Camping adventures are a wonderful way to recharge after a long week of work and explore new places you’ve never visited, all the while being close to nature. Just like any other travelling experience, camping comes with its own set of challenges, and one of those challenges is getting enough sleep. From your equipment to your camping ground, there are a myriad of factors that can negatively impact the quality of sleep you’re getting. That’s precisely why we created a guide on our 6 best tips to sleep better whilst camping with the hopes of improving your overall camping experience.
Getting plenty of sleep while camping is crucial for maintaining your energy levels during the day, so in addition to these six tips, we have included a section that contains some of our bonus tips, as well as an FAQ section where we answer some common questions regarding camping.
With that said, it’s time to begin with our first tip.
1. Invest in Quality Camping Equipment
The best thing you can do to maintain the quality of your sleep while you’re on a camping trip is to invest in quality equipment that will provide sufficient comfort and support. You don’t have to spend hundreds of pounds in order to purchase the necessary equipment – you can easily find air mattresses and sleeping bags that cost less than £50.
If you’re new to camping or you don’t know where to start in terms of purchasing equipment, we have gathered our top recommendations that will help you get a good night’s sleep while camping.
First things first, one of the most essential things to purchase is an air mattress. The Green Haven Double Camping Bed is ideal for couples or large families who require more space to sleep on. This air mattress comes with an air pump that will allow you to get the desired size in only a minute. Another reason why we recommend getting this air mattress is due to its waterproof finish, which is a crucial feature if you’re travelling with kids. You can freely sip on your favourite drink or bring the mattress near large bodies of water without worrying about it getting damaged. It’s portable and lightweight, so you’ll have no problem transporting it around with you when you travel. This quality air mattress will cost you only £34, including the pump.
If you’re on the lookout for a single camping bed, check out the Active Era Camping Air Bed. Its carefully constructed design mimics regular beds, which guarantees that you get sufficient comfort and support while you sleep. You will receive your single air mattress with a foot pump that allows you to easily and quickly blow up your bed. When it’s time to charge, simply plug the pump in the USB cable that’s included with your purchase. Just like our previous recommendation, Active Era’s bed is coated with a waterproof flock that protects the air mattress against any water-related damage. You will receive a one-year warranty with your purchase.
A sleeping accessory that’s crucial for a good night’s sleep while camping is a supportive lightweight pillow, just like the Redcamp Lightweight Camping Pillow. You can choose from a couple of cute designs and, if you’re in the mood for it, even match your camping pillow with the rest of your camping equipment. This pillow is easy to clean, it’s extremely portable, and comes with a one-year guarantee.
Some people prefer using sleeping bags for camping instead of air mattresses. If you’re one of those travellers, we recommend the Milestone Camping Mummy Sleeping Bag. Not only is it extremely affordable (a single-size will cost you £15), but it’s also incredibly comfortable. Those of you who camp year-round will be happy to know that the sleeping bag is suitable for both cold and hot weather – its mummy-like design will make it easy for you to stay warm when the weather is rough, while also being breathable enough to be used during the summer. When choosing a sleeping bag, make sure you’re choosing one that’s made of materials that will keep you warm, since the temperatures can drop significantly during the night.
Eye Mask and Earplugs
Other sleeping accessories that can significantly help you when sleeping on a camping trip include an eye mask and earplugs. Some camping places can get noisy during the night, so earplugs are essential for light sleepers. Unless you’re planning on waking up before sunrise, chances are sun rays will penetrate through your tent, which can easily cause some sleepers to wake up. To avoid this, invest in a gentle eye mask for sleeping. Alternatively, you can always invest in blackout tents that will keep the sun away and allow you to sleep for longer without feeling disturbed. Granted, these types of tents are usually more expensive, but if you’re a frequent camper who also happens to be a light sleeper, they make for a wonderful investment.
2. Try to Stick to Your Usual Bedtime
Camping trips are exciting, so it comes as no surprise that many of us abandon our usual sleeping schedule in favour of conversations with our friends around the campfire. However, deviating from your regular sleeping schedule to a great extent can do more harm than good while you’re camping. Our bodies love being in a routine, so one of the ways to ensure that you maintain the same quality of sleep while camping as you do when you get home is by going to sleep at the same time.
While the same applies to the time you wake up, some exceptions can be made while you’re camping. For instance, if you’re someone who gets up really late, you might want to wake up earlier than usual to get a head start of the day or even catch a pretty sunrise. As long as your overall sleep isn’t less than six hours, you should be able to have the same amount of energy as you normally do.
3. Carefully Select Your Snacks and Meals
Many camping essentials like rice and whole-grain bread are healthy, but what about the snacks we usually reach for while camping?
Smores are a favourite among campers – they’re incredibly easy to make and delicious. However, when it comes to consuming snacks that are high in sugar, you should be wary of the possibility of them interfering with your night sleep. Sugar gives us energy, so if you consume a lot of smores before you go to bed, chances are that processed sugar will keep you up for longer than you anticipate, in that way interfering with your sleep and making you more tired in the morning due to a lack of sleep. Of course, you aren’t expected to eat extremely healthy meals while travelling, but limiting your sugary snacks can be of immense help. Another option is to save your sugary snacks for earlier in the day so that you have enough time to burn them off before you go to sleep.
You should also pay attention to how you store your meals. It’s always a good idea to bring airtight containers to store any leftovers or meals for the following day. Not only will this help keep your food fresh for when you’re ready to consume it, but it will also prevent any wildlife from approaching your camping site and scaring you in the middle of the night. Don’t forget to keep your containers out of reach so that no animal can access them while you’re away from your tent.
Another important factor to consider is alcohol consumption. Many of us are under the assumption that drinking alcohol makes us fall asleep faster. While this is initially true, drinking copious amount of alcohol before going to bed is proven to disturb our regular sleeping patterns and even cause us to develop certain sleeping disorders. That’s why it’s wise to limit your alcohol consumption while camping to a glass of beer or wine.
4. Choose the Campsite Wisely
Picking the right campsite is crucial for your safety and comfort during your camping trip. Of course, you might have certain preferences in terms of height and proximity to any natural or tourist attractions, but some features are crucial and shouldn’t be overlooked.
To ensure that you’re getting comfortable sleep throughout the trip, you will want to situate your tents on flat terrain. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than placing your sleeping bag under rocky terrain. Rocky terrain can easily tear your tent, so that’s another reason why you should avoid it as much as possible.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose terrain that’s dry, especially if your equipment isn’t waterproof. Placing your tent right under big trees is also not advised. It can be a potential safety hazard due to possible lightning strikes or harsh weather conditions that result in falling branches.
Always explore the area prior to setting up your tent so that you know what you’re in for.
5. Don’t Undermine the Importance of Exercise
We know how big of a role exercise plays in maintaining good sleeping hygiene in our day to day lives, but we often forget to include it at the proper time while travelling. Depending on your location, you will probably be staying active throughout the day by walking and hiking. Generally speaking, the more you move your body during the day, the more tired you’ll be at night. This will make you fall asleep faster and make it easier for you to discard any distracting noise during the night from animals or your equipment.
But the benefits of staying active while camping dont stop at helping you sleep better. If you’re situated in an area that’s appropriate for hiking, you will get the chance to see some incredible views and experience some great adventures in the outdoors.
6. Protect Yourself from Bugs
Insects are a common reason why some people struggle to fall asleep while camping. We all know the feeling – just as you’re dozing off to sleep, you hear an insect annoyingly flying around you and disturbing your sleep. To avoid spending your entire nights chasing after insects in your tent, it’s always a good idea to bring a bug repellent with you on your trip.
There are various types of insect repellents on the market that you can find at a reasonable price. If you’re going to be camping out on a damp site that’s likely to attract a lot of insects, we recommend a maximum protection repellent like the Jungle Formula Insect Repellent.
If you’re not someone who likes using chemicals on your body, or you have an allergy to an ingredient that’s commonly used in bug repellents, another option is to purchase a mosquito net for your tent. It goes without saying that some tents include a mosquito net, but not all of them come with this useful feature. Not to mention, they’re usually made of quite a precarious material, so they’re tear-prone.
Additional Tips for Camping
Before we leave you off to your next camping adventure, here are a couple more tips that will help you get better sleep while camping.
Don’t forget to hydrate. With all that outdoor activity, you might forget to drink enough water throughout your day. This is definitely something you’ll want to avoid since water is crucial for maintaining steady energy levels. Another scenario you’ll want to avoid is gulping down a lot of water before going to sleep and waking up multiple times during the night to pee.
Make sure your sleeping temperature is optimal. It’s hard to fall asleep while you’re feeling too cold or too warm. If you suspect that the temperatures are going to be low during your stay, make sure you bring a blanket to cover up. If you’re going to be using a sleeping bag, maybe bring a hat to put on when going to bed since your head will remain exposed in the sleeping bag.
Skip the afternoon coffee. Camping trips are made for sipping on warm beverages like coffee or tea, but these are often the culprit of your inability to fall asleep at night. If you want something to drink in the late afternoon, make sure it’s decaf.
Prepare your sleeping arrangements during the day. Make sure you’ve calculated approximately how long it will take you to set up your tent and start setting up your sleeping arrangements early on in the day to avoid having to do it in the dark.
How Can I Get Better Sleep While Camping?
There are several steps you can take to get better sleep while camping. For starters, make sure your equipment is right and you purchase a comfortable air mattress or sleeping bag. Pay attention to the food and drinks you consume and avoid alcohol and caffeine during your trip. Finding the right camping ground with flat and dry terrain is also going to be of immense help.
What Is the Most Comfortable Thing to Sleep on While Camping?
The most comfortable thing to sleep on while camping is either an air mattress or a sleeping bag. There are many comfortable air mattresses that will replicate the feeling of sleeping in your own bed, such as the Active Era Camping Air Bed.
What to Pack for Camping?
Some essentials you should always bring with you while camping include bug repellent, food and containers, water, something to pass the time like a book or a magazine, and a comfortable surface to sleep on.
We hope you found our 6 best tips to sleep better whilst camping useful for your next camping trip in the great outdoors!
While you can’t control your environment when camping, there are several steps you can take to ensure that the quality of your sleep remains intact. Make sure your equipment is suitable for camping and invest in necessities, such as an air mattress and a pillow, as well as some sleeping accessories like earplugs. Avoid sugar and caffeine in the later part of the day and make sure you get some exercise in. Bugs can be a pain to deal with, so bring insect repellent with you.
By following some of our tips, we guarantee you will get plenty of rejuvenating sleep on your next camping trip.