Waking up outside, in the midst of the forest, near the riverbanks, in an open field surrounded by trees, is always memorable. For some, the camping experience gets even better when you have a good night sleep. Of course good night sleep comes with a comfortable camping bed.
Most common complaint from campers for not having a good camping experience is due to weather, camping site, and improper equipment. Furthermore, most complaints for not having a good night sleep is due to an uncomfortable camping bed, heavy rains and loud noise. Here are few tips to make your camping experience more comfortable.
1. Choose the right tent
Choosing a tent when camping, backpacking or going to the beach is really important. You should consider the conditions you’re likely to encounter, the number of people you need to accommodate and the weight and bulk you are willing to carry after all we are still talking about how to make camping experience more comfortable
Camp site location
If you are going to camp in the beach, do not use you’re trekking/backpacking tent as the poles are mostly aluminum. Saltwater can cause the poles to be brittle. Use beach tents instead when camping at the beach.
Seasons and Conditions
There are 4-season, 3 – season and 2-season tent. Since we only have dry and wet seasons here, we can just use the 2-season or 3-season tent. Also, when camping during stormy seasons, better use low laying tent like the tadpole or the sniper type to prevent it from being broken.
2. Check the weather forecast
Always check the weather forecast as this can help you prepare ahead what to expect and what are the necessary things to bring. For rainy forecast, you can read a beginners guide for rainy treks by Foureyedlaagan.
3. Bring Equipment/gears for comfort
Tent sharing is advisable especially for major climbs to optimize the load distribution of each participant. Just imagine you are having a multi-day trek and each will bring an individual tent say having an average weight of 1.5kgs per tent. 1.5 kgs in an 8-hour trek can really make a difference. Another purpose of tent sharing is to have extra person and space for the equipment for comfort listed below
- Warmers – heat tech, spare jackets, fleece hats, scarf, neck warmer
- Sleeping bag – preferably few degrees below the expected temperature.
- Sleeping pad – this can be used as an insulator between you and the ground at the same time, a big help when camping on rough or rocky site. Samples are: Closed – cell foam, air filled pads and self-inflating pads.
- Inflatable Pillows – to add comfort on your sleep you can bring inflatable pillows.
4. Stay warm and sleep warm
It’s really hard to stay happy, move around and feel comfortable when you’re too cold, too hot or too wet right? Outdoor fun, after all, is meant to be fun. Thus, choosing the right outdoor clothing can keep you comfortable and protect against potential dangers such as hypothermia.
Stay dry as much as possible as water conducts more heat better than air. Wet clothing can steal your heat faster because your body heat will be transferred away to your clothing at the same time as the water evaporate in your clothing, it will provide a cooling effect to your body thus stealing more of your body warmth.
Wear some windbreaker too, to block the wind from carrying your heat away on currents of cool air. Apply clothes layering to Trap heat.
Tips to Stay Warm:
- To supplement the clothing layering technique, wear a fleece or wool hat.
- Wear a scarf. Lots of our total heat loss occurs through our head and neck.
- Wear mittens instead of gloves if possible as mitts are warmer than gloves because your fingers share their heat inside.
- Ensure your shoes, boots, socks, gloves are not too tight because you need a good blood circulation that is essential to keeping your feet and hands warm.
- For extremely cold campsites and or trails, when your fingers feel like blocks of ice already, just swing your arms in wide circle as fast as you can to push enough blood into the fingertips, thus keeping it warm.
- Last but most important is you have to eat regularly and keep yourself hydrated.
Tips to Sleep Warm:
- Have a sleeping bag preferably rated few degrees colder than your expected temperature to encounter where you’re camping
- Empty your bladder before going to bed. Having a full bladder while sleeping can result a disturbance in between your sleep and your body will expend much energy keeping the extra liquid warm.
- For extra cold campsites, wear your hat to bed, better if you have that fleece hat.
- Wear your neck warmer if you have. Use your spare gears like jackets to add extra insulation if you do not have thick ground pads.
- Before you get into your sleeping bag, have a quick exercise to warm up.
- If you still feel cold, use warm water bottle. If you don’t have any, body heat is the best next thing to prevent potential dangers of hypothermia. Ask your tent mate kindly to keep closer to get some heat. When it comes to worse, tell your tent mates you really feel cold and maybe an additional insulation could fix it. If you’re both comfortable, a hug will do.
5. Select the proper tent site to make camping experience more comfortable
To have a great night’s sleep, selecting a tent site is crucial. You need to scope out the surroundings before pitching your tent. May you want to set up your tent in an area where you will catch the evening breeze to drive bugs away, or somewhere that you can catch directly the morning sun’s heat so you will be up early, these are some tips before pitching your tent.
Do not pitch tent on:
- The middle of the trail
- Near water basins that breeds bugs
- Fragile grounds
- Under the trees that might drop branches anytime
- Low areas that do not drain rainwater
Pitch tent on the following site:
- Smooth and leveled grounds. (You can try how flat it is by trying to lie down on the spot)
- Behind a good wind block
- Close to clean water source (if any)
- When camping near bodies of water, camp above the high tide mark or flood zone of a river
After pitching the tent, you can setup the additional comfort equipment/gears you had brought. Please live by the Leave No Trace Principle.
Have you been camping under different weather conditions? How was your experience? Leave your stories on the comments box below.