Sleep in a tent is a challenge both for us and for the materials of manufacture of the equipment. A person asleep produces only 25% of the energy it would produce during the day, so the choice of a proper sleeping bag is essential.However, so that the information will be better assimilated, we need to start understanding how to lose heat, and how to keep it.

Thermal Balance: If you feel hot, so heat generated by our body is equal to or greater than the heat lost to the environment around us. The heat is generated by metabolism. But, as we lose heat? It is given by:

impossible.This filling can be synthetic fiber or feather.

Synthetic fiber: These fibers are hollow filaments, where the air is trapped and is this air which is used as a thermal insulator.Are manufactured through a process of thermal consolidation and are silicone, to increase your power and filling with air compression, improving the thermal insulation.Below, some of its features:

Cheaper than the feather;

Its isolation is little affected when it gets wet;

Requires less maintenance.

Feather: also known Duvet (French) and Down (from English), are usually goose feathers.The deciding factor in feather bags is the quality of the same.This quality is expressed by the ratio of feathers and small feathers, which in the case of the best brands, is 90/10 (90% and 10% feathers of small feathers), which is the proportion of highest performance.

The origin of feathers is also a very important factor.The birds that live in more severe climates have denser and larger plumes.So the feathers of geese from areas to the North of Europe have feathers of better quality than the domesticated geese raised in China.

Below, some of its features:

More expensive than synthetics;

Its isolation is very affected when it gets wet, so it is more suitable for places with dry climate;

Higher compression ratio (weight ratio x volume);

Lighter;

Greater isolation;

Maintenance more difficult (but nothing that can’t be done!).

The next choice is the format of the sleeping bag.Basically, there are rectangular bags and sarcophagi.

impossible. This filling can be synthetic fiber or feather.

Synthetic fiber: These fibers are hollow filaments, where the air is trapped and is this air which is used as a thermal insulator. Are manufactured through a process of thermal consolidation and are silicone, to increase your power and filling with air compression, improving the thermal insulation. Below, some of its features:

Cheaper than the feather;

Its isolation is little affected when it gets wet;

Requires less maintenance.

Feather: also known Duvet (French) and Down (from English), are usually goose feathers. The deciding factor in feather bags is the quality of the same. This quality is expressed by the ratio of feathers and small feathers, which in the case of the best brands, is 90/10 (90% and 10% feathers of small feathers), which is the proportion of highest performance.

The origin of feathers is also a very important factor. The birds that live in more severe climates have denser and larger plumes. So the feathers of geese from areas to the North of Europe have feathers of better quality than the domesticated geese raised in China.

Below, some of its features:

More expensive than synthetics;

Its isolation is very affected when it gets wet, so it is more suitable for places with dry climate;

Higher compression ratio (weight ratio x volume);

Lighter;

Greater isolation;

Maintenance more difficult (but nothing that can’t be done!).

The next choice is the format of the sleeping bag. Basically, there are rectangular bags and sarcophagi.

Rectangular Bags: Are more used for camping and not for trekking or hiking more techniques. Are also used by those who will spend the night in a lodge or shelter, where there is no need for anything too technical, and can be used as ground cover or blanket.

Coffin Bags: Are the most suitable for trekking and hiking more techniques, especially in colder locations. The ideal is to always use a sleeping bag that literally view you, because the more room left, more heat will be needed to heat the air to be in these spaces. As this type of sleeping bag comes with the format of the outline of the body, not much free space.

The image below shows a sleeping bag sarcophagus, and we can see some necessary details when we plan to go to cooler places. They are:

Paste: extra heating in the neck with velcro closure and elastic, which helps to prevent the entry of cold.

Heating Side: Fleece placed on the sides of the sleeping bag, where there is greater heat loss.

Heating of the Feet: Extra padding to increase the heat in the feet.

Aluminized Protection on the side: Special high-tech laminate Material made to reflect heat, offering better thermal insulation, resistance to wind and water. Used in areas susceptible to greater heat loss

Driving: on contact with a cold surface, our body begins to lose heat, because there is a search for the thermal equilibrium.In this case, we’re talking about especially the floor under our body;

Convection: we are constantly heating the air around us, creating a “micro-climate” comfortable.However, as this air doesn’t get trapped around us, any air circulation or movement makes this air is blow away, causing our bodies to warm the air around us again. This causes waste heat constantly.

Breath: The breath, the air needs to enter into our lungs to a certain temperature.So, to breathe a very cold air, our bodies lose heat to heat the air to pass through the respiratory system.

Evaporation: the sweat is a mechanism of reduction of body temperature.When the sweat evaporates, carries heat, causing the temperature is reduced. When we are sleeping in cold environments, the impact of evaporation for heat loss is too small.

Irradiation: our body is constantly radiating heat.Also does not have a big impact, but it’s always good to use a hat to sleep, since much heat is radiated by the head, once the scalp is very watered by capillaries. Therefore, sleeping bags to colder places always have a hood.

The two ways to lose heat more important to a person sleeping outdoors are conduction and convection.

For a comfortable night, we need a thermal balance, that is:

Heat generated=Heat Lost (by convection, conduction, respiration, evaporation and Radiation)

Choosing a sleeping bag: the choices begin on filling material of the sleeping bag, that is what will promote isolation and retain body heat, creating the “micro-climate” that heat loss by convection normally Now, a very important choice and that is done incorrectly most of the time: the temperature range.

Often, manufacturers of sleeping bags are accused of putting the temperature values in an arbitrary manner, without any study. Be in accordance with international standards is expensive and requires constant checks. Currently, the European standard EN 13537 is what sets the temperature for sleeping bags.

The isolation of a sleeping bag depends on a series of conditions (wind, ambient temperature, clothing, floor insulation, humidity, possibility of wet sleeping bag and etc). In addition, people react differently in the cold.

Genre: women generally feel colder than men. So, the standard separates the temperatures of comfort to the man and the woman, who is usually 5° c higher.

Age: younger people, of up to 25 years, have a higher metabolic rate than older people, and hence generate more heat.

Physical fitness: exhaust reduces heat generation. Therefore people wrong conditional get cold more quickly.

Experience: People with more outdoor experience will be better prepared to assemble the tent in the best place (taking into account the position of the Sun, wind and so on) isolate better the sleeping bag on the floor and etc.

All these factors must be taken into consideration, in addition to season, history of maximum and minimum temperatures in the region and altitude.

Understand the temperature ranges:

♀Comfort temperature-temperature at which a standard woman sleep comfortably.

Temperature Limit -lowest temperature at which a standard man sleep comfortably. Also referred to as the transition temperature.

Extreme temperature–from this temperature range (band), a strong feeling of cold must be expected. There is risk of damage to health for hypothermia. The standard defines as the “temperature where a standard woman, in conditions of extreme cold, will endure only for a period of 6 hours. To minimize heat loss in the sleeping bag, she’s in fetal position. The skin temperature is 29° c and in the basal metabolic rate slightly increased because she was shaking.There is great danger of hypothermia. ”

In short, never buy your sleeping bag based on extreme temperature. If you’re a woman, use the Comfort temperature and if you’re a man, use the Limit Temperature. It is recommended to always leave a margin of error, that is, always see a bag whose temperature is 3 to 5 oC higher than you need.

A good option is to use liners, a sort of “blanket” for sleeping bags. Besides facilitating cleaning, some increase the temperature of the bag in the8 C.

Finally, there is no magic: there is no sleeping bag super small, ultra lightweight and still hang in low temperatures. Always look for the manufacturer’s label indicating that the product complies with the European norm.

Latest tips: A good night’s rest depends on the sleeping bag that you are using, but also the surface where you are and how you sleep:

The thermal insulation is very important to isolate you from the floor. Even the best sleeping bag filler will not prevent you losing heat to the floor.

If the ambient temperature is+2°c and wind speed is 30 km/h, the thermal sensation is of-3.8°c. Therefore, take cover! Always use a tent or a bivouac bag.

Never sleep with your wet clothes, because heat loss is much higher than with dry clothes.

Approximately 30% of heat is lost through your head. Even if your sleeping bag has a hood, sleep with a beanie.

A balanced diet and a hot drink before bed will help warm up your body. This is very important because the sleeping bag does not generate heat. Only retains the heat produced by the body.

If the body is dehydrated will not generate heat. So hydrate yourself all the time.

Sweet dreams with your sleeping bag!

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