Perceived temperature

Perceived temperature

The same temperature – different experiences

How warm a sleeping bag feels varies from person to person. It may also vary for the same individual depending on how they feel on a particular day, their physical fitness, mental stress level, the humidity and elevation – and many other factors. Here are several physical factors that affect how we perceive temperature:

• Age Younger people often feel the cold less than older people. This means that the older you are, the colder you will feel your sleeping bag to be.

• Physique A small person just 150 cm tall will occupy the sleeping bag in a completely different way to someone who is 175 cm tall. This can mean that the sleeping bag feels cooler or warmer.

• Weight A small layer of fat insulates against the cold. In addition, a large body means that the surface to mass ratio is less, which makes it easy for a larger person to retain heat.

• Gender Men and women feel the cold in different ways. This is due to several reasons, partly weight and physique, which have already been mentioned, as well as muscle mass. All in all, this means that women generally feel the cold more than men.

• Food and water A good fluid balance and full energy stores make a big difference when it comes to bedtime. A dehydrated and hungry person will find it more difficult to maintain body temperature.

• General health There are medical conditions that can make certain people more sensitive to cold, e.g. poor circulation.