Most of you have gotten used to sleeping indoors with total quiet, a mountain of pillows and a huge, fluffy mattress.
Camping lets you spend the night in remote places and take a break from these luxurious comforts of home. But as great as it feels to be outdoors, it's much harder to enjoy yourself without a good night's sleep.
There are many options when it comes to your sleeping surface, but it's important to find the right combination. I recommend the Big Agnes inflatable sleeping pad because it packs small but inflates big. It keeps you off the hard ground but gives you the freedom to adjust the firmness.
If you're car camping, it's always nice to bring an extra egg crate mattress pad to throw over your camping pad(s) for extra comfort.
More: How to Choose the Right Sleeping Bag
If you can fit a small backpacking pillow in with all your gear, do it. Pillows can make all the difference when it comes to staying snug in your tent. You can also stuff extra clothes inside a t-shirt for a makeshift pillow, but it may require frequent fluffing.
Some campers love to let the sounds of nature lull them to sleep, while others can't stand the chirping and screeching of bugs throughout the night. The solution: block the noise or drown it out with something more pleasant.
Ear plugs are a must for light sleepers. They're extremely small, cheap and disposable. Pack them whenever you plan on sleeping somewhere new.
Besides camping next to the ocean, there are other ways to create white noise. Some devices, including smart phone apps, play sounds that make you feel like you're sleeping next to a peacefully trickling stream.
More: 10 Car Camping Tips
Even in the summer, night time can get cold in the wilderness, especially at higher elevations. Scout out your destination's weather report ahead of time and make sure your sleeping bag is made for the right temperature. If you're unsure, sleeping bag liners can add up to 25 degrees of warmth.
One way to keep cozy is the old hot water bottle trick—boil some water and carefully pour it into a plastic, sealable water bottle, close the lid tightly and stick it in your sleeping bag before hitting the hay. This will get the bag nice and toasty for when you're ready to crawl in. Or, you can keep it in there while you sleep.
If you're worried about being too hot at night, lay on top of your sleeping bag or even ditch the tent for a simple mosquito net (warning: not rain proof).
More: 5 Tips to Beat the Bugs
Wear Yourself Out
You'll sleep a lot better after a full day of hiking, fishing, paddling or pedaling than if you just sit around the campfire eating hot dogs all day. Plan on crashing early, since there's less to do outdoors when the sun goes down, and go to bed exhausted.
You won't be very comfortable when all the occupants and gear slide into one corner of the tent throughout the night. Nor will it feel good in your blood-rushed skull if you sleep with your feet elevated above your head. Pitch your tent on a level surface and arrange your stuff to keep you from sliding around all night.
Keep it Clean
Even while roughing it, keep yourself as fresh as possible. Use a sock or bandanna to sponge bathe in a creek or water jug, or bring along some baby wipes to clean your stinky parts. You'll sleep much better when you're not sticking to yourself.
More: 10 Ways to Keep a Clean Campsite
It's always good to bring a waterproof tarp when camping. Tarps can be made into a canopy, used as a footprint under your tent to keep water from seeping through the seams (somehow this still happens if it's wet enough) and can even be thrown over top of the tent for added rain protection. Camping is NEVER fun when you're perpetually wet, so stay dry at all costs.
More: 10 Tips for Camping in the Rain
Reserve Your Campsite Online.