Most campers are open to ways to improve their outdoor sleeping experience.

If you have ever been outside, you likely don’t associate camping with a five star sleeping experience. As a matter of fact, sleeping in a tent is traditionally an uncomfortable encounter. That thin layer of nylon flooring doesn’t really offer much insulation or protection of the rocky ground. Maybe you didn’t purchase the right seasonal insulation tent and are shivering into the night. Or perhaps it rained overnight and you wake up in a puddle. Honestly, nature is unpredictable and many variables go into having a good camping experience. Of course, you shouldn’t let this deter you from an incredible opportunity to explore the great outdoors.

Camping is an affordable and adventurous activity that is absolutely worth your time. There is just something magical about being outdoors and away from the busyness of life. Everyone needs to take the time and let themselves take a break once in a while. Camping gets you outside and gives you room to think. This experience is even better because it comes in all shapes and sizes. You can truly modify the camping adventure to meet your personal travel needs. One aspect that is more common with most camping trips is sleeping in a tent. This might be your favorite part of the trip, but it likely is not. It may not even rank in your top five. However, there are some modifications you can make in order to have the most accommodating experience of sleeping in a tent.

These six tips are ideal to help improve your experience of sleeping in a tent.

1. Set up your tent properly.

sleeping in a tent - set up

While this might be an obvious statement, it also serves as a good reminder. After you finish hiking to your destination, it is easy to carelessly set up your tent. Some tents are quite complicated to assemble and require extra time and care. If you don’t set up your tent properly, it could break, or even collapse in the middle of the night. The last thing you want is to have to deliriously reconstruct your sleeping habitat in the darkness of nighttime. Before you even leave on your camping trip, set up your tent in the backyard. Go over all of the instructions it came with and ensure you have all of the pieces. This trial run is extremely important because it will give you more confidence when you are actually setting up the real thing outside. Also, if anything goes wrong the first time, you have no need to worry. It is just your back yard, after all.

2. Make your bed extra comfortable.

Before you settle in for the night, you are going to need a bed to snuggle up in. Of course, with camping, it is up to you to make this happen. If you want to have a good experience sleeping in a tent, keep in mind that your bed is the most important part. Take a transportable sleeping pillow along with you so you have somewhere soft to lay your head as you drift off. Do your research about the weather and climate you plan to camp in and plan accordingly. The type of sleeping bag you bring does matter. For the cooler temps, use these tent heating methods to stay toasty as the weather turns frigid. The chilly conditions don’t feel quite as harsh when you are cozy inside of your tent.

3. Get plenty of exercise during the day.

Hiking and camping definitely take a toll on your body. But this can be a good thing. If you use this extra exertion for your benefit, it makes a difference in the evening. If you ever did a hardcore work-out program, you probably felt extremely exhausted afterwards. The motivation of this lets you get some rest later. Keep this in mind as you plan your adventures during the day while camping. All of that hiking and activity will wear you out. This means that you are more likely to get a good night’s sleep. For those worried that they might be awake into the night, just add a few miles to that backcountry hike. If your mind doesn’t want to go to sleep later, your legs sure will. Either way, the more you stay active, the better you sleep.

4. Keep the noise and other distractions in check.

While it sounds magical to fall asleep to the sound of crickets and woodland creatures, it is less magical to overhear other camper’s conversations. This is an issue when camping with groups or nearby other campsites. The beauty of nature’s evening lullabies certainly gets drowned out when people talk late into the night. Of course, they are allowed to use their outdoor voices here. After all, you are outside. However, you do not have to suffer for it. Help your sleeping in a tent experience by investing in a good pair of earplugs.

In addition to earplugs, you might want to consider bringing an eye mask along. This guarantees that you will not be distracted by anything else around you. Other campers and the light from their flashlights is sure to be an interruption to your counting sheep. You might also not want to wake up at the crack of dawn. Unfortunately, when you’re outside, the sun waits for no man. Expect to witness the first bits of the sun’s rays peeping through your tent if you don’t have proper eye coverage. However, catching the sunrise is, of course, not entirely a bad experience.

5. Arrange soft interior tent lighting.

sleeping in a tent - lighting

When thinking of a cozy sleeping environment, you might also picture a soft lighting ambience. Being outside means you have to create your own light, and you can do this for your own benefit. Take some battery-operated string tent lights along to give your tent a warm illuminesense. You can even get creative with some DIY camping hacks. Some nifty campers suggest bringing a gallon jug of water and strapping your headlamp alongside it. This creates a neat way to light up your tent.

6. Use a sleeping pad.

Last but not least, we want your comfortable camping experience to be good - to the very last detail. This means even where you lay down at night. A sleeping mat is that finishing touch that ensures all of your dreams will be good ones. Instead of feeling that rock poke into your back throughout the night, enjoy the comfort of a sleeping mat. Sleeping mats go hand in hand with a high-quality sleeping bag, and are just what you need for that perfect night’s rest outside. You can purchase a yoga mat type of sleeping pad or one that is inflatable. Keep in mind that the non-inflatable sleeping pads add a significant amount of extra bulk to your pack. Once you try out a sleeping pad, there is little chance you’ll be going back.

Follow that thirst for adventure and set up your tent wherever your heart desires.

See, sleeping in a tent is actually what you make of it. Camping is all up to you and your own adventure style. Do your research and practice various methods to find what is best for you. Before you know it, you’ll find that everything about living outside is quite easy. Rather, it’s simple, as life should be. The stresses of life pale quite quickly when you just give yourself space to breathe. Do this often and see how much of a difference it makes in your life. Whatever you want to do, know that it is possible while camping. You never know, you might even have the best night’s sleep you’ve had in a while. Hey, at least you can dream.

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Faith is a writer and social media manager residing in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is passionate about people and currently attends university in pursuit of a degree in Clinical Psychology and Counseling. A nomad by nature, Faith finds utmost joy in trekking around the globe and strongly advocates backpacking as the best way to explore anywhere. Being a bookworm and an avid coffee drinker, she is likely to be found sipping an Americano and mulling over a classic novel.

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