Sleeping outside under the stars on an autumn night can be an extraordinary experience. You shouldn’t have to worry about buggy, humid sleeping conditions or freezing cold temperatures associated with the winter months.
That being said, in order to have an enjoyable time sleeping amidst the stars this fall, you need to know how to build a sleep system so you have all the necessary items to have a comfortable night’s sleep.
In this article, you’ll learn exactly what you need and how to build a sleep system so you can have a quality night's sleep camping this fall.
How To Build A Sleep System For Fall
The key to building a camping sleep system is understanding the top four basic necessities to sleep overnight outdoors. This includes packing:
- A tent/shelter for protection and to keep you dry from any inclement weather conditions.
- Sleeping pad to serve as a bed for you to sleep on.
- Camping pillow to rest your head on when you sleep.
- A sleeping bag or quilt to keep you warm overnight.
Below you’ll learn exactly how to use these items to create a camping outdoor sleep system for a great night’s sleep.
1. Sleeping Pad
To keep you from sleeping on the ground, a sleeping pad provides the perfect way to cushion your body to comfortably sleep on the ground.
There are two main types of sleeping pads: a foam sleep pad and an inflatable sleep pad.
Foam Sleep Pad
A foam sleep pad provides decent insulation between your body and the ground to sleep when camping outdoors. Although not nearly as comfortable as inflatable sleeping pads, foam sleeping pads often are more durable and cost-effective than inflatable pads.
Therefore, if you expect to sleep in rougher terrain and don’t want to risk puncturing your sleep pad, consider packing a foam sleep pad.
Inflatable Sleep Pad
Meanwhile, an inflatable sleep pad, although more expensive and has the potential to pop on rougher grounds, is more comfortable than foam pads and a lot more portable. This is great because not only will you likely get a better night’s sleep, but you can shrink your inflatable pad into something you can easily stow away in a backpack.
What Does R-Value Mean?
When deciding on your sleep pad, you must also take into consideration the R-Value of the sleeping pad. Sleeping pads are rated between 1-7 in terms of r-value, where the higher the value, the more insulated the pad is.
Therefore, depending on what time of year you want to build your camping sleep system influences the r-value of the sleeping pad you pack.
- R1 to R2- For the summer months.
- R2 to R4- For spring or fall months.
- R4 to R6- For year-round.
- R6 and R7- For cold weather conditions.
Based on the above r-value breakdown for sleeping pads, if you want to build a sleep system for fall, you should pick a sleeping pad with an R-Value between R2 to R4.
2. Sleeping Bag Or Quilt
Next, to keep you warm and insulated throughout the night, you’ll want to pack a sleeping bag or quilt. This will ensure you are comfortable throughout the night. That being said, make sure you pick a sleeping bag for the particular season you decide to camp outdoors.
If you are building a fall sleep system for camping outdoors, consider getting a Season 2 or Season 3 insulation-level sleeping bag. This will ensure you don’t get too hot or cold in your sleeping bag. If you are looking for something else to keep you warm while camping outdoors, consider bringing a quilt or two.
3. Camping Pillow
Although you’ll have a sleeping pad to rest your body on, you should also consider packing a pillow to rest your head on for a good night’s sleep. There are all sorts of camping pillows you can choose from: inflatable pillows, travel neck pillows, regular pillows, or you can even create a make-shift pillow out of some piled-up extra clothes you have packed.
Ensure you pick a pillow right for your own unique needs as well as have the space to pack it with ease.
Last but not least, a tent is another essential item you’ll need to build a sleep system for fall camping. A tent provides you with the necessary shelter to not only make you feel safe but help you sleep better at night.
Although a tent may be heavier to carry and can be a more expensive item, it is worth it to build a complete sleep system when camping in the fall. Not only will a tent help protect you from inclement weather, such as a rain storm, but it will also protect you from any annoying bugs that could keep you up at night. Likewise, a tent provides a cohesive shelter to put all your camping supplies in so you don’t lose anything, and feel more safe and cozy to sleep rather than camping out in the open without any shelter to protect you.
Learning how to build a sleep system for fall is essential to have a restful night’s sleep during your overnight camping adventures. Camping outdoors can truly be a magical experience. Not only do you get to disconnect from the stressors of everyday life, but you get to connect with nature.
That being said, in order to have a safe and enjoyable camping experience, you should be prepared with all your outdoor camping essentials, including all your sleep system items. From having a sleeping bag, camping pillow, and sleeping pad to keep you warm and rest your body on at night, to a tent to protect you from any of the outdoor elements, it’s important you are well prepared with all the items you may need to build your sleep system this fall.
By being prepared with the information listed above, you are sure to have a memorable time under the stars connecting with nature.