Camping is an excellent way to enjoy a vacation or expedition and connect with nature. Most campers are drawn to the simplicity of camping, as well as the creativity such trips encourage. Still, there are many more who would love to camp without stripping off all the “extras”, which is why car camping has become equally popular.
With car camping, you travel to a camping site with a few more supplies to make the trip more comfortable. Car camping is an ideal way of introducing children into the camping world.
In this article, learn a few tips and tricks on how to make tent camping comfortable, allowing you to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors. Keep reading for more details.
1. Air Mattress or Sleeping Pads
An air mattress can be a pain to inflate at the start of your camping trip, but you (and your back) will be grateful by the end. Getting an inflatable mattress puts a layer between you and the ground for extra comfort, plus it gives you the feeling of sleeping in your bed back home.
If your tent is large enough, you can buy a double-thick inflatable mattress that feels more like your real bed and stays inflated for long. Check reviews to ensure you buy a high-quality mattress that’s easy to use and stays inflated.
If you can’t get an air mattress, a sleeping pad is a more compact alternative, giving you a surface on which to place your sleeping bag. You can get closed-cell pads if you’re backpacking/hiking – they’re lightweight but are sturdy, inexpensive, and offer insulation too.
Alternatively, air pads have inbuilt insulation and are easy to inflate. They offer greater comfort at a compact size. The last is a self-inflating pad, which is a combination of the above.
Twinkly solar-powered outdoor lights can add an air of warmth to your camping experience. Make sure to hang them in the daytime to charge in the sun, then they won’t go off at night. They are ideal if you’re camping with kids who may hate the idea of complete darkness. Adults who prefer the dark can simply use eye masks.
Whatever the kind of lights you choose, ensure they have an on/off switch, and store enough power to stay on through the night if needed. This kind will be more expensive though!
3. Lounge Chairs
If you’re car camping, you can afford to carry some lounge chairs to have someplace comfortable to sit during the day. Without chairs, you’ll either have to sit and lie on the ground or in your tent. If you’ll be camping at a campground with picnic tables and chairs, you don’t have to carry your own.
Inflatable chairs are also good alternatives – and are inflated just like an air mattress or sleeping pad. If you have room to spare, you can carry your favorite outdoor chair.
You can go beyond the traditional sleeping bag to carrying actual sheets and a duvet – they will make a world of difference to your quality of sleep. The sleeping bag is certainly warmer when the night chill sets in, but you can easily get the same level of comfort by bringing a padded comforter. Even if you still want to use a sleeping bag, lay a sheet and duvet underneath for extra comfort.
If you have the space, include your favorite throw blankies and pillows to make your air bed look cozy and warm. You can relax with the throws as you watch the sunset on your chair. Check Pinterest for ideas to color coordinate your space and make the tent look super-cozy and cute.
5. Floor Rug and Insulation
Place an indoor rug in your tent to give a comfortable stepping surface, or bring an outdoor rug you can lay on the ground outside your tent. Either way, choose a darker-colored rug which is easier to maintain in the outdoors. The rug will also make the floor softer and warmer. You can substitute with kids’ foam puzzle pieces from home.
Insulation is necessary if you’re camping in the fall or winter when you’ll need additional warmth. Insulation like Reflectix is made from polyethylene bubble wrap and covered with aluminum foil. It gives enough warmth for cold-weather camping. Use it under your air mattress/sleeping pad for an additional warmth layer. You can also fashion it into pouches to keep your dehydrated meals warm.
You need a waterproof tarp for the top and bottom of your tent to keep the area around your tent protected from rain or dew. Dew can seep in and make your bedding, food, and clothes damp and smelly. Rig a tarp over your tent for extra protection if you don’t have a high-quality rain fly.
Laying a tarp under the tent provides another layer of protection from outdoor moisture in addition to the tent surface itself.
These seemingly small things can go a long way in making your camping trip easier, cozier, and more enjoyable:
- Solar-powered portable speaker – Download some music into your phone and play it through your speaker for entertainment. Remember to put it outside to charge in the daytime.
- Roll of paper towels – These are good for everything, so bring a roll or two depending on how long the trip is. You can also get ones made especially for camping.
- Eye mask – Light sleepers may have trouble with early sunrise in the summer or lights around the campsite. Eye masks create a curtain of darkness around you. Bring a pair for every camper.
- Earplugs – The sounds of the outdoors can make it harder for some people to fall and stay asleep, plus animal noises can arouse fear. Wear earplugs or earbuds and listen to music or an audiobook.
- Spices – In addition to your food, carry some of your favorite spices so that your camping food isn’t too bland. Carry salt and pepper, then other spices depending on what you’ll cook
Be sure to plan for your meals in advance, and double-check to make sure every meal is included. The last thing you want is to have bad or even no food at some point. Carry extra just in case.
Regardless of everything you carry, keeping your space organized is a big part of learning how to make tent camping comfortable. Carry only the things you need and invest in closet organizers to store your clothes and things neatly in the tent.
You can also hang a string across the tent then attach hooks or carabiners to the tent. Use these hooks to keep your small things – keys, water bottles, lamps, gloves/mittens, etc.