Ah, camping! You know — the great outdoors, a rustic feeling, campfires and starlit nights. Those beautiful nights can be enjoyable until you’re ready to fall asleep. And then it happens: you toss and turn for what seems like hours, unable to get the rest that you want. Fortunately, there are ways to sleep well when camping, with the fresh air and serene surroundings helping to lull you to sleep.
The Right Bedding
Assuming that your sleeping structure is sufficient (i.e., tent, camper or lean-to), the most important matter for a sound’s night sleep is your bedding. Here, you have a number of choices, including sleeping pads, camp cots, sleeping bags, and air mattresses.
What works for you may not be desired by someone else. The only way to make sure that you’re comfortable is to check out your options before you go away. This means inflating an air mattress or laying down a pad, and sleeping on it for a night. You’ll quickly learn if the experience was a satisfying one or if another option should be explored.
Blankets and Pillows
The hottest summer day can give way to a very cool night, especially in the mountains. You need to go camping equipped with everything that you might possibly need. This may include sheets, blankets and pillows.
Place sheeting on the tent floor to absorb moisture and chill. Another sheet can be used on your cot or folding bed. The same pillow you are accustomed to using at home should be ideal for you. Bring a second pillow if you need to sleep propped up.
The only problem with camping for some folk is that it isn’t their own bedroom. Quite easily the entire camping experience can hinge upon sleep or lack thereof, taking what should be a pleasant event and turning it into a nightmare.
Beyond a pillow, there are other aids that can help you fall and stay asleep. Take 10mg of melatonin and you may soon find yourself drowsy and ready to sleep. Earplugs and eyeshades are also favored by some. If you’re concerned about a stiff neck, a neck roll can come in handy too. Lastly, don’t forget one or more light sources such as a flashlight. If you wake up you may need to get a hold of your bearings and fast.
Bed Time Clothing
What do you wear to bed while camping? What you wear (or don’t wear) while you’re at home. There is no special clothing requirement for camping, but you should be comfortable.
Consider, however, if you know that you will have to get up during the night to use the rest room (or the outdoor privy). You’ll want shoes nearby and possibly a jacket. Rain gear or a coat instead if the conditions are wet. Some campers find that layering is the way to go when sleeping, as they are able to remove or add covering as needed.
If you’re still having difficulty sleeping there could be a few other things weighing in. For one, your tent may be on wet or rocky ground, causing you some discomfort. You need to find the ideal place for setting up camp before your first night. Or, you may find that sleeping in a hammock is better than the other options with a tarp overhead to protect you from the elements or probing animals.
See Also — Camping: How to Keep Food Fresh