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Keeping your face warm in subzero temps.

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  • Keeping your face warm in subzero temps.


    How does everyone keep their face warm while sleeping in subzero temps. To make it interesting let's say that you do not have a hot tent, nor do you burrow your face in a sleeping bag. Super interested in hearing what everyone does.

  • #2
    I use an army surplus hood ( it’s made to button on to a parka), with a faux fur ruff. It has a wire in it so it can be shaped. It sits away from the face several inches so it keeps the face reasonably warm and stays in place mostly. I used to think it suffocated me, and I would wake up totally out of breath, then I found out I have sleep apnea….


    • #3
      I wear an Arctic Armor ice fishing hood with complete coverage including my neck except for an oval around my eyes. To keep my eyes from frosting up, I wear a thin beanie under the hood with the beanie pulled down over my eyes.. The inner fabric of the hood wicks away moisture from my nose and mouth.

      The rest of the story is that I sleep in a hammock with down quilts (top and bottom) with a canvas sock wrapped around the whole rig so I'm inside a wind-blocking cocoon that moves moisture from inside to outside. My PR with this set up is -26° F (snug and warm).
      Last edited by SD_Motak; 12-21-2022, 07:30 PM.


      • #4
        I've tried lots of things, but the thing that works best for me is a small fleece blanket, about as wide as my sleeping bag by about 70 cm. It is attached to the top upper edge of the sleeping bag with velcro tabs. I pull the blanket over my head as needed. Fleece is quite pleasant to sleep under as it is porous and it is easy to shape the cover to allow the right amount of ventilation. In the morning the little blanket detaches and can be dried very quickly by the stove or fire. Works for me.



        • #5
          I was curious about keeping eyes warm, when I wear a beanie it always slides off. I have a wiggys superlight sleeping bag, and the drawstring that creates the hood, doesn't get tight enough to encapsulate my head. Frozen eyeballs and nostrils are the worst and apart from just covering my face altogether I haven't found a solid workaround. Also I'm a side sleeper so that makes it a challenge to keep covered.


          • #6
            Click image for larger version

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            I use an oversized "Snood", somewhat like a neck gaiter made from a micro fibre travel towel.

            This catches the condensation from my breath and prevents it getting into the sleeping bag hood which is much more difficult to dry out.

            It also produces a micro climate around my face which is heated to some degree by the air I am exhaling.

            In the morning, I just tuck it into my clothing, close to my base layers to dry it out. Job done.

            I always cold camp and this has worked well for me over the years.


            • #7
              Great Topic! Nothing worse than repeatedly being woken by cold face parts, or by frost from your breathing melting into cold liquid water and running down onto your cheek or upper lip!

              Bit Bulky, but crazy warm (I have relaxed in it down to -44C, no wind), a Finbar hood with the extra layers of insulation that he supplied works really well. On mine I added a the synch-able "snorkle" tube just to allow the hood to be looser around the face, and allow a little larger pocket of warmer air in front of the face.

              (If I knew how to upload my own images / video, I would.

              While not part of your question, eatTHEcurry, I should add that a big part of Finbar's original purpose was to allow the sleeper to roll from side to side without the bag rolling with her; instead, the collar of the Finbar hood rotates easily within the slightly loosened top opening of the sleeping bag. In this way the sleeper never exposes the flattened and humid part of the bag that they have been lying on for hours. The bag stays put, the sleeper rotates within it, and the hood rotates with the sleeper's head and shoulders. It works!


              • #8
                With all of these great ideas now I need to see some pictures. Post them if you got em.


                • #9
                  Click image for larger version

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                  I don't have many shots of my sleeping system in use, I'm usually in it by the time it is laid out, but there are a couple from this trip.

                  Click image for larger version

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                  These were taken before I changed the old Brit Army GoreTex bivi bag for a self made Ventile Cover.


                  • #10
                    I've only camped down to -25F, but my solution is pretty low tech. In addition to a balaclava and tuque, I drape a square scrap piece of fleece over my face. I always sleep with a t-shirt or something over my eyes at home anyway, so it feels a bit like home. It's not the most pleasant thing to launder, but it does catch some condensation and provides a nice little cozy cocoon around my face.


                    • #11
                      For me sleeping in a Hammock I got my top quilts extra long so as to be able to wrap around my head. I'll wear a merino wool balaclava and wool toque pulled down enough to cover the tip of my nose.
                      Has worked great for me down to -37c and wool be wool has amazing moisture control making things comfortable vs being socked in with moisture on ones face.
                      Also the hammock is draped in a 100% cotton painters tarp to keep the wind out and frost off the hammock/quilts assuming I'm not in my Hammock Hot Tent and even then i do not keep a fire going during sleep.


                      • #12
                        I have a fur hat that flips down over my eyes and nose, my beard does the rest. If I dont have the fur hat, I will use my Empire coat as a pillow and flip the hood over my head and breath out of the fur ruff.