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5 ways to make it easier to fall asleep on your next camping trip

  • Jun 9, 2016

Although camping is an immensely rewarding experience, it might not be the most comfortable option for a weekend getaway. This is especially true when it comes to trying to fall asleep for the night. Even the most seasoned outdoor enthusiasts will likely concede that sleeping on the ground isn't about relaxation and luxury.

There are, however, many ways you can improve your chances of getting a good night's sleep during your next camping trip. By being proactive while you pack your gear and sleeping equipment, you can make snoozing in your tent a much more manageable.

1. Invest in the right equipment 
For people who do not frequently go camping, the only gear up in the attic may be an old sleeping bag and an extra pillow. As REI pointed out, without considering an equipment upgrade, you could be committing to a restless night long before you even hit the road. 

Most outdoor stores carry many items designed specifically for sleeping outdoors, from inflatable pads to cots and hammocks. Some folks may find that bringing a yoga mat or air mattress is also a serious improvement. Try to strike a balance between giving yourself a comfortable sleeping situation and an overnight bag that isn't too heavy or cumbersome.

2. Power down for the night
This bit of advice is applicable across the board, but has specific resonance in the context of a camping trip. The pale blue light of a smartphone or laptop can stimulate the brain and make it difficult to fall asleep. Some folks may prefer to watch a favorite TV show or movie before bed, but in reality this can wreak havoc on the body.

When out on a camping trip, it makes most sense to swap out the phone for a book. Your electronics will stay safe from any potential hazards related to being outdoors, and your body and mind will be able to power down much more calmly.

3. Keep your tent clean
According to Active, a dirty or wet tent can be frustrating and irritating, making it difficult to fall asleep. For that reason, cleaning out your tent before you put it away is important for ensuring your next camping trip is successful. Otherwise you can be left dealing with sand, dirt or dead insects from a previous excursion.

A dirty tent may be an annoyance, but a wet one can be a serious issue. In cooler conditions it may lead to hypothermia or other issues, but certainly trying to fall asleep with wet feet is next to impossible, even in the best circumstances.

4. Take care of yourself
Throughout the day, making sure your body is properly fueled is critical for ensuring a good night's sleep. Trying to get some shut eye when you're dehydrated or hungry can be very difficult and make you more prone to irritants or distractions. For that reason, take care of your body in the evening hours before laying down for the night. Washing up is also key. Camping can be sweaty, dirty work, and even just splashing some water on your face before bed will make you more comfortable. Use your Pro Trek PRW3500Y-4 with watch thermometer to keep an eye on the weather and wear the right clothes to bed.

5. Relax
Though some folks may not like to admit it, camping can indeed be a little unnerving, even if it is a very safe pursuit. The forest is full of strange and unfamiliar noises, and getting caught up in the unknown can lead to stress and restlessness. 

Go to bed with the right frame of mind and avoid negative or anxious thoughts. This may even include playing some relaxing music or using earplugs.