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Sleeping comfortably in a tent - is it possible?

(41 Posts)
spokette Tue 27-May-08 14:37:20

We went on our first camping trip for bank holiday weekend and despite the torrential rain, howling winds and cold for part of the trip, DTS (4yo) had a great time.smile

The main issue DH and I had was discomfort and feeling cold whilst sleeping. I had bought two season sleeping bags (Vango) because according to the blurb, they were warm. DH and I still had to donn a jumper and socks because we were anything but warmhmm. In addition, we used a blow up mattress which, by the 3rd night, we had had enough of because it was so uncomfortable.

We would welcome any advice from season campers about staying warm at night and recommendations for sleep mats/mattresses that actually afford a comfortable night sleep. Unless we can solve this problem, DH will give up on camping because not getting enough sleep really tainted his enjoyment (even the bad weather did not put him off).

TIA

hellsbells76 Tue 27-May-08 14:38:58

i always found camping in a tent really cold and uncomfortable. never stopped me though and i usually coped by getting drunk grin. now i have a camper van and that's lovely and comfy!

Slouchy Tue 27-May-08 14:39:37

We did the same as you (1st trip for us as well).
We had sleeping bags plus double duvet on top which was nice and toasty (though required a roofbox to get it all there!). We also slept dh and dd1 together, me and dd2 together - much less pressure on airbeds.

Whizzz Tue 27-May-08 14:41:57

We boought a Coleman comfort air bed
here good as it has 2 separate sections which you blow up individually. Saves the 'roll together' effect & is good if one prefers a softer matress

Whizzz Tue 27-May-08 14:42:59

grin'one prefers a softer matress' that wasn't supposed to sound like the queen grin meant to type one person!!

Fennel Tue 27-May-08 14:54:46

2 season sleeping bags aren't enough for the UK, you need at least 3 season. Or blankets as well.

We sleep on carrymats or those self-inflating mats which are around lately, I don't like airbeds. Too many experiences of them going down or being too bouncy.

getting drunk definitely helps.

Lubyloo Tue 27-May-08 14:57:24

These are great. More comfortable than my bed mattress!

RubberDuck Tue 27-May-08 15:00:15

Obviously not when you're first starting out, but if you find you end up camping a lot, what about a trailer tent or a folding camper? You get a real mattress then

I call our sleeping area our "nest" because you zip yourself into this little triangular "snug" with mattress, duvet and proper pillows. If it's really chilly will use a hot water bottle and throw an unzipped sleeping bag over the top of us. Because you're lifted up from the ground, the cold of the floor doesn't get through to you plus no wrestling with airbeds.

spokette Tue 27-May-08 15:10:02

I guess the key is to insulate oneself from the cold ground then. I thought the rubber mattress would do that but obviously not. I don't really want to spend more money. Next time we will definitely take a warm duvet/blanket with us.

I still need to sort out the comfort issue though. The twins slept uninterrupted on camp mats - maybe DH and I should try those instead?

hanaflower Tue 27-May-08 15:11:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

3andnomore Tue 27-May-08 15:11:11

Am not keen on Sleepingbags myself, so, we take our Kingsized Duvet....seems to work well enough to keep me warm (dh never has problems wiht feeling cold anyway) and we also take pillows...we do use an airbed and ours seems to be fine....

Fennel Tue 27-May-08 15:12:12

Try more blankets underneath and on top. Before spending more money. Also, take a good pillow. That helps.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 27-May-08 15:13:07

Message withdrawn

minster Tue 27-May-08 17:24:26

We have picnic blankets under the airbed, then a blanket, then sleeping bag & a duvet over the top. Also lots of pillows & hot water bottles for the children. I wear a hat too.

dylsmum1998 Tue 27-May-08 18:15:53

we sleep on a an airbed with two layers of fleece blankets then our super thick sleeping bags, and have more fleece to throw on top just in case. although we havent needed them yet.
i slept in my undies i was soo warm this weekend.
whereas at easter i slept in pj's tights jumpers hats etc and super thick sleeping bags.
i sleep on a double airbed with the 2dc and we snuggle together which helps keep warm

MrsCarrot Tue 27-May-08 18:19:28

I always found airbeds uncomfortable. I bought a large piece of foam off the market that could be rolled up and used that.

Blankets underneath you help, and I preferred duvets and blankets to sleeping bags too. We would camp for ages though, three or four weeks, if it was just a couple of nights I'd have a bag and roll mat and put up with it.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 27-May-08 18:24:51

Message withdrawn

iheartdusty Tue 27-May-08 18:24:58

our sleeping arrangements this weekend were (from the ground up):

picnic mat
fleece blanket each big enough to go under and roll over the top
thermarest
3 season sleeping bag

me; PJ bottoms & socks, vest, thermal top, tracksuit top
DH; 8! layers of clothes and balaclava (!!)
DCs; thick cotton PJs, socks and fleeces (well they didn't sit out until 1am drinking wine and talking nonsense)

RubberDuck Tue 27-May-08 18:28:29

All these layers are making me feel very grateful for the off ground sleeping area in the folding camper!

Just have: camper mattress, sheets, double duvet... if really cold then a thin cheap single sleeping bag unzipped to make a throw. I wear normal long sleeve pyjamas to bed - no hat, no socks, no jumpers :D

ThingOne Tue 27-May-08 19:32:23

We have thermarest mattresses and use a king size duvet. We put the children in warm grobags and all snuggle together.

Slubberdegullion Wed 28-May-08 10:16:28

What we did this w/e (having read all the tips on layers under you).

From the ground up:

Fleece blanket
Thin foam mat
Thermarest
3 season sleeping bag
Flecce blanket

For the dc we tucked another fleece blanket around them (once they were asleep) and under the mat/thermarest to make a cocoon. They were both pink when they woke up in the morning.

re clothes, well I was sporting the highly sensual arrangement of thermals neath fleecy pj's, hiking socks and hat. Boy oh boy DH was wild with exciement at my alluring get up. Sadly the sleeping bag/blanket combo kept his ardour at bay wink

Oh and my other tip is buy a canvas tent.....much warmer grin

spokette Wed 28-May-08 10:26:29

Thanks for all the advicesmile.

I have been reading blurb on Thermorests and and Airic mats.

Both makes are highly regarded with the Thermorests being more expensive.

What are your views on each brand or does it really come down to how much one is willing to pay?

TIA

Slubberdegullion Wed 28-May-08 10:32:43

tbh I'm not sure how they compare. We camped on borrowed thermarests in Oz and loved them (really comfy on that hard, hot rocky ground... ha ha ha like we will ever experience that in the UK).

I did lots of research (on here and ukcs) and the thermarests were always highly recommended, so sacrificed nice wine purchases for a couple of months and bought 4.

Very glad that we did as not only did they keep us warm this w/e, they are fab for whipping out and sticking visiting sleep-over children on.

twinsetandpearls Wed 28-May-08 10:41:47

I always sleep really well when camping.

We do blanket on the floor, foam mat, air bed, sleeping bag and duvet.

Wine helps

cosima Wed 28-May-08 10:44:18

get a double thermorest, much more comfy than airbeds, also you need lots of covers underneath thats where the cold comes from. We then have a sleeping bag open like a sheet then a duvet and pillows, yes pillows, and we are hardened campers, the best thing for a comfortable sleep is a bottle of rum before bed

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