5 Ways to Sleep Well While Camping

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Love Camping? Hate the Loss of Sleep the First Night? Check Out our Tips for the Best Sleep You’ve Had While Camping

5 Ways to Sleep Well While Camping

If you’ve ever been camping (or on vacation for that matter), you know that it can be difficult to get a good night’s rest. As much as the wilderness is peaceful, we might not be used to it (think My Cousin Vinny). You’re away from the comfort of your own bed, and the outdoors can be much louder than you think. This week, we’re going to give you 5 tips on how to sleep better while camping. Read on!

1. Don't skimp on the sleeping bag:

This may seem obvious, but the more comfortable your sleeping bag is, the better you’re going to sleep. There are two main types of sleeping bags:

Car camping sleeping bags are wider and act kind of like a thick blanket. They’re roomy but won’t retain heat as well as others. Only use these if you’re camping somewhere warm (like a cabin).

Backpacking sleeping bags retain body heat well. They’re like a cocoon, lightweight and easy to take backpacking (hence the name).

Regardless, you want a good one if you’re going to spend even a few nights outdoors. Check out Outdoor Gear Lab to find some high-quality products.

2. Don't skimp on tent padding:

Besides the sleeping bag, you’ll probably want a sleeping pad at the very least. There are air and self-inflating mattresses, closed-cell foam pads and more. It all depends on where you are and how far you’re hiking to your campsite.

Before your camping trip, test any inflatable pads. It’s a good idea to sleep on it for a night before you go, so you can make sure it doesn’t deflate while you sleep and can acclimate your body to the mattress.  

Check out Gear We Are for the best camping mattresses.

3. Pick the right spot for your tent:

Flat areas with few rocks are ideal, and if you’re camping at our resorts you won’t have a problem. If you’re backpacking, however, comfortable locations can be hard to come by. If you must pitch the tent on a slight hill, make sure you sleep with your head uphill. Softer ground (like grass) is best if possible.

Always consider the elements. Sun and wind exposure can have a huge affect on how you sleep (especially if it starts raining or snowing). You always want to position the tent door away from the direction the wind is blowing.

4. Fend off bugs and wildlife:

Bugs are much less of a problem in the fall/winter/spring, but they can still abound if the weather becomes unseasonably warm. A mosquito net is definitely your friend, and make sure to check your tents and RV screens for any holes. Lavender and citronella can help at times when bugs are around but not terribly thick.

Of course, safely store and dispose of all food. There may not be a ton of bugs in November, but there is still wildlife. It’s not fun to be woken up by a bear in the middle of the night, trust us.

5. Keep calm and carry on:

No matter what it can be difficult to get used to sleeping out in the elements. Here’s a quick and easy list of tips to follow if you’re really having a difficult time settling in:

  1. Try to follow your normal bedtime routine as much as possible (i.e. brushing your teeth, then reading, then falling asleep).
  2. Drink Sleepytime or chamomile tea instead of eating a bunch of s’mores. The sugar rush can keep you awake at night.
  3. Avoid heavy meals right before bedtime.
  4. Avoid caffeine in the evening.
  5. Bring earplugs or headphones.
  6. Warm up your sleeping bag by boiling a pot of water, pouring it into a heat-resistant water bottle and putting it into your sleeping bag. We’re talking supreme comfort on a chilly night here folks.

As always, let us know if you have any camping sleeping tips in the comments. Visit us at or call (800) 231-0425 and we’ll be happy to help plan your next adventure today. Happy exploring!

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