Camping is an excellent option for people who want to take some rest from everyday worries and stress and spend a couple of days away from modern conveniences. It is a perfect way to spend some quality time alone or with friends, being close to nature and enjoying peace and quiet. If you need to recharge your batteries a bit, take your mind off worries at least for a little while, and reset your internal clock, going camping with friends will do the trick. However, you should keep in mind that the way you sleep can be a make–or–break factor that can affect your entire trip. Many people simply can’t sleep well at a campground because of a variety of reasons. Of course, camping is a peaceful way to spend time with close friends, but it doesn’t mean that you will enjoy a night of quality rest away from the comfort of your bedroom. In case you want to get a good night’s rest while camping and appreciate fresh air and starry night skies properly rested, we will suggest some tips that will make this possible.
Be Careful When Choosing Your Campsite
If you decide to go camping, you need to keep in mind that the right choice of the campsite is crucial when setting up your tent, and it can not only affect your sleep but your entire trip as well. It is crucial to find a flat space for your tent, and if it is not possible and you have a slight hill, your head should always be uphill. Also, make sure to clean the ground from twigs and rocks, as if you don’t do it, you will feel these things beneath your tent, which is often far from comfortable. You should also opt for softer grounds, such as pine needles and grass, and if you notice any large rocks, be sure to remove them. Another thing that you should avoid is pitching your tent too close to bushes and trees, as they may brush against them during a breeze, which not only sounds annoying but can also damage your tent and prevent you from getting the rest that you deserve. Remember that the choice of the campsite can have a huge impact on your sleep quality.
Be Wise When Choosing Your Tentmates
You should know that the choice of people you go on a camping trip with can significantly influence your sleep, especially if you all stay in the same tent. It doesn’t take long for a tent to become overcrowded, and relaxing and being able to sleep easily in this environment can be a bit tricky. Things get even worse if your tentmates can’t stop talking in the evening, and prevent you from getting enough shut-eye by doing so. Snoring tentmates also contribute to poor sleep, and so does tossing and turning frequently during the night. Sleeping only a few inches from snoring people who toss and turn a lot probably won’t result in restful shut-eye. If you want to sleep well while camping, you need to know everything about the sleep habits of your friends or consider resting solo and pitching your tent far away from your friends. You can also convince your spouse to go camping with you as you are already used to sleeping in the same bed and already know everything about each other’s sleep and pre-sleep habits.
Pick the Right Tent
If you want to enjoy the benefits of restful nights when camping, your choice of tents can be crucial. Many different models are available on the market with various features, and you should pick a model that fits your wishes and needs. A critical thing that you need to take into consideration is the size. Different sizes are available, from those that fit one person to large tents that can accommodate up to 15 people. However, whatever you want in a tent, you should go for one size larger. For example, if you are planning to go camping only with your spouse, you should get a model made for three sleepers, as it will ensure that you have extra space for your belongings, or to sprawl out more comfortably. Materials used are also vital when it comes to choosing the right tent, and you should go for a weatherproof model. Make sure that your tent is well-ventilated, especially if you are going on a trip during the summer, and insulated, which is critical when camping during colder months.
Choose the Right Sleeping Bag
People who want to go camping can’t buy just any sleeping bag as not all of them are the same. It is not a good idea to buy the first one that you see in a store. If you have the right model that is ideal for your sleeping habits, situation, and temperature, it will help you sleep well. Keep in mind that sleeping bags differ in ratings, and you should pick the one that fits your needs and is the right choice for temperatures that you are expecting. However, this rating can vary depending on the manufacturer, and it is the best idea to check reviews to see what others have to say about it. Another thing that you should consider is the size of a sleeping bag, and it depends on your sleeping habits. For example, if you turn over a lot per night, a standard size may lack room, and if this is the case, you should opt for larger sizes that have enough space for movement.
Don’t Forget to Bring the Right Bedding
A wide variety of options is available when it comes to tent bedding products. If you want to rest comfortably throughout the night and have the proper bed cushioning, you should opt for some type of sleep platforms. The most popular type are air mattresses. They are an ideal and deluxe option for this type of trips, and they are very comfortable and resemble home mattresses. The right camping mattress can improve your sleep a lot. However, air models can be heavy, which is not always a perfect solution, and you should also have a pump to inflate them. Self-inflating foam pads are compressible mattresses that have a spongy foam, and the shell is made of nylon that is waterproof. When you twist the valve, the vacuum will fill and expand the foam. These pads are very lightweight, compactable, and offer extra comfort. A regular foam tent sleeping pad is excellent for sleeping on cold or frozen ground and can be used on rough surfaces (as opposed to inflatable pads). These models are light, budget-friendly, and have excellent insulation, but they can be a bit bulky. Finally, air pads are lightweight and comfortable, but they don’t come with auto-inflation. If you want to know how to make tent camping comfortable, you should keep in mind that having the right pillow is vital. The most popular solution is choosing inflatable pillows as they are very comfortable and lightweight. You can also bring the pillow that you use in your bedroom. Down pillows and memory foam pillows are excellent for camping as they are very comfortable and will help you sleep better. If you, by any chance, don’t forget to bring a pillow, you can always use a substitute.
Warm Your Sleeping Bag
The idea of getting into a cold bed is not appealing to most people, and if you want to avoid something like this on a trip, you should warm up your sleeping bag before going to sleep. These bags are not warm on their own and they take heat from the body instead and hold it thanks to their insulation. If you want to crawl into a warm sleeping bag in the evening, one of the ways to do this is to boil a pot of water an hour before bedtime, let it cool a bit, and pour it into a heat-resistant water bottle. You should put this bottle into your sleeping bag as it will warm it up. Be sure to check if it is closed tightly first. Another thing to try is to use sleeping bag liners or stuff in extra clothing into your bag.
Wear Proper Clothes
Choosing the right clothes for your camping trip is equally important as picking the right sleeping bag. If you are going on this trip during the summer, the last thing you want is to be sweaty while inside your sleeping bag. That’s why you should plan ahead and never go unprepared. It is the best idea to sleep in loose and light clothing in warm weather, and if you are still hot, you should sleep in your underwear. It is up to you to choose the most suitable option.
On the other hand, if you are camping in cold weather, you surely don’t want to strip down to your underwear and spend the entire night like that. Instead, you need to opt for thicker clothes that will help you stay warm. Just make sure you don’t wear too many layers as something like this will not only restrict your movements but it also won’t help you sleep better at night. The best choice for cold weather is a sweatshirt and a pair of sweatpants of medium thickness. No matter the weather, always make sure that you sleep in clean PJs and clothes, as dirty clothes are not ideal for sleeping and it won’t help you feel fresh in the morning.
Some campers prefer drifting off to dreamland to the sounds of nature, while others can’t stand the sound of bugs, animals, and other camping noises at night, and can’t relax properly. If you fall into the second category, you can block this noise with earplugs. They will also help you if your camping buddies are chatting until the late hours, or snoring while sleeping. Many different sounds are around when camping, and they can disrupt your sleep. Luckily, earplugs can help you prevent something like this. They are a very cheap and small solution that can be found in supermarkets. Thanks to them, you will enjoy a good night’s rest without having to worry about whether the outside noise will wake you up or not.
Be Active During the Day
If you want to sleep better at night, you will increase your chances of achieving this goal if you go hiking, paddling, fishing, or do whatever else comes to mind, instead of sitting around the campfire the entire day eating hot dogs and marshmallows. Wearing yourself with physical activity during the day will tire your body and help you drift off to sleep easier in the evening. Breathing in fresh air will also improve your sleep. When the evening comes, you will sleep like a baby because of the exhaustion from daily physical activity.
Stick to Your Normal Sleep Schedule
If you want to sleep better at night, it is the best idea to stick to your at-home schedule. One of the things that contribute to poor sleep is a routine that is constantly changing. If you want to get enough good night’s rest, you need to maintain a consistent schedule even when going camping. It means that, if you are used to going to bed at 10 p.m. you should go to sleep at the same time, even if you are on a trip. In case you decide to go to bed earlier, you may not be able to drift off to dreamland because of your circadian rhythms. Luckily, you don’t have to go to work in the morning, which means that you can sleep late.
Drink Herbal Tea by the Campfire
Many people love drinking hot chocolate and eating marshmallows at a campfire, but the caffeine and sugar that chocolate contains may affect your sleep in a negative way. That’s why it is a much better idea to opt for herbal teas that will relax your body and mind and prepare you for bed, especially chamomile tea. However, don’t forget to limit the fluid intake close to bedtime, as the last thing you want is to wake up in the middle of the night with a full bladder in need of a toilet. Something like this certainly won’t help your sleep.
Renata is an economist who has always had a passion for writing. She is a dog lover, Netflix addict and a sleepaholic. When she is not busy doing sleep research, she spends her time reading books, hiking and playing video games.