A lot of people sleep awful in the outdoors because they didn't prep for it correctly. Put some thought into your sleep routine, and you'll be better off in the long run. Prepper's Will recently came up with 8 Tips To Get A Good Night’s Sleep In The Outdoors.
A good night’s rest is all about staying warm and dry. Below we take a look at some tried and tested advice on how you can achieve this. Some of these tips will help you sleep better and some might just save your bacon…
Get your bag sorted
Choosing what goes in your bag carefully is essential. This is camping 101 stuff, so we aren’t going to dwell on it too much – just make sure you’ve packed sufficient layers of insulating clothes like wool and synthetics that if one gets wet, you have a fallback.
And heed this next one carefully – always bring extra socks and a decent thermal hat. Those extremities can get awfully cold once the sun goes down.
Speaking of bags – choosing the appropriate sleeping bag is going to play a massive role in how well you sleep.
If your bag is overly warm for the conditions, you may start to sweat, which will lead to you losing heat as the night goes on. On the flipside, if your bag isn’t warm enough to start with then you will struggle to maintain a healthy body temperature.
What’s the answer then? If in doubt go with the warmer option. If you start to overheat, you can always shed some layers, that’s what they are there for.
Down sleeping bags are more expensive than synthetic bags yes. They do however keep you warmer than the alternatives. Plus they are more comfortable. It’s like sleeping in a pile of ducklings…in a good way!
The big downside of down (forgive the pun) is if you get those feathers wet you could be in serious trouble as they will be next to useless until they dry out again. So, if you do go down (sorry) this road, please ensure you have tried and tested stuff sack system in place to keep it all dry.
Use your bag wisely
A sleeping bag is a just an insulated sack, you just climb in and zip it up right? Well, yes and no. When it gets really cold out there, there are a couple of extra things to take into account.
For one, if it’s really cold out make damn sure you use the drawstring to pull the hood tight around your face. This will prevent heat being lost from that head of yours and around your neck. By all means, still stick your hat on but make use of that hood, that’s what it’s there for.
Don’t, however, pull the bag over your mouth. It may seem like a good idea to breathe into the body of the bag. Is your breath warm after all? Right and wrong, breath is warm when it leaves your mouth but it’s also full of moisture and all that moist air is just going to evaporate and lower the temperature inside. Always ensure your nose and mouth are poking out.
I know they take up a bit of extra space in your pack, and for what they seem so thin that you can still feel each and every tiny stone beneath you – don’t, however, underestimate the roll sleeping pads play.
The ground at night is one big heat sponge and over the course of a few hours, it’s going to sap every last tiny bit of heat from your prone body. The half inch of insulation provided by even the most lightweight sleeping pads can be a lifesaver. In some cases quite literally.
If you have a little bit more carrying capacity, then I fully recommend a more substantial sleeping mat. For a helpful guide on what’s on offer have a look here.