Five top tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors
There’s nothing like getting off the grid and sleeping under the stars on a camping trip. Here are some expert tips and tricks for getting a great night's sleep in the great outdoors, thanks to Decathlon.
A successful camping trip is all about preparation, especially when it comes to getting a great night’s sleep. If you’re an avid hiker for example, you’ll know how important a good night of rest is after a day of serious trekking. However, the same principle applies to everyone. Whether you’re bushwalking, abseiling, swimming, water skiing or just absorbing the beauty of the Australian bush, your body will need some decent downtime at the end of the day.
Here are five top tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.
1. Pick and pack the right gear
Those of a certain vintage will remember camping trips in the 1970s and 80s with a simple two-man tent and a rolled-up pair of jeans for a pillow. Like most things in life, the kit has become more sophisticated, and one of the most important tips when it comes to sleeping outdoors is to ensure that you’ve got the right gear.
When it comes to choosing the perfect tent, you’ll want to go for an option that’s crafted specifically for the environment and the weather you’re expecting to face. Choosing the right tent also means getting one that’s big enough — not just your body, but also for your gear, including your sleeping bags, camp beds, air mattresses and any other belongings you have with you. Tents now come in a range of different fabrics that are suited to lots of different conditions. Ask your local camping store for more information and advice on the best option.
2. Rug up in layers
Every happy, well-rested camper knows how quickly temperatures start to dip once the sun sets. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that you’re rugged up in breathable layers. You can then add or subtract layers depending on the conditions. Some essentials you’ll definitely need are thick socks, long underwear, a skivvy or tracksuit, a beanie and even a scarf to keep your face and neck warm.
However, don’t put on so many layers that you compress the insulation in your sleeping bag. Find a good balance between the layers you’re wearing and letting the insulation in your sleeping bag do its thing. Wearing too many layers can reduce the bag’s ‘loft’ and thus its ability to trap heat. Remember to pack enough fresh underwear and basics that you wear close to your body to last you the entire duration of your trip.
3. Keep your toes warm with some extra insulation
This tip is helpful for anyone whose sleeping bag is considerably bigger than they are! So, it might apply to kids or shorter individuals. Stuff some of your clothing into the bottom of your sleeping bag before you hit the hay. If your sleeping bag is too long and has a lot of empty space at the bottom, you’ll end up with cold feet which will impact on the quality of your sleep. Placing dry clothing at the bottom of your bag is an easy way to add extra insulation and keep your feet warm!
4. Tuck into a satisfying meal before bed
Keeping warm overnight in the great outdoors is also about creating heat from the inside and then trapping it. One of the best ways you can do that is by tucking into a satisfying meal before bedtime. Our bodies create heat as we break down food, and a rich meal before bed will raise your core temperature as the slow and gradual metabolisation of fat and other nutrients takes place.
Some hardcore campers and hikers even resort to drinking olive oil before they turn in for the night. We’re in no way suggesting that you do that, but enjoying a satisfying meal with a healthy amount of fat in it is a great way to keep yourself warm through much of the night.
5. Bring a hot water bottle
Last but not least, don’t forget your hot water bottle before turning in. Similar to trapping your own body heat after a rich meal, adding a couple of hot water bottles into your sleeping bag is a fantastic way to bring in more warmth. You can either purchase a hot water bottle specially designed for camping, or simply fill your re-useable water bottle with warm water. Obviously make sure that your bottles are sealed to prevent any disastrous leaks. Heat will radiate from the bottle and keep you warm and snug throughout the night.
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for any hiker or camper, and by following these tips, you’re sure to sleep well whatever the conditions.
Do you have any suggestions to add to our list of tips for getting a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors? We would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment below.