How to Stop Sweating in a Sleeping Bag

A person resting in a red sleeping bag.

There’s nothing quite like sleeping surrounded by beautiful nature. Also, there’s nothing worse (an overstatement, maybe) than waking up to a sweaty sleeping bag. If you’ve encountered that issue before, you’re well-introduced to the feeling. Needless to say, it can ruin your morning.

Since you’re reading this text, there’s a good chance you’re wondering how to stop sweating in a sleeping bag. Well, that’s the title of this article, so… Anyway, we’re guessing you’ve had one too many sweaty outdoor wake-ups. Luckily for you, that’s all about to change! We’ll show you a guide on how to stop sweating inside a sleeping bag!

First of all, you might want to check the temperature rating of your sleeping bag. Don’t forget to allow the air to go through your tent; ventilate. Also, try wearing as few clothing items as possible, or wear sweat-absorbant clothes. Lastly, you might want to avoid camping in highly-humid areas (but who’d want to do that?). 

Of course, there’s much more to hear & learn besides the bolded sneak peek! Feel free to see other info we’ve prepared for you today!

Table of Contents

Why are sleeping bags so hot?

Have you ever wondered why are sleeping bags so hot? Here’s why that’s so: the sleeping bag traps the air and stops it from circulating. This so-called non-circulating dead air is subsequently getting warmed by your body heat (more precisely: the heat created by your body’s metabolism). The sleeping bag creates a shield between the dead air and the colder ground/outside air combo. As you might’ve guessed, smaller spaces tend to get warmed up faster and maintain the heat more efficiently.

Can the sleeping bag be too warm?

Well, of course! Otherwise, we wouldn’t even give this article a title. Anyway, if the sleeping bag feels a bit too much on the warm side, there are ways you can battle this issue. However, if the sleeping bag feels “too cold”, there’s really not much you can do.

Why should you avoid a sweaty sleeping bag?

While the answer to the question proposed by the title of this paragraph might seem too obvious (the general feeling of unease, for instance), there are other, less obvious reasons why one should avoid a sweaty sleeping bag. Wondering what those reasons might be? Here they are:

  • You might catch a cold. Sweat is a natural bodily response to being hot; the body tries to cool itself down. You might’ve experienced getting sick after running during the winter; the sweat droplets being hit by the cold air. The same thing might happen once you wake up sweaty and slip out of your sleeping bag.
  • You’ll have trouble falling/staying asleep. Being sweaty inside the sleeping bag usually makes folks feel uneasy and quite uncomfy (obviously). Subsequently, these two feelings will make it quite hard for you to enjoy a good night’s sleep. Eventually, the overall lack of sleep won’t make your trip better, only worse.
  • There’s also the smell. We guess there’s no need to emphasize the fact that sweat and synthetic materials have a weird, smelly relationship. When too much sweat builds up, it will most probably end up absorbed by the bag’s filling. Good luck with washing the odor out!
  • The bag loses its qualities and gets heavier. It’s pretty hard for the sweat buildup to evaporate once it’s inside the sleeping bag, thanks, of course, to the bag’s design. Additionally, the bag loses its heating qualities and increases in weight.

Okay, so that’s about it on why one should completely avoid sweatiness inside the sleeping bag. As if anyone needed to tell you why. Anyway, let’s consider our main topic for today: how to stop sweating in a sleeping bag!

A man wearing a ponytail airing out his sleeping bag.

How to stop sweating in a sleeping bag?

There’s a chance you think the problem’s with the sleeping bag you’ve bought. Before you throw it away and replace it, it might be best to try out a few tricks first. It’s very likely that the issue isn’t really the bag’s fault. In other words: first of all, you might want to try implementing the tips we’ll share with you below!

#1 Check the temperature rating

Before you do any radical changes, pay attention to what temperature is your sleeping bag rated for. There’s a good chance you might notice it’s meant to be utilized at temperatures that are way below your sensibility. If that were to happen, you could solve the issue easily by obtaining a sleeping bag that’s designed for lighter, fair-weather camping adventures.

Even though this isn’t an alternative to the replace-the-sleeping-bag scenario we’ve mentioned above, it’s still the easiest option you’ll stumble upon. Oh, and if you’re wondering how to roll up a Coleman Double sleeping bag, feel free to follow this link.

#2 Steer clear of humid areas

Sometimes the easiest solution is to avoid camping in highly-humid areas altogether. If you’re unable to make such a decision, you might want to pack a few blankets or similar, lighter sleeping materials rather than taking your sleeping bag along. You’ll probably end up sweaty nevertheless, but you’ll thank the heavens you aren’t trapped inside a sleeping bag.

#3 Don’t forget to ventilate your tent

Allowing some air to pass through your tent is one of the best and easiest ways to keep your cool (literally). Imagine if the air was to remain trapped inside your tent for too long. There’s a pretty good chance it’d start to feel all warm and muggy.

Open up the window (leave the bug screen zipped up like it was), unzip your sleeping bag, and just relax. You’ll cool off in a moment. After you notice the sweat has left the building (evaporated) and you start to feel comfier, you’ll fall asleep in a matter of seconds.

Also, if the forecast doesn’t predict rain, keep the rainfly off your tent. Keeping the rainfly on (without any purpose) will make the temperature inside your tent higher.

#4 Liner to the rescue

You’ll want to know that liners can be used for your sleeping bag or as an additional item of clothing in some cases. While there’s a pretty good chance this won’t stop you from swearing, liners will act as barriers. That way, you’ll be one step further from soaking your sleeping bag with sweat. It’s something you’d call, if not prevention, but an absorption technique.

For more info on sleeping bag liners, click right here.

#5 Medical issues?

Let’s say you’ve tried just about everything we’ve talked about today and the results aren’t yet showing up. We’re not trying to scare you, but you might be dealing with a certain medical issue. It’s possible that you’re experiencing a health issue that’s only contributing to the whole sweating-in-the-sleeping-bag problem. Contacting your doctor doesn’t really have an alternative in that case.

#6 Control your breath

Of course, your breathing doesn’t contribute that much to the condensation buildup. Still, it’s best if you try not to breathe into your sleeping bag. By breathing out, we’re adding both to the heat and humidity that’s to be found inside the sleeping bag.

Now, of course, the situation mightn’t allow us to keep our heads outside the sleeping bag. If that’s not doable, just ensure your warm breath has the option of escaping rather than being stuck inside your sleeping bag. 

#7 Layering is key

If you’ve noticed that sleeping inside your sleeping bag all zipped up is causing you the sweating issue, it might be time to change the way you’re handling your bag. Put some blankets into your camping backpack. Once the first camping night arrives, utilize the unzipped sleeping bag as a comforter. Not only will you guarantee yourself more space, but you’ll also feel way more comfortable.

Layering’s also good because you can always “peel back” certain layers in order to allow the hot air to escape. All in all: it’s an affordable method that doesn’t require you to use any special skills or somethin’.

Here’s a suggestion: for the top layer, you might want to choose the average, breathable bedsheet. Also, if you’re a backpacker there’s not much chance you’ll get to pack plenty of layers for the most customized experience. You’ll probably have to adjust ventilation and your clothes in order to succeed at any kind of layering.

#8 The clothes

Here are two ideas on the clothes you can wear to stop sweating inside a sleeping bag:

  • Wear as little as possible. It might work for some; try wearing as few clothes as possible (if any). Pieces of clothing add to the insulation of your sleeping bag and therefore present a threat to your non-sweatiness.
  • Wear sweat-absorbant clothes. We’ve already implied this before: you don’t want your sleeping bag all wet, especially if you’re camping out in the colder weather.

That’s about it, folks. All that’s left is to say goodbye!

Parting thoughts

Okay, so now you know how to stop sweating while “packed” inside a sleeping bag! If you were to implement just one of the tips we’ve mentioned above, we’re sure you’d strike gold and stop sweat from ruining your outdoor adventures!

For more tips on sleeping in nature and everything that’s related to any kind of an outdoor activity, visit our blog page!

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