How to Sleep and Wake Up Comfortably While Camping

Camping for Beginners: Sleeping Setup and Getting Up Tips

Published: Oct 19, 2020

A lot of people ask us how we are able to sleep comfortably while we're out camping. The answer is simple really, you should have the right gears with you and prepare your nighttime essentials ahead of time, even yourself physically. Waking up early in a camp shouldn't be frustrating too. If you know what to prepare ahead of time, you'll be an early bird like us.

Camping is one of the best experiences that anyone can have. Whether you're going on a solo-hike or traveling with your friends and family, you can never go wrong with this type of adventure. But did you ever consider the camping setup that you need to sleep comfortably inside your tent?

We know the feeling of waking up in the middle of the night with empty air on the mattresses, wanting to pee, or with an aching body. With the help of our seasoned campers and years of experience, we'll help you avoid these types of situations.

In this article, we'll answer all your questions when it comes to camping sleeping setup, how you can avoid getting bug bites, and how you can ease the challenge of waking up early in the camp.


Having the Right Gears

Knowing where you're camping and what the weather will be is essential if you plan to bring the right gear with you to make your sleeping comfortable. If you're not sure what to bring, here's a quick checklist of the starter gears that you'd want to have:


  1. Get the Right Bedding

Having the right camp bed can make or break your trip. Some people choose to have only one bedding for all their camping occasions, but if you're like us who constantly travel no matter the season, you'd want to have a bed that can fit the weather. Bedding can differ in terms of size, insulation, weight, and more.

There are different types of mattresses that are fit for specific seasons; self-inflating, air, cot, and foam pads. In our article, Camping Mattress Hacks - How to Make Your Camping Mattress Comfortable, we discussed the different types of mattresses, the intended use of these beds and some tips on you can make your bed comfortable. 

Once you know the kind of bedding that will fit your preferences, you can check out our Best Camping Beds and Pads of 2021 where we did a quick review of the top products in the market today. You'll see a range of categories, from double camp beds, kids mattresses, camping beds for dogs, and more.


  1. Camping Pillows

Camping pillows are different from the pillows that you use at home. Pillows that are intended for camping are more compact and inflatable. Although many of the mattresses now have built-in pillows, it makes a huge difference if you have a movable one.


  1. Earplugs and Eye Masks

If you ask our campers what's second-most important to bring when sleeping on a camp, they'll definitely answer you with earplugs. These little plugs dampen or block out the unnecessary noises that you might hear when you're out in the woods. 

Eye masks are helpful if you're traveling to northern areas where there's constant light even during the night. This also helps if you're a sensitive sleeper and wouldn't want to open your eyes constantly just to check your surroundings.

Now that you have an idea of the main gears that you'd need to bring, let's on to our next topic: how to get ready for bed while camping.


Getting Ready for Bed While Camping

Preparing and organizing your tent, gears, and sleeping set up well before dark allows you to enjoy the evening with your friends and family. If you want to experience a good night's sleep, here are the do's and don'ts when sleeping on a camp:


Do's in Camping Sleeping Setups


While there are multiple ways for you to set up your sleeping area, here are our proven ways on how we organize our camp before diving into our bed:


  • Choose a decent tent site. If you want to have a great night's sleep, the most important thing to have is a proper tent site. You would want an area where it's flat and free from any debris. Make sure to remove any rocks, sticks, and other noticeable sharp objects where you plan to put up your tent.


  • Keep a source of light near you. Most beginner campers are surprised how dark it can get in the middle of the woods. We suggest that you put a handy flashlight within your reach or hang a LED lantern inside your tent which you can turn on right before you go to bed.


  • Continue your regular routine. Routines trigger a sense of normalcy even if you're in a different surrounding. If brushing your teeth, making your bed, or reading a book comes with your regular routine in the house, you should still do these while you're on camp. 


            For children, bringing their blankets or stuffed toys can help them be comfortable on their air pads.


  • Wear a different set of clothes. It's important that you change from your hiking clothes to comfortable sleepwear that's suited for camping. Generally speaking, we suggest that you have a clean top and bottoms, long underwear, and socks.


  • Secure all scented toiletries and food supplies. Rules regarding food can differ depending on what park you're at so it's vital that you know and abides by their rules. If you're traveling with the possibility of wildlife visiting your camp, we suggest that you put all your food outside the tent and secure it with canisters. 


  • Take a restroom break before going to bed. We recommend that you take a pee break 20-30 minutes before going to bed and another one right before going into your sleeping bag. This technique is especially helpful for women. There are also available pee funnels in the market for this occasion.


  • Prepare for midnight trips. Even if you peed twice before going to bed, there are still some instances where you wake up in the middle of the night and want to take a restroom trip. We suggest that you prepare your camp shoes or slippers near the tent door and your handy flashlight. 


            If you're camping during the rainy or winter season and going out of the tent is an issue, we recommend that you prepare a designated pee bottle or a wide-mouthed jar. It's also best if you try this out first in the shower so that you can avoid accidents in the long run.


Don'ts in Camping Sleeping Setups

Now that we've covered the things that you should do before going to be, let's check out the things that you shouldn't do while out camping.


  • Avoid overdressing. The insulating system of most air beds and mattresses use your body heat to trap and return the heat to you. If you're overdressed, it will reduce its ability to collect any heat. If you want to feel warmer and better insulation, you can drape a blanket or jacket outside of your bag or add a layer of a comforter on the bed.


  • Avoid burrowing or breathing into your bed. If you're camping during the winter season, we suggest that you don't breathe into your own bed to avoid condensation which can significantly decrease the insulation of your sleeping bag. 


  • Avoid evening horror stories. Many people believe that telling horror stories in the middle of a bonfire is a must-do activity when camping. But if you want to have a good night's sleep, we suggest that you avoid doing this. There are people, especially kids, who get a hard time sleeping after doing this type of activity.


  • Avoid spilling liquid. It can be frustrating to spill water into your bed, especially if it's near bedtime. To avoid this mishap, we suggest that you use reusable straws so even if you get thirsty in the middle of the night, you can have quick access to safe drinking water.


  • Avoid holding your pee. Some people tend to hold their pee when they wake up in the middle of the night. We don't recommend you doing this because holding y  our pee makes you colder. This happens because your body would work hard to burn the calories inside you to your urine warm. 


Tips on How to Stay Warm in the Evening

Cold sleepers tend to need more warmth even on warm nights. Whether you're one of the people who feels colder when they sleep, or you're in for a rough night, here are some tips that can help you stay warm in the evening:


  • Eat a light meal or snack before going to bed. One way to heat up your body internally is by eating a light meal or a snack. The digestion process makes your stomach work which results to inner heat.


  • Little exercise. Doing little sit-ups or push-ups before going to bed is also a great way to heat up your body. Just make sure that you only do a quick exercise to avoid getting sweaty, or worse, making you wide awake.


  • Get a warm knit hat. Knit hats are effective when it comes to warming you up. Once you feel too warm, you can easily remove it and get back to sleep.


  • Put dry clothes inside your camp bed. To fill up the empty spaces in your bed and reduce the area that your body needs to heat up, you can stuff your sleeping bag with extra clothes.


  • Drink warm water. Another great way to warm your body is by drinking warm water before jumping into bed. You can also put a warm bottle close to your body's core (between your legs) to quickly warm you up.


Tricks to Keep Bugs Away While Camping


Out of all the many things that campers do not want to have in their campsite, especially inside their tent are bugs. Depending on the place your camping in, there would be contant buzzing sounds and, sometimes, mosquitoes trying to get you. 

To avoid these annoying bugs from getting inside your tent, here are some tricks that you can do while out camping:


  • Always keep the door closed. Whether it's daytime or nighttime, it's important that you always keep your windows, doors, and screens shut. Also, if you're about to go inside the tent, remember to shake yourself first to remove any insects that might clinging to your clothes or skin.


  • Know your scent. Bugs are commonly attracted to overly scented products like shampoo, soap, deodorant, perfume, and aftershave. Although we're not suggesting that you change your entire hygiene products and go all-out natural, we recommend that you be mindful of these scents and try to use products that have minimal odors.


  • Waterproof bug sprays. Bug sprays that are non-waterproof are worthless if it rains or if you sweat. Check the product that you buy to ensure that it's waterproof and can last for a long period of time.


  • Choosing a clean camp site. Mosquitoes need water for their eggs to survive so it's vital to check the surroundings of your campsite for any stagnant water. You should also prepare for a rainfall since mosquito eggs hatch after a rain. To avoid this, choose a site that's dry and somewhat elevated.


Ways to Get Up Early at Camp

There are days when we happily get up from our bed while we're greeted by the chirping sounds of birds, light ray of the sun, and trickling water by the stream. We get our from our tent with a surge of energy to start the new adventure ahead of us.

But there are also days when getting up from our bed becomes challenging. You're greeted by your alarm, fiddle with your phone, and think about whether you actually want to get up or continue sleeping.

Whether you're looking to jump start your day, beat the crowds from the hike, or get to the next camping site early, here are some ways to help you ease the challenge of getting up from your bed while camping:


Preparing through the night

  1. Prepare your backpack. Once you're done for the day, make sure that you pack your bag thoughtfully. Meaning, you'd want to have an ample space that can fit all the gears that you're using into your backpack in the morning. This includes your sleepwear, nighttime essentials, sleeping bag, pads, blankets, and your tent.


  1. Prepare your essential items. Like what we mentioned, it's important that you prepare all the thing that you need to start packing by the next day. Essential items are the clothes that you're going to wear by the next morning, your shoes, water bottles and the gears you'll need on your journey. These should be placed in an area where it's easy to grab when you're ready to go.


Morning of the next day

  1. Deflate your sleeping pad. First and foremost, when you wake up, deflate your sleeping pad to ensure that you won't get back in it. After you've done this, getting up is easier since you can't lie down anymore. 


  1. Stay inside your sleeping bag. Once your wake up and decide to fix your bed, we suggest that you stay half-way inside your sleeping bag. This will help warm up your body, while you're fixing your blankets, pads, pillows, etc.


  1. Warm your clothes. You'd be surprised how uneasy it is to feel and wear cold clothes, especially if its early in the morning. To warm up your clothes before actually wearing them, you can put them inside your sleeping bag while you're doing other things.


  1. Happy thoughts. There's nothing stronger than mentally preparing yourself for the day. If you're not up for it, try thinking some of your happy thoughts and spend your energy wisely.


Final Thoughts

Now that you have an idea on how you can have a comfortable sleeping set up when you're out camping, we hope that you try out the tips and tricks we've mentioned to help you ease your struggle when it comes to sleeping and waking up by the next day.

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