June 10, 2021

Do I Need a Sleeping Bag for Summer Camping?

Summer is the perfect time to go out and go camping. The rugged forests and refreshing lakes invite us to explore, while the clean warm night inspires us to happily stare. But considering how warm that night can be, can you think about whether you can save space or weight and keep your sleeping bag indoors?

Need a sleeping bag in the summer? Depending on where you sleep, sometimes summer nights are too cold to sleep without a sleeping bag. Hypothermia can affect you at temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or high temperatures in wet conditions. If you are thinking of going without a sleeping bag, there are alternative options to consider.

Do I Need a Sleeping Bag for the Summer?

It’s so tempting to save space and weight and keep your big sleeping bag at home, but you might regret that decision. Sleeping bags are more than your comfort. They are a safety item that can mean the difference between a dangerous situation and having fun.

So yes, you need to bring something for sleep, even for summer camping, but it may not be your sleeping bag.

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At What Temperature Do You Need a Sleeping Bag?

Needless to say, there is no specific temperature that determines whether or not you should bring your sleeping bag.

Hypothermia, a condition that occurs less quickly than caused by body heat, is a serious condition that can lead to untreated, unconsciousness, and death. A healthy adult can experience hypothermia at temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So you might think that if the temperature is above 50-degrees, you should set everything up. But it's not that simple.

On the one hand, the weather is always changeable, and on a rainy night, it is predicted that it will become evening, which will make you feel cold. Or wind increases heat loss, so you risk hypothermia in hot temperatures without any winding.

Water is another ingredient that will improve your warmth, including air, moisture, and sweat in your clothes (especially cotton). Warm water up to 70 degrees F can cause hypothermia if you stay in it for too long. So if you go for a swim late in the day or night and are dry or not hot enough, you can tremble, this is the initial stage of hypothermia. Humidity or humidity in the air can have similar effects, causing you to feel colder than reading with a thermometer.

One last factor is height. If you are hiking and camping at high altitudes, the air temperature will, in most cases, be cool as well, especially if it is a clear night to see the stars. So, you may need gloves and a hat to stay warm in the mountains when the weather forecast in the valley looks warm and pleasant.

If you don’t need your bag, in the end, it makes a great pad to sleep on and get a little comfort. So there is no harm in keeping it together.

What Should You Look For In A Sleeping Bag?

You may need to bring a sleeping bag, but there may not be a huge sleeping roll that you can take with you in the fall or on a winter camping trip.

Most summer sleeping bags are thin and packed in small bundles. Find sleeping bags with a rating of 40º F and above. Also, look at the material the bag is made of; A synthetic feel material will keep you warm even when it gets wet. The bottom-filled sleeping bag packs less and weighs less, but even if newer or quality models offer a water-resistant coating, it won’t help you if you don’t get wet or lightweight filling.

Be sure to stay away from sleeping bags made of cotton. Not only will it absorb moisture, including your sweat and air or soil moisture, it will also be able to remove heat from your body, rather than prevent it from losing heat once it is moist.

It’s also important to know that just because a bag has a degree rating doesn’t mean you will be comfortable with that listed feature. Even a 40-degree bag may not be enough if you are a cold sleeper, so a 20 or 30-degree bag may be more appropriate. I am one of those, who want something hot and toast at temperatures below 60 degrees.

What Are Some Sleeping Bag Alternatives?

So, if you want something to keep you warm, what are some good choices? You may think that fire is enough, but unless you decide to stay overnight you will find the morning chili.

Instead of pulling an all-nighter and spending the next day in the danger of falling asleep, which makes your camping more fun, you can throw in some alternative things with your gear.

Sleeping Bag Alternatives

  • Sleeping Quilt
  • Sleeping Bag Liner
  • Wool Blanket
  • Bivvy Sack
  • Adequate outdoor clothing (such as insulated puffy jackets, hats, gloves, and extra socks)

A sleeping quilt looks and works like a sleeping bag. The difference is that sleep quilts usually don’t have a zip, are usually cheaper and lighter, and are warmer-to-weight more. So if you are looking for one that is very light but with the warmth you need without taking up too much space, this is a great option.

The liner of the sleeping bag is a good idea, even with the sleeping bag. Plain silk or thermolite liner can fit in a bag smaller than your coffee cup and much easier to wash than your entire sleeping bag. But on their own, the weighted ship, commonly used to add extra warmth to a winter sleeping bag, might be the right option in your sleeping bag.

Sometimes nothing can be better than a good and old-fashioned wool blanket, preferably for new and very soft things. Even if you both get wet, the wool will keep you warm. Make sure the blanket is 100% wool (not cotton blended) and is large enough to cover you up to the head and legs as well as the top and bottom.

The bivvy sack is a very small, single-person tent and the bag is not awkward. However, since they fit so easily, they warm up very quickly and save you from being uncomfortable at night. Moreover, they protect from insects, who also love the warm summer weather!

If you are just going out for an overnight trip and you are sure that the weather will be mild, a good thermal jacket, especially a little waterproofing and a hat, gloves, cap, and thick socks will suffice to meet. It may seem a little strange to carry a fall jacket and gear but you will be happy when you manage to stay warm and cozy without a sleeping bag.

While it’s probably not a sleeping bag, it’s also a good piece of equipment to bring along a sleeping pad. This not only helps you to stay comfortable but also creates a barrier between the ground and the ground so you can feel the warmth as the heat from the ground is reduced. With a sleeping pad, you will probably be able to escape with a lightweight bag.


You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. It starts with choosing the right sleeping bag. The good news for car camping is that you don’t have to lose weight or pack a bag in your pack, so you can go as flat or elegant as you want.