Since many members of my family are passionate hunters and fishermen, I grew up with these two passions as well, learning lots of things ever since I was a child. I remember that one of the most important lessons given to me by the family’s elders was to be well-rested especially when being on a hunting trip. Over time, I have developed a few habits for getting a good sleep when being outdoors. Let me share with you the most useful tricks and hacks I’ve discovered so far:
Always have a sleeping pad with you! If not, use your clothes to create insulation from the ground. An inflatable full-air mattress, which also packs small, will keep you off the soil and you have the freedom to adjust its firmness. But if it’s too complicated to carry it or you think it’s too bulky, an inflatable sleeping pad is the next best choice. Mattress Matchers gives valuable information about the best outdoor sleeping pads so you can make an informed and smart purchase.
Deal with the noise
If the sounds of nature don’t bother your sleep, it’s perfect. But many people need complete silence to be able to get a good rest, so the noises bugs and animals make during the night are a problem for them. If you’re such a person, the solution is simple: earplugs. They are small, cheap and they could be the key to a peaceful sleep.
Keep away the bugs
I’m a big fan of the wilderness, but I never liked bugs. They are a constant source of noise, especially during night time. But I know how to keep them away: by placing the tent in a high dry spot (not next to a swamp, stream or pond). Another trick is not to use perfume or other smelling cosmetics. If you have a bug repellant, make sure it’s water-resistant. The old-school hack is to burn sage branches into the campfire. Bugs hate that smell.
Choose easy-to-digest foods before going to sleep. A heavy meal will require more energy from your body, it will make you produce extra heat overnight, and you won’t be able to sleep well. Drinking something warm, not hot, before bedtime is an excellent idea; for instance, warm milk, tea or even a cup of light soup. Alcohol is not a good choice: it will interfere with your body temperature for the rest of the night.
Warm your sleeping bag
Put a plastic, sealable bottle with hot (boiled) water into your sleeping bag; the heat radiating from it will warm up the bag, and you will feel cozy enough to get to sleep.
Cover your head
Our head plays a crucial role for a good night rest: if it’s cold, it will trigger other parts of the body to feel cold as well. The best trick not to lose heat from our head is to put something on it, like a lovely hand-knitted hood or a cap.
Keep yourself dry
Rain or sweat can keep your clothes and skin moist, and this won’t help your sleep at all. It’s best to be completely dry before getting into the sleeping bag. I would recommend slipping into a fresh set of clothes, top to bottom, starting with the underwear.
If you’re out there with your hunting dog or with a hunting pall and it’s freezing outside, you can warm each other by snuggling up in the same sleeping bag. The heat generated by the bodies will keep the bag warm enough for a restful sleep.
Getting warm before going to sleep is an excellent trick for a good night rest. Don’t think of heavy exercising! Do a set of jumping jacks or sit-ups or even a few push-ups, and you’ll generate enough body heat to warm the bag.
Breathe and meditate
Calm your mind and think of something pleasant and relaxing. I learned a few breathing techniques, which are quite easy to perform, and they are indeed beneficial. Meditation is a great way to induce tranquility and a profound sleep. Clear your mind and let nature inside your brain and soul. She will take care of the rest.