10 tips for a good night’s sleep – outside
Sleeping outside might be an experience of a lifetime, or you might toss and turn waiting impatiently for sunrise all night. You can’t always control the circumstances that impact your ability to sleep, but there are some steps you can take to move towards a comfortable night – outside.
Picture this: You pitch your tent by the foot of the mountain, looking over several more. There’s a stream running next to your tent – finding its way down to the mirror like lake below. It can be that idyllic but you could still end up with a sleepless night. We’ve put together a list of 10 steps to follow so you can actually enjoy your nights outside this summer.
Make sure the ground is even
This might be a no-brainer, but we know it can be tempting to pitch your tent towards the view, or you can be in a rush because of bad weather. Do yourself a favor and try lying on the ground while setting up camp. Are there any rocks to move? Is the ground even smoother a couple of meters to the left? Is the ground too wet? All of this can make a big difference for the night ahead.
Pee before you go to bed – and keep your bivy shoes close by
Worst feeling ever is realizing you have to pee, right after you tucked yourself into that warm, cozy sleeping bag. Make sure you empty out all bodily fluids before going to bed. The obvious reason is that it’s annoying to get up again, but also because your body will spend more energy warming up all the fluids in your body hence more energy to keep your body temperature comfortable. Another hot tip is to keep your bivy shoes close by so that it’s easy to slip on and off during the night or the next morning.
Ear plugs and eye mask
Even though all the city noise you might be used to is far away, you might be surprised by how loud nature can be. If the conditions are windy and wet it won’t go unnoticed, and you might enjoy ear plugs to keep the noise out. Are you camping in the north, you might also prefer something to cover your eyes with as the sun doesn't set.
Air out the sleeping bag before going to bed
Unpack your sleeping bag as soon as you’ve set up camp. This way the down will have time to adjust after being compressed during the day, and it will do its job of keeping you warm through the night.
Consider the direction of the sun when you choose your campsite
If you like to sleep in, make sure to check out where the sun rises in the morning. Do you have any coverage to the east or will the sun hit you right away? As soon as those rays hit your tent it will get real warm inside.
Your sleeping mattress matter because of two things
Temperature and comfort. You can have your expedition sleeping bag and still freeze through the night if you don’t have a sleeping mat. During the summer you might not need the warmest mat, but make sure it’s a comfortable one.
This also applies if you’re sleeping in a hammock. You may not need it for comfort, but when the down is compressed between your body weight and the hammock, it won’t be able to warm you properly, and it will be surprisingly cold.
Keep your head close to the tent opening
This way it’s easy to open up and let fresh air in the next morning. It might even give you an extra hour on the eye if your tent is protected from the sun as well.
Are you a pillow kind of person?
Some sleep just as well without, but if you like to sleep with a pillow you should check out some of the tiny inflatable pillows made for camping. They take up no space at all and will provide you some extra comfort throughout the night. Using your down jacket is also a good alternative.
Combine sleeping bags with your partner
Are you spending the night outside with your partner? Some of our sleeping bags have zippers on opposite sides so that you can combine the bags if you’d like to. It’s perfect for when the temperature drops more than expected and it’s cozy.
Keep your baselayer on through the night – and only that
Yes if it ‘s real cold put on a wool sweater, or an extra layer around your hips to stay warm, but make sure the clothes you are wearing are breathable. A pair of gore-tex pants inside your sleeping bag might just make you colder, because the warm air won't be able to circulate.
And the reason why you should wear a thin wool layer even when it’s warm, is to prevent the sleeping bag from getting damp from sweat.
It might also be smart to keep your mittens and socks at the bottom of your sleeping bag through the night to keep them warm and ready for the next day.
Bonus tip: If you’re sleeping in a hammock remember mosquito repellent!
Or a mosquito net. Without it you won’t stand a chance.