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Camping is a wonderful opportunity to spend some time away from technology and relaxing in the embrace of nature. But if you choose to sleep the old-fashioned way in a tent, you might find yourself experiencing some trouble sleeping away from the comforts of home. When you can’t sleep, a “relaxing getaway” can quickly go downhill. With that in mind, here are some tips for success:

Get comfortable

There are three main components of sleeping gear for camping: your sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and pillow. You need all three for a restful experience. Most importantly, find a flat area for your tent that is free of rocks and on soft grass.

If you are camping, you are likely to be able to pack everything you need in your car or truck, and so you’ll have more room for luxuries like therapeutic pillows and air mattresses to support your sleeping bag.

If you are backpacking, your comfort options become limited by how much you can carry. Closed-cell foam pads are generally the easiest to transport, as well as inflatable camp pillows if your compressible sleeping bag doesn’t include some kind of pillow pad.


Take care to bring the right kind of sleeping bag for the climate. If you are camping in a region that stays warm at night, keep the sleeping bag light and the insulation minimal. If you are camping in a region that cools down substantially and/or you get cold easily, you’ll need something with more impressive insulation.

Warm up your sleeping bag

Here’s an old trick for comfort: warm up your bedding! This can be accomplished by warming some water before going to bed. Then, let it cool so it’s not going to burn you, and then pour it into a hot water bottle. Seal it tight and then place it in your sleeping bag.

The wilderness can be noisy

Nature is full of sounds — rushing water, whooshing wind, rustling leaves and grass, bird calls, etc. Some people find these noises relaxing. Other people find them noisy and difficult to sleep through. If this is you, be sure to take along some earplugs. Or you can download a white noise machine app for your iPod or phone if you don’t plan to take a complete hiatus from technology. You can also take a sleep aid like melatonin or CBD oral spray if you need help getting drowsy.

Mosquitoes and pests, oh my!

Don’t let mosquitoes and other pests ruin your sleep. Look at your tent carefully and make sure that there are no holes in it, even small ones. If you are sleeping without a tent, make sure to at least cover your sleeping area in some mosquito netting.

Camping is a great way to get away from the chaos of daily life and reconnect with yourself and/or your loved ones. Use these tips to make sure your vacation doesn’t get ruined by a bad night’s sleep.

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