Hacks to make tent camping a little bit comfier (From My Experience)

Tent camping is often associated with rough, outdoorsy, dirty, woodsy fun. Sometimes, though, you want to enjoy the outdoors in the most comfortable way possible. Glamping is an increasingly popular option for those who don’t want to rough it. Let’s face it, sometimes you don’t want to wake up on the cold hard ground, with only the bare necessities. Adding a little bit of luxury can bring a whole new vibe to tent camping. The outdoors is for everyone, not just the hard-core nature enthusiasts.

The point is to get outside and enjoy nature; so here are a few hacks from my experience to make tent camping a little bit comfier. 

Choosing the right spot

Choosing a campsite that fits your needs is essential. This depends on whether you want to camp at a dispersed backwoods campsite or an established site that has facilities such as restrooms, trash bins, and electrical hookups. 

Before you set your gear down, find a site for optimum comfort. Make sure your space is clear of debris. No sharp rocks, gravel, branches, etc. Choose a spot that is on level ground.

A woman and her dog standing next to a tent in the woods.

 You’re going to want to find a spot that is not at the bottom of a slope in case it rains, or next to water. You don’t want to wake up in a flooded tent. Make sure that your tent is pitched to divert water if it rains and that the opening of the tent is facing away from elements such as wind. It is important to be prepared for seasons and weather. 

Check weather apps before camping. If you’re planning to camp in the summer, especially in a hot location, try to find somewhere that provides shade. 

It’s also a good idea to have some source of privacy, such as a tent with a vestibule, or a popup canopy that can give you a little privacy from other campers walking by looking directly into your tent (A lot of people camp in the great outdoors specifically to get away from hustle and bustle but if you’ve ever camped at a festival you know exactly what I’m talking about). 

Packing the right gear

First and foremost, you’re going to want a tent that fits your needs. If solo camping or camping with one friend, a two-person tent should be enough. However, if you are camping with your whole family, a group of friends, or simply want more space, there are plenty of other options. Consider a tent with a vestibule, multiple rooms, or a screened-in area. These tents can be huge, and awesome. You can have separate spaces for sleeping, hanging out, cooking, or storage. Or put kids in one area and adults in another. You can also use separate tents but connect them using a covering such as a popup canopy or stringing up a tarp. 

A tent is set up in a wooded area.

A good sleeping bag is essential, and one rated to the weather will protect you from cold. However, adding a sleeping pad, cot, or air mattress is a game changer. A nice thick sleeping pad will keep you from being directly on the ground, and that one rock you accidentally missed while clearing your site won’t keep you up all night. If you want to kick it up a notch, bring an air mattress. Bring a portable battery-powered air pump, or if you have access to a power source, some air mattresses have built-in pumps that can be plugged in for ultra convenience. 

Lots of pillows, and maybe your favorite memory foam pillow from home, really elevate the experience. Bring plenty of plush fuzzy blankets to snuggle into and get prepared to have to most comfortable camping night of your life. 

Sturdy and lightweight camp chairs are a must for comfortable camping.  Often, you’ll spend a lot of time around the fire at night. Comfy chairs keep you from sitting on the ground and give you a nice place to relax after a long day in the woods.

A group of people and a dog in the woods.

A table may seem unnecessary but when you’re trying to prep dinner on a rock or the ground you will wish you had one. I like to use a storage tote as a multipurpose table/ storage bin, however, a larger folding table would make life a little easier, especially during cooking, or playing cards with friends.

A full camp kitchen with a camp stove, cooking utensils, herbs and spices, and a great recipe book can really make a camp meal the ultimate comfort food. If you’re like me and love cooking in the wilderness, now is the time to relish in having a miniature kitchen at your disposal to cook for friends and family, and enjoy eating a comfort meal around the fire. Pre-prepping food will give you more time to enjoy the wilderness and cuts down on cooking time as well. 

Hang up string lights for ambiance. You can do this both inside and outside of the tent. Solar-powered lights are a win, as you don’t need a power source. It’s a good idea to have multiple light sources as well. I like to use a headlamp for hands-free light, especially at night when making trips to the bathroom. 

If you choose a dispersed campsite without facilities, there are a couple of options to make using the bathroom in the woods a little more accessible. A portable camp toilet is the most comfortable option and is clean and convenient if you are transporting via vehicle. (This is not the best option for those hiking to their campsite). Another option for comfort and privacy is a pop-up toilet tent. This gives you instant privacy for using the restroom, showering, or changing. For women – a funnel such as a Shewee or any Personal Urination Device can make peeing in the outdoors a little easier, especially when your thighs are on fire from a long hike and you’re dreading squatting next to a tree. Make sure you adhere to the Leave No Trace Policy and abide by guidelines for proper waste disposal. 

A solar charger or portable power device can be used to charge electronics such as a phone, speaker, lights, GPS, or fan. A solar charger requires no electricity and is a sustainable option if no outlets are available at the campsite. 

Tips and Hacks

Keep your area clean! Have an area outside your tent or sleeping space where you can remove your dirty shoes before climbing into your sleeping bag; nobody likes sleeping in a sandy tent. While this can decrease the dirt or sand that ends up inside, bringing a small dustpan can help combat the inevitable dirt that gets tracked in. 

If you have access to electricity at your campsite, you can really go all out. Set up a screen for a cushy outdoor movie night.

Bring an extra change of clothes! Being able to change out of dirty or wet clothes is essential.

Hammocks can be strung up around the campsite as a comfy place to hang out, read, or nap. 

A portable camping fan can be a relief on hot summer nights. It can also double as a light source. Make sure you have an adequate power source.

Bug spray! Nothing is worse than being eaten alive all night. Make sure your camping kit contains some insect repellant. 

Warm up before sleep with hand warmers such as Hot Hands or a warm water bottle tucked into your sleeping bag. 

Sometimes you don’t want to wake up with the sun, especially if you were up late singing and dancing around the campfire (refer to: Bluetooth speaker). A sleep mask, along with ear plugs can block out those early morning rays and allow you to get some extra sleep.

Bluetooth speaker for a little ambiance or jam sesh. Who doesn’t love sitting around the campfire and singing their favorite songs with their favorite people? Nights like these make the best memories. 

Even without all the luxuries of home, with these tips and tricks, tent camping can be a comfortable and enjoyable experience for everyone.  Happy camping!

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