How to Sleep Better on Your Next Camping Trip

A night under the stars, far from traffic and the eyesore of bright city lights, is a dream for many, but a nightmare for some.

There are many people who just can’t get comfortable sleeping anywhere other than a bed, let alone a sleeping bag on the ground. Marry an outdoors lover, though, and this will be an issue for discussion.

There are several ways you can make campsite sleeping a little more bearable. Here are four things you can do next time you bed down under the stars.

Tent Location

Obviously, the better the campsite is, the more comfortable it will be to sleep on. For a better night’s sleep, make sure your tent is sitting on a flat, obstacle-free and durable surface. Avoid a site that has roots, rocks or pine cones, as these will make for a sleepless night and a sore back the next day.

Mind Over Matter

Yes, you will not be sleeping in your comfortable bed. The bathroom is no longer a few steps from your bedside. There will be noises right outside your tent at night. It’s difficult, but embracing this truth early will make a big difference. Besides, the joy of the experience will override any temporary inconveniences.

It Gets Dark and Cold in the Woods

What often takes newcomers by surprise on the first night of a camping trip is how dark the night sky is and how cold it gets. To prepare for this, keep insulating clothing layers and a headlamp or flashlight handy. It’s also helpful to hang an LED lantern inside your tent as soon as you set it up. You’ll need these lights if you need to use the restroom at night, too.

Repeat At-Home Routines

Sometimes performing routines that you use at home can make the campsite feel a little more familiar. For instance, if brushing your teeth is your final act before bed each night at home, do the same when camping. If you normally read a chapter or two in a book before you fall asleep, there’s nothing wrong with reading by lantern light in the tent.

There Will Be Noises

Avoid listening to night sounds too closely, especially if you’re new to the outdoors and are easily spooked. The woods are full of strange sounds at night that our imaginations can make seem much worse. Even small animals can make a lot of noise moving through the underbrush in search of food, so odds are those rustling leaves are not a werewolf, but a raccoon. Relax; these animals are more apprehensive of you than you are of them. Bonus Tip: If night sounds really unnerve you, try camping near moving water. Rushing water’s “white noise” helps mask ambient sounds.

© Pavel Ilyukhin | – Overnight in tent camp.