Things for Sleeping


Accommodation is usually either in a building or in tents, but can vary depending on the activity. However, like eating utensils, the basics remain the same. The biggest problem while sleeping on camp is keeping warm, and the best way of doing this is being well insulated.

Top of the list is a sleeping bag and liner. Although sheets and blankets can be used, most campers today use a sleeping bag.

Sleeping Bags

A sleeping bag with a hood is preferable as it keeps the head warm at night. A bag rated to 0 or –5 degrees is adequate for most outdoor camps. A good camping store should be able to help you with the selection.

Bags from discount department stores may not be warm enough for winter use although probably be warm enough for sleeping indoors or during summer.

Side zip bags are preferable so that they can be partly unzipped on warmer nights.

Most sleeping bags are stuff bags, where they are stuffed into a bag for transporting rather than rolled up. However, whether rolled or stuffed, sleeping bags benefit from being taken out of their bag when not being used so they can loft up. The simplest way is probably to hang them in a wardrobe between camps and only pack them the day before use. They should also be aired before being stored, to allow moisture a chance to evaporate.

Liner (or inner sheet)

The liner is a separate cloth (silk/cotton/linen) bag that goes inside the sleeping bag and provides extra insulation while helping keep the bag cleaner. The liner can be washed after use, which saves the need to wash the sleeping bag preventing the possibility of damage.


Mattresses are important to stop heat escaping through the ground. Blow-up mattresses aren’t recommended because while comfortable, the can allow heat to be lost to the ground. They also they need a pump to be inflated. The two options most suitable are self-inflating mattresses and closed cell foam sleeping rolls.

Self-inflating mattresses are more comfortable and come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. Like sleeping bags, they are best left unrolled and inflated when not being used.

Underneath a bed is a good place to store them. This is because if left rolled up the cells in them will take longer to inflate when they finally are unrolled at camp. For this reason it is best to lay out bedding as soon as possible when camping.

Next: Other Night Time Items

Last updated: about 9 years ago