My bedroll consisted of a silk covered comforter and a heavy wool blanket. Laying these down together and rolling myself up inside provided a place that my body heat could keep warm on most frigid nights. At least that was my experience so far. It was around nine in the evening and I searched for a place to turn into a rollup for the night. A dark grassy hillside overlooking a closing mall and the highway seemed a likely spot.
The first few moments after getting into the roll required adjustment. I first stripped down to underwear to give my body heat direct exposure to my blankets. Next I had to give time for the blankets, the air trapped inside my roll and my skin to get to the same temperature. It usually took a few minutes to get warm, before I could drift off to sleep. Somewhere in the middle of the night. I was awaken by a chill. Probably cold air infiltrated my roll. It was not comfortable and rewrapping and trying to get back to sleep did not seem feasible. I glanced down to the closed mall. A bank had a lighted time/temp display. I found it was three thirty in the morning and eighteen degrees.
At times like these, I learned that walking provide warmth. I got into my outdoor clothes inside my roll, them wrapped my bedroll up and started hiking. Relatively soon a car provided a lift. Inside a heated car got me back to operating temperature. I was left out at ramp just before light somewhere in the middle of no where. There was a small diner nearby but was not yet open. The gathering light exposed a thin snow covering. It appeared coldness was on the menu. Nearby was a small section of woods. A fire seemed called for. I walked in far enough that smoke from a small blaze would not be noticed. Next I se about gathering small twigs and sticks.
With a slight snow covering finding dry tender seemed difficult. I had a nice selection of kindling but with no paper and only three matches needed something that would light and sustain it self until the wood was hot enough to ignite. Searching around I found underneath tree boughs a supply of pine needles that were not wet. It took all three matches before I was able to light enough needles that they sustained flame. By bending over my fledgling fire and providing a breath bellows, I was able to get some wood afire. Soon I had a source of heat to warm and dry myself and socks which had gotten wet on my hike into the woods and search for fuel. By the time the sun was fully up and the diner open, I was warmed and smelled of wood fire. Letting my fire go out, I strode over to get a cup of coffee, probably not smelling much different that folks that got warmed by wood fires indoors.