Don’t spend your camping trip shivering instead of sleeping.

It is all fun and games when it comes to camping outdoors until you find your teeth chattering during a chilly night. Let’s face it; those fabric tent walls can only do so much when it comes to keeping you warm. There are so many things to consider when planning how to stay warm in a tent. Factors such as the environment, location, tent type, and season all make a different to your ease of warmth. Whether you are camping in the desert or along the path to a Colorado 14er, you can still utilize some clever do it yourself camping tools to stay warm. In the interest of keeping your toes cozy, we have five helpful tips to do just this.

Check out these five clever hacks on how to stay warm in a tent.

1. Consider the seasonal capacity of your tent.

how to stay warm in a tent - seasonal capacity

Before you even purchase your tent, it is ideal to examine just what time of year you are going to use it. Camping in the middle of the summer is a lot different than camping in the late fall. Your tent’s seasonal capacity says so much about how well it retains heat. Three season tents are intended for spring, summer, and fall camping excursions. These types of tents are excellent for protecting again wind and rain, and often offer maximum ventilation. With this in mind, you can expect three season tents to have plenty of mesh openings.

In the interest of retaining heat during cold nights, you may want to consider purchasing a four season tent. While three-season tents have optimal aeration, four season tents are built with harsher temperatures in mind. These types of tents are typically built without mesh, and utilize nylon or polyester to generate maximum heat preservation. Here there are often vents to keep a healthy airflow, but they are designed to keep the heat inside your tent. When determining just the type of tent you need, it really depends on when and where you are camping. Be sure to consider this before you buy your tent, just so you don’t regret it later.

2. Strategize your campsite location.

You may not realize it, but your campsite’s location matters when it comes to how to stay warm in a tent. You might try and set up camp in a low profile valley region. Before you do this, consider that heat rises and cold tends to settle at points nearer to the ground. If you are camping in a wide valley, your campsite is more susceptible to strong winds. It is also smart to avoid camping directly next to a body of water. The liquid generates a naturally cooler air temperature, which hinders your attempt to keep warm. While you don’t want to camp at the lowest point, you also don’t want to set up shop at the highest place either. Higher summits also means greater wind and increased exposure to the elements. Aim for a comfortable location with middle ground elevation.

3. Always bring plenty of external heating resources.

how to stay warm in a tent - external heating resources

As you plan how to stay warm in a tent, think about ways you can easily create your own heat. There are several simple ways to add even a few degrees of warmth to those chilly evenings. Hand and toe warmers are extremely affordable and super lightweight. These tiny heaters don’t add any significant weight to your already full bag and keep your digits toasty. Hot water bottles are also an excellent way to generate warm. With these, you need to heat up some water over the fire and then fill up the hot water bottle. Stick it inside your sleeping bag an hour or so before you turn in, and enjoy a nicely warmed up space later.

For other ideas, consider different tools to retain heat. Bring your warmest blanket and pillow to use inside your sleeping bag. It is also a good idea to sleep on a sleeping pad, to add that extra layer of cushion between you and the cool ground beneath. Even bringing along a space blanket isn’t the worst idea, just in case. These special emergency thermal blankets are built to retain bodily warmth. Though you will really only need one in severely cold situations, it is easy to simply tuck on into your backpack just in case.

4. Keep your head and feet covered while you sleep.

how to stay warm in a tent - Keep your head and feet covered while you sleep

The most important way to retain body heat is to wear the right clothing. Your tent can only do so much if your extremities are poorly covered. It is imperative that you keep your head and feet covered through the night. This might mean wearing multiple pairs of socks and an extra warm beanie. While hiking makes you sweaty, once you set up camp, you will want to layer up with some extra clothes. However that looks like for you, just make sure you pack extra options. Plan ahead to go shopping for extra warm wool socks and a winter beanie, if you don’t already have them. These sweet accessories are extra cozy when worn snuggled up inside your tent.

5. Heat up some rocks.

Heating up some stones is an excellent method for how to stay warm in a tent. This might feel like you are reverting back to heating methods of our primordial ancestors, but it likely worked for them. Plus you don’t have to carry rocks with you as you hike to your campsite. Once you set up camp, pick out a few rocks that are roughly 10 lbs and leave them next to your campfire. Let the rocks warm up slowly throughout the evening. As the sun sets and you get ready for bed, wrap the warm rocks in towels and place them in the center of your tent. These hot rocks are sure to keep your tent feeling toasty for several hours. If this sounds too complex, you can also bring along some air-activated charcoal rocks. These are smaller and easier to stuff in and around your sleeping bag.

Zip up your sleeping bag and sleep with ease as you master how to stay warm in a tent.

Sleeping outside doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice comfort. Rather, it simply challenges you to think outside the box when creating the perfect place to crash. Though the nighttime may prove cold, you can rest easy when you prepare your tent the right way. These five clever hacks are ideal do it yourself solutions for how to stay warm in a tent. Don’t be afraid to try them out during that big camping adventure you have coming up.

Related Article: 6 Best Tent Heaters For Your Next Fall Camping Trip