Tips On How To Sleep Well When Camping

slleep when camping and waking up Getting a good night’s sleep is one of those things that we can sometimes take for granted. But missing out on it can really affect how we feel and make us cranky and worse. Going camping or sleeping anywhere new can really make getting to sleep really difficult for some people.

Some people find that the combination of a hard day’s paly and the fresh air means they have a real easy time dropping off and wake up refreshed ready for the new day. However, others aren’t blessed with this experience and can have a real hard time settling down in the unfamiliar circumstances they find themselves in.

Here are the tips on how to sleep comfortably when camping


Being comfortable at night plays a big part in being able to sleep. If you can’t get in that right position it can feel like you tossed and turned all night and wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed.


Getting the right tent and pitching it correctly can help in a big way. Obviously, you want to choose a tent that will keep the rain off you, so it needs to be waterproof. Also, look to get a tent that is at least one size bigger than that recommended by the manufacturer, if you want to have room for any gear and to be able to comfortably turn over at night.

Click here on how to choose a tent and tent buying guide

Click here to find out what is the best family tent

When pitching the tent you want to find level ground that does not have any obstacles like tree roots protruding out of the ground to save cricks in the back. If you can’t find level ground then you want to have it so you can have it so you can sleep with your feet lower than your head, otherwise you’ll find it difficult with blood rushing to your head or everyone and your gear all squashed into one corner.


This includes your sleeping bag and what you are going to sleep on. Before you leave check out the weather forecast as you want to take along a sleeping bag and other bedding that is right for the temperature you are likely to experience.  If it is likely to be too hot for a sleeping bag you can sleep on top of it and sleep under a sheet. Try to air out your bag in the morning if you can to remove moisture that might have collected during the night.

If you like a pillow you can take a long one from home but be careful to avoid it getting dirty or damaged. Alternatively, there are camping pillows which are smaller sized or you could bring along a pillowcase and stuff it with clothes.

Here are some tips on choosing a sleeping bag.

The most uncomfortable thing to sleep on is the ground, it can be hard on the back to say the least. So there are a number of options you can choose from. They vary in comfort from sleeping pads to foam mattresses to air beds or mattresses to cots. Or you might prefer a hammock. Sleeping pads and foam mattresses are light and you don’t need much effort to get them set up to sleep on, but many people don’t find them the most comfortable things to sleep on.

Next up on the comfort stakes are air beds or mattresses with those with a foam outer being the rated as the most comfortable. They can need some work to get them set up either a lot of lung power or foot power if you have a foot pump. Some air mattresses now have a battery powered pump built in which does save a lot of effort on your part. But, remember to bring a long some spare batteries.

Cots are probably the most comfortable but they do take up a lot of room when you are transporting them and when they are set up. They also do need a bit of time to be put together as well, but if you do have a lot of trouble getting to sleep this may be the best solution.

Some people believe that a hammock is the best solution of all. However, this is an acquired taste and it takes most people a bit of time to get used to sleeping in a hammock. Not  everyone can acquire the taste.

Being warm is important to going to sleep. A trick to warming your sleeping bag is to use something along the lines of a hot water bottle, where you can boil some water and put into a leak proof container and put into the bottom of your sleeping bag to warm it up before you get into it at night.


Although may people enjoy the sounds of nature as they go to sleep at night, sometimes it can be just too loud and annoying especially a pesky cricket that decides to chirrup next to your tent. Some of the things you can do to help to drown out the cacophony of peaceful sounds is earplugs, a smartphone app that imitates the noise of a babbling brook or you could camp near a stream so you can hear it as you go to sleep,


Try as much as you can to copy any rituals you have at home you do before you go to bed, like brushing your teeth, drinking a warm drink or having a light snack. You can try reading a book as a way to relax too, with the aid of a headlamp.

During the night if you need to go anywhere keep a headlamp or flashlight handy so you aren’t stumbling around getting annoyed and waking everyone else up.

Before retiring for the night be sure to pack all you food and trash away correctly as recommended and as required by the campground. Also make sure any clothes with food odors are stored away from the tent. This will help you avoid any interruptions from the local wildlife scrounging for food – they make a huge racket when they are going through the trash.

Keep your tent zipped up to avoid getting any local wildlife joining you such as a bat or insects that might want to bite, no matter how hot it is.

As fun as sitting around the campfire all day can be, you are better for sleeping purposes to be active so you tire yourself out – go hiking, fishing, boating, kayaking etc. It will also help you not to have an afternoon nap which can interrupt your sleeping patterns and make it harder to fall asleep at night. See our tips on camping games for more information.


If you suffer from allergies be sure to bring along your medication because when you go back to nature there is like to more of the allergens about than when you are back home in suburbia.

There are a couple of thing that can happen during the day that can irritate and make getting to sleep difficult – sunburn and insect bites.

To avoid sunburn you’ll probably know that you need to cover up by wearing long sleeved shirts and pants and slap on lots of sunscreen. If that hasn’t worked be sure to use some sunburn relief cream to help you at night.

There are number of actions you can take to prevent insect bites. These include applying insect repellent containing deet or citronella to your skin during the day, burning citronella candles. Long sleeve shorts and long pants can help to stop some of the bites too . Bit medication may still be needed despite your best efforts as the insects are relentless in their pursuit of humans to bite. Also, at night you may want apply the repellent to avoid being bitten at night, but be sure to check the manufacturers instructions before applying to yourself or children either at night or during the day. See here for tips on insect repellent while camping.

When you can’t get to sleep it can be one of the most frustrating things that can happen. The ideas here should help to make it more likely for you to get the good nights sleep you want and deserve.

2 Responses to “Tips On How To Sleep Well When Camping”

  • Hiking Diva on December 5, 2012

    I’m a light sleeper, so if I’m not backpacking, I am very selective of who I camp near. With all the comforts in the world, rude/noisy people next to you will make you utterly miserable. I find the more “stuff” people bring, the more likely they will be a nuisance to me.

    If camping in cold or very rainy weather, I will cut back on fluids several hours before bed so I don’t have to be disrupted.

    I also make sure headlamp, TP, & handsanitzer in pocket by door so no late night fumbling when nature calls.

    As I often backpack/camp solo, I have a secondary light , bear spray & knife by my head. It gives me a little extra comfort.

    During the summer in particular, my boots are rank & stink up my tent. I usually stick them upside down on my trekking poles (also upside down) outside to allow them to air out, make it difficult for critters to nest in (still have to check for spiders), but not smell up the cushioned handles of the poles. I use a bungee cord to secure them to a skinny tree.

    • Paul on January 7, 2013

      That’s a good idea about allowing your boots air outside the tent. A smelly a tent is no fun at any time but can make it more difficult to get to sleep.

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