4 Tips for Sleeping Comfortably Outdoors
If you ever slept under the stars, you know that the incredible experience is one that you want to repeat over and over again. Listening to the sounds of nature, while away from civilization is one of the best things you can do for reconnecting with the universe.
Apart from the beauty of it, sleeping outside also means preparation, especially if you don’t want to wake up in the morning all frozen. Some things are essential, so keep reading to find out how to get a good night’s sleep next time you’re sleeping out in the open.
1. Planning is the key
You don’t just go ahead and sleep under the stars. Yes, you may do it at home in your backyard, but not when you’re in the middle of nowhere.
- When you sleep dry, you get better rest. It would help if you used the layering principle, using 2-3 sets of clothes. It depends on the weather and how warm/cold you typically get when you sleep.
- Don’t have too many drinks. Even a sip of wine can do you good, and you shouldn’t overdo it. Anything more than just one small bottle will impact the way your body is controlling the temperature at night.
- Some light exercises before you go to sleep are great, but nothing to make you sweat. You only need to get your blood running so that the metabolism is running high, handling the first of the night better.
- It’s not a good idea to fall asleep the second you put your head down. Even if you’re drained out from hiking, wait 10-15 minutes until you go to sleep. You want the rushing blood to settle so that you can decide if you need another layer of clothing or not.
- Have food and water before hitting the sack. At night, it’s only your metabolism that keeps you warm throughout the night. It would help if you had hydration and energy in the morning before hitting the road again. Have some slow-burning fats as they’re going to warm you all night long. Some nuts before closing the eyes are great.
- Use the toilet before you go to sleep. It’s not that it’s comfortable and easy to do, but it also lowers your mass a bit.
- Fluff up the sleeping bag or make sure that your mattress is all set. People like using sleeping bags, but foldable beds are great too when you go camping. Unlike the sleeping bags, the foldable mattresses are a lot more comfortable and capable of providing the spine alignment that no sleeping bag can. If you travel light, a sleeping bag is the better choice, of course. You’re going to find one that goes great for outdoor sleeping too.
2. Have the gear that keeps you warm
Don’t roll your eyes, as staying warm throughout the entire night may be trickier than it sounds:
- If you’re using a sleeping pad, make sure it’s keeping you warm. Most sleeping pads are beautiful when the temperature ranges from 30 to 50 degrees. If it’s anything lower, you should look for better alternatives.
- Insulation is fundamental when the night gets cold. You need to have the most insulated sleeping bag if the temperatures get low.
- When it’s freezing, a sleeping pad may not be enough. When you feel how cold the ground is, the pad is not enough for your comfort. A foldable mattress keeps you higher above the ground, not only provides support and comfort for your spine or back.
3. Get creative with your clothing
Improvising when camping is one of the golden rules for a pleasant experience:
- Clothes can provide you comfort and work as insulators as well. Make sure that it’s not damp before using it, as it’s only going to make you feel cold.
- Always make sure that your hands and feet are toasty warm. Have warm and cozy socks and mittens when sleeping outdoors.
- While you’re sleeping, the temperature lowers continuously. It will help if you put a scarf over your mouth so that you can save some energy.
- Even if everything is covered and cozy, it’s useless if your head isn’t protected as well. Put on a warm hat/hood before you go to sleep. You can still use the layering principle, going with a couple of hats/balaclava for the night.
- You can also use the clothing to turn it into a pillow. Not only that, you no longer need to carry a pad, but the garment will also be warm in the morning.
- When you want more insulation, stuff the clothing into the sleeping bag. A bag liner can work too.
- An over-bag is a reliable choice for sleeping outdoors, as it gives you more warmth — layer another one over it to win more insulation.
- Always make sure that you have a vapor barrier when the temperatures go below 10 degrees.
- Waterproof bottoms are a must as they’re also efficient and breathable.
4. It’s all in the details
Whenever you’re planning to spend the night outdoors, you shouldn’t skip the details. they can make the difference between a great and disagreeable experience:
- No matter how great your sleeping bag is, a proper shelter can make the whole difference. It would help if you had something to protect you against the wind and provide some insulation. And yes, snow can work as an insulator too.
- Pay attention when deciding your campsite. There should be no rocks or ice under you. Wet areas or hard ground are to be avoided as well. They are fast heat conductors, but you need something that lets you hold on to your heat. Snow, sand, grasses, and pine needles make an excellent choice for outside beds.
- It’s not the most pleasant thing to talk about, but a pee bottle is both functional and funny. You no longer have to go to the middle of the night. Moreover, you’re done with it in a blink of an eye.
- Place a bottle filled with boiling water between your legs as it’s going to warm the blood in big arteries.
- Now it’s a great time to cuddle, so sleep close to your partner. All stories about sharing body heat are correct, for sure.
- Pick the best sleeping bag or accommodation that fits your plans. Any free area is the space where your body will struggle to warm at night. Don’t waste any energy and fill any empty spaces with the clothing you have.
Before you go
Sleeping outdoors is a fantastic experience, but you never want to take any chances. We all know how Mother Nature can turn against us all of a sudden!