Getting a good night’s sleep while camping is extremely important. Otherwise, how can you be rested enough to enjoy your camping trip?
If you are a light sleeper like me, then you can lose a few nights of sleeping while camping. Why? You could be woken up by the sound of rain splattering on your tent, strong winds, birds chirping in the early morning, cars traveling on nearby roads, or noisy campers who do not respect quiet time during the night. As a light sleeper, here is what I have done over the years to help ensure that I get a good night’s sleep on my camping trips:
Campsite: Select a campsite that is on less heavily traveled campsite roads and away from the main highway that connects to the campground. Pay extra for a premium campsite that is larger or spaced farther apart from other campsites. Do not select a campsite that is located beside toilets, showers, and other busy areas. Finally, book a “radio-free” campsite (if available at your campground), as excessive noise is not permitted at these campsites.
Earplugs: Earplugs can eliminate about 80 percent of the noise that will keep you awake at night. When I have my earplugs on, I barely hear the rain, wind, birds, cars, or people.
Hook-ups: If you are camping with a tent, do not select a campsite in the section of the campground that has electrical hook-ups. The noise from neighbouring campers with air conditioners or heaters running all night may keep you up.
Noisy Neighbours: If asking noisy neighbours to keep the noise down does not work, check at the campground office to see what other options are available. Usually there is a local number to call for the park warden or police. This is the best solution for avoiding a confrontation with noisy neighbours. Over the years, I have seen the police make noisy campers leave their campsites on several occasions.
Sleeping in Cold Weather
Foam Pad: Always use a thick foam pad under your sleeping bag. Using an air mattress for cold weather camping is one of the biggest mistakes that campers make. An air mattress will provide virtually no insulation from the cold air beneath you. If you must use an air mattress for cold weather camping, place a foam mat on top of it to insulate you from the cold.
Sleeping Bag: Ensure that your sleeping bag is rated to handle the coldest nights on your camping trip. This means that it should be at least a three-season sleeping bag. If you have any old sleeping bags, use them as blankets to throw on top of your new sleeping bags on the colder nights. We have zipped together one side of two sleeping bags to create a giant quilt, which is large enough to cover four sleeping bags.
Hat and Socks: Since we lose most of our body heat through our head and feet, try wearing a wool hat and socks to bed.
Don’t Wear too many Layers: You should only have one layer on your body: pajamas, a wool hat, and socks. If you wear more layers, then you will sweat and impede your body’s ability to heat up the sleeping bag.