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Hey all, in addition to my crippling addiction to fly fishing, in the past few years I’ve become an avid backpacker and tent camper. Of course, for 6 or 7 months of the year in our part of the country, camping is totally feasible and downright comfortable. But these winter months have got me missing breaking out the tent a lot. I’m still actively fly fishing and hiking, mainly for steelhead and trout of course (since that’s just about all that’ll hit a fly this time of year) but i haven’t camped since that one nice weekend we had in December, and still was freezing my a$$ off. I have a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees and always start good campfires, but it’s still tough to get past the cold of it all. Since it’s way more enjoyable and way less money than booking a hotel room. does anyone know of any heaters that could be used in a tent (without an obvious fire hazard) or ways in general to stay warm camping in the winter?
 

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Fishin-For-Fun
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0-degree mummy bag, bag liner if you need it too, polypro under layer, and good pad to insulate from ground. I find that wearing a stocking cap helps keep me much warmer too. a bivy bag over the sleeping bag will hold more heat in but it may also hold moisture in the bag. i am an advocate of down gear for the cold (also light weight/compressable) but then you have to keep it dry... that is about all that you can do unless you want to play out an extension cord from home - then add an electric blanket too...
 

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Like others have said, quality sleeping bag, liner, and pad are game changers. Ive also found that wearing merino wool long johns and fresh wool dry socks help alot. One thing that i didnt see mention was making a big pile of leaves and then putting your tent on top of it, and putting a cheap mylar blanket inside your tent and putting everything on top of it. Makes the ground softer and It makes a noticeable difference for insulation.
 

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Hey all, in addition to my crippling addiction to fly fishing, in the past few years I’ve become an avid backpacker and tent camper. Of course, for 6 or 7 months of the year in our part of the country, camping is totally feasible and downright comfortable. But these winter months have got me missing breaking out the tent a lot. I’m still actively fly fishing and hiking, mainly for steelhead and trout of course (since that’s just about all that’ll hit a fly this time of year) but i haven’t camped since that one nice weekend we had in December, and still was freezing my a$$ off. I have a sleeping bag rated for 20 degrees and always start good campfires, but it’s still tough to get past the cold of it all. Since it’s way more enjoyable and way less money than booking a hotel room. does anyone know of any heaters that could be used in a tent (without an obvious fire hazard) or ways in general to stay warm camping in the winter?
As Boy Scouts we did a lot of winter camping. Standard rule was to create a buffer/barrier from the cold ground, ice and snow to the bottom of the tent. We would bust open a bale of straw and pitch the tent on top of it. Bingo! Be creative. Make a barrier. It’s worth the effort.
 

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This may sound weird but I put the clothes I am going to wear the next morning, in my sleeping bag with me. Nothing worse than waking up fairly warm, and having to put on freezing cold clothes.
Not weird, works great. I do this all the time when I fall hunt/camp. Nothing worse than getting out of a warm sleeping bag and having to put on cold long johns!
 

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^^ what they already said.
Love to camp and have done many impromptu cold weather ones where we constructed a lean (aka survivorman) and spent a night or two in it.
Gotta have a good bag.
 

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All the above is very good advice. But if you want to take it one step further, go to YT and search for, heated tent. You can buy small tent/camp stores or search for making a stove from a .50 cal ammo box. People can be very creative. You can also cook on the same stove from inside your tent. You can also buy a 4 season tent with a protected flu hole.
Just wanted to let you know what's out there.
 

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1. Buy an old thermarest dreamtime or the newer neoair sleeping pad which is a foam filled inflatable air cushion with memory foam layer on top, replace that cheaper memory foam with a good 2 inch layer of high density latex foam. this thing will have an insane R-value against the ground and will hold your warmth in. 2. Like these guys have said, look for a 0 degree or -20 degree bag, wear a hat, fleece pjs or merino etc. in my mind the sleeping pad is most important, followed by the bag. Remember those bag ratings are degrees survivable, not comfortable. to be comfy at 20 far, you likely need a 0 degree or -20 to get comfy.
 

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I want to share one little factoid that I learned the hard way...decades ago in Boy Scouts.
Went on an weekend camp out and I was so cold I hardly slept. Come to find out, a bunch of us tenderfoot campers kept on the socks we wore all day and the perspiration had our feet freezing. The scoutmaster said to shuck all your clothes and socks. It wasn't bone chilling cold but a bunch of us followed his advice and stayed toasty.
 

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Fishin-For-Fun
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1. Buy an old thermarest dreamtime or the newer neoair sleeping pad which is a foam filled inflatable air cushion with memory foam layer on top, replace that cheaper memory foam with a good 2 inch layer of high density latex foam. this thing will have an insane R-value against the ground and will hold your warmth in. 2. Like these guys have said, look for a 0 degree or -20 degree bag, wear a hat, fleece pjs or merino etc. in my mind the sleeping pad is most important, followed by the bag. Remember those bag ratings are degrees survivable, not comfortable. to be comfy at 20 far, you likely need a 0 degree or -20 to get comfy.
how small does that pad pack? can't be too small if foam filled as my shortie-ultralite version is still 6" compressed.

guess i made the assumption that tent in winter = back packing some distance...

otherwise, one Elk season in Montana, I pulled the back seats out of my chevy crew cab, added some padding and slept like a king at the mountain's trail head up a 10-mile 2-track road - was 20f outside and i used a 40f sleeping bag in there. i am thinking of making that modification permanent - there is quite a bit of space with no back seats! if not up such a road, take the 25' camper with gas heat and a real bed...
 
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