Step 1: Get a Good Foundation
For a full night’s sleep, start from the ground up. Using a pad to match your desired comfort level and the current conditions is key to maximizing your shut-eye.
Step 2: Find your perfect bag
Sleep preferences vary by individual, but restless nights tend to fall into three categories: too cold, too warm, or too confined. These bags are a good start to satisfy the pickiest backcountry slumberers.
Step 3: Use a real pillow
Ultralighters may scoff, but we have a rebuttal: 2 ounces. That’s all a good backpacking pillow weighs these days. So ditch the stuffsack full of clothes and give your head and neck something to look forward to.
Klymit Pillow X
This ultrapackable pillow has a divot in the middle, which keeps it from popping out from under your head in the middle of the night. $25; 2 oz.
Tips for sleeping better in the backcountry
Blunt your senses. Too bright? Pull a Buff or bandana over your eyes. Too loud? Wear earplugs.
Stoke your fire. Do jumping jacks right before you hit the sack for an extra boost of heat.
Change into dry layers. Moisture saps warmth, so always sleep in dry clothes. Even if your baselayers don’t feel damp, they likely accrued some sweat from the day’s hike. Preferred option: Pack dedicated sleep layers. Option 2: Thirty minutes or more before getting to camp, moderate your pace to reduce sweating, and let your body heat dry what you’re wearing.
Cuddle up. Bring a bottle filled with hot water into bed.