When it comes to camping, there are many, many different things that you need to be aware of. Of course, you have to make sure that you have enough food and water to keep yourself comfortable, but you also need to make sure that the positioning of your tent is correct.
While you might not think about it at first, the sunlight can have a massive impact on your ability to sleep.
How Does Sunlight Affect Your Camping Experience?
The human body is designed to take sunlight into account when it comes to sleep cycles. One of the reasons that people go camping is to try and reset their body clock by sleeping when the sun sets and rising when the sun does.
However, for some people, this is a completely unwanted effect of camping. Not everyone particularly wants to wake up at the crack of dawn.
This is where blacking out your tent can come in handy. By physically making it so that your body does not sense the sunlight outside, you can completely avoid the effects of waking up early.
Whether you simply prefer sleeping in, or you want to make sure you are getting a full night’s sleep, knowing how to blackout your tent is incredibly important.
Even if you don’t know how to do this, it is quite easy to do. There are a variety of methods that you can use, depending on your situation, location, and needs.
For instance, if you are camping with multiple people and you are the only one who doesn’t want to wake with the sun, it would be impolite to blackout the entire tent. This is just one of the things you have to think about when you are planning to go camping.
With this being said, it might be important for you to know some of the ways that you can blackout your tent. There are methods that depend on the location of the tent, type of tent, and the people you are with, meaning that there is going to be a solution to just about every situation.
1 – Using Blackout Materials
This method is, by far, the most practical and the most commonly used method of making sure that no extra sunlight is seeping through into the tent. Generally, hardware stores will sell the materials that you need, although you will always be able to find what you need at online stores as well.
The purpose of this blackout material is to combat the bright and reflective colors that most tents use. These bright colors serve to heighten the apparent brightness of the sun, as it not only lets the sunlight flow through into the tent, but the colors do nothing to hamper the sheer brightness of it.
With a good blackout material padding, you can place it on the bottom of the tent and you will be perfectly good to go.
The way this material works is that it absorbs the majority of the light that is streaming in from the sun. After all, darker colors are going to absorb more light than lighter and brighter ones, meaning that it will be the floor around you getting hit with the sun, and not as much you.
Many people find that this helps to take the brunt of the sun away, allowing for a couple extra hours of sleep in the morning.
What makes this material even better is that it doesn’t affect the ventilation of the tent like many other methods do. This is especially helpful if you are camping in warmer parts of the world where ventilation is crucial to having an enjoyable camping experience.
2 – Covering the Bedroom Pod
If you are using a larger tent that has a dedicated bedroom pod, you might find that covering the entire pod can help blot out the sun so that you can get those precious hours of sleep in the morning. This method is also incredibly simple, and there isn’t anything specific that you have to purchase except for the blackout materials.
All you have to do is drape that portion of the tent with the blackout materials. You will be doing this from the outside of the tent, which means that you will affect how the tent feels later in the day or at night.
This is something you will want to think about, as it might not be worth it to cut off ventilation to sleep better at night.
Covering the bedroom pod of your tent will also cut off ventilation, meaning that no cool air is going to run through the tent at night. Depending on how hot or cold it gets, this might be a problem, and it is most certainly something you will need to talk about if you are planning to go camping with other people who will be sharing the pod space with you.
This method ends up lowering the condensation in the pod as well, which can affect the way it feels during the night.
If you find that these methods don’t quite apply to you because you are camping with someone else, there are a few ways that you can combat this as well. However, nothing is quite as effective as the age-old method of simply using an eye mask.
3 – Using an Eye Mask
Chances are that you aren’t going to be camping alone, and if this is the case, you might run into the problem of camping with someone who does appreciate waking up to see the sunrise. If this is the case for you, then you might want to consider investing some money into an eye mask.
As you might be able to imagine, this method doesn’t involve much and it is one of the easiest things to do. It also benefits you, and the other campers, in the sense that it doesn’t affect the rest of the tent at all.
Nobody will have to worry about blocking out sunlight for people who appreciate it, and you won’t have to worry about affecting the ventilation of the tent as well.
What makes this method even more versatile is the fact that you don’t necessarily need to have a special eye mask. If you have a hat, a sleeping bag, or anything that can block out the sun and it is small enough to put over your eyes, then you have something that you can use.
Many people can appreciate the versatility of this method, and the fact that it doesn’t bother anyone else you might be camping with.
4 – Using Location
Before you even start trying to buy new materials to block out the sun, you will want to make sure that you aren’t making things worse for yourself by camping in a location where the sun shines directly onto your tent. There are a few things to be mindful of when you are trying to think about where you want to set up your tent.
For one, you will want to make sure that you are camping in a more heavily wooded area, or at least someplace that doesn’t have a considerable amount of light pollution. More trees in the area will mean that the leaves absorb most of the sunlight that might wake you up, meaning that it will take longer for it to reach bothersome levels.
Likewise, less light pollution means that the night sky will be darker, and this is something that most campers enjoy.
You will also want to think about where the sun rises and sets in relation to your tent and the direction you are sleeping. If you can avoid sleeping in a position where the rising sun will be level with your head, then you can avoid a good majority of the morning sunlight before it really becomes daytime.
In a way, using the location to your advantage should be one of the first steps you take to combat the sun waking you up.
5 – Using a Different Colored Tent
Finally, you might want to think about purchasing a new tent altogether. As mentioned earlier, darker colors tend to absorb more light. This means that the sunlight isn’t going to be so sharp when it hits your eyes as it comes in.
Unfortunately, most tents come in lighter, brighter colors to try and keep people cooler at night. However, with enough time and research, you will surely be able to find a darker colored tent that suits your needs.
If you aren’t really in the mood to completely replace your tent, then you might want to consider using darker clothes, sleeping bags, and other materials to act as a substitute blackout material. While it won’t be nearly as effective as actual blackout material, it will certainly be better than nothing.
These are all some of the ways that you can make your camping experience a little bit easier for yourself, especially when you are not a morning person.
Whether you are camping with someone or you are going alone, and regardless of the type of tent you will be using, you will surely find a method that suits your needs best. Before you know it, you will have one of the most enjoyable camping experiences.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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