So tell me your secrets, how on earth do you get a good nights sleep when camping ?

(74 Posts)
rookiemum Sun 15-Jul-07 11:07:58

We bought our tent a few weeks ago. V. excited meant to go away last time but cancelled as camp site flooded. Weather reports very mixed for this weekend and as we have a 15 mth DS decided to pitch tent in garden to try it.

Anyway DS slept like a baby right up to 1.48am when we decided to go inside because we couldn't sleep at all.

We have a double air bed and linked the two sleeping bags together. We found that the air bed lurched us both into the middle, and every time one person moved the other one did as well. Also we have camped in a two person tent before, this was a family tent with rooms and it was a lot colder than we were used to.

We have two separate air beds and are thinking about using these instead as might be better.

What arrangements do you find work best for you to sleep ?

Definitely use separate air beds...we've got a double and it was so uncomfortable because when dh moved I rolled towards him and spent the night moving further and further to the edge so I was virtually on the ground! If you have separate beds it's a lot easier and less rolling! We also use separate sleeping bags - I like to be snuggled up and feel the cold - dh doesn't....the kids have their own air beds and sleeping bags too.

StripeyBroomstickSpottyWand Sun 15-Jul-07 13:07:02

lots of beer.

dd sleeps in our room in the tent as she won't go in her own yet. We have seperate air mattress things, they're just the very thin backpacking air mats, not the big mattresses so you don't roll about on them. And we don't link sleeping bags.

moopymoo Sun 15-Jul-07 14:54:21

we have a double mattress each, dcs have a single each though mini ds tends to end up with me. we are quite large people, a shared double plus a toddler did not i hate sleeping bags we take duvets and blankets. kids have bags though.

Lucycat Sun 15-Jul-07 14:55:50

Put picnic blankets under your air beds (some say on but we don't) take a proper pillow, a warm sleeping bag and lots of layers - I find that if you are warm then you will sleep. Hot water bottles too!

Are you in the same room as ds, when it's really cold we all sleep together and the body heat creates warmth. You may well find that your separate air beds does the trick.

oh yes and beer!

rookiemum Sun 15-Jul-07 17:39:24

Thanks everyone, we will go back to the separate air beds.

Beer sadly will not work, I already need to go to the loo at least once a night so I dread to think what I would be like after a couple of drinks.

DS in another section as we all find it hard to sleep in the same bit, plus we wouldn't all have fitted, but maybe if its really cold we should rethink that.


Wisteria Sun 15-Jul-07 17:43:56

Get as much exercise as you can in the daytime, that way you're so exhausted you sleep like a log - and don't share anything, pillows/ duvets/ or airbeds!

Wisteria Sun 15-Jul-07 17:44:37

Oh and you could try a stiff spirit type drink before you settle down - doesn't create as much pressure on the bladder!

bilblio Sun 15-Jul-07 17:54:24

We do have a double mattress, singles would have been better but we make do now. But we can't deal with sleeping bags, even single ones are too confined I can't stretch my legs.
We take 2 duvets, one for underneath us, one for on top. Also proper pillows.

Also when you go to a campsite rather than your garden you'll have had plenty of fresh air the day before which always helps with sleeping.

ejt1764 Sun 15-Jul-07 17:58:01

We have one of these ... you don't lurch together at all, and it's really comfortable. We also use duvets as we find them more comfortable!

Also, putting a blanket under the airbed and between airbed and sheet seems to insulate from ground draughts.

Oh, and take a potty for those night-time wee stops!

Kbear Sun 15-Jul-07 17:58:10

kingsize sleeping bags, lots of running around in the day, a large night cap!

We slept in our back garden a couple of weeks ago sharing a double air husband is just over 6ft and such a fidget in bed....never again will I share an airbed with him - it was a water bed - I had to get up for a wee just before 2am...I walked past our bedroom to get to the bathroom.....and on my way back I thought 'sod it...I'm going to bed'. Needless to say he didn't notice me missing until the kids woke him up at 5am! was LIKE a water bed..!

Peachy Sun 15-Jul-07 18:11:53

alcohol helps I find

we havea fleece on the floor, then a readybed but wedont sleep in it (its ike a poly bag the adult one, all cold yet youre still sweaty- yuck), on top we pop a Lichfield flannel lined double (argos)

works a treat

LordPan Sun 15-Jul-07 18:20:05

I have found that alcohol is crucial, Peachy.

PandaG Sun 15-Jul-07 18:22:49

ear plugs and an eye mask are useful too, once you have found your preferred sleeping bag/duvet/airbed combo. we use a double outwell self inflating matress (5cm thick version, 3.5 cm doesn't cut it) and 2 sleeping bags zipped together, layers of clothes, and a blanket over the top.

Alcohol is also pretty much a given!

rookiemum Sun 15-Jul-07 19:21:37

I like the idea of the stiff drink wisteria - makes camping seem like an endurance sport !

Also liked the potty tip, I had been thinking of that as DS will need potty trained in the not too distant future, but DH was adamant that none of my wee shall remain in the tent, don't ask me why I don't know, he has seen me in labour so its not as if I retain any mystique.

I always use ear plugs, as DH tends to snore a bit and it helps him to hear DS first, hee hee.

Two single airbeds, duvet,pillows, thermals, sex and wine

peanutbear Sun 15-Jul-07 19:23:43

Brandy !!!!!

mabelmurple Sun 15-Jul-07 19:34:48

Definitely get a self-inflating mattress - air beds have too much air volume which doesn't heat up, making you feel very cold. Also, wear lots of layers in bed - always thick socks, a vest, (and a tee shirt if very cold), thermal leggings - the works. Not very sexy, but neither is feeling like death because you've had no sleep. Get a three season mummy shaped sleeping bag and draw the hood around your head.

Lucycat Sun 15-Jul-07 19:36:34

wow mabel - hard core!

I don't like to camp at anything less than freezing!

mabelmurple Sun 15-Jul-07 20:17:30

LOL Lucycat!

Wisteria Sun 15-Jul-07 22:20:48

Camping is a bloody endurance sport (well t'is for me anyway)

Frizbe Sun 15-Jul-07 22:27:02

hmmm we're at the stage where dd1 shares a double airbed with me, dd2 is in the travel cot and dh and ss share a room with single matresses, so guess whatever works to keep em all asleep!

MollyWeasleyWays Sun 15-Jul-07 22:28:52

Mulled wine is good, also warming! We have also just got a self-inflating foam filled mattress to replace our airbed.

Wisteria Mon 16-Jul-07 09:17:41

OOh - how much was that Molly?

ejt1764 Mon 16-Jul-07 10:57:00

Try this mattress - I can vouch for it! There are cheaper ones, but they're thinner - you need the 5cm thick one!

Wisteria Mon 16-Jul-07 10:59:29

So does it stay inflated all night? As even the best airbeds (and we've bought many) still end up with the lighter partner being the only one who gets to sleep on any air!

Wisteria Mon 16-Jul-07 10:59:46

which was fine until I put on weight!

WendyWeber Mon 16-Jul-07 11:03:58

Airbeds are awful - too hard and you roll off, too soft and you can feel the ground, and always cold (unless you're somewhere hot I spose).

I always wear socks at night and a jumper is good too, also agree with earplugs (wax ones) and wine (but not too much or you need the loo at 3am).

ejt1764 Mon 16-Jul-07 11:05:38

It's not an airbed as such, it's a foam mattress with a valve that you open to let the air in, then close once it's inflated: the 5cm one was fine for me to sleep on when pg ... and that's saying something - I don't do slim, svelte pregnancies!

sandyballs Mon 16-Jul-07 11:08:31

Copious amounts of red wine . It's the only way I can sleep in a tent.

sandyballs Mon 16-Jul-07 11:17:27

Are those mats easy to deflate and roll up? I'm thinking I might invest in a couple. Rather expensive though.

WendyWeber Mon 16-Jul-07 11:19:43

Look out for them at Lidl & Aldi, sb - they both have camping specials at least twice a year.

WendyWeber Mon 16-Jul-07 11:24:35

This thread says they were £10 each at Aldi last time - that would be for singles and prob not as thick as the expensive ones though.

Sign up for their emails

sandyballs Mon 16-Jul-07 11:48:15

Thanks, I'll have a look in there.

ejt1764 Mon 16-Jul-07 11:53:28

to deflate them, you just open the valve again, then fold and roll them - forces the air out - I managed to do mine no problem - even when pg!

puppydavies Mon 16-Jul-07 11:54:47

wildday have vango mats (relatively) cheap at the moment - 5mm double for £35. can't vouch for them as ours have only just arrived this morning but tried out dd's 3mm on the floor and it seems fine. we did have a coleman double chamber airbed so no seasickness problems but it got a puncture and buggered if we could find it to fix it. wouldn't get another cos it was so damned cold. i heard the self inflating mats are less likely to puncture than an airbed and the vango ones have a lifetime guarantee. if we hadn't wanted a double i would have gone with alpkit fat airics instead (although bit pricier) they get rave reviews everywhere.

MollyWobbles Mon 16-Jul-07 16:53:15

Got 2 singles from ALDI, they are 5cm thick when inflated, and you can't feel the ground through them. Well worth it.

Maudy Sun 22-Jul-07 20:44:39

I am always freezing when camping and my head always gets cold. I like the idea of the mummy sleeping bags with a hood but don't they have really narrow bits by the feet? I hate that restricted feeling you get from sleeping bags. I usually take a duvet, pillows and a sheet and put a blanket between the sheet and the blow up mattress but still end up cold. I love the idea of the foam mattress, are they really comfortable enough ejt1764? Is it a bit like sleeping on a sun chair mattress? I think i might invest in one. The kids seem happy with their blow up singles and sleeping bags and never seem to get cold. I think are usually just exhausted.

Ear plugs and eyepatches are a must.

Whizzz Sun 22-Jul-07 20:51:11

we have one of these - very comfy & no roll - together!!

taxidriver Sun 22-Jul-07 20:51:56

lots and lots and lots of wine

Blandmum Sun 22-Jul-07 20:55:50

We have camp beds and crash mats on top. I also put a folded rug on top of the crash mats.

It is vital that you insulate under as well as over you, or you will be cold

I hate air beds and find them too squishy and bouncy!

Wine also helps, but have a pee before you go to bed or the distended bladder will wake you up!

nikkid21 Sat 28-Jul-07 12:30:48

Ds (5) & dd (3) have their own campbeds and then we take their single duvets for them.

We have just bought a huge off cut of 2in thick dense foam. Have cut it to fix our bed pod which is about 2.4m square, as we have a 3pod 12 man tent. Only cost £25 for this offcut and it's now like sleeping on a proper mattress.

To transport it we roll it up and strap it to the roofrack. We get some funny looks when we turn up to a site with what looks like a roll of carpet on the roof!

Waswondering Sat 28-Jul-07 20:14:54

Very warm duvet helps.

Loud rain hammering off the tent and a husband who tells you for the 248th time that week that he hates camping does not.

Nor does waking and thinking "do I need the loo or not?", deciding you do, then donning fleece, waterproof and boots before quietly undoing copious zips, running over a boggy field to the loo, peeing in neon lit portaloo, running back, undoing zip, undoing velcro, undoing goretex and boots (all of which sound like an assualt by the 22nd infantry in a silent campsite) and shimmying back into your double airbed. by which time sleep is a distant memory!

Have a lovely time . . .

Tortington Sat 28-Jul-07 20:16:37

beer when abraod

hae only camped once n own tent in this country - lake district - fucking scnery oer rated - miles to nearest pub - an emergency spliff as in order - got told off by security guard for giggling too loudly and upsetting other campers

expatinscotland Sat 28-Jul-07 20:17:29

Weed and earplugs.

Needless to say, I haven't been camping in yonks.

Meeely2 Sat 28-Jul-07 20:18:19

er, lots of beer and don't take your kids....

Hassled Sat 28-Jul-07 20:18:52

My problem with sleeping and camping isn't the bedding, it's the hoardes of feral camp children who roam every campsite I've ever been to until the early hours.

twinsetandpearls Sat 28-Jul-07 20:20:46

Since buying a decent tent and airbeds we have never had trouble sleeping and we use a double airbed, the fresh air and lots of walking see me off at night.

twinsetandpearls Sat 28-Jul-07 20:21:11

lol at weed and earplugs.

FrannyandZooey Sat 28-Jul-07 20:22:21

Am terrified. Next month, first time camping since we gave up drinking. Am I going to need sleeping pills?

Waswondering Sat 28-Jul-07 20:24:12

At least, f and z, at least . ..

FrannyandZooey Sat 28-Jul-07 20:25:28


twinsetandpearls Sat 28-Jul-07 20:30:12

dp doesn't drink and has never had problems getting to sleep when we are camping.

Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:34:01

I stumbled on this thread and it has renewed my amazement that people think that camping is a 'holiday' at all.

Waswondering - your description is exactly as I imagine it would be.

How is that fun please?

Wouldn't you rather be at home?

scattyspice Sat 28-Jul-07 20:35:28

Still haven't camped since DCs (can't get them to sleep in a bed never mind a TENT).

But preDC: selfinflate matress (thermarest thinggy), earpluds, warm clothes and a hat and whisky.

scattyspice Sat 28-Jul-07 20:37:07

speccy our honeymoon was wild camping in Scotland.

Its not a holday.


Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:37:55

I actually spent my first anniversary in a tent (first and only time).

I Am Now Divorced.

Lucycat Sat 28-Jul-07 20:38:17

mmmm some bladder development seems to be required here - dh comments I must have a bladder the size of Lake Titikaka (sp?) once I'm asleep that's it. The dd's are the same.

Camping is the best holiday - you really feel as though you've been away!

Waswondering Sat 28-Jul-07 20:38:57

One day we'll laugh about it . . . one day . . . .

Actually, the best thing is coming home, bathing in unlimited hot water, and sliding into a freshly made bed . . . now that is nice!!!

Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:39:14

Lucy - you mean it's so far removed from the comfort of home?

Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:40:38

lol at WW - the best part is coming home?

What a recommendation!

I'll go now and let you swap horror...I mean...camping stories in peace.

Lucycat Sat 28-Jul-07 20:41:24

I mean that when you go away in a 'cottage' then it's just another house and you still ahve to clean the toilets.

I hsve someone who does it for me twice a day - and puts nice flowers in there

scattyspice Sat 28-Jul-07 20:43:20

Speccy, hope the divorce wasn't related to the aniv camp.


Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:43:26

I never clean holiday cottage toilets .

Should I?

Waswondering Sat 28-Jul-07 20:45:01

My best memory is of Wednesday night, watching ds (nearly 4) cradling his "Cars" cup, half full of hot chocolate, in the marquee, sitting beside his new best friend, with the broadest, widest grin on his face, which had been there since we first arrived on the campsite. He was so sad to be home last night and asked when we could go back again . . .

and dd in her rain suit, crawling at full pelt across the field to where the toddler play stuff was, pulling herself to stand at the play house then waving and yelling "hiya" to me at the tent until I waved back.


Speccy Sat 28-Jul-07 20:45:38

Scatty - I'm sure it probably was, indirectly.

Any man who would take me camping for our first anniversary isn't the man I'd want to spend the rest of my life with anyway so no loss!

xlalex Thu 02-Aug-07 16:46:05

We always sleep on lambskins, warmer & more comfy than airbeds. A bottle of wine helps too!

catchpjd Thu 02-Aug-07 22:37:11

Decades of camping, pre and with DH, and now with DD (19 months), and honestly, the only trick to enjoying the whole experience is a good night's sleep. Get that sorted and you're made. For me, it's a Thermarest (an ENORMOUS thick one) and earplugs to keep out the dawn chorus (bless their little hearts - the birds I mean, not the babes!). Thermarests aren't cheap - but what price a good night's sleep, and they last for years over many trips. And trust me, the earplugs will keep out the birdie song, but not DD waking in the night, so no prob there.

Wishing you all a lovely cosy nights sleep on your canvas hols.

eurocommuter Tue 06-Jul-10 18:58:54

Hi all
I'm abit new to posting on here but have been a lurker for a while now.
We have one of these
and it was great when we used it last year that i can't wait for our next camping trip next week.
We also had a sexy french guy help us with it.

eurocommuter Tue 06-Jul-10 19:07:06

As I said I'm new to this and have already made a mistake of positing on the wring thread. Sorry blush

Lucycat Tue 06-Jul-10 20:13:21

Hello eurocommuter! everything I said 3 years ago about camping being the best holiday ever still stands grin

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