Crave Magazine

5 tips for sleeping well when camping

There’s no experience quite like camping. Spending a night under the stars, surrounded by nature, being completely free from the distractions of the outside world — it’s one of the best ways to escape it all.

And there’s no better time to celebrate your love of camping than this June, during National Camping Month!

As the uncertainty surrounding international travel rises, it’s no surprise that 47% of Brits are planning a staycation this year, and less than a third are planning to go abroad (YouGov). And it looks like plenty of those who opt for a staycation will be pitching up a tent, as one in ten Brits are planning on camping this year (GoCompare).

While camping is a great experience and fun for all the family, it can leave you feeling a little worse for wear the next morning. In fact, it sometimes feels impossible to get a decent night’s sleep in a tent. Fortunately, Dormeo have come to our rescue in this article by sharing the best sleep tips that’ll help you catch some shut-eye on your next camping trip.

Sleeping well when camping – Pick the perfect spot

Finding the right spot is key to getting a decent night’s sleep. There’s nothing worse than settling down for the evening to find that you’ve pitched your tent over a rock that’ll stab you in the back all night. Make sure to find the flattest patch of land possible to pitch up on, to save your back and stop you sloping to one side of the tent in the middle of the night.

You should also check out the noise around you before you set up. Take a walk around the campsite and identify the loudest and quietest sleeping spots. Remember, it’s not just about what you hear from other campers — traffic noise and rustling trees can disrupt your sleep too. Even the wildlife can be a barrier to a decent night’s sleep! While birdsong may be a delightful way to drift off, being woken up by a cockerel at the crack of dawn probably isn’t what you had in mind.  

Sleeping well when camping – Prepare for the elements 

As much as we’d all love a solid few months of warmth and sunshine, it’s highly unlikely that the British summertime will be that kind to us. But don’t let damp and dreary weather rain on your parade, as you don’t need bright sunshine to make your camping trip comfortable! There are a number of precautions you can take to stop the elements from disrupting your sleep.

Firstly, always make sure to check the forecast beforehand. Camping in a bit of rain is fine, but spending a stormy night in a tent should be avoided. When looking for a waterproof tent, double-walled is the way to go, as they provide extra protection from damp weather. For added protection, go for a waterproof groundsheet to stop the damp ground from making your belongings soggy.

You should also make sure to pitch up on the highest part of the campsite, especially if there’s a river or lake nearby. And finally, make the sleeping area of your tent a damp-free zone by leaving wet items in the porch area, or outside if they’re fully waterproof.

Sleeping well when camping – Earplugs are a must

Although many of us go camping to get some peace and quiet, noise can still be disruptive, especially at night. Whether it’s from other campers staying up till the wee hours of the night or the local wildlife raising a ruckus, a noisy night is no fun, especially when tent walls can barely muffle the sound of a pin dropping. That’s why a pair of good quality earplugs is a must.

Even if you’re a heavy sleeper who regularly dozes through your alarms, earplugs may benefit you more than you realise. Noises that don’t keep you up at night can still negatively impact your sleep cycle as the brain registers and processes sound during your sleep (ResSleep). So, make sure to invest in a decent set of ear plugs! Opt for soft, silicone plugs for comfort, and always make sure to try them out before you use them overnight.

Sleeping well when camping – Bring plenty of light layers

Do you go to bed shivering in your sleeping bag and wake up baking hot the next morning? That’s because even on the warmest of days in the UK, the temperature can still drop rapidly at night. So, if you go to bed in your thickest jumper, you’ll be sweating the next morning when the sunlight turns your tent into an oven. 

To keep yourself warm enough to sleep at night, but not so hot that you’re rudely awakened by a boiling tent, make sure to bring plenty of light layers that are easy to peel off. That way, you don’t have to spend ages faffing in the middle of the night when trying to wriggle out of your warmest winter jumper. Opt for light, loose cardigans and hoodies, and a lightweight blanket to give yourself a warm and comfortable night’s sleep.

Sleeping well when camping – Have the best quality bedding

Just like at home, you won’t be able to get a good night’s sleep if you have uncomfortable bedding. Invest in a high-quality sleeping bag that’ll keep you cosy throughout the night. If you go camping often, it’s a good idea to get a couple of sleeping bags to use throughout the year, as each one has a different temperature gauge. Whichever sleeping bag you choose, make sure it has two zips so you can keep both ends open for ventilation when needed.

When it comes to finding something to sleep on, experienced campers can probably doze off on a camping mat with relative ease. But for the occasional camper, a blow-up mattress will be a lot more comfortable. And finally, don’t forget to bring your favourite pillow. A supportive pillow will prevent you from getting a sore neck and shoulders in the morning, and it’ll make the experience much more comfortable too.

“As fun as camping is, it can cause havoc on our sleep schedules. Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to get some shut-eye when spending a night in the great outdoors, as long as you’re prepared. Plan ahead by checking the weather forecast. And even if it’s set to be a glorious day, it’s still worth being prepared for the worst — sometimes there’s no predicting British weather!

“Make sure to use high-quality bedding for your camping trip. A comfortable pillow is especially important, as it will keep your neck and back supported so you won’t be complaining about aches and pains the next morning!”

– Phil Lawlor, Sleep Expert at Dormeo

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