How to keep your feet warm in a sleeping bag-what works?

I always have cold feet and hands and I think that is because of decreased circulation of blood to the extremities of my body(hands and feet) but this is not our point, that is to medical and I don’t have any idea and I might say wrong things:)

The best way to keep your feet warm in a sleeping bag is to tuck a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag just under your feet. make sure the water you use is clean not mixed with anything cause that will decrease the specific heat capacity, which in result make it cool faster.

But that doesn’t mean this is the only way you to warm your feet in your sleeping bag there are many ways, I have tried to list 5 of them in this article. Like if you don’t have access to hot water you can use other methods, other than the hot water bottle.

But before we get to that I will try to explain why our feet get cold when we are in a sleeping bag or generally when we sleep in a cold place.

When we are sleeping in cold places our body will cut the amount of blood that would normally go to our hands and feet which causes the vessels to constrict, which in result makes them cold and sometimes your feet may have a bluish color due to the lack of adequate blood.

But what you have to know is that this is not a big deal and it happens a lot.

A quick overview of the ways you can to keep your feet warm

  1. Use a hot water bottle
  2. Put on feathered booties
  3. Make your sleeping bag warmer
  4. Make your tent warmer
  5. Use chemical heat packs
  6. Sleep on an upward angle

1- Use a hot water bottle

hot water bottle

This is one of the effective ways to keep yourself warm and you already know this, but I bet you haven’t used this in your sleeping bag, the thing is there is nothing big about it and it is so cheap, just tuck it somewhere on your backpack and take it to your camping trip.

You probably have a hot water bottle sitting somewhere in your house especially if you live in cold places like San Francisco(it is a cold city for those who don’t know) anyways if you don’t have one, there are a ton of companies with amazing hot water bottles.

What I recommend is to buy rubber one cause they are way more comfortable on your skin and they retain the heat more than anything, you can check this hot water bottle on amazon I haven’t tried it for myself, but I can tell it is legit and it is super soft, and it also has a removable cover but I won’t go to the details check it if you want.

But there is a big problem here! and it is that hot water bottles need hot water, I know that is funny and obvious and you know it is not that easy to get hot water while camping.

There are stoves that are suitable for camping or you can boil your water using a campfire but all that needs a lot of energy so that brings us to get feathered booties.

2- Put on feathered booties

This is another great way to keep your feet warm in your sleeping bag, not only in your sleeping bag you can wear these booties anywhere that has a cold temperature, so if your campground is cold make sure you take these with you.

These booties(slippers) are thermally insulated and can be a lifesaver. the one you see in the picture above is an example. It is sold on Amazon. they are not that expensive, especially if you consider their usefulness.

You can walk on the cold ground and even on snow if you wear one, so why not wear them while you are in your sleeping bag, but you have to know your feet might get too sweaty if you also have a warm sleeping bag.

If you are interested to look one you can check this feathered bootie on amazon(Aegismax Down Booties)

3- Make your sleeping bag warmer

As I have said your feet get cold when your total body temperature is lower than it should be, so what you can do is make your sleeping bag warmer by a few degrees.

What you have to know is even the slightest changes make a big difference so warming up your sleeping bag by 2° Fahrenheit can work.

The question is how? it is easy and it is a sleeping bag liner. What are they? they are lightweight fabric used to make your sleeping bag warmer and not only that they can help you to lengthen the life of the sleeping bag by acting like a protective layer.

These liners add extra 5° F of warmth to your sleeping bag which in result makes your body and your feet warmer, and they are the best if you are on a tight budget because most are sold for under $20. Take a look at this article from coolofthewild it’s a review of sleeping bag liners.

4- Make your tent warmer

Besides making your sleeping bag warmer you can make your tent warmer, there are many ways you make your tent warmer.

One is using a heater which works fine despite the fact that it has some side effects like some heater emits carbon monoxide which as you know is harmful to our body, but if you can a heater that has the technology which has overcome these minor problems it can be super useful.

The second way to make your tent warmer is to add an insulating layer on the ground, it can be a tarp but I would tell you to make it something thick like a rug, which can make a big difference in warming your tent.

The ground sucks the heat from your tent ana also from your body but if there is an insulating material between it would prevent that and help you to have cozy and warm sleep.

5- Use chemical heat packs

I don’t even know why I have made this fifth on the list, it should probably be the first cause it is super light to carry, super cheap and effective for heating your feet for hours.

The problem is this pack doesn’t last for more than an hour so you have to take 4 or 5 for a night, you have to exchange them once in a while. All this might be a lot to do, but if you are ok with this they can be amazing to keep.

These packs have no side effects. mostly they sold for less than 20 bucks less than 2 pounds for most. one pack can keep your feet more around 2hours, so decide for yourself and do what you do.

6- Sleep on an upward angle

This is a tricky method you can use to increase the blood flow to your legs which helps to make your feet warmer.

This might get too complicated to do but what you have to do is pitch your tent on an inclined ground. It doesn’t have to be big slope just some angles, or your second choice is to add some kind of thing like fabric to the head of the sleeping bag to get an angle.

This method will help you to make your feet warmer by increasing blood flow downwards. I have done it a couple of times, not that much it helped but I have noticed a slight change.


As a conclusion, I would say sometimes the easiest things can make a difference so put in mind that you can take cotton socks and wear them while sleeping, and if you want there are thermally insulated socks that can be as effective as the other methods you can do.

The second tip is to cover your head while you sleep cause there is an enormous amount of heat radiating from our head, covering it would trap the heat and give more efficiency to retain your body heat.

Thanks for reading

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