Campsite east sussex campfire

Down in sleeping bags can even become matted if dirty enough.Materials may also lose some of their breathability.An allied consideration is keeping your sleeping kit clean.Dirty, greasy sleeping systems, lose some of their insulating properties.Alternatively a silk sleeping bag liner is a good investment, particularly to protect expensive down bags.A further benefit of a bivvy bag – at any time of year – is that it keeps dust, dirt and detritus away from the outer surface of your sleeping bag and so also serves to help keep it clean as possible.

Equally, winter camping means different things to different people.Here the weather is not so bad but can you spot the hut in the photograph? Even when my friends and I go on hot-tenting trips in the boreal forest, where we have a canvas tent and a wood-burning stove, we still take sleeping bags, bivvy bags and sleeping mats.A critical point is that the sleeping bag is rated for the expected external, environmental temperatures, not the internal heated tent temperature.Winter bivvying can mean going to sleep on the green moss of the Arctic forest on a chilly September evening only to find snow on your bivvy bag in the morning. Keeping warm and staying safe are key objectives, and in winter the two overlap considerably.Again there are many varieties of winter bivvy and of course there are differences between them all, some considerable and obvious, others more subtle and nuanced. Whenever you are sleeping out during the colder months of the year, you should be mindful of the ways in which you lose heat to the environment.

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Photo: Paul Kirtley Ski touring in the Norwegian mountains is a fantastic way to make a winter journey.

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