How to Sleep Well While Camping

September 1, 2011

Small things can make a big difference for quality shuteye, especially on a cold night. Here are some tips:

  • When camping on sloped ground, pitch your tent head end up to avoid slipping sideways.
  • Make a pillow by filling your stuff sack with extra clothes. Wrap it in fleece for softness and warmth.
  • Use straps to secure your pad underneath you. Many sleeping bags feature small sewn-in loops on the sides for just that purpose.
  • Eat a high-calorie snack right before bed to keep your heat engine going all night.
  • Add outside heat sources for extra warmth. Place a bottle of hot water or chemical heat warmer in your bag an hour before bedtime.
  • Wear a liner balaclava or hat that stays put on your head, even when you shift around.
This column originally appeared in the print edition of AMC Outdoors along with the column “Nice Pad: Sleep warm, sleep comfy.”
(Photograph by Ryan Smith.)

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Matt Heid

Equipped blogger Matt Heid is AMC's gear guru: He loves gear and he loves using it in the field. While researching several guidebooks, including AMC's Best Backpacking in New England, he has hiked thousands of miles across New England, California, and Alaska, among other wilderness destinations. He also cycles, climbs, and surfs.

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