Seasoned campers know that tent camping can be an escape from this wild world, especially in a time when we’re at home more than ever.
The campfire, the great outdoors, being one with nature, escaping from life’s worries, and sleeping in a tent that’s not very comfortable….
Wait, what? Yes, one disadvantage to going tent camping is that unless you are someone who can sleep anywhere, sleeping in a tent can take some getting used to. Before you go tent camping, here is how to get a better and more comfortable night’s sleep, always try and keep yourself comfy.
The Best Tent for You and Your Family
When it comes to selecting the best tent for your camping trip there are a few fundamental criteria to take into consideration to enhance your camping experience. These considerations are just as relative if you are ultralight backpacking or trying to make tent camping more comfortable.
Size versus warmth is the advice anyone in the backpacking community will tell you when it comes to making tent camping comfortable as the air in your tent is warmed by your body it provides a boost in insulation from the cold outside.
The larger the tent and less likely your body will be able to warm the air inside. A large tent is not ideal for a 30-day backpacking trip either so this makes a lot of sense when you are trying to conserve space and weight, but no problem if you are car camping.
So if you are planning backpacking expeditions then pop-up tents just large enough for your sleeping bag to fit in so you can endure the elements is what you should be considering for ultralight backpacking.
As this page is focussing on how to make tent camping comfortable we will be focussing on more comfort and ideal space for maximum comfort.
Bigger is Better when it comes to a comfortable camping tent regardless of your personal height, but especially if you are a tall individual.
One should still take into consideration people’s capacity and weather elements, but we will be exploring ways to maintain a comfortable temperature in your spacious family tent regardless of the weather further down this page.
Finding a Good Campsite for Your Camping Trip
When it comes to selecting the right campsite to pitch your tent then a level spot is your best choice for tent camping. Worst-case scenario and you have to pitch your tent on a bit of a slope then simply roll some extra clothes or an extra blanket and place it under your sleeping pad to prevent yourself from rolling off your mattresses in your sleep.
With modern camping mattresses that keep you off the ground while you sleep, there is less concern for bumpy ground, but it would be wise to remove any sharp debris that might perforate or damage your sleeping mattresses or tents. (Tall grass check)(shade)
A good tip is to pitch your tent on the groundsheet, cut it to fit the exact dimensions if this is more practical.
When it comes to making your campsite reservation, it would be wise to read up on your prospective campsite rules and amenities. Are you looking for a campground with toilets or do you need a drive-in car campground for instance?
Make yourself familiar with the layout before making your campsite selection. You might prefer to camp nearer bathroom facilities if you don’t have a private bathroom, or perhaps the darkest campsite for more shade. You might need a campsite with a picnic table to avoid packing a portable table.
These considerations will help you find the right campsite and make tent camping more comfortable.
How To Make Tent Camping Comfortable With Bedding Tips
It goes without saying that the right gear for the job makes a huge difference. So it only makes sense to ensure that you have the ideal camping bedding for your ideal camping bedtime experience.
We will be considering items for those planning backpacking expeditions, but mostly for those after comfortable sleeping. A good night’s sleep is very important when it comes to making tent camping comfortable.
A Comfortable Sleeping Bag Is Crucial.
The first, and most obvious, way to be more comfortable when camping is to buy the most comfortable sleeping bag possible. However, you shouldn’t go for the first traditional sleeping bag you see. You need one that is appropriate for the climate.
For example, a thick sleeping bag can keep you warm and toasty for winter camping comfort. However, that same sleeping bag may not be good for summer. You’ll be sweating and struggling to sleep comfortably. In a case like that, you may want to sleep on top of the sleeping bag and just use a blanket for a good night of sleep in the heat.
Look for a sleeping bag with the appropriate temperature rating for the season and location you are planning on camping.
Also, buy a sleeping bag shape that’s appropriate for your situation.
Mummy-style sleeping bags fit well in a backpack and keep you warmer, but are less comfortable. As this type of sleeping bag is designed to conform to your body shape it conserves your body heat better.
Double-wide sleeping bags are good when you want to sleep with your love or even on your own for the most comfortable camping sleep imaginable.
Rectangular sleeping bags are the most common as they are the perfect in-betweener!
Sleeping bag liners are wonderful additions as comfortable camping alternatives. They are inserted into your bag which protects your sleeping bag from body oils and dirt, reducing cleaning down to merely airing out your bag!
In cooler temperatures, they add a few degrees to your bags’ heat rating to help you stay warm and in excessive warmth, you can remove them to sleep on top of your sleeping bag for a good night’s rest.
Get an Appropriate Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress
A comfortable sleeping pad is probably the most underrated addition to your camping sleep setup! This is probably due to the fact that technically a camping sleeping pad is not even necessary for sleeping, but they are definitely necessary as a comfortable tent sleeping option.
Essentially sleeping pads elevate you from the ground to insulate you from the cold and provide you with extra cushioning in the process.
Your sleeping pad should have an r-value which indicates how much additional heat it should provide, the higher the r-value of your sleeping pad the more degrees you can add to your sleeping bag’s temperature rating, though it is not advised for the sum of which to equal the expected temperature. Aim for a few degrees leeway.
There Are 3 Types of Sleeping Pads To Consider
A closed-cell foam sleeping pad is the lightest, inexpensive option with excellent insulation, making it very popular with backpackers who can attach them to the outside of their packs while hiking.
They are the least comfortable though and not very popular with side sleepers, but likely more than adequate for the kids.
These are strongly considered the most comfortable sleeping pad. Most have built-in insulation, but not all so check the r-value and are very easily inflated.
They are very compact but are typically rather expensive and a bit noisy to sleep on if you tend to roll around in your sleep.
Self-inflating sleeping pad
Essentially a mixture of the previous two, constructed from open-cell foam and air, they are the warmest inflatable pads option if a bed with warmth is what you are looking for.
Typically not very expensive but more prone to punctures than the more insulated air pads.
Why not use two for the most comfortable experience!
Air mattresses have been used for this purpose so much in the past that manufacturers have even started producing camping air mattresses now. Though certainly, some of the costlier mattresses on the market offer a great deal of camping comfort.
The camping air mattress is constructed from thicker stronger materials to avoid punctures as this was a real problem experienced by many campers during the middle of the night using the original air mattress version for camping purposes.
Another added bonus of these mattresses is they are ideal for regular bedding as they are typically made that size.
Camp cots come in many different models from simple cost effective less bulky family options to high end luxurious, comfortable and expensive models for the more extravagant camping experience.
The right camping gear to keep off of the tent floor. Many have additional air space insulation built into their padding to better deal with cold temperatures. Though a sleeping pad on your cheaper camping cot will achieve the same result.
Foam Tiles or Foam Sleeping Pads
Foam floor squares are useful in the kids’ playroom, your home gym, or even in your garage when working on the ground. Foam floor tiles might not seem like an obvious tent camping tool, but they are rather practical.
These tiles are very effective by creating an additional layer between you and the cold ground as well as providing extra cushioning from an unforgiving bumpy ground.
For extra comfort, you can create a double mattress by sleeping on top of your sleeping bag and mats in warm weather.
Floor tiles are very light as well, though they might prove a little bulky when it comes to packing space. Yoga mats or a backpacking mattress will be less efficient but do much the same.
Get a Camp Pillow
Backcountry camping pillows have come a long way more recently. A modern compact camping pillow has gotten a great deal more comfortable than the traditional inflatable pillow.
For one thing, they have a layer of bedding material which makes all the difference in comfort.
Cover Your Eyes and Ears
When you camp, you may take advantage of the night. It’s cooler, you can spend time at a fire telling stories, and you may just be a night owl in general. However, one downside to this is the fact that unless you pitch a blackout curtain over your tent, the sun is going to wake you up at the crack of dawn.
Using an eye mask can prevent you from waking up suddenly and make it easier to fall back asleep should you wake up.
Essential for sleeping in and avoiding early morning sun and no afternoon nap would be complete without a comfortable eye mask.
Then, cover your ears with ear plugs. The outdoors can be noisy. Some people like the sounds of birds and crickets, but others find them distracting. Bring some comfy, yet noise blocking, ear plugs. If you have a power source, maybe bring a fan or a white noise machine. A fan can keep you cool during a hot day, and it can block out some sound for a good night’s sleep.
Make Your Tent More Comfortable
For the ultimate tent camping luxury make your tent your personal haven by combining the best possible combination of comfortable tent camping tips.
Picture a large family tent with screens, totally floored corner to corner with foam pads for absolute comfort and insulation from the cold ground.
Now you can have your sleeping pad/cot/mattress and sleeping bag or regular bedding for that matter set up ready for a comfortable night’s sleep.
With all that extra space you can bring your comfortable camp chair inside and escape any extreme weather the great outdoors throws at you. Maybe you even have enough space to bring in that camping picnic table for dinners or games.
Keep Your Routine Going
We all have a routine that signifies that we’re about to go to bed. For some people, that means winding down with a cup of tea. Or brushing teeth. Some people meditate. Others watch a show (which may be difficult if you don’t have a power supply.) No matter what you do, sticking to a routine can tell your body that you’re ready to fall asleep.
Keep that routine going. Before you camp, pack any item that can tell your body that it’s time for you to go to bed.
Do some exercises close to bedtime. Exercising may help you fall asleep faster. Even if you went hiking, do a few crunches. It doesn’t have to be anything significant, but it’s enough to tell your body that it’s time to go to bed.
Get Up If You Can’t Sleep
Should you be unable to fall asleep, one mistake people make is staying in bed and hoping they’ll fall asleep soon. This is a tough cycle to break. However, one way you can stop this is to get up if you can’t fall asleep and do something that makes you feel tired. Once you feel tired, try again.
How to Stay Cool
One popular sleep tip is to keep the room between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5-19.5 Celsius), but unless you can put an AC in the tent, that can be difficult when camping in the summer.
Here are some ways to keep cool.
- Your tent itself is important.
Pitch the tent in the shade if possible or consider keeping it disassembled during the daytime if you can, as it can absorb heat from sunlight and raise the humidity.
Tents with mesh for fresh air and tents with a reflective sunshade can keep the sun out and keep everything cool inside. Use binder clamps to hold tent flaps open to keep a breeze.
Durable, all-weather materials are practical only lasting longer, but heavy canvas material is not ideal for keeping your tent cool in the sunlight unless your tent is kept well insulated with low humidity.
- Hammock camping might suit for extra fresh air during those warm summer nights.
- Take a dip in some cold water before you go to bed, or drink some cold liquids.
- Wear clothes that are light in color during the day as this can reflect sunlight and keep you cooler during the day.
- Sleep light. Use a blanket or bedsheets if you must, and take off as much clothing as possible.
- Portable 12V refrigerator, mini-fridge, or a good cooler for your camping outings.
How To Stay Warm
Winter camping comfort ( Cold weather camping ) is a little easier, Dress in warm clothes, more than one layer (extra layers of clothing when going to sleep), get a thick sleeping bag, use a double sheet or extra blankets, drink some hot liquids before bed or fill a hot water bottle and put it in your sleeping bag for cold feet. A warm water bottle on your lap while reading is a great tip for happy camping in winter.
- A tent heater can provide consistent warmth if you make your tent well insulated.
- Warm delicious camping meals for dinner help warm you from the inside.
- Warm water bottle to keep your feet warm on winter camping trips.
- 12V Heated mattress pad to fight off any cold weather if you have access to power.(link)
- Bathroom runs before bed prevent having to get up in the middle of the cold night.
- A hot shower or sitting by the fire pit before bed gets your body warm and toasty to heat up your bedding.
- Car camping amenities normally have access to power to run a high powered heater.
Extra Camping Equipment To Consider.
Now that your tent and bed are as comfortable as possible, let’s quickly discuss a few things that might make your outdoor adventures more comfortable.
This might sound like a contradiction to relaxing, but being organised will only help free up valuable time for your comfortable camping experience. Make some packing lists and plan your routines.
Good Kitchen Camping Equipment
You might not need a full-blown camp kitchen but the right gear is recommended for your camp cooking setup. A camp stove and cast iron pans are essential camping supplies. Cooking your favourite camping recipes make for cozy camping.
Accidents happen so have your first aid kit stocked and ready. Pack some bug spray and don’t forget the sunblock!
What is glamping you may ask? “Glamour” and “Camping” gets you glamping which started out as a marketing campaign for resorts with good weather to offer air-conditioned canvas tents with hotel beds.
This has since become a rather popular trend for those less accustomed to camping in a tent.
Camping in a tent can be a challenge if you are a light sleeper, but with some good camping gear and camping hacks, you can make it happen. Most people prefer a bed, but you may find that camping in a tent is quite fun, especially when you have found the camping essentials that suit you best. And if you’re still unable to fall asleep, then it’s time to get a cabin or try glamping.