6 Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep When Camping
There are multiple variables on camping trips that can affect how well you sleep. The sounds of nature, the early rising sun, and the changing temperatures, among many other things, can tamper with your sleep cycle. Thankfully, there are plenty of little things you can do to experience some of the best nights' sleep while camping. So, to help you enjoy your camping trips to the max, we’ve gathered our favourite tips and tricks for sleeping outdoors.
A sleeping bag is your best friend
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It’s easy to get fooled by the warmer temperatures when camping in the summer. You might think it’s going to be too warm for a sleeping bag, but chances are it’s not, and you will get cold. The outside temperature can drop significantly overnight, and our overall body temperature also tends to go down while we sleep. If you bring your sleeping bag and it's too hot, the worst thing that can happen is that you just have to crawl out of the bag in the middle of the night. Speaking from personal experience, it’s worth taking that risk rather than shivering under a pile of jackets and a thin blanket while trying to sleep. Although this one may seem like an obvious tip, we could all do with a reminder to never go camping without sleeping bag, at least if we want a good night’s sleep.
Pack a pillow
With a huge variety of packable camping pillows available these days, you can easily increase your sleeping comfort without taking up space in your backpack. Some campers can sleep well without a pillow, but if you know that it would help you get a bit more comfortable, it’s a small price to pay for better sleep. If you’re car camping, you could even bring your favourite pillow from home for a bit of luxury.
Don’t forget your ear plugs & eye mask
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Many experienced campers, especially light sleepers, swear by ear plugs and eye masks. If ear plugs aren’t quite enough or you can’t use them, you could try a white noise machine or a battery-operated fan as they can also dampen other sounds. Some tents feature nightfall bedrooms, but in order to stop the morning light from coming in altogether, an eye mask is your best bet.
Stick to your usual bedtime routine
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If you struggle to fall asleep on camping trips, try to replicate your bedtime routine from home. Those familiar tasks will send signals to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep soon. For example, if you always read a book or have a cup of tea before bed, make sure to do that while you're camping too.
Prepare for night-time toilet trips
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Imagine waking up in a pitch-black tent in the middle of the night needing to go to the loo, but you have no clue where your warm jacket, head torch, and shoes are. To make those potential night-time toilet trips a little bit quicker and more bearable, keep everything you might need next to your sleeping mat.
Don't underestimate the power of a (hot) water bottle
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If you’re someone that wants to be extra cosy at night, a hot water bottle is a must on a camping trip. Since you will need a water bottle anyway, consider buying a heat-resistant uninsulated water bottle, for example, a Nalgene, to save space. Fill it up with some boiling water, pop it inside your sleeping bag before you go to bed to warm it up, and while you're sleeping, keep the bottle near your core, at your feet, or anywhere you want some extra warmth during the night.
About the Author:
Iida Ruokojärvi - Outdoor Expert
Iida grew up in Finland where she was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age. Snowboarding has become second nature to her despite now living in a less snowy part of the world. Since moving to the UK, she rediscovered her love for hiking and continues to explore the British mountains and beyond.