Is it Safe to Sleep in a Tent?

A lot of people who never have been camping wonder is it safe to sleep in a tent. Well yes typically it is safe to sleep in a tent, but there are some precautions and recommendations to make your tent camping as safe as possible.

So if your wonder if it is safe to sleep in a tent? Yes, camping in a tent is safe. Look at these 25 tips to consider the next tent camping trip your on: Location of the tent, Using a tarp. Keeping the food secure & away from the tent. Prepare for the weather. Take a weather radio. Insulate tent. Make the tent comfortable. Have a plan for the fire. Be mindful of other campers.

Here are 25 tips you should consider. That will make your tent camping even safer.

1. Location

When your going camping in a tent. You want to think about the location of where you are going to be camping. Are you in a remote location. Where there are less people in the area. Are you in the mountain terrain. Or are you out in a desert location? This will dictate what you will take with you camping. Also what animals are in the area. Which you should be aware of so that you can be prepared. You can find out about the animal habitat by contacting the park that you plan on staying at. The National Wildlife Federation is a great source too. They even have apps for your phone. While your out in the wilderness you can learn in advance what you can expect to see on your next hiking trip.

2. Location of Tent

Also as for location, the location of the tent is paramount. You want the tent to be on a flat part of the campsite. Free from rocks and debris. And away from where the restroom is going to be setup. Also 25 feet away from where your fire pit is going to be. The food should be about 100 feet away from the tent. And that goes for the garbage too.

Related Article: How to Make a Good Campfire That Will Last a Long Time.

3. Commercial Grade Tarp

A good quality tarp should be placed down first. Prior to putting the tent up. The tarp will guard the tent and you from sharp objects and also keep the water off the bottom of the tent. I always place a tarp down then put the tent up. It gives me additional protection.

Related article: Why Should you use a Tarp under a tent.

4. Keeping Food Secure

You never want to stay in the tent with food in the tent. A tent will guard against rain and weather. But it does very little good against racoons or even worse a bear. NEVER ever keep the food in the tent. I recommend keeping it secure away from the tent about 100 feet away.

A couple of tips to keep you safe and your food from becoming prey.

  • Keep your food in plastic bags so that the odor is locked inside the bag. And away from your tent.
  • Have the food that is in plastic bags inside containers.
  • Keep the containers far away from the tent. About 100 feet if possible. And keep the containers on a flat surface of ground. So that it will be more difficult for a wild animal to move the container. Source
  • Use something that will make noise when it is knocked over. So that you have a warning that something is into the food. Pots and pans or any thing that will make a noise.
  • Check with the park that you are planning on camping at to see what the food regulations are.
  • Try to keep all scent’s and crumbs away from your tent. This also goes for the garbage. The garbage should be double bagged and kept in a garbage can away from the tent area.
  • You could always keep the food in your vehicle.

Related Article: How to Pack for Camping in a Tent (Ultimate Guide)

5. Always be Prepared for the Weather

As I say always expect the unexpected. In other words be prepared at all times. And that goes for the weather too. You want to make sure if it rains that your tent will keep you dry. You can use a secondary tarp. If you have trees around you hang it from the trees. And over the top to keep the tent from getting soaked. Or you could try this kind of a tent which works with a canopy. See the tent here: How to Put Up a Tent In Less than 5 Minutes.

6. Prepare for Sudden Cold Weather

Always be prepared for the weather. I always check the weather and take with me a weather radio. This way I’m prepared for inclement weather. You also want to bring a sleeping bag. One that will be warm enough for the season that you are camping in. You want to bring a well insulated sleeping bag. Here is an article to learn about; what’s the best sleeping bag that will meet or surpass your needs.

7. How to Keep Warm Sleeping in a Tent

You can also guard against the cold by getting a cot to sleep on. A lot of people take an air mattress to sleep on. When they are tent camping. The problem with the air mattress is two fold. First off the mattress is on the ground and that’s where the outside cold air is. When the temperature of the outside air gets cooler so does the air inside the mattress. Keeping you feeling damp and cold. This is why I recommend using a cot.

With a cot your up off the ground and you are also taking up less space on the floor of the tent. I recommend a warm sleeping bag and extra blankets. Also a tarp helps insulated the floor of the tent.

Related article: Camping Cot or Air Mattress? A Side by Side Comparison.

8. Bring Proper Clothing

It never fails, the weather that is. The weather always keeps you on your toes. Even though it is nice and warm and the forecast predicts warm weather. Always pack for rain and cooler weather. It’s always best to be prepared for the unexpected change in weather. I always bring some extra socks and rain gear. Check my recommendations in this article & checklist: How to Pack for Camping in a Tent (Ultimate Guide).

Related Article: What to wear in summer camping.

9. Keeping the Fire a Safe Distance from the Tent

One of the best things to do while camping is to have a fire. And a nice warm fire is perfect for keeping you warm when tent camping. But Safety comes first. Before you build a campfire you want to have some things in place. Safety measure. First the campfire needs to be 25 feet away from the tent and other structures that could catch on fire. You want to make sure there are no hanging limbs around the fire. Also make sure you have a bucket and water to extinguish the fire. And a shovel can help dig a fire pit and if need be put the fire out. Click this link to get some great tips on How to make a good campfire that will last a long time.

10. Be Aware of Other People Camping

Even though your in a remote part of the campground there are usually other people camping too. So be mindful of them. For the most part campers are very nice and trustworthy people. But you should know who should be there and who shouldn’t be. And make sure they are using the proper camping etiquette.

Related Article: First Time Campers Must Have Gear (9 Pieces to Start Now).

11. Keeping the Bugs Out of Your Tent

When your camping you will encounter annoying bugs. Mostly mosquitos, fly’s and other flying insects. There are some all natural ways to keep the bugs off of you. Or you can use bug zappers, nets, deet and sprays. Even smoke from a fire can keep bugs away. Also keeping the doors and windows closed will help keep the bugs out of the Tent. You can use a yellow light instead of white. This seems to help at night time. The most effective for keeping mosquitos away is Deet it is in the science. Bug zappers take away all the bugs even the ones that do not bight. You can also use a fan to keep flying insects away. They can not fly in the windy conditions of a fan. Check out this article for more FAQ about how to keep away bugs when camping.

Related Article: How to Keep Away Bugs when Camping.

12. Choose the Right Tent

When you are going camping there are some things your going to need for your tent. So that you have the perfect camping experience. Not all tents will have everything, but the more the merrier. Take a look at these tips for the perfect tent for camping.

  • Water proof
  • Easy set up
  • Easy take down
  • Spacious
  • Rugged material
  • Screened windows
  • Oversized door

If you want to learn more about the best tent that has all of the things you want in a tent. Then read this article about this Must Have Camping Gear: Large Family Tent.

13. First Aid Kit

Like I say when you go camping you want to be prepared for the unexpected. So I always make sure I have a first aid kit packed and ready. You never know when your going to need it. The first aid kit is one of those must have items. That you hope that you never need to use it. But you want to have it packed and properly filled. So that if you do need to use it. You will be able to help someone in need. Check out Best Camping Gear: Camping Gadgets to see first aid kits for camping.

14. Sun Tan Lotion is a Necessity

Camping in a tent is safe, but when you are out of the tent. Then it can become unsafe. Why because of the suns rays. Did you know that the sun rays manufactures Vitamin D for the skin. But to much sun can be detrimental and cause major damage to the skin. The Melamine is in the outer layer of your skin and it protects your skin. The sun can burn the skin and your skin looses elasticity. Which causes premature wrinkles. Source But a good sun tan lotion will help prevent early skin aging and possible sun burn. Which could lead to skin cancer. The higher the number on the sun tan lotion means the better your skin is protected against the ultraviolet rays of the sun. Be sure to pack sun tan lotion for your next camping trip.

Best Camping Gear: My Camping Picks

15. Be Ready for Allergy Season

One thing that you should always be prepared for when tent camping. And that is Allergy’s a lot of people may be allergic against every day things like mold or pollen. You can live with those allergy’s with some over the counter antihistamines. But when your camping you should be prepared for other allergic reactions such as a bug bite.

Some bites are really bad. I Remember camping with a friend and there was a bees nest. That we didn’t realize at the time was in the area. Anyways there were bees that kept coming. And little did we know at the time, but if you kill one bee then it sends a signal to more bees. That that bee is in need of help. And they will come to the rescue of that bee. When they get there they are ready to fight. So every bee we killed, another one or two came. Well the bees got the best of us during that fight.

My friend got stung by the bee. She did not know that she was allergic to bees. Until she got stung. And things started to swell quickly. Her arm was swollen and itchy. We were not prepared. So we ended up having to go to the emergency room. Thanks to quick thinking everything turned out okay.

But if we would have had an EpiPen in our first aid kit then we would have been able to take care of the bee sting immediately. So from here on out I have a EpiPen on hand. Just in case there are any allergic reactions.

Related Article: Is Camping Good for You.

16. Never Feed the Squirrels

When your camping you are bound to see animals that you may not usually see. But these are wild animals. If you are like me then you really like animals. But when your out there camping even though it may be tempting to feed the Squirrels and chipmunks as they are so cute. But you are asking for trouble. Rule #1 Don’t feed the animals!

When you start feeding the chipmunks and squirrels you are now attracting the other animals in the area. Like the woodchucks, racoons, and skunks. So if you don’t want a battle on your hand don’t feed the animals.

Related Article: What Kind of Camping Stove Should I Get?

17. Checking for Ticks

Another safety tip to make tent camper safer for you: When your out in the “sticks” There are naturally going to be bugs out there. And one that you have to be aware of is ticks. A tick lays under leaves. And then they wait for a host to walk by. And hop on to your shoe. Then they walk up your clothing and attach themselves to your skin. Ticks can carry unwanted diseases like Lime disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Source

It is important to be aware of ticks and being careful not to put yourself in harms way of ticks. Like walking in heavily leafy areas. But even if you are careful you still need to check yourself for ticks.

Unfortunately ticks are active all year. But more active during warmer seasons. (April – September). Isn’t that prime camping season?

What to Know to Help Prevent Ticks?

Ticks are in brushy, grassy area’s in the woods and under leaves. They are found on animals too. If you are camping then you are could be in close contact with ticks. How can you help prevent ticks from becoming a problem when camping? There is a spray that can help. The spray has a repellent in it called permethrin. You can treat your clothing and gear with it to help with ticks.

And don’t forget if you take your dog camping. Then prior to the camping trip treat your dog with K9 Advantix II.

Advantix II

18. Staying Hydrated

When you are tent camping it is safe. But to make sure you have no problems when your out there. You need to be prepared. Anything you are going to need you should have a plan to bring with you. Camping is going back to the basics. But if you don’t bring it then you are doing without it. What ever “it” is. Long before you are out there in the tent you need to make a list of what you are bringing to eat and to drink. You need to plan for how many days your going for and what you are going to eat and drink. Then after you have that planned out bring more. You need to always have plenty of water. As if it gets hot your going to drink more water than you may on a normal day. Long story short you need to pack plenty of water so that you can stay hydrated.

Related Article: Camping Tools for Cooking.

19. Keep Your Hatchets and Knives Secure

If your like me when you go camping you have camping tools. Like hatchets, hammers and even kitchen utensils. Like sharp knives. If you have shovels or other tools that are sharp. And you have kids camping with you. Make sure you keep all the tools locked up. Either in the car or in a lock box. Never leave sharp objects unattended with children around.

Related Article: Are Truck Tents Worth It?

20. Keep Your Alcohol Locked Up

It is so relaxing to sit by the campfire and have a cocktail. But always keep your alcohol locked up. Away from your kids and also other kids in the campground. So that they will not be tempted to help themselves to your alcohol. You know how kids are if there is an opportunity to get in to trouble they just might try it. So keep your alcohol locked up in the car also or in a locked ice chest or container.


To sleep in a tent is safe. But while your out in the great outdoors there are so many things that can cause you to become unsafe. And with knowledge and action you can be safe in a tent. Every time you go camping. Make sure you take the these tips and put them into action so that you will have a fun safe camping experience the next time you go tent camping.

I hope you gained some insight from this article and don’t forget to check out the Camping Essentials for your gear.

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