How to sleep comfortably at larps

This upcoming weekend I am going to a medival fantasy larp in Vörå. I will spend two nights in the forest with my fellow larpers. Sleeping at larps has always been kind of an issue for me because I get cold very easily. And for some reason it has taken me a long time to understand how to sleep in the forest without freezing.

So this post will be dedicated to sleeping gear at larps, exempting tents, tarps or the like. I will focus on the blankets etc. that you might be wanting to use. Of course, what you bring with you to sleep in will be dependent on where/how you will sleep.

When I started larping I used too few blankets, had wet feet, got harassed by mosquitoes, had too few blankets again. In the beginning I didn’t have too much money to spend on medieval(ish) camping gear, but over the years I have accumulated some very useful items. My sleeping gear consists of:

  • A camping mattress to isolate from the cold if there will be no other material available. this is easy to disguise with fabric. Sew a bag that fits the mattress. Make it so that you can remove the fabric afterward and wash it.
  • Two sheep skins. These isolate warmth very well and are a wonder to sleep on. But they are a hassle if they get wet and they take up quite a lot of space.
  • Two thick blankets. One is an old army blanket and it is wonderfully warm. The second one is an old blanket I found at our summer cabin. It has been mended many times.
  • For real cold nights I bring a modern sleeping bag that I just cover with my blankets.
  • I also use my cloak as a blanket when I sleep.

Other things to think about when sleeping outdoors:

  • Wear something on your head when you sleep. A lot of body heat escapes through your head some keeping it in is always good. I usually use a long, cotton wrap that I can wrap around my head and neck. It also protects wonderfully against mosquitoes.
  • Dry, warm feet are a true blessing. Keep an extra set of dry socks with you and a pair (or two) of woolen socks to sleep in.
  • Dry clothes to sleep in are a must if there is a chance for rain at the larp.
  • Bring an extra woolen shirt to wear while sleeping on cold weather.
  • It is a good idea to wear many thin layers. Many thin layers give you the opportunity to dress down if you get too hot and preserve warmth better than few thick layers.

Think about where you will sleep: Under bare sky, in a tent or in some kind of building. Some larps require your sleeping gear to look authentic. However, I feel that no matter how historically correct your sleeping gear is required to be it should not hinder you from sleeping comfortably. There are many ways you can sleep more comfortably and only you will know exactly how well you manage in those specific circumstances. Finding out what works for you is a process of trial and error.

Remember: A cold, tired larper is a bad larper. If you can’t sleep because you are cold your day is going to be ruined. So take care when packing for your night(s) out in the forest.

Take care and sleep tight!