Today, you’re going to learn how to make camping more comfortable.
When I first started camping, my goal was to spend as little as possible on gear. While I did save money initially, I ended up having to replace things regularly. I realized my gear was insufficient for the amount of camping I was doing.
Getting into the camping game, I came across all sorts of conversations about roughing it and getting used to being uncomfortable, all in the name of a lighter gear list. What I’ve found, however, is that maintaining a measure of comfort while camping goes a long way towards a successful trip.
Why is being comfortable while camping important?
Being comfortable while camping will not only allow you to get enough sleep, but it will keep you safe and fully prepared to make the most of every opportunity on your adventure.
So, what can you do to increase your camping comfort?
It honestly boils down to personal preference.
Related: Do I Need A Camping Pillow?
We all have different levels of tolerance for things that could make us uncomfortable. As far as camping is concerned, you can make camping comfortable by doing the following:
- Take the correct gear
- Be prepared
- Check the forecast weather
- Have a communication plan
Let’s delve into these areas of vulnerability, address how to resolve them, and uncover how to make camping comfortable.
Take the correct gear
Ask yourself some simple questions before packing, this will help you narrow down what you need to take and what stays at home.
- Where are you going?
- Will it be hot or cold?
- How hot or cold?
- Will it be wet or dry?
- How much volume and weight can you take?
- How long are you going for?
- Are you wild camping or using an established campsite?
- Will you have access to electricity?
- How much food do you need to take?
- Will you have access to clean drinking water?
Each of these questions can be further explored to help come to a decision – but they will serve as a good general baseline.
Going with a partner? Here’s our guide to the best double sleeping bags
Nothing is worse than feeling unprepared for something.
In the realm of camping, being unprepared can come in many forms. Maybe you didn’t look into campsites and are hoping that when you show up they have an open spot.
Maybe the weather takes an unanticipated turn and you are left in a monsoon without a waterproof outer layer.
Or maybe you just put off packing to the last minute and can’t remember if you packed your tent or not (I’ve seen this happen to a coworker of mine, guess who slept in the car all week?)
The first step in making your camping trip more comfortable is to plan it ahead.
If you can book a campsite online or over the phone, do so in advance. This isn’t as important if your trip is happening during the off-season.
But if you plan to camp on a popular weekend in the summer, with the kids for example, save yourself the hassle and book in advance.
Are the campsites in your area all first come first serve?
Consider planning your trip so that you can get there on a weekday or Friday morning. As a lot of people head to the hills after getting off work Friday, this will give you a leg up on securing the perfect spot.
Make a List
This may seem like a simple piece of advice, but I find that making a list of the things I need to do to prepare for a trip helps simplify the process.
When you make your list, you can add things like meal planning, route planning (if hiking), equipment, clothing, and finding a night stop.
As far as the packing portion goes, I find it is most helpful to cross things off as I either pack them into the bag or put them in the car.
This confirmation of what you are packing provides a failsafe way of not forgetting anything.
Check the forecast weather
Any outdoor activity carries with it the possibility of getting caught in a storm. If you can anticipate a potential change in the weather, and prepare for it, you’ll be a lot more comfortable if it happens!
Occasionally, it’s impossible to avoid some sort of bad weather, especially when you have to book your trip in advance.
That being said, checking 10-day forecasts before your trip really helps to give direction on what to pack.
When it comes to being comfortable in any kind of weather, the best thing you can do is bring layers. Having multiple layers will allow you to add or subtract them depending on the weather outside. A good base layer will keep you warm while wicking sweat away from your body.
Another essential piece of equipment to bring on every outdoor excursion is waterproofs, obviously!
Precipitation can be unpredictable, once you soak through your layers you are will have an uncomfortable remainder of your trip. I’d much rather carry waterproofs and never use them, than be caught outside without.
Have a communication plan
Finally, the thought of being caught without the ability to call for help when emergency strikes is unsettling.
If you chose to camp in a remote area, you’ll need to develop a comms plan to keep you safe and give you peace of mind throughout your trip. This is key to mental enjoyment and comfort.
If you’re planning hikes, tell someone where you are going and when you will return. This is where planning ahead is advantageous, The more information you can give, the quicker help will be able to get to you if you don’t meet your return time.
Don’t forget to check-in when you get back, you’d hate to waste search and rescue resources that someone else might need!
For those more adventurous types, you can get what is called a SPOT communication device. These operate by satellite and will allow you to check-in with your loved ones, and even call for help regardless of phone reception.
You can read more about SPOT devices on their website here.
Being comfortable when camping isn’t always about adding more luxurious equipment to your trip.
Related: Best Lightweight Walking Trousers
Instead, comfort while camping should be used to assess whether you feel prepared and safe while outside. With these pieces in place, you will have peace of mind while enjoying your trip.
The next time you plan a spur of the moment camping trip, think about the things mentioned above, book your campsite ahead, plan for the weather, and let someone know where you are going.
Go ahead and pack up the car, you’re in for a great trip regardless of what mother nature throws at you!
See you on the mountain.