Concerned about chilly days on the trail or frigid nights in your tent? Staying warm while hiking and backpacking can be a challenge in some climates, but fortunately there are many things you can do to help. 

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Though we often assume lower elevation is warmer, cold air collects in the lowest points of ravines and bowls. For the warmest night camp partway up a climb.

Don't Camp at Low Spots

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Did you know: about 40% of our lost body heat is lost through the head? Whether hiking, sleeping, or sitting around camp, cover your head for instantly increased coziness.

Cover Your Head

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Most people know the warmth of their sleeping bag is important, but without a good sleeping pad you'll lose heat to the ground. Look for an "R value" above 3 for general three-season use. 

Use A Good Sleeping Pad

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A good layer system helps you stay warm in the cold and cool in the heat. Add layers before you get too cold, esp. late in the day. Breathable wicking materials like merino wool or synthetic blends are best for managing sweat and keeping you dry, which also keeps you warm.

Manage Clothing Layers

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Going to bed hungry on a backpacking trip is never fun, but it also makes you more likely to feel cold while trying to sleep. Fill your belly and settle in for a cozy night's sleep.

Eat A Big Hot Meal Before Bed

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For more tips on how to stay warm while backpacking, swipe up to see the full post at Exploring Wild.

This interactive trip planning guide is packed with checklists, key questions, and recommendations to take the worry out of planning your first or biggest backpacking trip.