The secret to having a comfortable sleep while staying outdoors lies in the right sleeping gear and your bedtime preparation. We know that outdoor conditions are way different from the indoor comfort our bedroom offers and making a few adjustments should make your camping nights more enjoyable and fun.
Here are some tips for sound sleep and enjoying the night sky and fresh air:
Different camping destinations require different types of sleeping bags. Backpacking adventures need mummy-shaped sleeping bags that fit snugly on your body to help you retain body heat.
Rectangular-type sleeping bags are preferred for car camping as they have a wider cut and offer more room for getting comfy. An added advantage is that they can be unzipped and used as quilts on warmer nights.
The condition of your camping spot matters, especially when picking your sleeping pads. The advantage of camping in your car is that you have the freedom to choose your padding, the thicker the better.
However, you won’t be able to bring a full mattress on a backpacking trip. Apart from being too bulky, it’s completely impractical to carry one. Your best option is to grab a super light-weight pad that can easily fit on your pack.
Can’t sleep without a pillow? If you’re car camping you can simply bring your pillow from home but for backpacking, you’ll need to pack some inflatable pillows or roll up your jacket or fleece sweater to use as your pillow.
Eye Masks and Earplugs
If you’re a light sleeper, eye masks and earplugs can help you sleep comfortably, more so if you’re camping in northern latitudes or in campsites with ambient lighting. Earplugs can help dampen the sound of rustling bushes or drown out the snoring of your tent mate.
Make preparations to prevent discomfort by attending to your sleeping routine. Prepare the things you’ll need next to your bed to give you peace of mind once you’re in your sleeping bag.
Cleaning up your camp and tent area before bedtime not only gives you more time to settle down; it also contributes to a good night’s sleep.
Location of your Tent
Pay attention to where you’re pitching your tent and set up camp in a comfortable spot with a flat, stable surface away from branches and other falling debris like pinecones, rocks, and sticks. It can spare you the trouble of getting up in the middle of the night to check what fell onto your tent.
Store your Food and Scented Products Properly
Be sure to check on your site’s camping rules to see whether they have food storage rules especially if you’re camping in a place where bears are active. Bring a bear canister and learn how to properly pack your foodstuff, trash, and scented hygiene products. Also, remember not to sleep in your food-stained clothes. Seal your food-soiled clothes and stash them together with your supplies.
If you get thirsty at night, having a water bottle next to your bed will prevent you from getting up unnecessarily in the middle of the night.
Lanterns and Light
If your tent doesn’t come with a built-in LED light, you can hang a lantern after you’ve set it up. You could also wear a headlamp or have a small flashlight handy.
Maintaining your bedtime routines like brushing your teeth not only triggers a feeling of normalcy but also helps you feel comfortable in your new surroundings. If you’re camping with kids bring their favorite toy cars and dolls to make them feel “at home” while in camp.
Midnight Restroom Trips
Going to the restroom in the middle of the night can be avoided by peeing twice before getting into your sleeping bag. However, if it can’t be avoided, place a camp towel and a pair of sandals outside the tent door and keep your headlamp within reach.
Put on Dry, Clean Clothes
Nothing can be more uncomfortable than going to bed in your dirty hiking clothes so it’s essential to clean up and put on dry clothing. Wipe off your sweat with no-rinse bathing wipes before putting on your clothes. If you have wet clothes with you, you can unroll them and place them under your sleeping pad to dry up or hang them to dry outdoors.
Enjoy the Forest Noise
Novice campers are sometimes wary of the tiniest sound they hear outside the tent. Don’t fret. Small critters can appear larger at night, and don’t let a little croak keep you awake the entire evening. If you’ve made the necessary preparations like stowing your food and hygiene products away, you shouldn’t have to worry about rustling noises in the bush thinking it’s a bear. Either you learn to love the sound of nature or shut it out entirely with earplugs.
A comfortable, good night’s sleep outdoors is possible if you know how to prepare to have one.
Got tips of your own? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.