Winter Camping // An Excuse to Sleep In

It would not be wrong to say that there are two types of backcountry campers. There’s the camper that gets up before the sunrise to snag stunning photos of the world waking up. Then there’s the camper that snuggles down into their sleeping bag until they can no longer escape the sunlight streaming through their tent. Neither is wrong. There is definitely a time + place for both. Watching the world wake up + feeling the first rays of sunshine can be a spiritual, day changing experience.

However, do not let the beauty of a sunrise deter you from sleeping in! Those photos are great motivators to get outside + we all love them for that reason. But, if you’re not keen on a backcounty alarm clock, here are a few excuses to sleep in!


Moonlight Wandering

The first reason to skip out on an opportunity to chase down the sunrise is a late night adventure. Especially if you live in the city. A clear night in the wilderness should not be wasted on sleep. Get outside, wander along the trails + gaze up at the blanket of stars above you. The trails become a whole new world under the glow of the moon. You’ll get to witness nocturnal creatures scampering about, you’ll hear owls hooting + you’ll have at least one opportunity to make up a story that odd noise you heard in the woods. Let your creativity take over for a bit + embrace the wild of the world around you.

Of course, return to your tent + burrow into your sleeping bag with your headlamp on “for safety” before your creativity truly runs wild! Remember, as long as you’re being respectful of their territory animals are more afraid of your odd bipedal movements then you are of the rustling they’re doing in the leaves.

Sunny, Chirping Alarms

Once you fall asleep [with that headlamp on, just in case!] let sleep take hold. Don’t fight it + don’t set an alarm. The sun will come up + color the sky without you, promise. The sun rays will eventually make their way to your tent. Don’t give in. Snuggle deeper into your sleeping bag + let sleep steal your brain away from that “to do list” it’s creating for your day in the wilderness. Cling to this peaceful opportunity to sleep. How often do you get to “rest your eyes” while the sunshine warms you + the birds sing to you? Not often even, that’s for sure. Don’t toss away this chance to soak it in…you’ve already missed the sunrise anyway!

Eventually you’ll need to give into Mother Nature’s call to get up. When you do, stay lazy! Scamper on over to the designated bio tree, but keep soaking up the world as it wakes around you. This is how humans were meant to wake every morning; calming with nature hugging our senses to life. This is according to us we’re always right, trust us…because we’re right.

Pillow Talk

Of course, you can’t just hop of out of the tent for a bathroom break + take on your day. Oh, no. That’s only allowed if you’re chasing the sunrise, you’re already late for work or your house is on fire. None of those things are happening today. Today you’re learning how to sleep in + enjoy life for what it is. Get yourself back in bed, now!


If you’re lucky enough to have awesomely outdoorsy friends, you’re probably camping with someone. If you’re not that lucky, you have the company of yourself. Either will work for pillow talk! Even if you’re camping with a relative stranger…start talking! Any topic counts as pillow talk while you’re camping. Your head is on a pillow + you’re talking! Bam. Qualifications met!

Talk about upcoming adventures. Share stories of adventures gone wrong. Discuss the real life stress that has you longing for time in the woods. Ponder the possibilities of life on other planets. Create new ice cream flavors. Design the tiny house you may never own. Laugh at embarrassing stories of your childhood. Confess the oddest things on your “before I die” list. Anything is fair game — get talking, stop judging + learn a little something new about each other + yourself!

Breakfast in Bed

Before too long the conversation will turn to food. Breakfast. Or brunch, depending upon how good y’all are at this sleeping in bit. It’s safe to assume you packed the essentials for breakfast + it’s finally time to break them out. Technically, since you didn’t actually sleep in a bed you can’t quite have breakfast in bed, but you can get close! Really close. As in, if it’s chilly you’re expected to bounce your way to the cook stove or fire, still bundled up in your sleeping bag.

An Excuse to Sleep In

Everyone has their own version of breakfast. Whatever you’re into — oatmeal, eggs, granola bars, bagels — whip it up then hop your way back into the tent for another round of the aforementioned pillow talk. There is literally nothing you *need* to do today! Well, unless it’s your last day in the wilderness + you need to head home. Quite frankly, that is all the more reason to lollygag your way through the morning.


Next time you’re camping, chill out if only for one morning. Don’t forget about your plans or goals for your trip into the woods — just make “sleeping in” your goal for at least one of your days off the grid! Let Mother Nature love you, for the lazy, unshowered, sleepy head that you are!

Now, we definitely have not provided you with the only excuses to sleep in. We’re quite certain there are at least 3,429 more excuses to sleep in, whether your camping or not. However, we want to encourage your own creativity so we’re stopping with these four excuses. Let those stunning sunrise photos motivate your into a trip outdoors, but don’t let them dictate what you do with your time outside! Get your act together, start making excuses + sleep in on your next camping trip. 

About the Author


Heidi Kumm

Heidi Kumm is a trail runner, world traveler, mountain climber, and all around adventure enthusiast. She is so stoked on adventure that she has made it her career as the owner of Adventure Feet First, a travel company that focuses on getting people outside to explore the world around them. Over the past years Heidi has spent months living abroad, volunteering around the world, living out of a van/car/truck, and finding new ways to explore on foot, by bike, or with a backpack. She has learned the ins and outs of self propelled exploration the hard way, so she's here to help us learn from her mistakes and to help us become more informed on how to make your own mistakes, safely.