When I was a kid and going camping I never once thought about comfort. But I was a kid and I could sleep anywhere. But now that I’m an adult comfort matters and it matters a lot!
To make your tent camping comfortable and cozy, you’ll need the right camping gear, proper bedding, light sources food and cookware, portable power, entertainment, and a couple of additional items to create the right ambiance and mood in your tent.
Follow my 11 tips and you’ll sleep like a kid again on your next camping trip!
Table Of Contents
- 1. Pack The Right Gear
- 2. Look For The Perfect Camping Spot
- 3. Choose The Right Tent
- 4. Plan For The Weather
- 5. Add Tent Lighting
- 6. Embrace Camp Cooking
- 7. Use Portable Power
- 8. Be Smart With Storing Your Camping Gear
- 9. Add A Few Luxuries
- 10. Pack A Few Things To Keep You Entertained
- 11. Create The Perfect Ambiance
- How To Make Tent Camping Comfortable – Final Thoughts
1. Pack The Right Gear
Packing the right gear for your camping trip is essential. You’ll want to have everything you need to keep you comfortable and to help you get a good night’s sleep.
While most people will have a preference as to what type of gear to include for their camping trip, there are a few items that you should not be without. These include:
Air Mattress or Sleeping Pad
Adding an air mattress to your tent is essential for maximum tent comfort, especially if you get a top-of-the-range air mattress that’s almost as high as an actual bed. I’ve tried camping cots, small inflatable sleeping pads, and just about every other alternative product that serves as a camping bed, but nothing is as comfortable (in my opinion) as an air mattress. Sure, you need to inflate it, and it could get punctured and require re-inflating sometime during your camping trip, but it’s a small sacrifice for comfort and a good night’s rest you’ll get when you use an air mattress.
However, if you’re sleeping in extremely cold temperatures you may want to consider a sleeping pad instead. An air mattress is much more comfortable, but sleeping on a giant pillow of cold air makes it hard to stay warm. A sleeping pad isn’t quite as comfortable as an air mattress but they are warmer, and it’s pretty hard to be comfortable if you are cold.
Some campers opt for a cot as their camping bed of choice, but it’s not my first choice. To learn why, check out my guide to Camping Cots vs Air Mattresses.
There’s nothing worse than being too cold or too hot when camping. Because of that, I always advise using a sleeping bag designed for the weather you anticipate. If you’re camping in the summer, go for a light bag you won’t overheat in. For camping in the winter, I recommend a cold weather down sleeping bag for maximum comfort. (Pro tip: pack a heated camping blanket for an added layer of cozy warmth).
Pillows for camping can be compact and are made from foam or are inflatable. While these are perfectly fine, especially when you’re low on packing space, I prefer a traditional pillow. A regular pillow gives you that homey feeling and adds more comfort and support for your head and neck when camping. But, of course, if you have a memory foam pillow, that’s even better; there’s no need to skip on luxury here.
Camping equipment like camping chairs, tables, a tarp, and a camping rug can make all the difference when making your tent camping comfortable and cozy. Camp chairs provide a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the campfire, while the tables can be used for multiple purposes, including counter space for your kitchen items or as a place to sit and enjoy camping meals.
Camping rugs are considered more of a luxurious item, but they don’t take up much space and can really add a little luxury and additional comfort when climbing out of your tent and placing your feet on a soft rug. When camping, you’re guaranteed to have dirty feet, but by adding a camp rug, you can put it in front of your tent and step outside without getting your feet dirty.
A tarp is very handy; it protects your tent from holes and damage from whatever’s underneath your tent and prevents any moisture from the ground from getting into it. A tarp is usually placed under your tent, but it can also act as a rain cover when placed above your tent.
It’s important to note that most tents come with a rain fly, but keeping a tarp with your camping equipment can help give you a more comfortable camping experience and be used in an emergency.
Cutlery, Crockery, And Cookware
A camping stove is a must when going camping. You’ll need to pack a camping stove, enough fuel to keep the stove going, and all the crockery and cutlery you’ll need for the camping trip. To save on packing space, stick to a saucepan and deep skillet; you don’t want to be lugging around too many pots and pans.
Having a stove and cookware gives you more options for meals. It’s a bad idea to rely solely on prepacked snacks and pre-made meals; trust me, there’s nothing nicer than a homemade camping dinner.
2. Look For The Perfect Camping Spot
Whether you’re going desert camping, wild camping, or camping in a forest, finding the best camping spot is vital in keeping you comfortable and cozy. I love forest camping, and on one of my forest camping trips, I pitched my tent in an area with lots of tree roots. I was mainly looking for shade but didn’t realize that there were so many roots, which made the tent uneven and sleeping very uncomfortable.
Here are a few guidelines for finding the ideal camping spot are:
- Find level ground. When choosing a camping spot, finding level ground is vital to being comfortable. It may be challenging to find a completely level place, but one that is mostly level will do just fine. If you pick a very uneven spot, you could wake up with all the blood rushing to your head and feel like a not-so-happy camper in the morning.
- Pick your door orientation correctly. To make tent camping comfortable and cozy, you’ll want to set up the door of your tent facing away from the elements but also in a way that still gives you privacy. There’s nothing worse than a hundred other campers walking past and peeking into your tent!
- Check for slopes and drainage. If you pitch your tent near a slope during the rainy season, you may wake up to find that your tent is flooded. It’s best to avoid pitching your tent near a slope because if you do get flooded, it won’t only be a nightmare to clean up. Still, it will also leave you cold and very uncomfortable.
- Pay attention to the seasons. To be comfortable and cozy when you’re tent camping, you must plan for the seasonal weather. If you’re camping in summer, you’ll want to choose a camping spot with lots of shade. If camping in winter, you want to find a great place that offers some sunshine.
- Don’t camp too close to the water. If you’re camping close to a lake or river, there may be insects that can put a damper on your camping trip, especially if there are mosquitos.
- Avoid sharp objects. You’ll want to pitch your tent in a spot free of sharp things like stones, sticks, and branches. This can not only make holes in your tent but can also make you uncomfortable.
3. Choose The Right Tent
Tents come in various materials and sizes and are generally suitable for three- or four-season camping. When choosing a tent, you’ll want to consider the number of people sleeping in the tent, including room for your furry friend.
The most popular tent is a three-season tent which is designed to handle weather conditions throughout summer, fall, and spring. These tents have a rainfly and mesh sides and can handle some rain. Four-season tents can withstand harsh weather conditions like snow, winds, and heavy rain. Unless you’re planning on winter camping in extreme temperatures, you’ll unlikely need a 4 season tent.
There are many different types of tents, but I prefer the cabin-style tents because they offer more livable space and height, so if you’re tall, you don’t have to bend when climbing in and out of the tent. Also, with cabin-style tents, I like to turn a section into a small kitchen area, so all my kitchen items are close by and are less likely to attract flies, insects, and other animals.
4. Plan For The Weather
To make tent camping comfortable, you need to plan for the perfect time to go camping. Check the weather and pick dates that are not too hot or cold or that forecast rain. I prefer camping in shoulder seasons like spring & fall. Generally, the weather isn’t too extreme, and it’s not peak season for camping, so there will be fewer campers and more options for places to pitch your tent.
5. Add Tent Lighting
Have you been camping, packed everything you need only to find out you need more light? I pack enough lights for camping and a few extras if some stop working.
A variety of lights work best, and some of the lights you may want to use are hanging lanterns that you can hang from your tent, torches, moveable lanterns, and head torches. You don’t want to trip over your camping gear in the dark or stumble during the night when making your way to the bathroom.
6. Embrace Camp Cooking
To make tent camping a bit cozier, consider making freshly made camp meals. Of course, you don’t have to make all your camping meals while camping, but having a few homemade meals under a sky filled with stars can be beautiful.
Breakfast and dinners are usually easy, and getting a freshly made cup of filter coffee for breakfast while admiring the nature that surrounds you makes great camping memories.
7. Use Portable Power
If you love keeping your gadgets close by and fully charged to make camping a bit more comfortable, then you need a portable power station. Portable power stations can also power compact fridges, laptops, kettles, and toasters and often operate quietly. Although mobile power stations can make camping more comfortable, I usually avoid using them to power my phone or laptop.
Camping should be a way to connect with nature, so I prefer limiting my device usage and instead using my portable power station to charge my fridge and small appliances, but this is entirely up to you.
8. Be Smart With Storing Your Camping Gear
When camping in your tent, you’ll want to get the most out of your camping space to be comfortable and cozy. So setting up your mattress or your sleeping area should be done first. Next, camping bags, clothes, and other items should be packed away to provide you with more space to move around your tent.
9. Add A Few Luxuries
Adding a few luxury items to your camping trip can make you feel like you’re in a glamping tent. Some of the luxuries you can include are a portable pizza oven, portable expresso maker, Bluetooth speaker, soft, plush camping blankets, or a battery operated fan can really elevate your camping experience
10. Pack A Few Things To Keep You Entertained
Entertainment isn’t always the first thing you think of when going camping or when wanting to make your tent comfortable. Entertainment can be anything from packing in a few board games to a guitar, harmonica, or a couple of good word-search books.
Maybe you haven’t had the chance to finish that book you’ve started reading or find yourself stuck in your tent because it’s raining outside; having those few entertainment items will keep you busy and come in handy.
Related: Fun Things To Do On A Camping Trip
11. Create The Perfect Ambiance
To make tent camping comfortable and cozy, you need to create a welcoming and relaxing ambiance. If you have extra packing space, add a few scatter cushions, picnic baskets, and blankets and set it up close to your campsite. If music is allowed at your campsite, bring along a speaker to enjoy your favorite tunes.
If you’re old school, bring a guitar and sing songs next to the campfire. Add a few lanterns inside and outside of your tent. You can add a diffuser with your favorite essential oils to help create a relaxing ambiance.
How To Make Tent Camping Comfortable – Final Thoughts
There’s no need to rough it out or feel like you have to endure a camping trip. There are many ways you can make tent camping comfortable, and it is all about planning and packing the right items to make your camping experience cozy.
I’m sure your next camping trip will be a comfortable one.
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