Sleeping In A Tent

Sleeping In A Tent: 9 Tips For A Restful Night

As typical city children, we look forward to every camping holiday in nature. The simple life is attractive, but unfamiliar for beginners. Sleep problems when camping are therefore inevitable.

With good preparation, the right equipment and our tips for a good night’s sleep in the tent, you will start every day full of energy.

Learn where the tent is set up in daylight

This tip applies to festival campers, campers and wild campers alike. Our experience has taught us that pitching a tent in the dark is stressful – even if we know every move.

Stress is bad: Stress just before going to sleep can significantly increase the time it takes for us to relax and fall asleep.

A lack of lighting on the one hand and a decreased ability to concentrate on the other increase the error rate when setting up a tent in the dark.

As a festival camper and campsite holidaymaker, it is worth arriving particularly early in order to secure the coveted parcels. In daylight, the assembly is also much more fun.

In addition, in daylight it is much easier for beginners to find friendly fellow campers who can help set up their tents if something doesn’t work out.

Also, pay attention to the weather forecast for the night and pack appropriate things for camping in the rain.

Find a suitable place for your tent

Preparation is crucial when setting up the tent. Those who take the first tip to heart have enough time to find a suitable place for the tent. So we can crawl into the sleeping bag calmly and relaxed.

The subsurface should be as level as possible. There should be no depressions, holes in the ground or noticeable slopes.

Make sure to remove sharp stones, branches and other objects from your intended location – otherwise damage to the tent floor could occur.

The quality of sleep can deteriorate enormously as a result of these factors. Those who sleep on the floor sometimes have painful experiences underground and have to struggle with pressure points or back problems the next day.

Also pay attention to the wind and the dangers of camping with thunderstorms and lightning. Choose a place that is as sheltered from the wind as possible and safe from lightning strikes. This is the only way to have a restful sleep in the tent when the weather conditions worsen.

A tunnel tent is particularly prone to cross winds. If you set up such a tent, make sure to put up the narrow side in the direction of the wind – this increases stability enormously and the tent does not collapse in the middle of the night.

If you pitch your tent in daylight, it is also much easier to unfasten the tent cords and storm lines. The tensioning of your own tent cords should be done in such a way that they do not end too close to the neighboring tent. Otherwise it can happen that the tent neighbor stumbles over your guy ropes and rudely wakes you up with a loud outcry.

campground forest
Campground in the forest

Illuminate your tent and the surrounding area

Camping in the middle of nature has become rarer in Europe due to legal requirements. If you set up your tent camp in the middle of nowhere, you will be amazed at the magnificent starry sky and how dark the night can get.

It is all the more important that we have the appropriate light sources in our luggage! A light, handy flashlight is the easiest way to go to the toilet. The smartphone’s flashlight, on the other hand, is not the best choice. Many tripping hazards are recognized too late or not at all.

We recommend a suitable camping lantern for the inside of the tent, which can be attached to hooks on the ceiling in modern tents.

When moving, but also when assembling and dismantling at night, you need both hands. Holding the lighting in one hand is not an option – otherwise the processes will be made unnecessarily difficult. Therefore, a rechargeable LED headlamp is the best choice.

camping light
A camping lantern is a good alternative to a flashlight

Routine makes it easier to fall asleep in the tent

Usual actions that we do at home shortly before going to sleep should be done on the camping trip if possible. This is how we create normality in an otherwise rather unusual situation.

This can help the body relax and fall asleep. The last process is brushing your teeth? Then we clean this (away from the tent) as the very last act before we get into the sleeping bag.

Children can use their favorite cuddly toy or another object that they use when they fall asleep at home.

Only wear dry clothes in the sleeping bag

Before we crumble in the sleeping bag, we should always replace wet clothes with dry ones. This also includes items of clothing that are sweaty.

Socks are particularly important for a good night’s sleep when camping. We should avoid cold feet.

A good outfit choice for the sleeping bag: long underwear and clean socks.

In this context, avoid too much clothing on your body while you are lying in the sleeping bag. In fact, that’s bad because it reduces the sleeping bag’s ability to store body heat!

This is how you stay warm while camping at night

It can get very cold in Europe on summer nights. The perception of cold is individual.

As a rule, it is sufficient to lie in the sleeping bag with (dry) long underwear and socks and close the zipper.

If you are one of those people who freeze particularly quickly or if you camp in autumn and winter, here are some additional tips against the cold when camping.

Tent heating in damp and cold conditions

It gets really uncomfortable with the combination of cold, humidity and wet clothing or even wet shoes.

We use dry air and warmth to dry wet clothes and boots even in high humidity. We get this with a practical helper: a good tent heater. These electric heaters are comparatively compact, do not weigh much and are easy to use.

A practical side effect: The unwanted condensation of water on our tent wall is also reduced!

Find the right sleeping bag

Be sure to choose a sleeping bag that is tailored to your travel destination.

Sleeping bags can always be zipped open if you feel too warm. It is therefore worth choosing a sleeping bag with a minimum temperature below the temperature you expect at the travel destination.

Accordingly, there is a division into summer, three-season and winter sleeping bags. So if possible you shouldn’t pack a winter sleeping bag when camping in summer.

Air mattresses or air beds keep the cold out of the floor

If you don’t sleep on a camp bed in your tent, you should have an air mattress or an air bed in your luggage. So you can keep warm even on icy ground.

If you are not on a backpacking holiday, every gram of luggage is usually not important when car camping. This makes inflatable mattresses with an electric pump, which is also known as an air bed, all the more comfortable.

Air beds are significantly higher and more comfortable than air mattresses or sleeping mats. If it is particularly uncomfortable in autumn and winter, we put sleeping mats as an additional layer under the air beds.

A pillow keeps your head warm

The head cools down particularly quickly. Therefore, a pillow you bring with you from home is ideal to keep your head warm at night.

In addition, it is much easier to fall asleep when your head is comfortably bedded. In the meantime there are also inflatable pillows in every shape and size. If you have to save space, you can choose one of these models.

Wear a hat

Because we absolutely want to keep our heads warm, we recommend that autumn and winter campers wear a hat in the tent.

This makes it easier for you to warm up and take off your headgear if you get too warm.

Sit-ups in a sleeping bag

You should of course avoid strenuous exercise right before you go to sleep due to the build-up of perspiration.

However, sit-ups in the sleeping bag help wonders: The light exercise heats you up and the sleeping bag at the same time.

Keep light meals warm before bed

A light snack or a smaller meal right before going to sleep will keep you warm internally. Your body is busy digesting, producing heat that helps you fall asleep in the cold.

Hot drinks instead of alcohol

Drinking hot tea right before going to sleep keeps you warm inside. Thermos flasks help with this: We can prepare the hot drink long in advance.

On the other hand, you should avoid any form of alcohol, as it expands the capillaries and even accelerates the loss of heat.

Hot water bottle or heated water bottle

A hot water bottle or a heated water bottle is a useful addition for camping in the cold. Take them with you in the sleeping bag for at least a few minutes.

It helps if the bottle is placed in the middle of the body. This area of the body produces most of the heat.

winter camping

Going to the toilet before going to sleep

In general, we recommend going to the toilet twice if possible before we make ourselves comfortable in the tent – first about 20-30 minutes beforehand, then again immediately before lying down.

This technique can help reduce or even avoid using the toilet at night to a minimum.

Do you remember tip 1? If you arrive in daylight and know the area well, you can make going to the toilet much easier. At campsites, it is good to have seen the sanitary facilities in daylight.

This factor becomes even more important at festivals – especially those where floodlights don’t show the way all night or information boards are set up at every corner.

A shower tent makes sense, especially for festival campers who camp far away from the toilets. This can be equipped with a portable toilet, closed opaque and thus save a lot of time.

If, on the other hand, you have a long hike to the toilet facilities in front of your chest, you will be wide awake again after your return – then falling asleep will be all the more difficult.

When preparing for night trips to the toilets, it is helpful to have a headlamp or flashlight ready. The shoes should also be ready for use on a mat, doormat or towel. In this way we prevent mud and dirt from getting into the tent after using the toilet.

Reduce noise

Most of us don’t camp away from the tent and campgrounds. As a wild camper, however, it happens that noises seem strange to us and have a positive or negative effect on falling asleep.

A gentle murmur from the nearby brook can have a calming effect, while noises from wild animals can usually make us nervous.

Earplugs or wax help immensely to relax. Interfering noises are significantly reduced.

These small, practical helpers should not be underestimated, especially at festivals and busy campsites. With us they are part of the standard equipment in the sleeping cabin.

A second tip to reduce noise for a better sleep: tents with magnetic doors. These doors have magnets installed along the inside of the door so that they close cleanly without a zipper. Instead of loud zipper doors, these interior doors with magnetic strips are significantly quieter.

cozy campfire
Camping is fun, even in colder days

Darkened inner tents make falling asleep much easier

Modern inner tents are equipped with darkened polyester tent fabric. The tent manufacturer Coleman won an award for its technology called “BlackOut Bedroom”.

This extra dark bedroom absorbs up to 99 percent of the daylight in tents with this designation. If you have problems falling asleep when it is bright, you should use a tent with darkened cabins. Floodlights on campsites, neighbors’ lighting or flashlights that shine into your own tent are just a few of the possible scenarios. All of this can significantly delay falling asleep in the tent.

If you are a late riser, you don’t want to be woken up early by the sun in the morning. This is a common problem with conventional tent fabrics.

You can find all the products you need for camping in our shop. Have a look at our online shop, there we have a lot of great articles on everything to do with camping and outdoors.

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