Sleeping in a tent is what makes the overall camping experience, but we also know in order to get a good night’s sleep, we need to be comfortable.
And if you’re not prepared with the right gear, it could be a long night.
So, how can you make tent camping more comfortable?
How to make summer tent camping comfortable
Bring an air mattress to sleep on
The most uncomfortable part about tent camping is going to bed in a sleeping bag that’s on the floor. Sure, you can buy a sleeping pad to make things a tad more comfortable, but it’s not going to be as nice as investing in an air mattress.
As long as you have some kind of power source to inflate the air mattress (a hand pump can get the job done, too), you can expect a pleasant night’s sleep.
Of course, make sure the size of the air mattress can fit into the tent you own. A queen-sized air mattress, for example, won’t fit into a tent designed for one camper.
Use binder clips to hold flaps open
One of the most annoying parts about tent camping is getting in and out of your tent because you have to unzip the door flap and then rub against it on your way out. While this seems minor, throughout the course of the day, it can become a nuisance.
Luckily, there’s a cheap, DIY fix to this door flap issue: binder clips!
Bring a few binder clips with you to keep the doors open while you’re moving stuff in and out of the tent.
Even better, in the summer, this can be a great way to get some much-needed airflow into your tent and prevent it from becoming too stuffy inside.
Use a reflective blanket to keep the sun out
Your main concern about tent camping in the summer is the heat especially in places such as Death Valley or Grand Canyon National Park. Too much heat and humidity can make sleeping in a tent atrocious.
So, how can you help cut down on that heat? Buy a reflective blanket.
These are the blankets that marathoners receive at the end of a race to help prevent overheating and dehydration and they only cost a few dollars. Purchase a couple of them if you have a larger tent, and then duct tapes them to the roof of the tent.
As the sun beats down on your tent, the reflective blanket can reduce the inside temperature of your tent by as much as 20ºF.
Bring a camping fan to cool things down
A camping fan is a must-have tool for any camper venturing out in the summertime. There is a slew of options out there, though, so luckily we’ve picked some of your top camping fan choices.
Camping fans are quite versatile. You can use them at your campsite’s picnic table or around the campfire, but their best purpose is inside of your tent, especially when they also double as a light source.
Most camping fans do a good job at cooling off a tent that’s sized for two campers. For four, or six-person tents (and larger), you’re going to want to purchase multiple fans to ensure air properly circulates throughout the entire tent.
Also, it’s quite comfortable to have your own fan blowing cool air on your face while you sleep on hot nights. Make sure you have an adequate power source as the batteries on most camping fans don’t tend to last longer than eight hours.
Read More : 12 Things to Bring to A Summer Camp
Install LED lights for ambiance
When it comes to tent camping in the summer, comfort isn’t just about keeping cool and having a soft spot to sleep. You also need some nice ambiance to make the whole experience extra enjoyable.
That’s why we recommend installing LED lights in your tent (and around the campsite, of course).
A good set of LED string lights or even a couple of lanterns not only make the tent look and feel nicer, but it’s also practical. When you head into your tent for the night, you need to get ready, which can be difficult in the dark. Holding a flashlight is also tricky when you’re trying to change clothes and wind down for the evening.
A good set of LED string lights is exactly what you need to make your tent the ultimate oasis
How to make winter tent camping comfortable
Buy an insulated foam sleeping pad
Tent camping in the winter is a different animal especially in places such as Glacier National Park. Everything, including the ground, is colder, which means an air mattress isn’t going to cut it. You need to first invest in purchasing an insulated, closed-cell foam sleeping pad.
Most air mattresses are only insulated to about 30ºF, which may work in early or late winter, but in the heart of winter, it’s easily going to drop below that mark.
An insulated sleeping pad rated from an R-4 to an R-6 should get the job done for winter, with the highest R-rating being the most insulated for the coldest of nights.
In addition to an insulated sleeping pad for the ground, some campers take it to the next level by also putting a similar pad on top of their mattress for extra warmth.
Fill up the tent with people
An easy way to stay warm during a winter camping session is to simply sleep in the same tent with everyone in your camping group. You probably want to look for a larger 6-person or even a 8-person tent to house everyone.
The normal human body temperature ranges between 97 and 99ºF. So, if you multiply that by four or six people, there’s going to be an abundance of natural warmth that will certainly keep you warm throughout the night.
Obviously, it’s not perfect. Some campers snore. Some likely will pass gas. But at least you’ll be warm!
Wear wool or synthetic fabrics to bed
Wool and other synthetic fabrics do a great job of wicking away moisture and keeping you warm. Avoid wearing cotton at all costs while tent camping in the winter, especially if you’re following other tips in this article.
If you go to bed wearing cotton socks and a sweatshirt, for example, when you crawl into your sleeping bed, you could potentially start sweating. When this happens, your cotton apparel becomes damp, which will eventually make you cold. Once you’re dealing with moisture in the cold, it’s game over. You need to get dry if you intend to stay warm in your tent.
Although it’s more expensive and can cause you to itch, you don’t have to worry about moisture when it comes to wool.
Hydrate and eat, even in the middle of the night
When it’s cold, your body works harder to stay warm which, in return, burns more calories.
If you want to stay warm, you need to eat consistently, including around midnight and when you wake up randomly in the middle of the night. Focus on eating sugars, carbohydrates, and lots of fats.
Walnuts and almonds are great snacks when tent camping in the winter, in addition to cheeses and even chocolate.
Read More : How Much Water Should You Bring to Camping?
Keep things dry inside the tent
To keep things extra warm in your tent, you need to be extra diligent about keeping everything inside dry. Any moisture can freeze, which will only make things colder inside.
Make sure you have a system in place to remove shoes before going into your tent as any snow you drag in will ultimately stick around in the tent and get other things wet.
And if you’re bringing water bottles inside your tent, make sure caps are screwed on tightly.
Andrew Dodson is an avid camper who enjoys the great outdoors with his wife and two-year-old son. He resides in Colorado, where you can often find him enjoying hikes with a toddler strapped to his back and mini goldendoodle Percy nearby.