5 tips for sleeping (well) in a tent

Apr 07, 2015

tent with light on at night
No one can tell you how to sleep, but when you’re camping there are most definitely a few pointers that can help.

Ever noticed that everywhere is wet in the morning? Struggle to get warm in your sleeping bag? There are reasons for both of these, and we’ll explore them and more common problems and useful tips below.

Sleeping tip #1 – Warming your sleeping bag

A sleeping bag on its own is not warm; instead it takes heat from your body and holds this with its insulation. By storing warm air in its insulation and around your body the amount of heat it requires from you to get warm decreases, until equilibrium is reached.

If you’ve ever noticed that you struggle to get warm when you’re in your sleeping bag, it could be because you’re not warm enough
before you get into it.

If you have little warmth to heat the bag up with then the amount of heat it can take and hold in its insulation is much smaller than it otherwise would be.

To solve this, try getting warm
before getting into your sleeping bag. Granted you might be in for more of a shock when you get into the freezing cold bag, but you’ll quickly warm up again.

Sleeping tip #2 – Condensation

Ever noticed that the walls of the tent, underneath your sleeping mat and so on are wet in the morning? This is caused by condensation.

Much like tents are supposed to keep water out, any water vapour that builds up during the night (due to you being in it and everything being zipped up) is kept in and creates condensation, awkwardly soaking things that we don’t want to be soaked.

To avoid this, try ventilating the tent. Many tents have vents on them in various places – try to make use of them where possible. As long as wind (and animals, bugs etc.) can’t enter the tent, you shouldn’t lose any degrees just by ventilating.

Sleeping tip #3 - Keeping your bag clean

Washing some sleeping bags can be a struggle, especially in the case of down insulated bags which take a long time to dry, and can even lose some of their insulating abilities.

In order to keep your bag’s inner cleaner for longer, sleep in some long johns and a t-shirt (or an equivalent). You’re not supposed to sleep in your bag without clothes on for this very reason – over time sweat will build up.

Sleeping tip #4 - Snoring

You’ve probably already considered this, but just in case you haven’t – people snore and noise carries.

If you sleep lightly, bear in mind that even if someone is far across the other side of the field, if they snore, you’ll likely be able to hear it.

Ear plugs are an obvious solution, and if you’re really keen, take a look at these
Hush Earplugs. Aside from being ear plugs, these tiny devices have Bluetooth on board enabling them to connect to your iOS or Android device and play soothing sounds as your drift off. There’s much more to them, but some of it might take away from the countryside sounds of the morning.

Sleeping tip #5 – The morning

When you’re done sleeping, you have to get out of that warm, cosy sleeping bag. To make the transition to waking life easier, put your clothes in your sleeping bag with you before getting out and putting them on. This should warm them up and take that shock element out of the picture. Alternatively just stay in bed all day - you're on holiday!

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