How to Make a Tent Bed

How to Make a Tent BedThe making of a comfortable tent bed begins before you even pitch your tent, since a comfortable night's sleep in the wilderness requires more than just throwing up a tent and tossing down your sleeping bag on the floor of the tent. Learn what you should do in advance in order to insure a pleasant night's rest.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Sleeping bag
  • Waterproof plastic groundcloth
  • Camp shovel or small trowel
Step 1
Address concerns before choosing a campsite, such as availability of firewood and water, and also natural protection from the elements and water drainage in case it rains.
Step 2
Choose a tent site that is relatively level and free from any protruding objects that arise from the ground, like tree roots or rocks.
Step 3
Remove all loose debris from the ground like twigs and small rocks and stones. You can leave the vegetation in place; in fact, in many camping places (e.g., national parks), it is illegal to remove a live plant from the ground.
Step 4
Lie down on the ground and find the most comfortable spot. Always make sure that your head is at the same elevation or slightly higher than your feet. A slight slope from head to feet is preferred by most campers. Also make a mark on the ground for the location of your hips and shoulder blades.
Step 5
Scoop two slight depressions in the ground (if land use regulations allow this) with a folding camp shovel or trowel. If you are traveling light, use the boot of your heel or the broken end of a dead tree branch to do this. These concave areas should correspond perfectly to where your shoulder blades and hips will rest after the tent is put up and the sleeping bags are laid out on the tent floor.
Step 6
Pitch the tent above the area on the ground that you have prepared. Do this so that the position of your sleeping bag or area lines up correctly with the hip and shoulder depressions in the ground.

Tips & Warnings

Use a foam pad underneath your sleeping bag for added comfort and insulation.
Choose a tent site that has good drainage in case of rain.
Set up you tent as soon as you arrive in camp. This should always be during the daylight hours.
Always place a plastic groundcloth underneath your tent for added moisture protection.
Do not camp outside of designated tent areas.
Do not camp outside of designated tent areas.

Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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