Boat Camping: Practical Sleep Tips for Recreational Boaters

Are you going boat camping? Oh, this will be an unforgettable journey! But do you know how to overnight securely and conveniently? In this guide, Dr.Catherine Rodgers, an experienced sleep researcher, shares useful, practical tips that will help you make the night part of the journey spotless. 

Make It Cozy 

You can either choose to sleep right on your boat if its cabin is big enough for that. Depending on the type of boat, you can also set a tent on it. In both cases, you should make sure that it won’t get too cold at night. Even if you sleep in a warm sleeping bag, a draft from a window or a cold floor can make your night very uncomfortable. If you set a tent, put a camping foam on the floor to create a warm layer between the ground and sleeping bags. 

Plan Bathroom 

What would you do if you want to go to the bathroom at night on the boat? It’s easy to do when you set tents on the shore, as all public places have all the needed facilities. I don’t recommend staying overnight in the center of the lake if your boat doesn’t have bathroom facilities for you and your kids. 

Locate Everything in Advance

Spatial awareness is very important when you are going to sleep in a new place. To make the night calm and comfortable, your brain should be aware of everything surrounding you to turn off subconscious worries. You are going to sleep in the middle of the shore or even the ocean, so knowing where all your belongings are located is crucial for total comfort. 

I also recommend getting familiar with the location you are staying at. You should know:

  • hospital location;
  • store location;
  • places where cellular phones can make calls;
  • where a safe anchor point for a night stay is;
  • how much fuel you need for the trip. 

Don’t Sleep Without Protection

Many boating sites are inhabited by armies of mosquitoes and other flying pests that may bother you during the night. That’s why the best way is to sleep in a closed tent or cabin. If it’s warm enough, but you notice mosquitoes, use anti-mosquito mesh to protect your self in this case. All tents have this mesh built-in, so it’s easy to use. 

I also strongly recommend using insect repellents. The most effective remedies include sprays and creams. They let you cover all the open spaces of your skin and repel most mosquitos away. Citronella candles are also effective, but if the wind starts, they won’t protect the area around your sleeping place. Some people are allergic to citronella, so be careful with that. Finally, you should make sure that hot morning light won’t burn your skin if you don’t wake up early enough. This won’t happen if you sleep in a tent or under the shed of your boat. 

Don’t Drink Too Much

Alcohol is a part of the leisure for many of us, but too many drinks will spoil your sleep. If you don’t keep your consumption low, this may lead to sudden awakenings in the middle of the night. On the contrary, a minimal amount of drinks may even help you relax.

Enjoy the White Noise

Water waves and tree leaves produce the most natural white noise on the planet. Try to relax and listen to the sound of water and leaves if you’re on a lake/river. Both sounds are beneficial for your nervous system and boost the quality of your sleep. 

Good Night!

You should also keep in mind that the first night on the board won’t be perfect. Our brains perceive sleeping in a new location as stress, so they might switch into a ‘night watch’ mode to let you avoid potential threats. Another common reason for inconveniences is the lack of experience. However, after the first night, you will get adjusted for sure. Don’t forget to stick to the rules, and your weekend will be perfect. 

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