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