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How to Sleep Well in a Tent

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Lady waking up and yawning after sleeping in her red tent One of the most enjoyable yet challenging aspects of camping in a tent is getting a proper night's sleep under the stars. If you get it right, you'll come away from your trip refreshed and energized. Get it wrong and, well let's just say you won't be a happy camper.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to ensure a full night's rest. We share them with you below.

Know the weather

It is important that you know what the weather is going to be like at your camping destination. Having this information will help you determine what type of sleeping bag and tent you should use, among other considerations.

Get an appropriate sleeping bag for the weather

Your sleeping bag selection is of utter importance when it comes to getting a good night's rest in a tent. Sleeping bags come with temperature ratings which can help you determine which bag to select. A general rule of thumb is to use a bag that can handle the coldest temperature you expect to encounter on your trip.

Invest in a sleeping pad

Sleeping pads not only provide a comfortable surface to lie on, but they help to keep you warm as the pad creates a barrier between the cold ground and your body. Inflatable air beds and camping cots are other options to consider.

Find a flat and sheltered camp site

Finding a suitable camp site is essential to having a good night sleep. These are a few tips to consider:

  • The best places to pitch a tent are well drained flat spots.
  • Avoid low lying areas where water may collect, especially if a sudden rain storm should occur.
  • Be sure to inspect your selected spot for rocks, sticks, and other debris that may lead to a less than desirable sleeping situation.
  • Look for natural, protective windbreaks like boulders, clumps of thick brush, and trees behind which to pitch your tent in order to enjoy a calmer cooking and camping area.
  • If you can't find a level site, sleep with your head on the high side of the slope to avoid blood rushing to your head.

Personal preference

Consider comforts that are essential to you. Do you need a pillow? If so, bring it!

Leave your headlamp in a convenient place

If you tend to go to the bathroom at night you can avoid the "midnight scramble" by placing your headlamp in a convenient spot that you will remember when you wake up.

Bug spray

Avoid waking up covered in bug bites by applying bug spray to yourself before you go to bed.

Allow air flow

During the warmer months tents often get "sticky" inside when vents in the tent are closed. Be sure to open all vents when weather allows.

Tent space

When deciding which tent to take on your trip, consider how much space you take up (including your "roll around" space). Although manufacturers specify the number of people a tent can accommodate, these specifications can be misleading, as they don't take into account whether you are going to keep your belongings inside of the tent. Therefore it is always better to go up at least one size than required.

Ready to go to sleep?

Once you have selected a suitable sleeping bag and set your tent up at a perfect camp site you will be well on your way to sweet dreams.

Copyright ©2012 Camping Road Trip, LLC

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2 comment(s) so far...

When tent camping, we like to bring foam floor tiles, like the brightly colored ones you see in preschools. They make walking around in the tent nice and comfy. Gives infants and toddlers a nice place to crawl around at the campground.

By TheCampyMom on 4/22/2012 12:40:42 AM

A good sleeping pad is incredibly important when you're camping for comfort. Or you could sleep in a hammock :)

By lambdahammock on 4/27/2017 8:50:21 PM
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