Is it safe to sleep outside without a tent when camping?

Do you currently sleep next to a fire and wondered if it’s safe to do so?

Or just curious about being able to go camping and sleep outside without a tent? 

Sleeping outside without a tent does carry some risks? Such as rain and wild animals such as snakes, spiders, insects, and wild animals.  

Generally sleeping outside without a tent whilst camping is safe. It’s not unusual for campers to sleep without a tent when camping. Normally this is done under clear night skies with no rain forecast. However, you do need a back-up plan if it rains or the temperature drops to freezing. You will also need protection from creepy crawlies, animals, and insects. 

In this article will discuss tips on how to successfully sleep outside.

We’ll also discuss other options for sleeping outside besides using a tent. 

Sleeping outside without a tent when camping

Sleeping under the stars you will need the following;

Ground mat

Sleeping bag and or blanket

Pillow (or bag stuff with clothes)

A fire (provides comfort and wards off any creatures)

If you are planning on sleeping outside without a tent do suggest sleeping next to a fire.

A fire provides comfort and warmth. Fires also guard against animals coming into your campsite.

Just be careful not to roll into the fire during the night whilst sleeping

Insect repellant

It’s also best to use insect repellent. I have slept under the stars waking up in the morning to find my face eaten by mosquitos.

A backup plan 

If it does get cold or rain you need a back-up plan.

 The Waking up in the middle of the night in a downpour would not be fun.

In the event of a downpour of rain can you sleep in your vehicle or under another structure?

To provide protection from the elements and animals, there are alternatives to camping without a tent.

You can set-up a Tarp

Tarps are not only cheap but they are also lightweight and easy to set-up.

A tarp can be used as a replacement to a tent. It is usually rigged with ropes, tent poles, and pegs

A popular A-Frame tent tarp can provide enough space for two people.

Wanting to know more about how to build Tarps and different combinations have written another article on this.

You can sleep in a Bivy

A bivouac sack or bivy sack as commonly known is portable, a lightweight, waterproof shelter that is super fast to set-up and uses in small space.

Sleeping in a bivy you will still need a sleeping bag. If its cold may need a winter sleeping bag and warm clothes to sleep in.

The cost of a bivy sack ranges from $100 to $150. Below is a quality bivy bag.

REI Co-op Superlight

Price; $149

Weight; 24.8 oz

Pack size; 5 x 12″

Poles; Yes


Waterproof; Yes

If you are interested to know more about bivy sacks we have written an article about everything you need to know about bivy sacks

You can sleep in a Hammock

Sleeping in hammocks are very comfortable and relaxing.

Once you have settled into a hammock you will find yourself falling asleep into a deep sleep.

Hammocks keep you off the cold ground.

Being suspended above the ground also provides protection from creepy crawlies and animals.

Unless it is really warm you will still need a sleeping bag.

Placing a 1/2 inflated sleeping hiking mat will provide extra comfort and insulation.

A pillow will also help to make sleeping more comfortable

Final Thoughts

Sleeping under the stars without a tent is not uncommon.

Sleeping next to a fire does provide a level of comfort and warmth.

Just be careful not to roll into the fire during the night.

If there are insects and mosquitos best to apply repellent.

If it does rain you need a back-up plan.

Like being able to sleep in a vehicle or under a structure that provides protection.

Alternatives to sleeping without a tent hammock and bivy’s that provide protection from the elements.

Further Information

If you have enjoyed this review, you will enjoy our other reviews. Below are some of our other gear reviews and popular resources;

Everything you need to know about bivys

Are hammocks warmer than tents

What are the benefits of rooftop tents

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