Some people feel at home when they go camping. While they love being close to nature and sleeping under the stars, they don’t want to miss out on any of their home comforts.
But for others, camping sounds like a bit of a nightmare and they’d rather spend their time in luxury hotels instead of tents.
In truth, some people really hate camping because they have bad memories from trips when they were younger that ended in disaster when the tent started leaking and they couldn’t sleep all night.
But your camping experience doesn’t have to be like that and if you prepare properly, you can actually have a very comfortable time. Follow these tips and you will sleep like a baby on your next camping trip.
Invest in the right tent
The first and most important piece of camping equipment that you need to buy is the tent. If you get a cheap tent, you won’t get a good night’s sleep because you will be freezing cold all night and boiling hot when the sun comes up. You won’t be able to sleep if you have water dripping on your face either. That’s why it’s important to invest in your tent to get a good quality one.
The first thing to look at is the hydrostatic head of the tent. This is a measure of how much rain the tent can withstand before it begins to leak.
When measuring the hydrostatic head rating, the manufacturer takes a cylinder and puts the material of the tent on the end.
Water is poured over the top and the number of drips that leak through is measured. When you are looking at tents, something with a 1000mm rating will withstand light showers but won’t deal well with heavy rain.
2000mm will handle fairly heavy rain but if you are camping somewhere with bad weather, you should look for something with a rating of 3000mm or higher.
If you want extra protection against the elements, you should also look for a tent with a sewn in groundsheet. This stops any water leaking through small gaps around the floor so you can always stay dry. If you’re really worried about it, you can always take a tarp with you and put it over your tent to give you another layer of protection from the rain.
Now that you’re protected from the rain, you need to start thinking about the sun.
Many people find that they don’t sleep well when they go camping because the tent is unbearably hot as soon as the sun comes up and the light comes flooding in. But there are some great blackout tents that have been designed to tackle this. They will block out the sunlight which means that you stay cool and you won’t be woken up in the morning as soon as the sun rises.
Consider a camper
If you still don’t feel comfortable in a blackout tent and you just hate the idea of sleeping on the floor, perhaps camping just isn’t for you. But don’t give up on it just yet, instead consider using a camper trailer.
You can get some great camper trailers that are far more comfortable than a tent. You’ll have a proper bed and you don’t need to worry about any leaking, and the temperature will be a lot easier to manage as well. It’s not quite the same as staying in a luxury hotel, but if you want to get a good night’s sleep when you are camping, a camper or a caravan is the best option.
If you do want that luxury feel, you can buy lots of added extras to improve your camper or caravan. Simple caravan products like chairs and tables can improve the experience, but if you’re going on longer trips it might be worth investing in other conveniences like portable washing machines. If you get a camper and kit it out with all of the latest stuff, you will be living the life of luxury when you go camping.
Research your sleeping bag
There are many different sleeping bags on the market and the quality varies a lot. Some of them are going to be cold and uncomfortable to sleep in and the material can be quite irritating to the skin. If you pick up a cheap sleeping bag, chances are, you’re not going to get a good night’s sleep. You need to spend some time researching the different types of sleeping bag so you can work out which one is best for you and make sure that you get a good one.
There are a few different types of sleeping bags and you need to think about what kind of camping you are doing when you make your decision. You can get a car camping sleeping bag which is quite wide and unzips to make into a larger blanket. They also tend to be thinner and don’t retain heat as much. That means they’re better if you are camping in hot places and the heat is a big problem for you. They also work best if you are in a camper or caravan in a proper bed.
But if you are in a tent and you’re freezing cold, a car camping sleeping bag may not be warm enough. It’s better to go for a mummy bag instead. They have a coffin shape and a hood to wrap you up warm, and they tend to be a lot thicker. You can get some great backpacking ones that pack down small so if you are trying to travel light, this is a great option.
When you have decided on the type of sleeping bag you want, you need to check out some reviews. Sleeping bags often have a heat rating but they’re not always that accurate, so it’s better to check the reviews to find out how warm they are.
Get the right bedding
Even if you have the best sleeping bag money can buy, you may still struggle to sleep if the ground is uncomfortable, which is why you need to get the right bedding. If you are in a camper or a caravan, you should have a comfortable bed sorted and you won’t need to worry. But in a tent, you need something to protect you from the ground. There are a couple of different types of sleeping pads that you can use and they all have their own benefits.
You could get an inflatable air mattress if you want extra comfort, but they do take up a lot of room and you will need to take a pump with you, so they’re not ideal for backpacking, for example. But if you are loading up the car and you have a lot of space, you should take an air mattress. You can also get some egg box style sleeping mats that are comfortable, but again, they take up a lot of space.
If you are trying to travel light and you need something that packs down small, you can get some inflatable ones that fit into a tiny bag. They won’t offer as much comfort, but they’re much easier to transport. You’ll need a pillow as well and, if possible, you should try to take a proper one from home. The small inflatable ones that you can buy are not that comfortable and you won’t guarantee you a great night’s sleep.
Bring some earplugs
A lot of people think the sounds of nature are soothing and the noises that you hear outside your tent should help you sleep more soundly. Unfortunately, the nature sound recordings that people use to relax are very different from the real thing.
When you are camping, you will hear howling winds, rustling trees, bugs, and maybe the rain. If it gets loud out there, you won’t be able to get your head down and get some consistent shut-eye. But you can fix that with a good pair of earplugs.
Earplugs are cheap but they can make the world of difference. If you really have trouble sleeping, you could consider investing in a white noise machine as well. It’s a more effective way to block out the noise and a lot of people find it helps them to sleep better.
Pitch up in the right place
The equipment that you take is important, but the placement of your tent makes a huge difference as well. If you put it on uneven ground or pitch up somewhere that is noisy, you are just making things harder for yourself. Try to find a nice flat area and look at the surrounding area for any potential sources of noise.
Camping doesn’t have to be the nightmare that you think it does and you can still get a great night’s sleep if you follow these simple tips.