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First time camper - how to stay warm and cosy at night?

(31 Posts)
Italianbride Fri 15-Jul-16 14:51:15

So we've bitten the bullet and bought an Airbeam tent for the 4 of us (DH and 2xDS). I have NEVER camped before and my concern is how to create a warm and cosy bed for the night. Any guidance would be much appreciated!

KeepOnPlodding Fri 15-Jul-16 22:28:32

This has worked for us...

- Using a fleece/plastic backed picnic blanket as a carpet in the sleeping area.
- Air bed (although I know others prefer SIMs and camp beds)
- Good quality 3-season sleeping bag - doesn't have to be massively expensive
- Pillow from home
- Fleece blanket over the top

We sleep in cosy pyjamas and a pair of socks, have always been lovely and warm at night.

A good tip is to put your jammies on early in the evening with your clothes on top so that you don't have to strip off completely for bed. Also wear plenty of warm layers in the evening and stay warm - no fun in going to bed and then trying to get warm.

LakeFlyPie Fri 15-Jul-16 22:33:34

I find SIM much warmer than air mattress. Also have foam camping mat underneath.
We sleep under duvets rather than sleeping bags and if it's chilly I find wrapping myself in a fleece blanket cocoon style makes a huge difference.
Socks to keep feet warm too.

INeedNewShoes Fri 15-Jul-16 22:37:36

It makes quite a different having a blanket under your airbed for warmth.

Wear socks to sleep in and have a hoody to hand to keep your arms covered if you start getting cold.

On really cold camping trips I've gone to the faff of boiling the kettle for a hot water bottle before bed. It really is worth it if otherwise you'll be cold and miserable!

The coldest camping trip I did was in the UK one September. It was unseasonably cold (around 5 degrees) and so we were the only people idiot enough to have gone camping. We literally had the campsite to ourselves so we left our pyjamas warming on the radiator in the washroom!

Imaginosity Sat 16-Jul-16 00:11:47

Air beds. Proper duvets if you have space. Proper pillows. All in one Sleep suits over pjs for the children. I have an old hoodie that i put on at night too if I'm cold but normally don't get cold while camping in the summer.

JustHappy3 Sat 16-Jul-16 19:50:46

I do what KeepOnPlodding does - but i take soft fleecey blankets to go on top of the mattresses. Her advice about pjs on early on is also excellent!
Love my airbeam tent to bits - you will need to roll on it to get the air out at the end. But it goes up soooo quickly.

MsInterpret Sat 16-Jul-16 20:05:13

YY to putting layers on early eve to fend off the cold even starting. I also always wear a hoody or hat to cover my head and socks.

It's a personal mission against the cold for me!

Jenijena Sat 16-Jul-16 20:09:19

My grandad - ex army- 'as many layers below as above'.

I usually do picnic blanket, blanket, air bed, sheet, duvet, blanket. Extra blankets for snugglyness. All totally unnecessary if you have a decent sleeping bag (which I do) but ds usually comes in the middle of us which is easier this way.

Don't let yourself get cold while getting changed in the evening.

NannyR Sun 17-Jul-16 00:24:07

I've just been camping in Yorkshire. I had a foil backed picnic blanket, then a foam roll mat, then a 7.5 cm SIM. Slept in a sleeping bag with a blanket on top, wearing fleecy PJs. Even though the temp in the tent was 11degrees, I was way too hot and ended up chucking the blanket off and taking off the PJ bottoms in the middle of the night.

AGnu Sun 17-Jul-16 00:32:01

I use an inside-out flannel duvet cover as a sleeping bag liner. The other thing that's made a huge difference was switching to a sleeping bag that's only just big enough to fit inside. I'm 5' so adult size sleeping bags were huge for me. We bought a junior one thinking that DS could grow into it but I got in to see if I could fit & it's now mine! DS has a ready bed that he doesn't stay in anyway - I think we'd have to tie him down to stop him wriggling out while asleep. He clearly isn't bothered by being cold at night!

RaisingSteam Sun 17-Jul-16 00:50:34

Proper warm sleeping bags. In the UK you need a 3 season sleeping bag min and 4 season if you feel the cold. You can always unzip a bit of it if you are too hot in the night. If it doesn't say "3 season" in the blurb or comfort temperature within few degrees of freezing, it won't be warm enough. No matter how much "cosy snuggle pod" branding it has! Go Outdoors have loads of good sleeping bags.

If you use airbeds, the air inside is what gets cold at night. Don't bother putting layers under the airbed, but put layers between that ice brick and you. Real wool army blankets are very warm. Also socks, thermals, fleecy PJs are all good. And YY to a proper pillow - you'll sleep better and less likely to wake up chilly. Happy camping!

VenusRising Sun 17-Jul-16 01:31:38

What do you do with the early morning light?
Ever camp I've ever been on I wake with the larks in a boil in the bag tent.
And everything seems damp / condensation / buggy!?

Italianbride Sun 17-Jul-16 06:42:02

Thanks for all the tips. I'm off to a camping exhibition today and plan to get SIMs and sleeping bags! Should I do the same thing for the DS? I'm a bit worried about how on earth we'll get everything in the car!

Also - I've seen mention of foil backed picnic blankets but I can't seem to find any. Do the ones with a waterproof backing do the same thing?

Wyldfyre Sun 17-Jul-16 06:48:25

Expensive but in my experience totally worth it are the Vango Comfort 10 mattresses.
As a PP said, with an air bed the air gets cold. These are foam filled and self inflating so insulate you from the ground.

Ifailed Sun 17-Jul-16 06:51:09

leave the DH and kids in tent, book into B&B.

sashh Sun 17-Jul-16 06:55:40

Agree with poster's granddad - the cold comes up from the ground so make sure you are insulated.

Blu Sun 17-Jul-16 08:16:57

Best go equipped with a couple of spare fleece blankets but we do:
Cheap SIM (Aldi)
2/3 season sleeping bag.

Even DP who is well nesh was ok like that last weekend, and I was hot in the night and took my pyjamas off. (Southern England)

PepeLePew Sun 17-Jul-16 08:21:28

Blanket under SIM, Uniqlo thermals, socks, 3 season sleeping bags. I also wear a Buff type thing on my head which keeps my head warm but doesn't feel as odd as a hat then I can pull it down over my eyes as a sleep mask when the sun comes up.

UnGoogleable Sun 17-Jul-16 08:25:01

as well as all of the above - hot water bottle in your bed before you get in, luxury.

And I always take a hat, usually wear it in the evening to keep me warm before bed.

DH and I have a double sleeping bag. He is like a furnace, so I steal his body heat, which I couldn't do if we were in separate bags grin

dungandbother Sun 17-Jul-16 08:41:54

I always camp with my 14 tog duvet.

Hat and socks. Never been cold. I just snuggle under the duvet.
Agree with going to bed warm tho.

Flumpnugget Sun 17-Jul-16 08:42:56

We have electric hook up and take a fan heater- it takes the edge off and is cosy to get undressed in front of! It helps with the damp issue too.

Agree that layers is most important. Thermals / base layer, Pj's, onesie if necessary then sleeping bag & blanket.

Use a layer of newspaper under a picnic blanket as a carpet.

Hot water bottles

Ear plugs & sleep masks

Camping bliss!


RaisingSteam Sun 17-Jul-16 14:01:18

Sleeping bags should pack down into a little stuff sack and SIMS should roll up deflated so they are fairly narrow. Pillows you stuff in last wherever there's a gap.

bettybyebye Sun 17-Jul-16 14:09:59

We've just come back from a week's camping trip with our 3year old and 1 year old - we ended up having to get a roofbox fitted before we went as we couldn't fit everything in - even then it was a tight squeeze! And we used everything we took! DH and I had an air bed and sleeping bag each, DS has a camping bed and sleeping bag and DD was in a camping cot and gro bag. We each had a fleecy blanket as well but I was the only one who used theirs! We were in Dorset and I was surprised at how warm it stayed overnight. Have a great trip!

Tactfulcactus Mon 18-Jul-16 00:25:13

Hat, hot water bottle, hot chocolate with brandy.

NannyR Mon 18-Jul-16 13:19:59

With regards to the early morning light problem, I take one of those travel eye masks and pop it on when I wake up early. Ear plugs are also useful, the dawn chorus sounds lovely but it's not conducive to sleep!

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