Camp Sleeping Methods You Should Know

Avery Dufilho

Camping is an activity that is completely controlled by the weather, so it’s no surprise that your sleeping arrangements are also at the mercy of the weather. So, before you head out on your adventures make sure you are checking the weather so you can pack accordingly. Most seasoned campers have two types of sleeping setups; one for the summer and one for the winter.


Summer is the easier of the two to be prepared for. You’re not going to need a heavy-duty zero-degree sleeping bag on those cool summer nights. For some people, a sleeping bag may not even be on that list. Personally, during the summertime, I will bring a light 40-degree sleeping bag that I can lay on the floor of my tent. I will also bring two blankets, a light and a heavy one in case it gets a little too cool. My go-to blanket whenever I’m camping is the Rumpl original puffy throw blanket. This thing is awesome and it is super warm but doesn’t constrict you like a traditional sleeping bag, so on warmer nights you can move around and be more comfortable.


Winter is when camping gets a little trickier, so make sure when you’re getting ready you know how cold it is going to be because nothing is more terrible than being in the bitter cold with a sleeping bag that can’t handle the cold. Your best bet is getting a 15° bag to start. Then if you need an upgrade invest in a liner, these liners can make your bag warmer and even double as a lighter bag that you can use during the Summer. Many liners run from $50 to $85, so you don’t need to invest in another bag.

A sleeping pad is another critical piece of anyone’s sleep set-up. Some things to look for are affordability, and what sleeping needs are. There are three types of sleeping pads; air pads, self-inflating air pads, and foam pads. Each of these has their own pros and cons. Personally, I think air pads are the best, while the most expensive because they can pack down small, it’s the closest thing you can get to sleeping on an air mattress without the weight and bulkiness. While foam pads will be more durable than air pads, they are less comfortable and tend to be bulky. While you can get pads for about $50 most sleeping pads run for well over $100. The best night’s sleep I’ve ever had while camping was on the INTEX Fabric Camping Mat that I got for $7 at Academy. The only drawback was the hour and a half it took to inflate the pad.


Another way to camp is by simply sleeping in your car. I've done this in the back of a 2008 Subaru Forester during a cold night and it didn’t turn out so bad. The upside of car camping is that you already have a shelter in place that its windproof and sort of insulated so there is no need to bring a tent. When setting up just move your gear to the front seats and fold down the back seat. If the back of the car is big enough you can also fit a thicker air mattress or air pad because weight won't be a problem, but make sure you have one because if not the back of the car will not be comfortable. This also makes packing up a breeze because now all your gear is already in the car ready to go, making it easy to jump in the front seat and move on to your next destination.