Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Sleeping in the Colder Weather
Display Avatars Sort By:
John Adams
(scsjohn) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/19/2009 20:16:00 MDT Print View

Ok--I just got back from a weekend in MI. Temps probably only got down to 25 degrees F, but I still have a question/problem. I don't like breathing in the cold air. Maybe this sounds wimpish, but after a while my nose gets stuffed up and it's harder to sleep. So I've resorted to sinching (if that's the right word) the outer draw string to create about an 8 inch diameter circle. I then shimmy down into the bag and turn my face so that is not facing outward, but it removed from the side of the sleeping bag. I guess I sort of treat it like a warming "chamber" so that I am not breathing in the cold air. I sleep well doing this but have heard folks say that doing so will lead to water buildup in your down sleeping bag reducing the effectiveness of the down. I am only out for weekends typically and am probably ok but just wanted to see how others deal with this.

Do just have it where your mouth and nose are sticking out of the sinched bag in cold weather? Or do you have another method, similar or different from mine. I usually do this below 30 degrees. I have been as low as 5 degrees but that's about it.

Lori Pontious
(lori999) - M

Locale: Central Valley
re: cold weather sleeping on 10/19/2009 20:38:23 MDT Print View

You might try a balaclava over your nose and mouth. They have different weights and materials. In temps 25-30F I have okay results using my coolmax buff as a nose/mouth cover along with my light fleece beanie.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/19/2009 20:39:13 MDT Print View

I use a polypropylene fleece balaclava. If the air gets cold enough, I pull it over my mouth and breathe through it, making sure my mouth is next to the opening of my sleeping bag hood so I'm exhaling (through the fleece) to the outside. Yes, the fleece over my mouth gets wet, but at least all that soggy air isn't going into my sleeping bag insulation. In the morning, the outside shell of my sleeping bag around the "blowhole" is frosty, but that was easily brushed off. I've seen various kinds of masks for the purpose of warming inhaled air, too.

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Sleeping in the Colder Weather" on 10/19/2009 20:54:21 MDT Print View

>"but after a while my nose gets stuffed up and it's harder to sleep."

same thing here, what I found to do was to take a bandanna and make one of those old western type bank-robber dude thingies over my face (lol). I helps keep your nose warm.

Better yet do what Mary suggested.

cheers :)

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/19/2009 20:55:54 MDT Print View

My experience has been that a few days of breathing into my bag hasn't resulted in a significant impact to the performance of my down quilt or bag. I would image given more time it would be an issue.

Normally I do try to keep my breath outside the bag/quilt. I typically use a polarbuff with some of the fabric over my mouth. I have also found the cheapo 3M warming masks work reasonably well.

--mark

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
face masks on 10/20/2009 01:56:56 MDT Print View

I use a light balaclava too --- the issue for me is that my nose gets painfully cold and keeps me awake, and the balaclava eliminates that.

I'm switching for some sorts of trips to a down parka; I'm not used to having a warm hood and was thinking of swapping balaclava for a light face mask --- not that big a deal, but might save an ounce maybe.

The thing that tempts me is that they have masks for, I don't know, probably aimed at snowboarders, that are reversable with one side a death's head mask or flames or something kind of cool looking. I just sort of like the image of being in a mummy bag with the only part of my face showing being a grinning skull image ... :-)

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/20/2009 03:23:42 MDT Print View

Brian--"they have masks for, I don't know, probably aimed at snowboarders, that are reversable with one side a death's head mask or flames or something kind of cool looking. I just sort of like the image of being in a mummy bag with the only part of my face showing being a grinning skull image ... :-)

ROTFL!

Siegmund Beimfohr
(SigBeimfohr) - M
Face masks on 10/20/2009 06:37:17 MDT Print View

Last winter I tried a common hardware store dust mask over the hole in my balaclava on a couple of nights that got down to 11 or 12F. Seemed to work OK; got wet but didn't freeze and the balaclava stayed pretty dry.

Am going to experiment more this winter.

Steve Cain
(hoosierdaddy) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/20/2009 22:09:34 MDT Print View

I use the PSOLAR balaclava and I love it!
http://www.psolar.com/id5.html

Looks kinda goofy, but it really does work!

Jack Newton
(figster) - F

Locale: Central Arkansas
Size and weight on 10/21/2009 22:11:19 MDT Print View

What is the size and weight of your Psolor Balaclava?

Thanks

Jack!

Unknown abc
(edude) - F
"Sleeping in the Colder Weather" on 10/22/2009 08:18:45 MDT Print View

Another option I just remebered, a scarf wraped around your face works great too.

F. Thomas Matica
(ftm1776) - F

Locale: Vancouver, WA
Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/23/2009 00:25:26 MDT Print View

I use a long wool skull cap pulled down over my face. I keep my mouth near the blow hole on the bag to exhaust my breath to the outside of the bag. The wool cap acts as a heat exchanger. The wool is heated on my exhale and then the warmed wool heats the chilly incoming air on the inhale. It really works! I think thick wool performs the best. More mass?

Thomas Burns
(nerdboy52) - MLife

Locale: "Alas, poor Yogi.I knew him well."
Warm in winter on 10/23/2009 03:24:47 MDT Print View

I waer a Buff balaclava style with only my eyes visible. On a really cold night, I wear two buffs. The total weight of the two is trivial compared to other alternatives.

Loving those Buffs,

Stargazer

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Warm in winter on 10/23/2009 16:33:14 MDT Print View

I use the OR ninjaclava or a buff depending on conditions but have had my eye on that PSOLAR mask. Steve, can you give some specs for it...weight? Size? and style you have?

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Sleeping in the Colder Weather on 10/23/2009 18:24:51 MDT Print View

I've slept completely inside, breathing into the air space inside my bag, and I haven't had a problem with condensation.

If it does seem like your bag is damp, just air it out in the sun for a little while the next day around lunch.

Steve Cain
(hoosierdaddy) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Re: Warm in winter on 10/23/2009 22:29:23 MDT Print View

OK, now you guys got me wondering...I've never weighed the PSolar balaclava. I just did and it weighs 2.6 ounces. (I have the BX model)

As for the size, the majority of it is made of about 200 weight Polar Fleece and something that is VERY stretchy. I don't see issues with sizing for anyone.

The face portion is made of neoprene. This is the portion where the goofy looking "mouth piece" thingy is attached. It is removable if need be.

What I find is that the mouthpiece warms the air that I breath and I don't feel the need to wear as many clothes or use a heavier bag in order to feel warm.

It's not perfect, though. The mouthpiece does slightly inhibit the amount of air that I can take in, therefore, I tend not to breath through it when exerting myself too hard. It's GREAT when sitting around camp or sleeping, though!

From the website:

"The Psolar BX Balaclava covers the face, neck, ears and head.

Psolar® and Polartec® The Material Makes the Balaclava
This mask incorporates the Polartec® fabrics Powerstretch® and Aqua Shell ™. Polartec® is one of the most widely used and popular brands of outdoor accessory fabric on the market today - highly acclaimed for its durability and performance.

The Polartec® Aqua Shell® fleece face cover is made of a combination of fleece and neoprene, providing a nonrestrictive fit with four-way stretch that comfortably forms to your face. Windproof and waterproof, it provides good breath ability.

The protective neck and head cover portion of the balaclava is made of Polartec® Powerstretch® fleece. The stretchability provides superior fit for a wide range of head sizes. Powerstretch® is warm soft comfortable and quiet."

John Haley
(Quoddy) - F

Locale: New York/Vermont Border
Re: face masks on 10/26/2009 16:06:19 MDT Print View

Since switching to quilts for both ground and hammock camping, the winter question of keeping my head and face warm surfaced. The best item I've found, so far, is the Gill I4 Storm Hood. It is a 200 weight polartec velour with an adjustable opening by a toggle in the back. This one was designed for winter open ocean racing and works great for me.

Adjustable Opening Balaclava

John Adams
(scsjohn) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Thanks on 11/09/2009 14:54:28 MST Print View

Thanks for everyones posts.

JA