How To Stay Warm Sleeping In A Car

Generally, car camping is a great way for someone to experience what nature has to offer. But those who have no choice but to camp inside their car for the night due to an emergency may find it less than appealing. So, we asked those with years of experience what tips and tricks they have to help keep you warm overnight inside your car.

Car camping enthusiasts always suggest that the key to staying warm is to prepare in advance. If you plan on spending the night inside your car, bring some extra clothes, thick blankets, heating packets, and the like to help keep you warm. But if you were unable to prepare beforehand, you can turn on your car's heater for 10 minutes every hour to stave off the cold.

Of course, there are more things you can do to help keep you warm. Likewise, there are also things that you need to remember when staying overnight inside your car. In this article, we will talk about all of these and more.

A couple sleeping inside of the car, How To Stay Warm Sleeping In A Car

Tips For Staying Warm Inside A Car Overnight

You might find yourself having no place to stay, or you might be stranded in the middle of a blizzard. In this section, we will discuss some helpful tips to keep you warm during these kinds of scenarios.

Turn The Heater On

Air conditioning setting knob

If you find yourself stuck in the middle of a snowstorm, this is one of the best ways to keep you warm throughout the night. Just remember to keep the tailpipe free of any obstructions. If not, carbon monoxide will accumulate inside while the car is on.

Additionally, make sure to only turn the heater on for 10 minutes every hour. This is not just to help save gas but to prevent you from sweating. Once you start sweating, you'll immediately feel colder afterward.

Wear Extra Layers Of Clothing

If you plan on camping inside your car for the night, those extra clothes you have on hand will become a lifesaver. Wear multiple layers of clothes to help keep you warm through the night.

Keep your socks and shoes on to avoid losing heat through your feet. Also, wear a hat and a pair of gloves if you have some on hand. While this might not be the most comfortable way to sleep, it helps protect you against the cold.

Insulate The Windows

This is to prevent heat from escaping from your car. Use any extra clothes that you might have and stick them into the windows of your car.

Additionally, almost any type of coverage will work if you don't have any extra clothes lying around. Newspaper, foam, cardboard, plastic bags, and anything else you might find inside your car will help.

Use A Thick Blanket

Brown and white blanket on a table

If you don't like the idea of wearing multiple layers of clothing when you go to sleep, a thick blanket will suffice. If you don't have any on hand, towels and even rugs will work just as well.

Make sure not to cover your face with it, though. This is to prevent moisture from building up as you breathe. Consider wearing a mask to help keep your face warm.

Bring A Buddy Along For The Ride

Having a pet or two would help keep you warm and give you some company through the night. So if you plan on camping out in the wilderness, consider bringing man's best friend.

Alternatively, if you are stuck during a snowstorm with friends or family, consider staying close or cuddling with one another before going to sleep. This tried-and-tested method works by combining the body heat you produce to keep you all warm throughout the night.

Boil Some Water

Boiling water in a pot

When you're out camping where there's plenty of water to be found, consider bringing some with you. Heat some water over an open fire before pouring it into some empty bottles that you might have lying around inside your car.

Then, you can keep that bottle on you when you sleep. But make sure to check whether or not the water bottle is too hot to use to prevent injury.

Heat Some Rocks

Alternatively, you can collect rocks and heat them by the campfire if there's no body of water nearby. While those rocks are heating up, make a layer of cold stones on your car's floor. Then, carefully place the heated rocks over that layer.

This will prevent the hot rocks from touching anything else inside your car while keeping you warm. Just be careful not to move around too much when you go to sleep.

Eat Plenty Of Food

Make sure to eat plenty of food before getting into the cold. Eating will not only fill your empty stomach but it will help keep you warm. Digestion helps produce body heat, so be sure to snack as much as you can before going to sleep.

This way, you have a sense of comfort and warmth inside your car. Eating warm and spicy food also helps to bring your body temperature up quickly.

Helpful Products That Keep You Warm Inside A Car

Unlike the previous tips that we discussed, these products are not usually found inside your car at all times. So, if you want to prepare for the inevitable, consider investing in some of these. They may help you when you're stuck outside in the cold one day.

Portable Heaters

White portable electric heater

As the name suggests, these are heaters that you can bring around with you on the go. They come in all shapes and sizes, so you can choose which one works best for your car.

Additionally, they come in different types, but most professionals recommend that you use a catalytic heater. This type of heater doesn't produce carbon monoxide, is highly efficient, and doesn't need much ventilation.

Check out this portable heater on Amazon.

Hand Warmers

Woman holding a blue colored hand warmer

Hand warmers are one of the more versatile products you can have on hand to keep warm. They can be used almost everywhere, and they're small enough to fit inside your pocket.

You can buy a box for a low price, and when you do, these will help keep your hands and even your feet warm by slipping them into your socks.

Check this pack of hand warmers on Amazon.

Electric Blanket

A brown electric heating blanket

A common product to have during the winter months is an electric blanket. Having one inside your car will help keep you warm during emergencies. Equipped with a temperature control unit, they work like heating pads that help regulate your body temperature.

However, they can heavily drain your car's battery if used for prolonged periods. So, make sure to use one sparingly and not leave it plugged in while you sleep. Additionally, bringing a power bank would help as well.

Check out this electric blanket on Amazon.

Safety Concerns

Remember that car camping isn't as easy as driving up to an empty lot and parking there for the night. You must be aware of the dangers surrounding you in the wilderness and laws when camping out for the night if you're in the city.

Additionally, remember to keep one of the windows slightly ajar for ventilation. This is to prevent moisture from building up inside your car, which would make you feel cold.

As much as possible, don't sleep with your car engine running. This prevents carbon monoxide poisoning, as this type of gas is odorless and colorless, making it hard for you to spot it. Park in an open space where there are no other vehicles around to prevent carbon monoxide from mixing with the air you breathe.

If you're camping on the side of the road, make sure to keep your hazard lights on. This is to prevent others from crashing into you. You can prevent an unfortunate accident from happening while you sleep through the night by doing this.

In Closing

A couple sleeping inside of the car

Whether you want to save money by camping inside your car or were forced to stay the night there due to a snowstorm, there are many ways to help keep you warm.

However, it would help if you also remembered that there are risks that you can't ignore. Once you know what those are, sleeping inside your car may become a pleasant experience overall.

If you enjoyed reading through this article, consider checking out these others below. They will provide more information on some related topics:

How To Insulate Your Car's Windows

Why Does My Car Air Conditioner Only Work On High?

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