Does sleeping outdoors put you off from having a camping vacation? Would you like to unwind for a few days in nature, but aren’t sure if you can handle spending the night on the ground without the comfort of your bed?
As a matter of fact, sleeping in the open can reset your circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle), make you feel rejuvenated, boost your immune system, relieve stress, and enhance your mood and mental health. You just need the camping mindset and the right gear, and you will sleep like a log, next to a real log.
Tents and Swags
A solid tent is essential for any outdoor excursion. It provides shelter in varying weather conditions, keeps you dry and warm, and protects you from animals and insects.
Of course, the type of tent you need depends a great deal on the type of camping you are planning, whether it is family camping, backpacking or hiking. In any case, you should look for one that is easy to set up and has enough space for your gear, made of heavy-duty material that will last long. The tent will give you a confined space, a feeling of ‘indoor safety’, and make it easier to fall asleep.
Swags, which are the ultimate camping equipment for Australian adventurers, offers plenty of conveniences. They are portable and lightweight, therefore suitable if you are hiking and carrying all your gear. Designed to pack easily into a ‘swag bag’, no bigger than your gym bag, they give you the comfort of a tent at a smaller scale. Whether you choose a tent or a swag is again up to your preferences, but whichever way you go, you also need a sleeping bag.
Assuming you have already checked the temperature ranges, you are ready to pick a sleeping bag. Remember, this is a vital piece of equipment, so you should make a smart decision.
In general, you need to know how warm of a bag you need and what material is ideal. Down sleeping bags provide the best insulation and are equally suitable for cold, damp or drafty weather, which makes them popular among experienced campers.
Look for numbers on the fill. The higher the fill power – the warmer you will be. The tiny goose or duck feathers make the down-filled sleeping bag a good insulator while keeping it lightweight and highly compressible at the same time. Extremely important features to consider since you want to haul it in a backpack. The compact size and the capability of being stuffed and re-stuffed without destroying the fluffy fill make it worth the investment. This also means that the down sleeping bag is really soft and comfortable, so you won’t have any trouble dozing off on the hard ground.
Another thing to consider is the size of the sleeping bag. Temperatures can drop at night, and you don’t want your shoulders sticking out in the cold if the bag is too short, or not being able to zip it up if it’s too tight.
Make sure it fits, or just try it out for a night sleeping in your backyard. It’s the best way to figure out if you need to make some adjustments. By testing it, you start understanding more about the gear and your needs.
Keep in mind your destination. If you have to cover a significant distance walking, the down-backpacking sleeping bag is the best option. Some models are designed with a hood and a tapered shape that minimises materials and maximises thermal efficiency, and that is what you need when you go further than the trailhead.
Sleeping Mats and Pillows
To make nights even cosier after a day full of activities, it is a good idea to take a sleeping mat and pillow. The mattresses can be simple rolling ones, foam or self-inflating. Again, which one is the winner for you depends on the space you have and the requirements you want to meet.
Finally, add a comfy pillow to the combination, and you will get your sleeping nest. It might not be essential for a hardcore camper, but if you need a good sleep to tackle the daily challenges of hiking, you will be happy you packed one. They too come in different varieties, self-inflating or foam filled, or if a bit of extra weight won’t make a huge difference, just grab one from your bed.
Security and Ambiance
Well, you covered the gear, now you need to find the right spot to pitch the tent. If possible, find a safe and flat spot where you will be protected. Keep your essential gear like a flashlight close to you, in case you need it during the night. Your shoes should be near as well, in case you need to get up and maybe use the bathroom. If you think that noises from the wilderness will bother you, then take earplugs.
For those who don’t like the early morning sun rays waking them up, bring along an eye mask. Keep annoying bugs at bay with a bug spray or a mosquito-repellent lantern. There is nothing worse than a buzzing noise when you are trying to sleep.
Final Word for Good Night
Now that you have peace of mind, you can wind down and drift off to the land of dreams. Getting a night of quality sleep outdoors will make you feel energised, relaxed and ready for another day full of possibilities to connect with nature. Not only will you get away from the tech-bombed everyday life, but you will do something for your well-being, even if it is only breathing fresh air. Sleeping under the stars will work wonders for your physical and mental health.