How to Sleep Well Outdoors Infographic

Imagine if you will, that the late summer sun has just set, and out your tent door fade the last hues of alpenglow–from pink, to purple, to blue–as Venus and a crescent moon rise to announce the end of another amazing day outside. As you snuggle into your bag, exhaling deeply in the pure Zen of the moment, you feel something. Is it under your hip? No, you moved that. Maybe you just need to flip to your other side? No, that’s not it either.  You continue the dance, figuring it’s “just you”. Then, after an hour of flip-flopping and flop-flipping, a light breeze buffets your tent on its exposed perch. But that’s O.K. you say – the white noise will help you sleep. But it’s not white. It’s a polka-dotted cacophony of random flapping that’s tugging on your synapses and as the breeze turns into a wind, the first sounds of distant thunder make you rethink your decision to camp on that exposed knoll  while the sensation of a nearly-full bladder begins to rush into your consciousness and you realize you’re sleeping downhill and…

You’ve been there, right? If you haven’t, there’s a good chance you will be at some point, either as a novice camper, or by employing that “death by a thousand compromises”-style of thinking that gets us all in trouble from time to time. How bad could it be, right?

That’s why we created this handy infographic, covering some fundamentals of getting a great night’s rest outdoors. Think of it as a little pre-season PSA. After introducing the idea of a comfortable night’s rest with the self-inflating camp mattress over 43 years ago, it’s the least we could do. And of course, we couldn’t do it all in one infographic, so chime in and let us all benefit from your personal favorite tips. We’ll all sleep better for it.


Thermarest sleeping well outdoors

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19 comments on “How to Sleep Well Outdoors Infographic

  1. Hi –

    I am a happy sleeper (LuxuryMap!!) and we would like to share your infographic in our next newsletter to all our guests (ARTA River Trips).

    May we have your permission to do so?

    Thanks –

    Steve Welch
    General Manager
    ARTA River Trips
    Loyal ThermaRest Customer

  2. I always carry my ultra-light pillow case. It lives in my sleeping bag and when I get into bed for the night I take off my puffy, stuff it into my pillow case and that’s it. When I wake up or need to go outside my puffy is always close by. If I’m going to bed warm and worried that I might get cold I stuff a beanie and maybe a lightweight layer in there as well. This way in the middle of the night if need an extra layer I have it handy and don’t have to search for it.

  3. After a certain age, we all need to pee in the middle of the night. I have liked camping lots more since I started carrying a short Rubbermaid juice pitcher with its reliable lid to use as a chamber pot during the night. Gross? It sure beats getting up, putting on shoes and going out in the cold or the rain. In fact, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t still be kayak camping if I hadn’t thought of it.

    1. That is a great idea. Thank you! I haven’t camped for years and just did a camping trip in Colorado. Nature called every single night. Now I look forward to another trip soon.

  4. Two suggestions:
    Firstly keep a pair of socks on during the night with warm feet your sleep more soundly
    I always shows the clothes I’m going to wear the next day to the bottom of my bag this way when I get up in the morning the clothes are already warm

  5. Loved this blog post! Sleeping is my enemy so anything that helps is appreciated! I actually have a thermarest I’ve been using for 15 years now and I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  6. On the idea of laying out the sleeping bag and letting it fluff up, put your sleep clothes, including dry socks, and your pillow inside your sleeping bag before dinner. This keeps any chill, or dew and moisture from dampening it and it feels so much nicer next to your skin when it comes time for bed.

  7. Years, I mean years, of sleeping on a ThermaRest….Great advice folks! Two words: Bag Liner. Silk, wool or Flannel – really makes a difference. Light weight folks – sorry! Clothes in my bag – nope – too cramped. I lay them underneath between the pad and bag. Yes, pillow! Bag liners help save sleeping bag failure and degradation from years of abuse. I spend about 130 nights a year in a bag – yes I’m a guide, and my various levels of bag are important to me. Thanks ThermaRest – for a consistent good nights sleep!!

  8. As a former Royal Marine and now a keen civilian camper, Thermarests have played a key part in my ‘outdoor’ life both during military exercises and operations (swapped the issue sh*t for a Thermarest immediately after basic training) and now in my civilian life. I have 2 Neo Airs – 1 which I use for regular camping trips and another as a conveniently small travel bed (easily fits in my hand luggage) to get some essential sleep during my 9 hour surfer transits out to my ship on which I work offshore Nigeria. Thank you for a great series of products that have made my life much more comfortable.

    One question – I note your recommendation to avoid sleeping naked (something I tend to do regularly nowadays). Could you explain the impact of doing so? Is it damaging to a down-filled bag or something that only becomes an issue after extensive use?

  9. Oh, and in addition my tips;

    1) A head torch should always be with you – most decent sleeping bags have a pouch ideal for this and your body heat reduces the batteries depleting from the cold.

    2) A decent down jacket stuffed inside a pillow case (My RAB jacket stuffs into it’s own pocket) makes a comfortable pillow and is warmed by your body heat so is nice and toasty when you get out of your bag and saves needing a pillow.

    3) Make sure the stuff sacks you keep your sleeping bag and down jacket in are waterproof. If not look for a waterproof replacement. It doesn’t even have to be designed for it, as long as it fits. You should be prepared for everything to get soaked but maintaining these two items stay dry.

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