While camping has been popular for generations, it’s not known as one of the comfiest hobbies out there. That’s why glamping and other things have become popular, although many of us would prefer a more basic experience.
There are quite a few things that could make your camping experience uncomfortable. Wind, rain, and a hard floor are just some of the more notable. Thankfully, all of these can be overcome, which has led to many campers buying all sorts of products to make life out in the wild easier.
While these can improve your experience, they can often take away from your engagement with nature, which is often why we camp. That’s led to many people wondering how they can camp in a tent without being too uncomfortable, but still connected with their surroundings.
As you might have guessed by the title, there are a few tent hacks that you can take advantage of. A few little tips and tricks should be enough to make your camping comfortable without taking away from your nature experience.
Thankfully, that doesn’t mean that you’ll just have to go out and buy a load of products, such as air mattresses, to make things easier. While some things are essential for camping, there are a few DIY camping hacks that you could try, most of which focus on your tent.
Chapter One: Tent Hacks That Everyone Should Know
Camping is much more fun than many non-campers realize. Instead, they often point to poor weather and an uncomfortable night being reasons why it wouldn’t be a positive experience. While some campers would claim that the best way to enjoy the experience is with a fire and sleeping under the stars, others disagree.
Instead, some of us prefer it to be comfier, which is why we get a tent. That isn’t going to provide all of the comfort you’ll want, though, so you’ll need a few camping tips to improve it. Though some people suggest that you should buy camping equipment for this, that isn’t always the case.
There are several amazing camping hacks that should help make your tent much comfier. Thankfully, they all have simple steps, so you shouldn’t have to put much work into them. Outside of keeping your tent clean, consider each of the following.
1. Check Your Tent Before Camping
It might have been a while since you last used your tent. That could mean that you might not know what condition it’s in, as it might have been damaged since you last took it out. You wouldn’t want to find that out when you’re at the campsite.
Instead, check your tent when you’re at home. Have a look through the tent lines, tent ties, tent poles, and other areas to make sure everything is how it should be. If everything is in working order, then you should be good to go.
If you haven’t used the tent before, then it could be worth practicing putting it up. Some will be more complicated than others, and you wouldn’t want to be in the wild figuring things out. Knowing exactly what to do before you get there can make things much easier.
2. Use a Pool Float
One thing many people don’t associate with camping is a pool float. When it comes to pool floats, your mind automatically drifts to hot summer days out in the pool, on the lake, or in the ocean, but what many people don’t realize is how comfortable they can be.
These have the added benefit of being an excellent fit for a car. That means that, if one of your children is tired when you’re putting up your tent, they can take a nap in the car. They should also fit up against each other reasonably well at night.
3. Make a Foam Floor
The tent floor is often considered one of the worst parts of camping. After all, it can be too uncomfortable to sleep on, which is why many people opt for an air mattress or extra-cushy sleeping bag. While those both could definitely work, there is another option.
Instead, you could try foam floor tiles. These are specifically designed to put on the bottom of a tent to make things more comfortable for you. Though these will take a while to put down, they can drastically improve the comfort levels.
4. DIY a Headlamp
Some people don’t like being at a campsite at night because of how dark it can be. While this can be overcome with a flashlight, inside the tent can be a little more complicated. You might want some form of lamp instead. You can make this yourself and save yourself a significant amount of money.
If you take an empty jug, fill it with water, and then wrap your headlamp around it. The light part should be pointing inward. This will light up the tent and provide you with more light than you thought possible. It should make night-time camping much easier for kids.
5. Bring a Tick Deterrent
Nobody wants to put up with mosquito bites or leave the campsite with ticks. Depending on where you’re camping, you could get bit so much that it’ll wake you up at night.
A mosquito repellent and tick deterrent come highly recommended.
Spraying these inside and outside where you’ll be sleeping and staying is practically mandatory.
A bug spray that deals with most bugs that you’re likely to see when camping could also be necessary. How much you’ll need this may depend on the time of year.
6. Pack The Bottom of Your Sleeping Bag
You’ll want to keep your sleeping bag as warm as possible when you’re in it. You might also want it to warm up before you get in it. That’s why you should bring a hot water bottle with you. However, it’s quite common to forget to bring one when you’re camping.
If you’ve forgotten your hot water bottle, there’s still no need to do without. You should instead pack the bottom of your sleeping bag with dry clothes. These add extra padding, which should keep you warm. While it might not be as warm as a hot water bottle, you’ll start feeling the warmth relatively quickly.
7. Have a Shoe Basket at The Entrance
You probably wouldn’t want to sleep in a tent when it’s dirty. Keeping it clean, however, can often be tricky. Keeping your shoes outside is one way you could minimize any dirt, but that leads to questioning where you should put your shoes.
You’ll want to keep them out of the way without exposing them to the elements all night. Try using a shoe basket. That can keep your dirty shoes just inside of the entrance. Taking this approach gives you a bit of a shoe organizer while also keeping everything else clean and dry.
8. Bring Extra Padding
There’s quite a lot of camping equipment out there designed to make it as comfortable as possible. One such option is extra padding, which you can use on the floor. The floor tiles mentioned above can be great, but some of us might need a little extra.
While this means that you’ll have more things to pack and bring with you, the restful night’s sleep you should get will be worth it.
9. Make Sure to Waterproof it
The weather is one of the more unpredictable aspects of camping. While you can get an educated guess from weather apps, it can change at a moment’s notice. That means that you should expect to deal with some rain, even if it’s unexpected.
You’re much better off being protected from the rain and not needing it instead of trying to sleep in a damp tent. That makes waterproofing well recommended, and believe it or not, this is much easier to do than you’d expect.
All you need is a silicone sealant can. When you’re practicing putting up your tent, spray everywhere with the silicone sealant. Don’t forget the tent zippers, which many people tend to overlook. Once that’s done, it’s all waterproof. You’ll need to redo this for each camping trip, though.
10. Keeping it Cool
There will be some occasions when you’ll need to keep your tent cool, such as during a heatwave or if you live in a warm area. In that case, you might want to consider using a reflective blanket on your tent.
These are placed over the top of your tent and reflect the sunlight away, keeping your tent cool. You may need to tie this down, however.
Chapter Two: Pitching a Tent Hacks
One of the trickiest parts of camping is pitching the tent, although this can often depend on what kind you’re using. That’s led to many people looking for the easiest or most straightforward way of doing so.
As it turns out, there are a few specific steps. These are:
- Unpack: Many people just empty their tent on the ground. Avoid this. Many small parts can be easily lost or damaged, so it’s worth taking care when you’re unpacking.
- Separate The Parts: You’ll then need to separate your parts and take stock of what you have. This will give you a general idea of what goes where.
- Connect Your Poles: These will be connected internally with a stretchy string. You should connect all of the sections before laying them out to determine what is what.
- Put Down Any Groundsheets: Since tents can be quite thin, many of them have ground sheets. These are placed under the tent, so you should put this down first.
- Connect Your Tent to Your Poles: You’ll then need to connect your poles to your tent. This can vary depending on what kind of tent you have, so it’s worth reading through the instructions before you start. Following these carefully.
- Stake Out The Corners: Next is to secure the corners of the tent to the ground. This can be done with stakes, which should be driven into the ground at a 45-degree angle. They should be deep, but not buried.
- Attach The Outer Fly: The outer fly protects you from the elements. This should be placed over your tent frame before being secured to it. How exactly to do this depends specifically on your tent.
- Stake Out The Rest of Your Tent: Once you’ve attached the outer fly, you can stake the rest of the tent like you did the corners.
- Secure The Guylines: Guylines are usually used to increase the stability of a tent when it’s windy. If you’re using them, this is when you should attach them. After that, your tent should be completely set up.
Following each of the above steps should make pitching your tent easy. If you’ve brought extra padding, you’ll also want to put that down before adding any sleeping bags or other camping gear. Once you’ve gotten that done, you should be able to enjoy your camping trip in comfort.
Chapter Three: How to Pick The Best Place to Pitch a Tent
Having everything you need and being able to pitch your tent is only half the battle when it comes to camping. If you want to be as comfortable as possible, then you’ll also need to choose the best location possible.
If you’re staying at a campsite, then this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you’re not, then it can be a little more complicated.
There are several things that you should want to avoid, including:
- Danger Zones: These are any areas where you’re likely to get hurt, such as animal trails or habitats. If you’re too close to these, you might get an unwanted visitor or two. Areas that may suffer from natural hazards, such as flooding, should also be avoided.
- Breeding Grounds: While most people remember to stay away from habitats where bears and big cats might be lurking, many forget about insect breeding grounds. These are stagnant lakes, waterlogged meadows, and similar areas. If you’re too close to these, you’ll get a lot of bites.
- Valleys and Canyons: These often have some of the best sights, which is why people love them. You should avoid camping at the bottom of them, however, as this is where the coldest air tends to be. Hilltops and similar areas should be avoided for similar reasons. You should camp somewhere that’s covered but not too low down.
Avoiding all of these doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to have the best spot, though. You’ll also need to look for a few specific things, each of which should be quite beneficial.
When looking for somewhere to camp, you should look for:
- Natural Materials: Places with a lot of natural materials, such as pine needles and leaves, are highly recommended. They’re generally comfier to lie on and should be warmer than bare dirt.
- Trees, Rocks, or Bushes: You’ll want to have some kind of cover when you’re camping, like trees, bushes, or rocks. These will protect you from the elements, and primarily wind. You should determine what direction the breeze is coming from and then put the protection between you and it.
- Dry: You should look for somewhere dry. While this could be difficult, it shouldn’t be too much of an issue on warmer or overcast days. Waterlogged areas should be avoided at all costs.
- Flat: You should aim for somewhere flat, as this will make it much easier to put up your campsite. It also means that nothing will roll away when you’re asleep or cooking.
With all of that in mind, you shouldn’t have any issues finding a campsite and utilizing your tent hacks. You’ll typically start looking for one about halfway through the day. That will give you a general idea of what the terrain is like so you can figure out where the best place to camp is likely to be.
The more tent hacks you can take advantage of, the more comfortable your camping trip will be. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that your tent probably won’t be as warm and comfy as your home or a hotel. Sacrifices will have to be made, no matter what.
By using as many of the above camping hacks, however, you should be as comfortable as possible. These tent hacks will ensure that you’re dry and warm and that you shouldn’t have to put up with any wind. Making a DIY lamp, if you didn’t already bring one, would also keep things well-lit and add to the atmosphere every night.
While setting up and making your tent comfortable may seem like a difficult task, it will be worth the effort in the end. It’s quite straightforward, and the impact that it can have on your camping trip is worth it.