Thermal recommendations?

So, my Friday night at E1 was pretty horrific, due to a number of factors. One of them was my feet were so cold that I barely slept! I have read the various blog posts on keeping warm, etc., so should be better next time (I now have some hand-warmers that I will be putting in my sleeping bag first, and will make sure I wrap into my fluffy inner throw properly).

I do feel the cold quite easily though, even in good weather, so what I’m really looking for is some good (women’s) thermals, especially socks. I currently have a thermal top and trousers that act as PJs, but only got them from Sainsbury’s so can probably get better. I’ve seen SealSkinz socks mentioned in plenty of places, but theirs are mostly waterproof rather than thermal (plus they don’t have much for women), and I’ve looked around a bit online, but there’s so many it’s hard to know what’s good! Does anyone have any recommendations?

I have merino wool base layers and love them. Can get them from outdoors shops or aldi if you’re lucky when they do a cycling event


Merino wool is the absolute gold standard for thermals, pretty much. Fairly readily available, moderately pricey but totally worth it (if nothing else, the fact it doesn’t get smelly can be a great feature by the end of a long event in horrible weather).

Sealskinz use merino wool for lining. However, I would tend to not suggest sleeping in them - bring a separate pair of thick wool socks for sleeping.


It’s an old school method, but if you have access to hot water, you could always try a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag :slight_smile:

As well as socks, you could also keep an eye out for fleece lined footwear. I’ve seen some very snug looking fleece lined leather boots, which will also look very swish OOC as well.

I’d think about the insulation layer between the ground and your sleeping bag, and whether any improvement could be made there.


I sleep on a camp bed, which has a bunch of OOC stuff underneath it. I had tried a sleeping bag on the ground early on at Empire and, even with layers beneath me, just found that the ground was too hard and lumpy, let alone cold!

One of my favourite tricks, if you’ve got the space to transport it, is to put a duvet under a camp bed. It’ll fill in all the empty space and stop the air sucking away your warmth. Otherwise, make sure there’s a few blankets on and over it (hanging down to ground level on the sides is good).


Sorta like a bed-skirt? Would that prevent under-camp bed drafts?

Heat Holders and Primark do good thermal layers. I’ve seen far more Heat Holders socks than any other garment in actual shops, but their website has tops and leggings.

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When the Aldi camping sale turns up the morino(?) wool base layers are well worth it. They work well in the winter and summer as they help wick sweat away and provide layers against the wind.

A bed-skirt is something you put over the mattress to disguise the space under the bed; it might also exclude drafts under the bed to retain some warmth for the sleeper. It’s not something the sleeper wears :wink:

Course, this just might be the US-terms vs UK-terms, and ‘bed-skirt’ means something else entirely here in the UK than it does in the US. (It’s happened so many times before to me.)

I’ve never met the term “bed-skirt” before, but it makes sense and I’m sure it would work that way, keeping the air under the bed still so that it works as insulation against drafts and convection.

In that sort of set-up, one of those silvery space-blanket things under the bed would help too, minimising transfer of heat from bed to ground through radiation. They’re very cheap and they pack down small and light.

But filling the space under the bed with duvet or similar would be best of all.

I bought some cheap army-surplus quilted insulated trousers as an extra layer for sleeping in. But in the end, just getting a warmer (or additional) sleeping-bag will do the trick (plus something warm to go under you that will retain its thickness under your weight).

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Fresh thin socks are a god send on cold nights. Also to save you buying a new sleeping bag (As long as your current one is at least 3 season and not too old) Considier a sleeping bag liner. Its a cotton fleece bag you put inside your bag and will give you the extra layer you will want. It does get warm in the summer events.

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Even easier: You can get cheap picnic blankets from Argos or similar that have that kind of coating on the bottom, with a soft layer on top. I use one on the floor of my tent, it’s amazing how much of a difference it makes, not to mention making it easier to clean.


Thank you: good to know that those things work well as tent-carpets!

Though I’m a bit sceptical about the silvery surface itself making a difference when it’s touching something (the ground or anything else). The point of it is to reduce infra-red radiation/absorption, so it’ll do most good when facing an open space or air-gap… so on the tent floor (groundsheet) the two-layer blanket would work better (but look terrible) if you had it shiny side up. I’ll admit I’ve not done experiments/measurements though.

You’re probably right.