Can You Sleep Outside Without A Tent?

Yes, it is possible to sleep outside without a tent. But, you will need to consider some form of kit rather than a tent. You may buy a good sleeping bag to keep you dry and comfortable.

You will also need something that lifts you off the ground. Normally, it’s some type of mat or in other cases, it can be a hammock. It will keep you drier and warmer as you’ll be off the cold ground.

Without a tent, there are some problems sleeping outside. One of these is that it’s harder to stay warm because of the elements. It’s also hard to stay dry if you’re not covered completely.

There are also risks of animals or insects joining you in middle of the night. If you will sleep in an open space, see to it that you tie down lose items to avoid animals taking them away while you’re sleeping.

5 Ways to Sleep Outside Without Using a Tent

There are other ways on how you can sleep outside without using a tent.

If you think it’s impossible to go camping without your tent, then consider the following:

1. Use Hammocks

There is a romantic appeal when hanging a hammock in the wilderness. However, you must not forget about the things that hammocks require. A hammock requires low wind, perfectly spaced trees, and knowledge about knot tying. All of these can be challenging for first timers.

The best thing about using a hammock is that it will get you off the wet, rocky, and cold ground. You do not also have to deal with pools and avoid creepy crawling things.

The disadvantages of using hammocks can be many. One of these is that there is much trial and error involved for you to achieve the right slack for your comfort, which may require you to adjust it several times.

If you are sleeping outside in a cold weather, you need a sleeping pad. It may also leave you more exposed to some elements in inclement or cold weather. Other than that, you cannot use a hammock above the tree line.

2. Roughing It Camping

Some people prefer this sleeping solution outdoors. But, it’s only great if it will not rain. If you are living in a place where rain is not frequent, you will enjoy sleeping on the ground.

What makes it a good idea for many people is that you do not need to carry anything. You don’t even have to setup something. Plus, you will get a beautiful view of the stars and connect to the nature.

Unfortunately, even if this outdoor sleeping idea is perfect, there are some things you have to take note. One of these is that you might need an air mattress or a sleeping bag to avoid heavy dew and bugs crawling.

It is not also recommended for those who need a little privacy when sleeping outdoor.

3. Bivvy Bags or Bivvy Shelters

Bivvy bag is where you can put your sleeping bag in while a bivvy shelter includes a tent-like structure that provides more comfort.

What makes bivvies the best solution for sleeping outside without a tent is that these are compact and light. Takedown and setup are easy as roughing it.

These are also effective in bad weather condition and work well to keep you dry and warm with everything zipped up. There is also a great emergency option to stow in a pack if you are not planning to sleep outdoor, but might be forced to do so in case the weather is bad.

Bivvies may also make you carry a contractor bag or something that will keep your things dry overnight. There are also no rooms to move around or change. Once it gets wet, you will be shedding layers and you need to take your shoes off.

4. Build Your Own Shelter

Creating your own shelter may be both effective and easy. It might be challenging for some, but there are easy ones to make like debris piles and Lean-Tos. The former may take the simple type of branches leant against a log or rock or be more elaborately sturdier, built, standalone structure. The latter can be easy to make. You just need some leaves and leaf litter.

Making your own shelter can also keep you both warm and dry, even if you don’t have tools or inappropriate clothing for weather conditions. It is also quick and easy to build from simple materials. It also provides great visual concealment.

If you consider this, you should practice to make effective shelters and take some common sense. You should not do this in parks or protected areas unless it is necessary.

5. Tarps Can Be a Great Idea

The latest trend in light backpacking includes the use of a humble tarp. It receives a modern makeover with fancy designs and space age materials. But, tarps can be more expensive than tents.

As compact and light as a bivvy, tarp can give you more room to move around. There are myriad options for setup, which include making them freestanding using hiking poles or branches.

If you don’t have a budget for tarps, you can make your own from a silicon and bed sheet or you may just cut a piece of a heavy-duty plastic sheet to size. Super cheap tarps may also be a good alternative than fancier ones.

Although tarp has some good points, it has also a few bad points. When compared to a tent, it isn’t weatherproof. The setup takes some practice and creativity.

It is not also good in retaining heat as a tent. Majority of the setup options will have you sleeping on the ground, which maybe cold or wet and may damage your sleeping bag or air mattress.


Sleeping outside without a tent is possible with those options above. Just make sure to find the right location to sleep outdoor and enjoy your time outside without the need to setup your tent.