How to Sleep Comfortably in a Tent – 10 Pro Tips

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how to sleep comfortably in a tent

It is no secret that outdoor adventures such as hiking and camping are fun and memorable. But, one of the biggest challenges that outdoor enthusiasts face is how to sleep comfortably in a tent.

This is because the ground can be uneven. The environmental temperature can also be quite unpleasant.

If this is your case, then you are on the right page. In this article, you will learn about several tips that will help improve your comfort when sleeping inside a tent. This way, you will be able to get a good night’s rest in your next outdoor adventure.

Sleeping in a Tent as if You Were at Home: 10 Tips

Here are some tips that will help you sleep in a tent:

1. Pick the Right Tent

Take note that the right tent depends on your needs and preferences. But, these are the common factor to consider when choosing the right tent:

  • Capacity

    The first consideration that you must make when choosing a tent is its capacity. How many people are sleeping inside?

    There is a wide range of tent sizes. The sizes start from single tents to family size tents that can accommodate 4 to 6 people inside.

    But, take note that larger tents also means that it’s heavier. So, if you are going on a hike, it is ideal to opt for smaller ones.

    But, there are certain circumstances when you should consider larger size tents. For example, if you are traveling with a dog or if you have claustrophobia.

    Also, the size of your tent larger affects its price. Smaller ones are more affordable than those designed to accommodate more people.
  • Peak Height

    The next factor to consider is the peak height. This is a significant consideration because it affects the airiness of your tent.

    If you want a tent that will maximize the space inside, choose tents that are cabin-style. This type of tent is what’s used for family-sized tents. It has features such as an awning and room dividers.

    On the other hand, if you are camping somewhere with strong winds, go for dome-style tents. These have peak heights that will help withstand harsh weather conditions. These are also sturdy due to their slope. But, this slope lessens the livable space within the tent.

  • Seasonality

    A 3-season tent is among the most popular choices for many consumers. These are lightweight and designed for fall, summer, and spring conditions. This type of tent commonly has plenty of mesh panels to improve the airflow.

    But, a 4-season tent is better if you are camping somewhere with snow. These are designed to withstand moderate to heavy snowfall.

    This type of tent also has warmth-retention features. It has all the benefits of 3-seasons tented and more.

    Furthermore, 4-season tents have more poles for added durability and sturdiness.

    But, take note that because 4-season tents have more features, they are also more expensive than 3-season tents.
  • Ease of Use

    One of the biggest challenges that you would experience with tents is in their set up. If you are a beginner, choosing tents with lesser poles means that you can easily set them up. But, it might not be as durable as it does with more poles.

    For environments with strong winds, tents with more poles are ideal. This is because more poles mean more foundation.

    So, if you are not experienced in setting up tents, practice doing so beforehand so that it will be easier for you.

2. Get a Sleeping Bag

One of the best ways to sleep in a tent is by using a sleeping bag. This is because you can’t take a mattress with you when you’re camping in a remote area.

However, there are several types of sleeping bags out there. And each of them is ideal for a particular circumstance.

Among the factors that determine the comfort of a sleeping bag is its shape. With that, here are the different shape classification of sleeping bags:

  • Elephant’s foot sleeping bag

    This type of sleeping bag is designed to be lightweight. This makes it ideal for mountaineers and backpackers. It has a tapered and fitted shape without a hood.

    It is also shorter than other sleeping bags in the market. This means that the user will need to wear an insulated jacket to make the upper part of their body feel cozy.
  • Double sleeping bag

    This is an excellent sleeping bag if you have a companion with you because it can accommodate two people. Some double bags have features such as double zippers and hoods.

    Meanwhile, some products can be more versatile. They can be separated into 2 single sleeping bags.
  • Mummy sleeping bag

    Like the Elephant’s foot sleeping bag, the mummy sleeping bag has a tapered and fitted shape. Yet, their main difference is that this covers the upper part of the body and comes with a hood.
  • Barrel-shaped sleeping bag

    This is ideal for those who want to focus on warmth without sacrificing comfort. IThe shoulder area up to the foot box is tapered to prevent dead air from entering the bag.
  • Rectangular sleeping bag

    This is the most common type of sleeping bag out there. It is not really designed for the outdoors because it is often made with fabric that is not waterproof. It also has little to no insulation.

    But this is a good option for two reasons. The first reason is if you want to focus on affordability. The second reason is if your tent site is located in an established area.

    Pick the type of insulation you prefer after determining the shape of your sleeping back. Here are the two options for sleeping back insulation available:
    • Synthetic
      Synthetic is among the two main types of insulation used in sleeping badly. It is made of polyester or any of its variants. But, it can be quite heavy and difficult to compress, making it a less popular choice.
    • Down
      If you prefer a lightweight sleeping bag, opt for down insulation. It is a synthetic material designed to insulate and maintain lightweight. But, the downside is that it is not ideal in wet conditions because it will take some time before it dries.

3. Invest in Comfortable Outdoor Sleeping Gears

Other outdoor gear types will help improve the quality of sleep that you get when sleeping inside a tent. Here are some examples:

  • Air Mattress

    There is a wide range of air mattress selections for camping. This ranges from those that can be automatically and manually inflated. Also, if you are worried about carrying it when hiking, there are a lot of lightweight options.

    It is ideal for those designed with micro coil layers for utmost comfort. This helps add support to the user’s body.
  • Pillows

    There is a sense of comfort in using the same pillow as you use at home, so you can bring it with you if you can. But, you can opt for inflatable pillows if that is not possible. Just make sure that it can be compressed with little to no effort.
  • Sleeping Pads

    Investing in a sleeping pad is also ideal for added comfort. It will provide you with a cushion against the cold and hard ground.

    Sleeping pads come in a variety of options. There are inflatable, closed-cell foam, and self-inflating choices.

    Closed-cell foams and self-inflating materials are the go-to choices for many. This is because these are the most convenient options. It is also ideal for diverse weather and environmental conditions.

4. Pick the Right Tent Site

Aside from the type of tent you will be using, the location you will set it up will also affect your comfort level. This is why you need to pick the right tent site.

To help with that, here are the criteria of a good location for your tent set up:

  • Flat Surface

    Pick a location with a flat surface because you will be lying down on the ground with only a thin sheet of fabric. This means that if it’s rocky or bumpy, you will feel it later on.

    To check whether the ground is flat, you can lay down on it before setting up your tent’s poles. It is best to do this beforehand. This is because re-arranging already installed poles can be tiring and time-consuming.

    Also, make sure that the ground is dry and there are no colonies of insects nearby.
  • Off-trail

    Avoid setting up your tent on trails because you might disturb other hikers. At the same time, avoid setting up your tent somewhere that blocks the view of the area. Doing so is plain rude.
  • Far from Danger Zone

    Danger zones are locations that are prone to natural hazards. Some examples of these natural hazards are flash floods and avalanches.

    This is why you must make sure that your tent is located at least 200 meters away from bodies of water. Also, avoid setting it up in sloped areas.
  • Near Water Source

    Another rule of a good tent site is that it must be near a source of clean water. This will help you prepare food and freshen up without much hassle.

5. Avoid Overdressing

Another secret to comfortable tent sleeping is the clothes that you wear to sleep.

If you are using a sleeping bag, you might think that it is appropriate to wear sleepwear with insulation. But, doing so will make the existing insulation of your sleeping bag useless.

This is because these types of insulation work best by trapping natural body heat in. It will be unable to do so with bulky and insulated clothes.

Besides, bulky clothes are uncomfortable, to begin with. This is especially the case if you are wearing it all-day already.

Also, make sure that your clothes are clean and dry. You have spent all day in the great outdoors so your clothes will be muddy or sweaty.

6. Listen to Calming Sounds

Sleeping inside a tent means that you can hear all the noise outside. These noises can range from bird sounds or wolf howls.

Noise can be natural when you are outdoors. But, some may feel anxious over it, which is why listening to music or podcasts might help.

You can use your phone and earphone for this. The audio that you will listen to will help you feel at ease with your surroundings. Also, it’s a good way to relax after a long and tiring day full of adventure.

7. Expect Midnight Munchies

After a long day of hiking or doing other outdoor activities, your metabolism can be in overdrive. Due to this, you might feel hungry in the middle of the night. When this happens, it is not advisable to go out and get food from your storage since doing so can be quite dangerous.

camping snack

But, the simple solution to this to keep some food inside your tent. This will help you reduce your hunger.

But, make sure that the food that you keep inside your tent is not smelly. The lack of ventilation may make you feel uncomfortable. Also, ensure that the food does not attract small insects like ants.

Power bars or trail mixes are ideal types of food to keep inside your tent to keep your hunger at bay. These are tightly sealed. They can also help you feel full quickly, allowing you to get a more comfortable sleep.

8. Pee Before Going to Sleep

On average, humans urinate 6 to 8 times per day. However, if you drink plenty of water, it is not surprising if you pee 10 times a day. But, remember that sleeping in a tent means that urinal provisions are farther away. Due to this, it is best to urinate first before retiring inside your tent.

Ideally, you should pee 20 to 30 minutes before going to sleep. This way, you can sleep straight and not have the urge to go to the toilet in the middle of the night.

However, in case you cannot control your urge to wake up and go to the toilet, it is best to plan your trips ahead of time. Make sure that you have your sandals and light ready nearby.

9. Beware of Thirst

The human body needs plenty of water to function properly. After a full day of walking and enjoying yourself, your body will be losing plenty of water. This can lead to making you feel thirsty, especially when you are already lying down inside your tent.

This thirst might cause inconveniences to you. It can also lead to you feeling uncomfortable or, worse, unable to sleep.

To avoid that, drink plenty of water in between the day. This is to compensate for the water lost from your body due to perspiration.

Also, ensure that the water you will be keeping with you inside your tent is clean for drinking. Make sure that it is in a sealed container to prevent it from spilling all over.

10. Stay Up Late

There are times that you will be unable to sleep despite plenty of physical activities. Rather than forcing yourself to sleep, try to stay up as late as possible. This is because your body will be unable to get quality sleep, and you will end up feeling uncomfortable.

But, if your body feels tired from all your activities, do not fight the sleepiness and give in. Take advantage of this feeling because it will help you fall asleep deeply.

Let’s say that you always have a hard time sleeping or have a sleep disorder. Then, you might want to try drinking tea to help you fall asleep easier. This can either be lavender or chamomile. You can also do this near the campfire with some late-night snacks as a relaxing treat for yourself.

Final Words

Part of a great outdoor adventure is sleeping under the stars inside a tent. This will allow you to enjoy what nature has to offer.

But, it can be quite uncomfortable if you are accustomed to the comforts of city life; hence why it might affect your sleep. This can be very problematic because sleep is essential, especially after a day of strenuous activities. You need it to feel re-energized and ready again for a full day ahead.

Luckily, you now know about several tips on how to sleep comfortably in a tent, which was mentioned above. These tips are designed to be easy to follow and straight forward. Despite that, they can play a significant difference in terms of the quality of sleep that you have inside a tent.

So, what are you waiting for? Consider the tips mentioned above and have a more comfortable experience the next time you sleep inside a tent.

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