Would you rather travel light and tent in the backcountry, or pack more than essentials and camp in the front country with amenities?
Either way, comfort and sleep are vital for our sense of wellbeing. Especially when we’re on vacation. Rest is an essential part of life. Rest restores us and enables us to “take on the world” again.
Even if you can sleep anywhere, anyhow, think how much better would it feel, to climb into total comfort at the end of a perfect day!
How many hours of sleep do you need? The average adult needs between 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night for optimum wellbeing.
Take these camping hack ideas to help you boost your comfort and sleep the next time you camp.
WHAT TO PACK:
1. Your tent is your castle
A larger quality camping tent is one step in the right direction. If there are two of you, get a four-man sleeping tent you don’t have to crawl into.
There's something to be said about having standing room, and space on either side of your bed is a win.
2. Thicker is better
If you have space in your car, a thicker mattress is the ideal start to a comfortable night. I'm not talking about a camping air mattress, unless you find those comfortable, but thicker roll-up or fold-up mattresses. They’re warmer, softer and cozier compared to a yoga mat or air mattress – you’ll feel like you’re on a luxury vacation.
3. Home comforts - but not scatter cushions or potpourri
Summer camping doesn’t require a backpacking mummy-type sleeping bag, however, in fall and winter, you will probably need a warm and comfortable sleeping bag to hold in the heat.
Why not take an extra comforter to place over your sleeping bags in the winter? Whether it’s Summer, Winter, Fall, or Spring, you’ll enjoy the inviting sight of a comfortable ready-made bed in your spacious, larger tent.
4. And now the weather: It will be sunny unless it rains
Have you ever lived through four seasons in a day? Mother nature can be temperamental.
Temperatures can decrease quickly, especially in the mountains. Pack comfortable layers of clothing to put on and take off during the day or night, as the temperatures fluctuate. This way, you're prepared for anything.
HOME COMFORT HACKS FOR YOUR TENT
5. Happiness is: wine and chocolate on your bedside table
It is a home comfort having space next to your bed for a lamp and a book. You don’t have to go out and buy a folding bedside camping table if you don’t have one, the plastic box you brought your supplies in will work.
Keep a headlamp on your camping bedside table too. If you need to get up in the middle of the night to pee, you know exactly where it is.
If you're a skim reader, here's a list:
- Camping lantern
- Wine (optional)
- Chocolate (compulsory)
6. Hello darkness my old friend
If it’s battery-operated, don’t forget the extra batteries!
For full-on comfort, a camping lantern would be great for each side of the bed if you’re sharing, as well as for the “kitchen” area.
You need to choose the best camping lantern to suit your needs and lifestyle. There are many choices out there. If you prefer front country camping, then maybe an electric lantern is a good choice, but here are other choices:
- LED lantern
- Solar-powered lantern
- Fuel lantern
- Rechargeable lantern
- Butane lantern
- Propane lantern
- Kerosene lantern
- Gas lantern
- Battery-powered lantern
- Candle lantern
HACKS FOR GREAT SLEEP
7. Pitching your tent on flat terrain decreases the chances of a wedgie in the morning
If you missed out on the flat terrain sites and end up having to pitch your tent on a minor incline, make sure you sleep with your head above your feet.
Sleeping on an incline may actually be good for you. There are a few advantages:
- You don’t snore as much (not that you snore mind you)
- It helps to relieve acid reflux
- It prevents sleep apnea issues
8. Baby it's cold outside
When the evenings get a little chilly, there is nothing better than sinking into a warm bed. About ten minutes before bedtime, pop a hot water bottle at the bottom of your bed or sleeping bag and enjoy the sweet comfort of a warm body and toasty toes.
If it's really cold and you're struggling to warm up, place the hot water bottle between your legs for a little while. This is close to the femoral artery which will carry warmth to your entire body.
9. Get showered with more than love - use water
Feeling clean adds to your comfort levels. Have you ever been sick for a few days and not had the energy to wash your hair or shower? How do you feel once you’ve had a shower? Comforted? It also helps you to settle down and settle in for the night.
If you’re in the backcountry and have no access to facilities, you know we’ve got you covered - Biodegradable, extra-large wet wipes are the bomb!
10. If I were in your shoes ...
If I were in your shoes, I'd keep my shoes ready for nighttime pee trips.
It’s just not fun when your bladder taps you on the shoulder at midnight telling you it’s time. If you don’t want to get up to pee at night, then limit your liquid intake after 5 pm. This is even more important in the colder months when your pee just about turns to icicles in the frigid night air.
Nevertheless, if you must go, you must go – your bladder waits for no one. Knowing where to find your shoes in the dark will help you to go back to sleep quicker.
It is frustrating having to fumble around in the dark to find necessities for “the necessary”.
11. You may be entitled to condensation
We have this superpower of being able to exhale one whole liter of water when we sleep. This creates condensation in your tent (water droplets) if there is no ventilation.
You create even more opportunities for condensation by:
- Cooking in your tent.
- Bringing wet clothes into your tent.
- Zipping up all window flaps in your tent. Keep them slightly open, even when it's cold.
The problem with condensation is that if there is no ventilation everything in your tent stays wet for hours and it begins to smell like mildew.
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THOSE WHO STRUGGLE WITH SLEEP
12. Get sweaty and breathe deeply
- Exercise reduces stress
- Outdoor exercise sets your body clock
- Exercise tires you out and increases your sleep drive
- Deep breathing slows your heart rate and calms you down
13. Unnecessary noise prohibited!
The best ear plugs are soft earplugs - grab a few pairs to help you shut out sudden noises. If you can handle the sound of your own breathing, this will work well for you.
If you don’t enjoy the sound of your own breathing, or the person next to you, then a white noise app will work.
What is white noise? It is every audible frequency put together to create a "shhhh" sound. White noise gives you a consistent blanket of sound that will drown out sudden noises made by other people, animals or insects. It is sudden noises that interrupt our sleep.
There are many white noise apps available to download that give you different frequency choices.
Curiously, black noise is the opposite of white noise in every way - black noise is literally the sound of silence. It's interesting that it's referred to as noise.
14. REM is more than a band from the ‘80s
Light, at night, can disrupt our sleeping patterns. It could be somebody walking past carrying a torch, or the brightness of the moon, or a car's headlights.
When it gets dark, our body produces a hormone called Melatonin. This hormone induces sleep. Light suppresses Melatonin, especially artificial light, which is why it begins to wake us up at night. This is also why screen time is not good before bed.
Eye masks completely block out the light which helps to increase your REM sleep (deep sleep) and raise your Melatonin levels.
15. When the Melatonin kicks in
Melatonin gummies are all-natural, and they help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. These will be great if you’re like my husband who can literally only sleep for 6 hours tops. Which means if he goes to bed at 10 pm, he’ll wake up at 4 am, and who wants that while you’re on vacation? You want it to at least be light when you wake up.
(Always check with your doctor before taking any medication).
So what do you think? Which hack is your favorite and which one has given you a good idea?
Sweet dreams ...