If you are planning your next camping trip with friends or family, comfort might undoubtedly be on your mind. Just because you are in the great outdoors doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some well-earned shut-eye after a day of hunting, hiking, and climbing. Here are a few easy ways you can get comfortable while in a tent or at night and get a little piece of home wherever you are.
Sort Out Sleep
The first key to being comfortable while tent camping is planning how and with what items you are going to spend the night. The day will probably be spent on foot but a long night (especially a chilly one in the cold months) is a whole other story and requires careful thought. Regardless of whether you are a regular camper or just starting out, you could probably use a second look at your sleeping bag. Older sleeping bags do need to be replaced after a few years as their filling will lessen and they will provide less protection against the elements.
Buy sleeping bags dependent on the time of year you are camping and the weather report as they are not all built equal. Car camping sleeping bags unzip to become a blanket but are generally loose-fitting and light. This means they work for summer nights but are inadequate in cold conditions. Backpacking sleeping bags are better for keeping the body heat inside the fabric and offer a closer, cozier fit. That being said they are still light enough to backpack with, as the name suggests.
If you are purchasing this item online you can check the temperature rating as well as customer reviews to ascertain whether this is the right fit for you. That being said a sleeping bag is not enough for optimal comfort so invest in a sleeping pad especially if you have a longer camping plan. A sleeping pad is a type of small mattress that aids in heat retention and is usually used for added comfort or for glamorous camping known as ‘glamping.’ There are various types and thicknesses to choose from.
Next comes investing in a good camping pillow, you’ll find that several types of sleeping bags come with a pillow or have a stitched-in holder for it. Lastly, buy an eye mask to shut out light (you can also get those aromatherapy variants with lavender and other herbs that aid sleep) and earplugs. However, if you’re planning to camp in an area where bears or other wild predators are frequent visitors, you may want all your senses sharp.
Furthermore, the quality of your tent is no small matter and influences how well it insulates against heat and cold so research the best available options for your chosen budget by searching terms such as ‘best 6 person tent’ to ascertain the best retailers that deliver to your location.
Where you pitch your tent is very important and you need to bear in mind the safety of that spot, the access points, the wind current, whether it is up against a vantage point or not. Contrary to popular opinion you can’t just pitch a tent in the middle of the forest without careful consideration. Many campers do prefer water-side locations so they can access water easily. You also want to choose a level ground with no sharp rocks etc. Next, have a lighting solution of any kind such as flashlights and lanterns (solar-powered flood lights are popular for camping as well).
If you are easily spooked or are camping with children, seek the comfort of routine such as brushing teeth, reading a storybook so the new environment is easier to fit into. Remember to give the food storage rules a good read as they differ from area to area. Even wearing clothes that smell strongly of cooked food like meat is a major threat to your safety as animals like bears or wolves will smell it from afar and be attracted to it.
As a standard policy, always store food as well as food-related trash away from where you are sleeping and preferably have a fire going and have your tent against a rock or tree so you have a vantage point for self-protection. Furthermore, always make a point to change into sleepwear for a better night’s sleep while camping. Make sure you have urinated at least twice and wear socks or a thermal vest before getting ready to sleep. Lastly, keep some water around in case you get thirsty in the middle of the night.