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#129384 - 02/23/10 06:55 PM clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag
MoTiger Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 89
Loc: IA, soon to be WA!
i dont know if i am just more warm bodied than most, but i am actually warmer in the sleeping bag with the less clothes i wear. i usually will wear just a pair of shorts no matter how cold it is outside and after about 5 minutes, i am all toasty in the sleeping bag. i have tried wearing fleece "jammies" but i dont seem any warmer, in fact i feel colder sometimes. i might go buy some underarmor and try that...

so am i just a freak or what?

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#129392 - 02/23/10 08:01 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
Tango61 Offline
member

Registered: 12/27/05
Posts: 931
Loc: East Texas Piney Woods

I think you would have to have two consecutive nights of similar temps and follow a similar evening routine to be able to accurately determine.

I have wondered the same thing but have not had consistent enough conditions to test. Three weekends ago, I was out and it got down into the upper 20's F. I wore most of my clothes to bed that night (sleeping in my hammock with little wind). This past weekend, I was out and the temperatures were in the mid 30's and I wore just poly-pro long johns and socks(same sleep system).
Comparing the two nights, I did not get as cold wearing just the long johns, but we're talking at least a 10 degree difference in the temps.

So, I really don't know what is the answer.

Tango61
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#129395 - 02/23/10 10:21 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2859
Loc: Portland, OR
I'm not sure it would matter whether you're a freak. What works for you is what works for you and the only important thing is that it works.

As for me, when the temps dip near or below my bag's rating, I find I am warmer if I wear fleece inside it. It also helps immensely to do a bit of blood-moving exercise before getting into the bag, and being well-fed and hydrated.

A sleeping bag, as we all should know, can only trap our heat. If you are cold when you enter the bag, you'll stay cold quite a long time.

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#129398 - 02/23/10 11:08 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
That depends whether yer in that bag alone or with another camper... blush If you're alone I think you'll be warmer in long underwear so you have a warmth layer that stays next to you. Nylon gets cold and when ever you roll over its cold on your skin. Long underwear will go a long ways toward keeping body oils off your nylon and keeping the bag way cleaner in the long run, and cleaning any sleeping bag is about the most destructive thing you will do to it except maybe putting it in a compression stuff sack. Oh yes, if you have to get out of that sleeping bag naked you'll be much colder. Often in winter I take a lighter sleeping bag and sleep in a down jacket and down pants of bibs, so when I get out of it, I'm warm.
Just my $.02
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#129401 - 02/23/10 11:28 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Jimshaw]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada

I normally sleep in at least socks, long johns and a merino shirt - but that's just what I'm comfortble in.. also because I tend to be using a nylon lined bag, and tend to often be out in temps that are cooler at night - ya gotta get out and pee sometimes...
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#129410 - 02/24/10 12:31 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: phat]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1730
Loc: Napa, CA
Most bag producers suggest clothes---not only for the additional layer of insulation, but also because those clothes will absorb the body oil and perspiration that can slowly work its way into the fabric and fill of your bag, further reducing its loft and effectiveness.
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#129423 - 02/24/10 08:03 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Jimshaw]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Jim: I know I speak for most of the other folks here when I say that I hope the "other camper" isn't Bigfoot. grin

Kidding aside, I also tend to sleep in clothes, for much the same reasons you give. In particular, I also tend to use a lighter sleeping bag and sleep in a down jacket when it's chilly (and down pants and booties when it's downright cold); one of the attractions, as you point out, is that you are wearing some insulation when you leave that nice warm bag.

In summer, in the East, I tend not to sleep "in" a bag at all - it's too hot, even for my "summer" bag. I tend to leave it pushed into the foot of the tent until the middle of the night, when it cools down enough that I pull it loosely over me like a blanket. (I use a WM Mitylite for a summer bag, but the MSR Ventra also works well.)

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#129426 - 02/24/10 08:26 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: balzaccom]
MoTiger Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/06
Posts: 89
Loc: IA, soon to be WA!
thanks for all the info folks, much appreciated. i just bought some "tech weight" thermals and i am going to give them a go.

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#129602 - 02/26/10 07:48 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
Jeff Offline
member

Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 41
Loc: Nevada
I use a 18 oz sleeping bag and alway wear a Patagonia top and bottom plus
socks. I only wear these clothes in camp so they help keep the inside of the
bag clean. I bear can wash them after about a week. If it is really cold for
my bag I add my down liner jacket.
_________________________
Jeff MyBackpackTrips

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#129635 - 02/27/10 12:57 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
ChrisFol Offline
member

Registered: 07/23/09
Posts: 387
Loc: Denver, Colordo
I always sleep with clothes on in the bag. Warm/mild weather I will just wear my Capilene 1 with a generic pair of boxer shorts and dress socks. Colder weather I may switch it to a Capilene 2 or 3 and a pair of generic wool bottoms.

It is very rare that I need to sleep in my down vest or a fleece during the three-seasons; but winter camping is generally a different story.

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#132525 - 04/22/10 05:54 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
CamperHiker Offline
member

Registered: 04/08/10
Posts: 37
Loc: UT
MoTiger,
I too have had to take clothes off to get warmer, or maybe its just more comfortable.
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#132556 - 04/22/10 09:28 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I usually wear clothes because (1) they are a part of my sleep system and they keep me warmer and (2) I don't want my dirty hide touching my relatively clean sleeping bag.

Exception: Summers in the desert when it's freakin' hot even at 1AM. I'm usually not hiking then. I'm kayaking. I won't use clothes......or a bag....or even a shelter....until the cooler predawn hours. That's when I'm solo blush
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If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#132569 - 04/23/10 07:01 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Trailrunner]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Minor clarification needed: how are you kayaking in the desert? grin

Sorry, just being a wise a...er, donkey. I'm assuming you mean that, in the summer, you stay out of the desert and go kayaking instead. Just couldn't pass up the straight line.

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#132581 - 04/23/10 12:50 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Glenn]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
I wear out lots of paddles pulling against all that sand!!!!

Nah, I kayak on either Lake Meade or Lake Mojave in the summer. Both have been created by damming the Colorado River as it flows through the desert. It can be 110 degrees+ on shore a few feet from the water. You can step off your boat from a man made lake right onto the desert in its pristine state. Quite a contrast.

_________________________
If you only travel on sunny days you will never reach your destination.*

* May not apply at certain latitudes in Canada and elsewhere.

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#132593 - 04/23/10 08:41 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Trailrunner]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
There is also great river kayaking on the Salt River just above Phoenix

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#136941 - 07/29/10 04:11 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
akluvitlivit Offline
member

Registered: 07/29/10
Posts: 15
Loc: Alaska
I have found that I am much more comfortable wearing cotton boxers and a light undershirt while using a sleeping bag and I always try to find a way to take them on my trips solely for that purpose.


Edited by akluvitlivit (07/29/10 06:00 PM)
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#136950 - 07/29/10 05:43 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: akluvitlivit]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6399
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Just so you know, the sleeping bag ratings (at least the EU's EN13537 ratings, the only "official" ratings around) assume that you are wearing a base layer and a hat inside the bag and are using a sleeping pad with R value of 4. Wearing less may mean the bag isn't as warm as its rating. For me, a cold sleeper, a bag is never as warm as its rating anyway. Individual "thermostats" can differ a lot.

I personally prefer wearing my base layer in the bag to keep it clean and me warm.

Your mileage, of course, may and probably will vary.
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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#137022 - 07/31/10 01:56 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: OregonMouse]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
This came up on another thread. For winter, I wear a Capilene base layer, socks, sometimes even booties, light gloves and a balaclava because my bag is only +23F rated. I have used an overbag or just toss my parka (in my picture) on top for extra warmth. Two pads-a Ridgerest and a Thermorest-full length. If I had a warmer bag, I'd still wear the Capilene-keeps the bag cleaner.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#137096 - 08/02/10 04:23 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
BarryP Offline
member

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
I wear a poly-cotton layer to bed. It feels nice.
However, when people want to borrow my sleeping bags, I ‘warn’ them that I sleep naked in the bag. Then they don’t ask anymore.
I don’t mind loaning out my tents, but I’m a little more personal w/ my sleeping bags.

Just useless info…
-Barry

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#137122 - 08/02/10 09:55 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
Mike1239 Offline
member

Registered: 07/13/10
Posts: 20
That's what I had heard is that you are warmer naked. Don't know why, very counterintuitive, but seemed to work. So that's what I do a lot of the time. Naked is too much for me so I wear shorts.

Hey Tom how's it going, Barry good tip! Tom and I were discussing this on another thread.

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#137165 - 08/03/10 05:49 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Mike1239]
Huskychemist Offline
newbie

Registered: 07/08/10
Posts: 8
Loc: Bangkok, Thailand
I'm a warm-blooded guy, and I've always found that I sleep warmer (and better) when I only have shorts on. I'm always a bit cold when I get in the bag, but I warm it up fast.

In the morning, I will put some light clothes into my bag before I wake up so they warm up a bit. Then I put them on while still in the bag. This keeps me from getting out of the bag directly into the cold in only shorts.

I just got a new bag (Big Agnes) so I'm curious about how it works.

I think somebody hit it on the head earlier. Do what works for you.

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#137291 - 08/06/10 03:38 AM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: Mike1239]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Hey Mike. Very funny Barry. Got to remember that one.
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#137592 - 08/13/10 12:32 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: MoTiger]
tjn Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/13/10
Posts: 12
I always choose clothes (though light); this keeps the bag cleaner (unless you bathe before each sleep) and helps me regulate body temp. better than simply a bag alone.
Just a personal preference.


Edited by tjn (08/13/10 12:33 PM)

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#138620 - 09/10/10 09:08 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: tjn]
JAK Offline
member

Registered: 03/19/04
Posts: 2569
I wear less or none on warmer nights and more and more on colder and colder nights. Long wool underwear are particularly good for capturing and recovering heat from body vapour, as long as you get them dry again the next day. Wool sweaters are particularly good for acting as an extra baffle and heat exchanger for any cold air or warm air finding its way down into or up out of the lower part of the bag from the head and neck area. Wool hats and neck tubes and insulted hoods in the head and neck area add alot of warmth on extra cold nights. Breathing through a knit wool neck tube or scarf is important for heat recovery when it gets really really cold, like sub zeroF.

All that said, there is no substitute for a well designed and well fitted bag built for the temperature range you need it for. Nothing like wearing next to nothing and getting a very good sleep with little effort on a very cold night. Still working on that. My bag is good to close to 0F if I have had a good meal and not too exausted, but below 0F it gets interesting, and a long night below -20F gets horrifying, even in my back yard. How folks manage -50F is beyond me.

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#138651 - 09/11/10 06:21 PM Re: clothes or no clothes in the sleeping bag [Re: JAK]
Heather-ak Offline
member

Registered: 07/11/10
Posts: 597
Loc: Fairbanks, AK
You know at -50 deg. F, walking to/from car, to/from building and driving are scary. Going in the ditch at that temp even scarier (been there, done that.)

I don't intensionally do much at -30 F or colder...

Does anyone?!

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