Camping sleep systems: making camping a wilderness luxury. If you're going camping, chances are you want to get away from civilization for a while, but that doesn't mean you can't have a good night's sleep.
Choosing the camping sleep system for you can make your camping trip worthwhile, and a comfortable night of sleep will make your next day's hikes and adventures much more enjoyable.
Trust us, sleep comfortability is just something you don't want to sacrifice. Camping sleep systems include everything you need for a comfortable night in the outdoors. This includes a sleeping pad, sleeping bag, tent, and more. We’re giving you the lowdown on choosing the right camping sleep system without compromising on comfort so you can escape civilization in style.
You weren't planning to sleep on the ground, were you? No matter your camping style, you should definitely invest in some cushion for sleeping. Sleeping pads and air mattresses are the most common sleep platforms for camping and typically range anywhere from one inch to several inches in thickness.
What to Consider When Buying a Sleeping Platforms:
- Space. How much space does the sleeping platform take up in your pack? Do you have room? If you’re also bringing a tent, will it fit inside?
- Cushion/Thickness. How much cushion or thickness are you looking for? Will it be enough? Don’t forget, more cushion means a thicker the pad, which also means it will add weight and take up more space in or on your pack.
- Air. Do you need to pump it up? If so, does it come with a pump? Be practical. Do you want the hassle? Is it worth the comfort?
If you can’t stand sleeping on the ground, try a hammock. According to studies, sleeping in a hammock makes you fall asleep faster than you would if you were sleeping in a bed. There are numerous health benefits to deeper sleep, including improved mood, mental performance, and even memory.
Don't knock it till you try it! Many people think sleeping in hammocks can cause unwanted back pain or discomfort. However, if you sleep on the ground, or on certain mattresses, more pressure is put on certain parts of your body from the hard ground underneath you, which often causes discomfort. Hammocks eliminate this discomfort because you’re in the air with no points of pressure to worry about.
Sleeping bags should be one of the first things to consider for your camping trip. They come in regular and long lengths, as well as two basic shapes: mummy and rectangular (and various hybrids).
Rectangular sleeping bags allow for spacious sleep and are perfect if you tend to move around more. Mummy’s, no matter the body type or sleep style, don’t allow for much room at all. They do offer women-specific mummy’s which are often shorter, a bit wider at the hips, and narrower at the shoulders with extra insulation in the upper body and/or foot box for a more comfortable sleep.
There are two basic types of insulation that are commonly used for sleeping bags: down (usually water-resistant) and synthetic. Down is lightweight, easy to compress, and excels in cold, dry conditions, while synthetic is quick-drying, non-allergenic, and insulates when wet.
What to Consider When Buying a Sleeping Bag:
- Features. Does it have a hood? Can you connect it to your sleeping pad so you don’t roll off? Does it have stash pockets? Where are the zippers located? Make sure you consider all your needs because sleeping bags have some bonus features too.
- Warmth. What type of insulation does it have? Will it keep you warm in the various conditions you might face? How thick is it? Does it compress? Sleeping bags also offer temperature ratings to help you choose a bag based on seasonal use.
- Here is a general guideline for temperature ratings:
- Summer: +32° and higher
- 3-Season: +10° to +32°
- Winter: +10° and lower
- Shape. Does the shape allow you enough room to sleep comfortably? Does it fit you? Is it the right size? (Ill-fitting sleeping bags tend to become irritable and less comfortable)
- Weight. How much does it weigh? If you’re backpacking to your final destination you’ll want to keep the weight of your gear on the lower end. Is the roominess worth a few more ounces in your pack? Will you be able to carry it in your pack comfortably?
Don't forget to consider shelter! Do you plan on sleeping under the stars, in the trees, or in a tent? Tents provide great shelter in the outdoors. They can save you from bugs, rain, and unexpected guests.
Camping is no place for a pillow from your bed at home! Normal pillows, like your other gear, will get dirty, so it's best to invest in one specifically designed for the outdoors.
The more you use your tent, the more likely it is to wear due to ground friction. Tent footprints are large pieces of cloth that you put on the ground under camping tents to prevent this type of wear and tear. Due to sizing, a lot of tents come with their own tent footprints to compliment them, however, as long as your tent footprint covers the entire base of your tent, you’re golden.
Remember, just because you’re camping doesn’t mean you can’t sleep comfortably. Take the time to research which camping sleep system works best for you, and then invest in a good one! Trust us, you won’t regret it.