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How Do I Keep From Sweating While I Sleep?

I'm a sweaty sleeper. Any tips?

Question:

I’m a sweaty sleeper. Any tips?

Submitted by - Eddie, New York, NY

Answer:

First, realize that naked is not always cooler. Bare, hot skin will stick to nylon sleeping bag liners and the feeling is very, um, unpleasant. You’ll feel like a rotisserie chicken.

Now, to some tips:

  • What To Wear: Your best bet is to sleep in a T-shirt and long johns (cut off ones work great in warmer weather.) Both should be made of a wicking material—cotton, lightweight wool, or a synthetic. Wear either light synthetic sock liners or no socks at all, and skip the hat.
  • Use a Liner: Try a removable sleeping bag liner made of silk, cotton or a synthetic wicking material. Liners pull sweat away from your skin faster than the smooth nylon material that typically lines the inside of a sleeping bag. Even better, the liners can be washed after each trip, minimizing the wear and tear on your expensive sleeping bag. And if things get really steamy, you can slip into the mummy-shaped liner sack and sleep on top of your bag for a bit of extra cush.
  • Sleeping Bag=Blanket: If you don’t have a liner bag, use your sleeping bag like a blanket. Rather than zip yourself into the bag, unzip it completely and throw it over you quilt-style. This way you can kick it off to the side (just like the covers at home) when you start to overheat. Check out these fitted sheets from Cascade Designs (left) for camping pads—they’re great for summer sleeping when your skin tends to stick to the nylon pad surface.
  • Go for semi-ractangular bags. They weigh a little more and pack a little bulkier, but they give you a bit of elbow room and a air movement. Look for a bag with no draft collar, and a full-length zipper that lets you vent to the max. Or consider a quilt.
  • Go tentless or sleep under a tarp. This is one of the best ways to stay cool, plus you’ll save a bunch of pack weight and space.— KRISTIN

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