How to Sleep Well in a Tent
For many people, comfort is a key factor in having an enjoyable camping trip. A canvas wall tent is one of the best tents that you can take on your trip if you want to be comfortable, but to truly capitalize on comfort, you will also want to make sure that you have the right equipment and knowledge to give yourself a cozy place to sleep. There are plenty of great sleeping options in a large wall tent as well as a lot of helpful tips that are sure to help you have the best experience possible!
If you don’t yet have a sleeping bag, be sure to look into your options, as there is a surprising amount of variety, and different people are more comfortable with different kinds. Car camping sleeping bags are a great option if you want a lot of room, as they are much wider than most sleeping bags. They are also quite versatile, as they can be unzipped into a blanket. The only downside is that they don’t retain as much heat, so if you typically get pretty cold at night you may want a different option.
Backpacking sleeping bags are more common and have the benefit of being compact and lightweight. Because they fit snugly around your body, they retain heat to keep you warm throughout the night. If you are camping somewhere cold or want something easy to carry, these sleeping bags are the way to go. Some of them are layered as well, allowing you to take out or add in more layers depending on how cold it is.
If you want to maximize the amount of heat that you have in your sleeping bag, stuff clothes inside and around you to keep you warm and snug, or keep a heat resistant water bottle full of boiling water close to you. Thermal underwear and socks can help you stay warm, as well as a beanie or a blanket. If you prepare sufficiently, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting too cold at night!
There are plenty of great ways to keep warm throughout the night besides just bundling up. If you have an Elk Mountain tent (or similar canvas tent), you can keep a wood stove burning through the night, giving off plenty of heat as well as boiling water if you would like a hot cup of coffee or cocoa. If you aren’t able to have a wood stove in your tent, it could be worth it to invest in a portable heater. They are not very expensive and can help make your tent homier!
A popular option for campers who want a lot of cushion between them and the ground is an air mattress. Many different kinds of air mattresses vary in price, but you will typically be able to find a comfortable one that will last you a long time for around $50-100, and it is worth every penny! You are sure to have a good night’s sleep on a sturdy air mattress and because of the large size of wall tents, they can fit inside easily without taking up too much floor space. Whether you decide to use sheets and a comforter on your air mattress or just use a sleeping bag, you are certain to be able to stay warm throughout the night on one of these!
If you don’t want to spend quite that much on an air mattress, there are plenty of quality options for sleeping pads, that can often be purchased for around $20-30. They don’t provide as much cushion as a full air mattress will, but they have their advantages in addition to being cheaper. They are quite small, so they are great if you want to fit several people in the tent. Sleeping pads are a good option if the place you are going camping has flat ground, as it will typically offer enough cushion between you and the ground in that case.
If you are really worried about the rough or uneven ground bothering you while you are camping, you may want to invest in a cot. The advantage of sleeping in a cot is that you will be raised completely off the ground and keep your body straight throughout the night. These work best and are coziest with a typical sleeping bag, and you can surely find a cot that will suit your needs for just over $50. Cots are usually compact and are therefore convenient when you have multiple people sleeping in a tent. Many wall tents can easily fit 3-5 cots inside so you can comfortably sleep, several people.
In addition to making sure you have comfortable bedding for your campout, make sure that you pick up a handy camping pillow. You should be able to find a nice, comfortable pillow for a cheap price that is conveniently small and compact, for easy carry and storage while you are camping.
Another key part of getting the best sleep on a camping trip is setting up camp in the right spot. If you just have a sleeping pad it is highly recommended that you sleep somewhere flat. The flatter the ground is, the better. To have the best overnight experience, it may also not be a bad idea to set up camp relatively close to a bathroom if possible, as it is not a lot of fun having to take a hike in the middle of the night when nature starts calling. White noise has been proven to help many people to sleep easier, and therefore camping next to a stream can do wonders to help you relax (Although if you prefer silence while you sleep, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to invest in some earplugs!) You will not regret trying to find a shady place to set up your tent, particularly if you are camping in the summer, since the sun will turn a tent into an oven quicker than you might think! On the flip side of that, during a winter campout, you may want to avoid trees, as the snow can fall off the trees and onto your tent in massive heaps.
There are other things that you can do to keep yourself comfortable during your trip, and many of them are quite simple. Much of the time people who are camping are on vacation and would like to get some extra sleep in the morning. The problem with that is that the sun is likely to wake you up earlier than you would like. A good solution to this is to bring an eye mask. Sleep in for as long as you need to, and don’t worry about the sun ruining some well-needed rest. If you don’t want to wear an eye mask or want to shield the sun from everybody in the tent, it can be beneficial to put a tarp or emergency blanket over the tent, which will not only effectively block out the sun but also keep it much cooler.
You never know when it might rain during the night while you are on a campout. Don’t let this ruin your sleep! There are plenty of great ways to keep your tent dry throughout the night. Putting up a canopy made from tarps is a sure way to keep the tent as well as those inside of it warm and dry. If possible, try to allow the canopy to dump the water off at least 5 feet away from the tent, preventing anything from leaking inside. Another problem with the rain that can cause discomfort is dragging in mud and dirt from outside. It can be beneficial to have a tray or tarp specifically for keeping your shoes on so that the mud won’t trail to where you are trying to sleep.
Mosquitos and other insects and pests can be an absolute nightmare while you are camping and can ruin your night if you don’t prepare correctly. First of all, make sure there aren’t any holes for pests to crawl in. If you keep your tent closed and sealed during the night, you shouldn’t have too much to worry about. Mosquito netting is worth its weight in gold if you can get some before your trip. Lavender or bug spray is essential for any camping trip, especially while you are asleep. Make sure you cover up or dispose of food before going to bed, so bears, raccoons, and other animals will leave your campsite alone.
Proper preparation is the key to having a good night’s sleep while on a campout. Get all of the materials that you feel will be a help to you. Set up camp in a nice flat spot, figure out what you need to stay warm, purchase the essentials to keeping your tent dry, and most importantly, get what will help you to have the most comfortable and enjoyable camping trip imaginable! Get out there and have a relaxing time!