Sleeping in a tent in the wild shouldn’t mean having a crap night. With the right gear and a few tips from the experts, you’ll sleep like a baby and wake feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Here are Chief Adventure chick Di Westaway’s tips for sleeping in the wild.
I love my extreme sleeping bag so much that I refuse to share it with my kids. Not because I’m a bad sharer but because it’s essential for my survival and pivotal to me having my beauty sleep in the mountains. I also have a “sharable family” sleeping bag rated to minus 10 and a lovely silky sleeping bag with a liner for hot nights in the desert. The secret to choosing the right sleeping bag is to carefully consider where you’ll use it.
If you want to sleep like a baby, get yourself a comfy mat. I use an ultralight, ultra-comfortable, easy-to-inflate Nemo but there are lots to choose from so make sure you try before you buy.
Hard Core campers make themselves a pillow using their favourite pillowcase stuffed with a down jacket fleece and a blow-up pillow. There’s a variety of shapes and sizes on the market so take the time to choose one that suits the way you sleep.
At some point in time, almost everybody sleeping in the wild will snore. So get yourself a pack of earplugs and share them around. The Wild Women’s favourite is the silicon ones because they shape to your ear.
Great if you’re not an early bird or you’re camping in a sunny or summer location because once the sun hits your tent you’ll be awake.
Preparing for Bed
- Make sure you set up your tent on a flat smooth surface, facing away from the sun with your head at the highest point.
- Drink lots during the day so you can limit your fluids after dinner.
- Have thongs or sandals waiting at the door in case you need to go to the loo in the middle of the night and have a plan of where you’ll pee.
- Pee immediately before your crawl into your sleeping bag so you don’t need to get up too often.
- Lay out everything you’ll need – such as your kindle and a drink – by your bed before it gets dark.
- Stay warm in the lead-up to going to bed and/or fill a Nalgene bottle with near-boiling water to use as a hot water bottle if you’re cold.
- If you’ve got a down sleeping bag, avoid over-dressing in bed. It’s better to add your down jacket or clothes to the outside of your sleeping bag if it’s chilly.