I’m sure we all have a story to tell where we’ve set off on a camping trip fully believing that we have all the equipment we need and are prepared for a great night’s sleep and it turns out to be the worst sleep ever.
Don’t worry – it happens to the best of us.
If you have a camping trip planned in the near future and want to avoid this situation, read on as we’ve compiled some tips to ensure that you get a great night’s sleep when camping.
Pick the Right Spot
The next time you go camping, scope the area well to ensure that you have picked the right spot. It’s always best to ensure you have picked a spot which is flat and an even surface to ensure that you sleep right when bedtime comes.
Be on the lookout for pinecones and any other protruding objects that may affect your sleep. I mean, there’s nothing worse than pitching your tent in a lovely spot and then realizing that you’re lying on a bunch of tree roots that you hadn’t noticed before.
Tip: setting up camp during daylight hours will allow you to properly examine the area your settling for and see exactly what you’re letting yourself in for.
Ensure You Have the Right Equipment
It may be stating the obvious, but it’s really important to ensure you have the right sleeping gear with you to ensure maximum comfort when sleeping outdoors.
If you tend to feel the cold more easily, why not try a foam-sleeping mat rolled out underneath a blow up airbed. This will not only make the ground a bit more comfortable for sleeping on but will also minimize the cold chill coming from the ground beneath you.
Also, think about what type of sleeping bag you’re going to take. If it’s the height of summer, you may be better off with a lightweight, roomy bag but in winter you might be better off with a thicker mummy type sleeping bag and some extra blankets, just in case.
One mistake many make when camping year round is keeping the same sleeping back for every occasion. If you’re a serial camper, then it’s wise to invest in a seasonal sleeping bag.
If you’re looking for new camping gear, be sure to check out REI for all your camping needs.
If you’re not used to sleeping outdoors, it may be a good idea to invest in some earplugs. Nightfall can bring with it lots of strange sounds that you don’t usually hear at home such as animals on the search for food or different bugs which may be louder than you expect. If you’re near a river, you’ll likely hear the trickling of water.
A pair of earplugs may be just what you need to help block out this unfamiliar noise and help you ease into a good night’s sleep. Besides, they come in all different shapes and sizes – some of them are even moldable – so you should be sure to find the right ones for you.
Consider Bringing an Eye Mask
Just like the previous point, if you’re not used to sleeping outside it may be worth investing in an eye mask. Depending on the season, it can get really light outside very early in the morning and stay light well into the evening and night.
If you’re not a super early riser and would like to sleep in a little longer than 5am, then an eye mask might be right for you as it will block the sunshine from shining right into your tent and you can continue to snooze for a little while longer.
Don’t drink too much before bed
It’s always best to keep hydrated when camping but there’s nothing more frustrating than waking up in the middle of the night and having to run out of the tent in the dark to relieve yourself.
Apart from being frustrating, it may also affect you getting back to sleep once back in your tent since you’ll be bringing the cold (and bugs) back in with you. Try to avoid this by not drinking too much before bed and if you really have to nip out during the night, ensure you leave have a flashlight handy!