keeping warm

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keeping warm Empty Re: keeping warm

Post by Guest on Mon 15 Mar 2010, 09:12

Everyone knows how to bundle up to keep warm, but there are a few little things that you can do to keep warmer and be more comfortable while camping. Later on in this article I will share the number one secret that will change your life in the keeping warm while sleeping department. It's simple, cheap, and it works.

People are mammals and mammals are warm blooded. You eat food which is "burned" by your body to create heat. Warm blooded creatures need this heat or all sorts of bad things start happening.

When you are camping and it's cold enough to affect your body temperature, it is important to conserve the heat from the one source you have: your body. Everything that you do is for the purpose of holding that heat in so that you can use it to warm yourself.

Heat is energy. When two things of different heat levels come into contact with each other, the heat flow from the hotter one into the cooler one until they are the same temperature. This heat transfer can occur in several ways. We are concerned mostly with two: conduction, the two things are in physical contact; convection, heat is transfered to a moving medium, in this case air.

When you are cold, it's because through either conduction or convection you are losing body heat to the air or some other thing you're in contact with. What you need to stop that is insulation. Insulation is something that prevents heat from trasnferring. It's your friend when you want to stay warm. It's why we wear clothes and live in houses.

The first and biggest heat stealer you will encounter is the cold, hard ground. Probably the second most important piece of equipment in keeping you warm is the pad or mattress that you sleep on. The farther from the ground the better, but the main thing is to insulate you from the ground and prevent heat loss. The ground is a good conductor of heat, and, added to that, when you are sleeping you are laying down and making contact with the ground with a large part of your body's surface area. Major heat loss!

The next heat stealer is the air. Moving air is the culprit


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keeping warm Empty keeping warm

Post by Guest on Mon 15 Mar 2010, 09:09

Even the most exciting camping trip can become uncomfortable if you cannot keep warm while enjoying the great outdoors. Keeping warm may even become a matter of survival in certain circumstances. There are three main aspects of keeping warm in the outdoors. The first is clothing, this is the warmth you carry on your back. Second is shelter, where you sleep, or what you sleep in will determine your nightly comfort. Lastly is fire, this is your warmth outside your shelter and can be your true lifesaver. Planning these three key features of your camping trip can make for a better time in the wild.

Planning what type of clothing to wear while camping is a simple but often overlooked task. A good rule of thumb is to layer your clothes. Several thin layers of clothing are better than one thick layer. The layer closest to the skin should be a thin material designed to wick perspiration away from your body. There are several high-tech materials on the market that excel in this area. Cotton is a classic standby. The next layer should be a sweater, sweatshirt or woolen layer that closes near the wrists and neck to keep warm air inside. Wool is excellent because it does not absorb water and can keep you warm even if it gets wet. Follow that layer up with a good fleece that can be easily removed if you begin to overheat. The final layer, the one exposed to the elements, should be wind and water resistant.

Keep in mind, the majority of the body’s heat is lost through the head. Either wear or take a hat that can fight this heat loss. Also, cold feet are a one-way ticket to discomfort. Be sure to wear quality socks, designed for hiking or camping. Gaiters also keep water, snow, and mud off your boots and pant legs. Dryer always equals warmer in the great outdoors. Lastly, do not forget the gloves. Thin, nylon gloves can be worn under another pair of gloves, layering the same way as your primary clothing.

Where you stay and sleep at night has a huge impact on your camping warmth. Whether you are sleeping in a tent or under the stars, the sleeping bag you tuck yourself inside of will determine the peacefulness of your sleep. Sleeping bags are basically one of two designs, synthetic or natural (i.e. down). The more “loft” a bag has, the warmer it will usually be. Keep in mind, however, that it is not the material that keeps you warm, but the warm air that is trapped around your body. Down is great for warmth and “packability”, but heavy when wet and it takes a long time to completely dry. Synthetics provide adequate warmth, “packability” and quick-drying features. It is worth doing extensive research in this arena as modern sleeping bags can be quite an investment.

In a survival situation, fire may provide the only available source of warmth. An entire book could be written on all the ways to start fire in the wild, but what is the best way to use that fire to stay warm? If you have the luxury of being able to build two fires, the best position is between those fires allowing each to warm you from a different side. With one fire it is best to create a reflector to direct the heat towards your body or sleeping area. This can be accomplished by building a simple wooden “shield”. If you are near a large rock structure, do not use the rock as your reflector. Instead, back up against the rock, build your fire and then build a reflector on the other side. This way the fire is reflected back towards you and the rock. The rock will warm up and now also acts to keep you warm.

Proper planning and a good attention to detail are essential for any venture into the wild. Remember that warmth is not only a matter of comfort; it may be a matter of survival. Make a list and never pack in a hurry when going on a camping adventure. It is better to have something and not need it, than need it and not have it.


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