Ways To Deal With Cold Ground When Camping

Discussion in 'Camping/Outdoor Living' started by ezm8, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. newbie-one

    newbie-one one with the newbiverse

    Cold ground has been a significant problem for me when camping. I've tried using an air mattress and blankets, but the cold seems to come up right through it.

    Do you know of any good solutions for cold ground?

    Some possibilities include a camping cot, an integrated cot/tent, and an integrated hammock/tent.
  2. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood Senior Moment

    Sleep in the camp fire?

    Wait! That wouldn't work quite right....
    1 person likes this.
  3. Moonglow181

    Moonglow181 Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    100% wool blankets underneath....Wool keep sheep warm....
    IDK...just a thought.

    Feather down quilts?
    3 people like this.
  4. His Eden

    His Eden Queen of Mean

    Put an open sleeping bag, outer side down to block out the cold, on the mattress and then your bedding on top of it. It was worked well for us.
    2 people like this.
  5. I'minmyunderwear

    I'minmyunderwear voice of sexy

    i don't have much experience with cold weather camping, but as a general rule i've found that the more layers of blanket between yourself and the cold surface, the warmer you'll be. this method has been proven to work on the unheated waterbed at my parents' house, which would give you instant hypothermia if you tried sleeping in it without the bottom blankets.
    1 person likes this.

    GLENGLEN Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    Make Sure You Always Take Someone To Sleep Under You...... :D

    Cheers Glen.
    2 people like this.
  7. TheGhost

    TheGhost Auuhhhhmm ...

    Air mattress won't cut it, in fact it's completely useless. Get yourself on of those inflatable camping mats (e.g. Coleman
    1 person likes this.
  8. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    The advantage of a thick air mattress (like the side you lay on 10 or 15 cm above ground) is that the coldest air remains under you. But the air mattress alone won't do it of course. But... it's better than a 5 cm inflatable mat in my experience.
    Further, layers are naturally preferable because you can get rid of or add more (gettting too hot isn't nice either) just as it suits you. A good sleeping bag is better than a good blanket but an extra good blanket or sleeping bag underneath you never hurts.
    Last (but not least): I never had it or made use of it but one of my friends has thermo underwear and has slept like a baby at april festival campings when the rest were sleeping in our clothes in our sleeping bags.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Bud D

    Bud D Member

    I've done a bit of winter camping. I remember camping in Michigan during sub zero January. It is bad when your sleeping melts through snow. You could probably find an army cot to keep off the ground. Using a sleeping bag actually rated for the temp that your camping in is also good. Army blankets under the sleeping bag and a tarp under the tent also helps. It's most important to stay dry. If your losing heat through the bottom your losing heat from the top as well.
    1 person likes this.
  10. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Full length closed air cell foam pad with a high R value rating, 9.5 is the highest. Closed cell, is waterproof.
    Here's one, there's lots of styles.​
    Sleeping bag rated for the lowest temp you will encounter.
    If not enough two pads or one closed cell one self inflating.
    Wear clothes in the bag.

    Small tent helps retain heat. A Eureka Timberline is an excellent self supporting tent that will last years. It's only rated for three seasons though.

    Be careful putting a tarp under a tent, you may wake up in a puddle. Better to get a tent with a waterproof floor and waterproofing about 6" up the walls. Then breathable walls with a waterproof fly.
    Total waterproof walls just gather condensation and you end up wet.

    I've slept in snow before with no discomfort.
    2 people like this.
  11. This. I've been on a primitive wilderness course in Northern Idaho before. It gets cold and it rains and it snows but anyway... what we had were wool blankets. I'm not sure how well this actually works. I remember being quite cold on occasion. But thinking back, what Tyrsonwood says sort of rings true. I wish there were a way to just have a fire in the tent. Or a gas heater of sorts, or something like that. That would make it warmer for sure! Then I doubt the ground would be very cold because the air would be warmer. Hope this helps.
    2 people like this.
  12. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Waddayagonnado Staff Member Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    use a fire to heat up large rocks....dig hole...bury hot rocks.....sleep over warm ground
    3 people like this.
  13. Tyrsonswood

    Tyrsonswood Senior Moment

    Just don't use sandstone rocks...
  14. SpacemanSpiff

    SpacemanSpiff Waddayagonnado Staff Member Lifetime Supporter Super Moderator

    or wet ones
  15. Mattekat

    Mattekat Ice Queen of The North

    My sleeping bag is q rated to -40c even though the coldest I've ever gone camping at was probably more like -20 so I've never encountered this problem. I normally wake up sweating and have to undo my sleeping bag. Maybe try getting one of those reflective emergency blankets that are super cheap and laying that down on the air matress before putting down your sleeping bag?
    1 person likes this.
  16. hotwater

    hotwater Senior Member

    I've gone camping 3 times during the winter months but in each instance I stayed in a cabin with a wood burning stove, however I found this online.

    Sleeping Bag & Pad

    In addition to a winter-specific or four-season tent, you'll also need a good sleeping Bag and Pad
    While it may seem like it's enough to have a really warm bag, the sleeping pad is vital for providing another layer between you and the frozen ground.
    Be sure that your sleeping bag has an appropriate temperature rating, and consider also packing a sleeping bag liner to add a few extra degrees of warmth if needed.
    To eliminate the amount of dead space in your bag, stuff your clothing inside at night—you’ll also appreciate having warm clothes to change into in the morning.

    1 person likes this.
  17. Asmodean

    Asmodean Slo motion rider

    Good info in your post, but that's not camping ;)
  18. Dave_nz101

    Dave_nz101 New Member

    people do not realise that cold from the ground is a major problem. It is as important to keep the cold from the ground away from you as the cold air above you. if you can afford it, get a down filled inflatable mattress. BIVOUAC sell them, but wait until they are on special. They inflate to about 7cm. Roll up small. Slightly heavier than some other options. If I use a normal air bed I put a few blankets between me and the air bed. A cold air bed soon sucks any warmth out of you. The other option if you have room is a normal foam mattress
    1 person likes this.
  19. newbie-one

    newbie-one one with the newbiverse

    I funny thing is that I've encountered this problem with summer camping. It could be 85F during the day, and the air temps aren't that cold at night, it's just that the ground itself is freezing cold.

    My guess is that in places with really cold winters, the ground stays cold more or less year round.
  20. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    The ground is loosing heat all night long, it's colder than 98.6 degrees and continuously dropping until daylight. It will wick heat from your body as your body has a much smaller mass, and as your body is motionless when you sleep it isn't generating a lot of heat to compensate.

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