bed as well.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Member - David C2 (VIC) - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 10:40

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 10:40
Thanks everyone for your thoughts, I will purchase a better quality sleeping bag and a swag and I think that this will help with the cold night air. The swag will also help keep my bag dry from the condensation on those really cold nights.

Happy travels
Cheers Dave
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