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How to get a good night’s sleep outdoors

Mountaineer Monja Kraner shares her top tips.

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Sleeping outdoors offers the unique joy of unplugging from civilization and being close to nature, and possibly even closer to your adventure track the next morning. That’s not to say the experience is free of challenges, like dealing with unpredictable weather conditions or finding a suitable spot for the night. But for mountaineer and Haglöfs Ambassador Monja Kraner, the rewards are well worth the effort. Here, she shares some of her top tips for getting a good night’s sleep outdoors.

What do you enjoy most about sleeping outdoors?

“What draws me most to sleeping outdoors is the deep connection I feel with the natural world and the sense of freedom that comes with it, allowing me to unwind and truly immerse myself in the beauty of nature. It’s also the perfect way to split up a long mountain tour.”

What is a memorable experience you’ve had?

“I've had numerous incredible experiences sleeping outdoors, but one of the most memorable ones was during an adventure where I climbed Piz Popena in South Tyrol. We slept under a clear night sky at an elevation of almost 3,000 meters, shared a great time together, and summited the peak at sunrise the next day.”

What do you find most challenging about sleeping outside?

“Depending on the adventure, there are certainly quite a lot of challenges that come with sleeping outdoors. The most challenging for me is the unpredictable weather in the mountains, especially during summer months with thunderstorms almost every evening. Dealing with rain or extreme temperatures also requires careful planning and the right gear to stay comfortable. Finding a suitable spot can be challenging and carrying all your gear and essentials needed can be tough at times. Overall, while there are challenges, overcoming them adds to the adventure and makes the experience even more rewarding.”

How do you find the perfect spot for the night?

“Firstly, I scout for a flat area that’s free from rocks and other discomforts. Depending on the adventure, access to water can be nice to have, so, if possible, I search for a spot near a stream, mindful of potential flooding risks. Shelter from the elements is essential at higher elevations, so I look for natural features like rock outcrops. Being safe out there is super important, so I avoid areas prone to avalanches or rockslides. Additionally, I’m careful not to disturb the ecosystem or wildlife and rule number one is always to leave no trace.”

What other tips and tricks do you have for getting a good night’s sleep outdoors?

“Always try to set up your camp early enough, so you’re not getting too stressed or cold. Temperatures can drop at night, especially if you’re high up in the mountains, so wearing layers and bringing a beanie is key. A good sleeping mat is important to ensure a warm night and I always bring a sleeping bag rated for lower temperatures than I expect to encounter. I can also recommend setting up windbreaks if possible, such as using rocks or bushes to block the wind.”

What do you look for in a sleeping bag?

“I focus on key features: temperature rating, insulation type, weight, size, versatility, durability, hood design, and zipper quality.”

Which one will you bring along on your adventures this summer?

“The MUSCA -5 bag is lightweight and compressible, making it convenient to bring along. Its mummy shape offers efficient heat retention, while the adjustable hood and draft collar help seal in warmth. I also appreciate the additional insulation at the feet, as I tend to get cold quite easily.

Recently, I set out on an adventure to hike up a peak at Lake Como. Starting the trek directly from the lakeside meant conquering many meters in elevation. To tackle this challenge, I decided to split the journey, setting up camp to rest and recharge before summiting the peak the following day. I loved how the sleeping bag performed, keeping me super warm and cozy throughout the night."

Follow Monja’s adventures @haglofs @takemetoalaska_