We all have our favourite summer getaways — some like luxurious hotels, some go for charming holiday cottages, and some like to get back to nature and camp out under the night sky! If that’s more your style, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice a good night’s sleep! Keep these things in mind when you’re camping and you’ll wake up feeling refreshed for a day of outdoor adventuring!
1) When pitching a tent, find the most even surface you can, as you’ll notice slight slopes far more once you’re sleeping on them.
2) If you’re a seasoned camper, you’ve probably already got a decent sleeping bag and sleeping pad or mattress. If not, this is definitely a vital step towards sleeping well in the wilderness! If you’re packing light, a foam or air pad works well; for extra comfort, try an air mattress.
3) Sleeping bags have “season ratings” a bit like the tog counts on duvets, so make sure you’re getting something that suits you. 1 Season sleeping bags are lighter and thinner, for use during the summer months when the weather is warm, while 4 Season sleeping bags are for much colder weather. 5 Season sleeping bags are for scaling Everest.
4) If you can bring a camping pillow, do so, but if there isn’t room, try filling a T-shirt or your sleeping bag case with clothes so that you have something to rest your head on.
5) Tarpaulins have all sorts of uses — it can be used as a groundsheet, put over the top of the tent to keep out light and water, or provide an extra layer of insulation if necessary, so don’t forget to bring yours along!
6) Your sleep is already going to be somewhat disrupted both by the unfamiliar surroundings and the fact that you’re not sleeping in a bed, so go through the other parts of your regular nighttime routine as far as possible. If you usually have a warm drink before bed then do the same while camping. Wash and brush your teeth in the order you normally would. Your body will be used to these things meaning it’s bedtime.
7) Nature can be noisy, so invest in a good pair of earplugs to keep out the sounds of nighttime critters and snoring tent mates.
8) If it gets cold during the night, cover your head, as it’s the part of your body from which heat most easily escapes. Use your sleeping bag hood or a beanie hat to stay warm.
9) Air out your sleeping bag in the morning. Open it out and, if possible, put it out in the sun and fresh air for a while. This will stop it from feeling sweaty and uncomfortable when you have to sleep in it again.
10) Make yourself tired! If you’re worn out from an action-packed day, your tent is going to feel like a palace. So ditch the comfort of the campfire and get cycling, sailing, and swimming!