Camping is a wonderful experience, and even though it’s never going to be a luxury adventure, there are things you can do to not fall behind on comfort. You only need to know what to pack and how you can use what you already have to make tent camping comfortable.
So, without any further ado, let’s start with the most important thing: your tent.
1. Search for a comfortable tent
Many times, your tent is to blame for that lack of satisfaction. It’s either too small or too hard to set up. You need to reflect on this before you hit the road, and if you think you need an upgrade, here’s what you need to do:
Find the right size
Four people can sleep in a four-person tent, but that doesn’t mean they’ll rest comfortably. Experts say that we need at least 20 square feet of space to accommodate ourselves, but this number doesn’t take into consideration the gear you bring in. I would say 30 feet should be more than enough to feel comfortable.
Have a look around for tents with screen rooms, as they can be handy if you have pets or you just want a “living room”.
As an example, a 6-person tent, which is around 90-100 square feet, should be used by a family of four. That will leave each person with approximately 25 square feet of space.
Pick the right tent for the right season
I’m sure that feeling cold is the last thing you’ll want while camping. So it’s important to bring the right tent for the appropriate season. Winter tents can work great during summers, but this doesn’t work the other way around.
Go for a quick set-up option
It can be very frustrating to pitch up a complicated tent, especially if you are a beginner. You plan to relax in this adventure, not to spend half a day figuring out how the shelter works. There’s nothing comfortable in doing this.
Instant tents will work great for you if you think you’ll struggle with this.
2. Start with the perfect campsite selection
This will make or break your whole experience. Your campsite is the place where you’ll spend the most time, so you need to make sure that it’s safe and comfortable. Here are some tips that can help you achieve this:
- Flat ground is ideal, but some people like to pitch up on a slight slope to help with water drainage in case it rains.
- Make sure you have enough space to fit your tent, car, gazebo or other camping gear you might have.
- Trees can look appealing as they can provide shelter but they are dangerous during storms.
- Look around and stay clear of depressions where rainwater can gather.
In addition to choosing the best terrain, you might want to look for spots where you can have access to fresh water. You’ll need water for almost everything, and what’s more satisfying than a natural spring that’s close your camp.
The most rewarding campsites are always found close to rivers or lakes, where you can go fishing or kayaking, and explore the great outdoors.
3. Make sure you sleep comfortably
The reason that most people don’t go camping is that the idea of sleeping on the ground is terrifying for them. The biggest challenge for a comfortable experience is putting together a warm, soft, and cozy sleeping area. Don’t worry; it’s not that hard to achieve, all you need to do is to follow some of the following steps:
- Avoid rocky terrain with pitching your tent. This is easy to accomplish if your camping on a beach but it’s quite tricky to find the perfect spot in the forest, where there are rocks, tree roots, and all sort of vegetation.
- Double down on sleeping pads. Not only they provide insulation, but this will help you defeat the hard ground problems.
- Bring your own pillows. Try by any means to recreate the coziness of your own bed; that’s the most comfortable way to sleep in a tent.
- Sleeping bags will make a difference. They should keep you warm, but at the same time, they need to be “breathable”. You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night because you’re soaking wet.
- Allow some ventilation. CO2 and water vapors will quickly build up during the night if you don’t leave a window opened, creating abnormal sleeping conditions.
- Set up an insect mesh. Bugs and mosquitoes don’t care that you’re tired and you want to have some sleep.
- Block the sunlight if you are sensitive to it, and you don’t want to wake up too early.
- An air mattress (air bed) will most like solve any sleeping problem if you can find one that will fit.
- Remember to pack some quality camping wool blankets.
4. Set up a proper cooking area
Unless you plan to prepare all the meals at home, you need to set up an appropriate camping kitchen that will boost your comfort level. The easiest way to do this is by stringing up a tarp overhead or using a gazebo. Having a picnic table, chairs and other kitchen essentials will also be useful.
Bring some trash bags to keep the area tidy, and you can also add some cleaning products to your list. You don’t want to pile up all those plates and pans. Having some sort of food storage area and a lot of water bottles will also be helpful.
Having a kitchen is not enough if you don’t have the right camping cookware. There will be no fantastic experience if you only bring in a humble grill. Look for dutch ovens and rotisseries, take it to the next level.
5. Don’t ignore the personal hygiene
If you really want to make your campsite comfortable, you could get a portable shower tent, especially if you’re away for multiple days. It’s not the most luxurious thing in the world, but it will help you deal with the misery of not taking a shower for days.
You don’t need to go crazy with this, but you need to pack at least a toothbrush, toothpaste, towels, and biodegradable soap. A hand sanitizer will also be useful.
6. Be prepared for hot or cold weather
You can have all the gear in the world, but if you are not prepared for the type of climate that you are about to face, you can say goodbye to luxury. And it’s not that hard to equip your tent for the right season.
When it comes to winter camping, you will need a heater, especially for the night time when it can get quite cold.
7. Ambient lights will help
Why not spend some time lighting up the campsite? I don’t want you to bring a huge chandelier, just use solar powered lamps and string lights that will help with raising everybody’s spirits. Just make sure you don’t use incandescent lights, otherwise, you’ll end up being invaded by all sorts of bugs.
Having a couple of led lanterns is useful if, let’s say, you run out of firewood and you need to find some late in the night.
Even though we go camping to get rid of the city life, after a day or two, most of us will start missing the luxury of our home. This being said, probably the best way to make tent camping comfortable is to replicate as much as possible what you have at home. Some will say that this will ruin the whole idea of a camping trip, but I disagree.