The best camping tips for having a good night’s rest are to be prepared and stay warm. A sleeping bag is obviously your number one priority, without one you won’t get any sleep! Other than that, make sure it’s not too cold or hot, find yourself a nice patch of grass to pitch your tent on, and keep in mind that the ground might be slightly harder or lumpier than your bed at home. If you find yourself having trouble sleeping, here are some tips that will definitely help you fall asleep faster!
1. Pick a campsite with level ground
Nothing’s worse than waking up with a backache because you pitched your tent on an uneven spot. It can be hard to tell if the ground is level, but you could try checking for slanted trees or rocks before setting up.
2. Find some natural white noise
The sound of crickets chirping might remind you of camping trips gone by, but it won’t be very conducive to falling asleep. There are tons of downloads available for white noise soundtracks on iTunes or you could try using a fan to drown out pesky woodland creatures rustling outside your tent flap.
3. Limit light and noise pollution
Noise pollution is the worst when you’re trying to sleep, so bring some earplugs to block out the sound of a snoring camping buddy or a nearby campfire crackling away. If the moonlight is the only thing keeping you awake, hang a dark curtain from your tent’s ceiling to block it out while you’re sleeping.
4. Make sure your airways are clear
Sleeping bags are too constricting for you? Pull out your sleeping bag’s hood to create a makeshift tent over your face. This will cut off all light and airflow, helping you fall asleep faster.
5. Relax before bedtime
Don’t eat or drink anything caffeinated within six hours of going to sleep, as it’ll keep your blood pumping and your mind racing. You should also go to the bathroom before hitting the hay, as that will get you thinking about sleep even more.
6. Limit your nighttime movements
If you toss and turn all night it could seriously affect the quality of your sleep, so keep this in mind when choosing a sleeping position. Sleeping on your side with your hands either tucked under the pillow or resting on top of it is a good position that won’t cause too much tossing and turning.
7. Make sure you’re hydrated
Sleeping dehydrated could leave you feeling groggy in the morning and has even been known to give people nightmares, so make sure you drink at least one glass of water before you go to bed.
8. Find the right sleeping temperature
It’s your body’s natural response to getting too hot or cold, so be sure to dress in layers if you feel like you’re falling asleep in a sauna. If it’s too chilly to sleep without blankets, bring some along and pile them on top of yourself when you go to bed.
9. Leave the iPod in your backpack
Listening to heavy metal or hardcore techno music before you hit the hay might help you get in a good mood, but it won’t help you fall asleep anytime soon. If possible, unplug all electronic devices and leave them outside of your tent so they don’t disturb your rest. You could also try using an app like White Noise if you need something to help you fall asleep. Follow your normal sleep schedule so as not to disturb your body’s internal clock.
10. Have a normal bedtime routine
Just like your bedtime routine back home, having some kind of pre-sleep routine will get your brain used to the fact that it’s time for bed. Take a warm shower before bed if you’re sleeping outdoors, or just tuck yourself in nice and snug. make sure to have regular bedtime habits besides sleeping in the tent avoid food right before sleeping/ try not to eat too much while camping. When you’re camping, it can be tempting to eat your largest meals of the day at night. Of course, if you want a big breakfast then that’s fine, but eating too much at night can make it difficult to sleep.
11. Make sure you’re comfortable
You wouldn’t believe the number of people that have slept outside for a week but haven’t been able to get any shut eye because they were uncomfortable. Put on your pajamas, bring along a pillow from home and make sure you’re wearing enough clothing that will keep you warm. But having a camping pillow (or just bringing your favorite pillow from home) adds a level of comfort that’s totally worth it—especially if you’re car camping and space isn’t an issue.
12. Don’t eat anything weird before bed
You might think of it as a fun camping challenge, but eating weird food before bed is the perfect way to ruin your sleep cycle. Stick with something simple like an apple or some cereal for a good night’s rest.
13. Keep your tent light proofed
If you’re camping in the wilderness you might not be able to block out all of that moonlight, but it’s worth trying to keep as much light out as possible so your bedroll doesn’t act like a beacon for curious animals. Hang some heavy curtains over your tent windows if you can, or just bring a sleeping mask with you. Your tent, sleeping bags, and sleeping mat – the bare essentials for getting a good night’s sleep outdoors – should be carefully considered. Once you’ve cleared the ground, lay down a tarp in order to avoid waking up in a wet tent. Take into consideration surrounding brush and trees that might rustle in the wind or against your tent during the night.
14. Use your sleeping bag’s hood
If there’s too much light coming in from the outside world but you don’t have any heavy curtains to block it out, use your sleeping bag’s hood to create a makeshift tent over your face. This will help keep all of that pesky moonlight out of your eyes and allow you to fall asleep much more easily.
15. Stay warm at night
It’s never fun to be too cold when you’re trying to sleep, so make sure all of your extremities (and anything else that might get chilly overnight) are properly covered up before hitting the hay. Keep an extra layer on just in case, and make sure you’re wearing enough to keep yourself warm.
16. Be mindful of where you pitch your tent
It might be a good idea to pick a spot that’s slightly elevated if possible so no animals decide to pay you a visit while you’re sleeping, but avoid pitching your tent on top of any rocks or roots. Those things are bound to make you uncomfortable, so try and find a flat piece of ground if possible.
17. Don’t forget your sleeping pad
If you want to be able to sleep with ease on an uneven surface like the ground, bring along a sleeping pad just in case. This will give you some extra padding between yourself and the rocks below, so you don’t have to worry about getting a crick in your back. Getting Ready for Bed Organizing your camp well before dark, especially your tent and sleeping setup gives you time to relax and enjoy the evening. That alone can contribute to a good night’s sleep. A good sleeping pad is essential for a good night’s sleep.
18. Leave your sleeping hut unzipped
If you’re constantly overheating even with the sleeping bag fully zipped up, try partially opening it instead. This will keep you from having to deal with all of that tension against your body at night, and you’ll be able to get in and out of your sleep sack easily if you need to head off into the woods at a moment’s notice.
19. Bring earplugs
If you’re in an area with lots of ambient noise outside, it might be worth bringing some earplugs along with you so you can block out all of that sound. You might not think you’ll need them, but it’s better to be prepared than have a bad time because of your surroundings.
20. Bring along an extra blanket
It’s always a good idea to bring along an extra layer in case you get too hot or cold at night, so make sure you’re covered no matter what the temperature does. Whether you’re camping trip in the desert or somewhere overcast, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when you’re dealing with bedding and stuff like that.
21. Try and find a campsite that’s flat
If you can, try and stay away from sites that are on small hills where it might be harder for you to fall asleep. Sleeping at the bottom of a little hill is an easy way to wind up with some back pain in the morning, so try and find a good big flat spot before you settle down for the night.
22. Only bring along essentials
You might be tempted to pack your whole bag full of clothes and extra blankets just in case, but remember that the more you bring with you the harder it’ll be to go camping. Try and pack as light as possible so you can carry your things around with ease, and don’t bother bringing along anything extra unless there’s a really good reason for it.
23. Make sure your tent is properly ventilated
You don’t want to suffocate yourself while you’re sleeping, so make sure there’s a way for air to get in and out of your tent. This will also help keep away some of the condensations that might build up on the inside of your tent during the night.
24. Pick a spot away from traffic
If possible, try and pick a spot that’s away from where lots of people might be driving or parking their cars. You don’t want to end up near any loud traffic, as that will make it harder for you to fall asleep and stay sleeping.
25. Bring a battery-powered lantern
If the campsite is far away from civilization, bring along a battery-powered lantern so you can find your way back to your tent in case you get lost. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so make sure you bring along this essential if there’s even the slightest chance that you might get lost while looking for a place to camp.
26. Skip the hot dogs and hamburgers
It might sound like a good idea to bring along some hot dogs and hamburgers for a nice barbecue while you’re camping, but don’t make the mistake of eating things like this before you go to bed. All that grease will sit in your stomach while you sleep, making it harder for you to get up in the morning with any kind of energy.
27. Make sure you’re dry
Having wet clothes is never fun, so before you go to sleep at night make sure that your clothes are all completely dry. This will help keep you warm throughout the night if things ever get cold enough, and it’ll also give you peace of mind knowing that your stuff won’t end up smelling like mold or mildew in the morning.
28. Bring along some snacks
It’s always good to have something for dinner before you go camping, even if you think you can live off of sandwiches or whatever else you might want to eat while you’re out in the woods. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to having a full belly at night, so make sure you bring along some food if your favorite campground doesn’t have any restaurants nearby.
29. Make sure you’re all set with toiletries
You don’t want to be caught without any soap or shampoo, so make sure that you’ve got everything set up ahead of time for when it comes time to shower after a long day of camping. This should be easy to do if you’ve got a shower tent or something similar, so don’t try and save money by not bringing anything along for the ride.
30. Keep your head torch handy at all times
Headlamps are great for doing things like cooking and getting changed without having to turn any main lights on, so make sure that your headlamp is always close at hand. A good idea is to keep it on the same side of your bag as your feet, so you don’t have to reach too far when you want to get up in the middle of the night.
31. Let someone know where you’re camping
Make sure that one of your friends knows where you’re camping, and also make sure that they know when you’ll be coming back. This way if anything goes wrong, someone will know exactly where to find you. It’s also good to let them know what time you should be arriving back at the campsite so they aren’t worrying about where you are for too long.
32. Pick a campsite with some nearby trees
You don’t want your tent to be out in the open without any kind of cover, so make sure there are some nearby trees when you’re picking out a campsite. They’ll keep things cool when it gets hot outside, and they’ll also help block out the bright sunlight in the morning.
33. Keep your sleeping bag away from any kind of moisture
If you’re camping on a humid night, try and keep your carrier bag as far away from the ground as possible to make sure that it doesn’t end up absorbing too much of the dampness in the air. This is another good reason to use a cot rather than sleeping directly on the ground, as it’ll keep you nice and dry all night long.
34. Avoid eating anything big right before bed
It’s especially hard to go to sleep after a big meal, so make sure that you don’t eat anything too large for dinner right before you go to sleep at night. Save your biggest meal of the day for breakfast, when you’ll be up at dawn and ready to get on with the day.
35. Don’t eat anything spicy
If you’ve got anything too spicy for dinner, it might be a good idea to skip the meal altogether. Spicy food is hard to digest while you sleep, so having some kind of spicy meal isn’t the best idea if you want to wake up feeling fresh in the morning.
36. Sweep your campsite before you go to bed
No one likes doing chores while they’re on vacation, but sweeping away any debris that might get into your sleeping bag is definitely worth it. You don’t want any rocks or sticks around your campsite, so take a few minutes before you go to bed and sweep away any pieces of trash or leftover food.
37. Try and get an early start on the day
If you want to make sure that you get enough sleep while camping, try and get up with the sun in the morning. This way you’ll be tired enough by the time the sun goes down that you’ll be able to sleep soundly.
38. Make yourself a hot chocolate before bed
Camping can be exhausting, so why not grab a warm cup of cocoa before going to bed? It’s a sweet treat that will warm you up and help you relax at night. You could even add some rum to the mix if you really want to spice things up.
39. Sleep on your back
If there isn’t very much room in your sleeping bag, then trying to sleep on your stomach is probably not a good idea. You’ll end up with an aching back all night long, so try and sleep on your back instead for the most comfortable night’s sleep.
40. Keep your sleeping bag somewhere dry at all times
If you can, try and keep both your sleeping bag and air mattress somewhere dry at all times. This way if the area does get rained on, at least everything important will stay safe and dry. You might even want to use a tarp underneath your sleeping area in case it rains while you’re sleeping.
41. Pick up any trash in the area when you leave
It can be hard to sleep when there are other people making noise around you, so make sure that the campsite is cleaned up before you go to bed for a peaceful night’s rest. Make sure that everyone picks up their trash and brings back anything else they might have taken out with them.
42. Make your bed as soon as you wake up
If you’re camping with other people, then it’s a good idea for everyone to make their own beds the second that they wake up in the morning. It doesn’t take very long, but it can help keep the campsite nice and clean for the next day. And if you’re alone, you can make your bed whenever it’s convenient.
43. Unplug any electronics that might cause an electromagnetic disturbance
If you want to sleep well, then it’s probably not a good idea to leave any devices plugged in all night long. Things like TVs, microwaves, or even stereos can interfere with your sleep when they’re plugged in. Unplug everything except for your alarm clock before bed if you want the most restful night’s sleep possible.
44. Keep an earbud hand
While everyone is used to sleeping without any sound at all, it’s actually very hard to get used to being completely silent at night. If you’re camping with other people, then some kind of background noise can help drown out their snores or movements so that you can get the rest that you need. You might want to even consider bringing a pair of earplugs just in case there are any strange noises throughout the night.
45. Keep your sleeping bag zipped up at all times
It can be tempting to sleep with your sleeping bag unzipped for a little extra ventilation, but it’s actually not recommended. Leaving your sleeping bag unzipped can cause you to get cold and uncomfortable, even if the temperature isn’t that low outside. Try and keep your sleeping bag closed whenever possible to have the best night’s sleep possible.
46. Bring a pillow for your head
If you really want to take camping to the next level, then why not bring a camping pillow with you? Bring one from home or use a small foam or inflatable camp pillow. It can be difficult trying to get comfortable when all you have is an inflatable mattress under your body, so getting a camping pillow will help you sleep better. Even if you don’t want to bring a pillow with you, then try and bring some extra clothes that you can use as a makeshift pillow instead.
47. Take your time getting out of bed
If there is only one rule for camping, then it’s this one: take your time getting up in the morning! It can be tempting to get up as soon as you wake up, but it’s actually better for your body if you stay in bed for a little bit longer. Take 20 minutes or so before getting out of bed or opening your eyes when camping. If you do this, then you’ll have enough time to fully wake yourself up and not feel groggy when you get up.
48. Take a hot shower before bed
It can be hard to tell how dirty you actually are when camping, so some people suggest taking a hot shower before going to bed for some extra cleanliness and comfort. If there is any water available at your campsite, then definitely try and take a quick shower just to help you feel a little bit more refreshed.
49. Spend as much time outdoors as possible
Spending as much time as you can outside is actually great advice for camping and it can help make sleeping easier too. If the weather is nice, then sleep with your tent flaps open so that you get some fresh air while you sleep. It will feel as though you’re sleeping outdoors, so it can help ease your transition from being outside to going indoors.
50. Save the cooking for the morning
If you want to go camping and eat easy meals that require zero cooking, then do those before bed or in the morning. Cooking at night is actually bad for sleeping because there will be smoke and other smells in the air that can disturb your sleep. If you do want to eat at night, then just make something simple like s’mores or hot dogs for dinner so you don’t have any cooking equipment in your bed when it’s time to turn in.
51. Have a hot water bottle with you
Keep a hot water bottle in your sleeping bag along with you to keep yourself warm at night. It might not be as good as an electric blanket, but it can still help ease the discomfort of being cold while camping.
52. Bring an Eye Mask
Put on an eye mask If light bothers you, wear an eye mask that will block it out. You can get them for around $10 at most camping stores or online.
With these camping tips, you’ll be able to sleep comfortably outside no matter where you are. Just remember to take your time in the morning when getting up so that you aren’t too tired when it comes to packing everything back into your car or setting up camp again.