Can You Camp Without A Tent and How to Do It?

Hello, campers! It may seem awkward to camp without a tent since camping with a tent is a well-known tradition. But some crazy campers do it actually. Even you might want to taste to sleep under stars, right? So, is it safe to camp or sleep without a tent?

Is it okay or not depends on the campsite locations, your skills, and several other factors. But one thing is sure, you need an alternative to a camping tent that will provide shelter outdoors. It would be a sleeping bag, pad, mat, cot, hammock, or any other options

Let’s get a detailed answer with pro tips on how to sleep outside without a tent.

Is It Safe To Sleep Outside Without A Tent?

Can You Camp Without A Tent

In general, sleeping outside without a tent whether in the wilderness or backyard is okay if you have something at hand to keep the body raised from the ground.

You also need things to keep you warm and make yourself protected from animals and pests, as well as harsh weather like rain, snow, and heavy wind.

But, before you decide whether it’s okay or not to camp without a tent, consider the following things.


Weather changes rapidly in the outdoors. Rain, wind, hail, or snow may appear anytime. So, without a tent or any other protection, it’s quite difficult to sleep outside for your personal safety as well as camping gear protection.

But if the weather is good, it’s not much problem to camp without a tent and sleep there.


Sleeping outside without a tent is also challenging in extreme hot or cold temperatures. On a hot night, you might need enough water to get hydrated. On the other hand, cold is unbearable if you haven’t enough protective items.

Wild Beasts and Pests

Don’t forget the wild animals and pests as they roam here and there at night. Animals attack, bugs, and snakes bite are also important to consider. If you haven’t enough protection against these, don’t sleep outdoors.

Read Also: Can snakes bite through tents?

Physical Condition

It’s also important to consider your health condition while camping without a tent. Since it’ll cause discomfort and even back pain.

So, considering all the facts, camping outdoors without a tent could be risky if you don’t have proper camping essentials, especially tent alternatives. To make your camping safe you should follow the tips below.

How To Sleep Outside Without A Tent? 8 Alternatives To Tent

What is camping without a tent called? This is commonly called Bivouacking, camping without a tent when you have only minimal camping gear. The main thing to sleep safely outside without a tent is the proper shelter, which is actually the alternative to the tent.

So, what can I use to camp outdoors without a tent? There are different things to bring with you instead of a tent such as a bivy sack, sleeping bag, hammock, mat, natural shelter, etc.

Let’s get some ideas on how to camp outside without a tent.

1. Natural Shelter

Find out a way with natural shelters like a place surrounded by trees, hills, rocks, and many more. It will block the wind and make your camping safer and more comfortable.

2. Bivy Sack

Bivy sack is perfect for cold and wet weather to keep you dry and warm whole the night. Most of them are waterproof and mainly used for protecting the sleeping bag from harsh weather.

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3. Sleeping Bag

How To Sleep Outside Without A Tent

The sleeping bag is another alternative to the camping tent. Hang the sleeping bag from a durable tree. This will keep you high from the ground as well as provide shelter.

4. Sleeping Mat

You can also go with a sleeping mat to sleep outside without any tent. This mightn’t very comfortable, but will be okay in the extreme situation.

5. Tarps And Shelters

Not everyone wants to sleep under the exposed sky, for them tarps and shelters will be great to use as a temporary tents. If you go backpacking or car camping, this will be a great option for you. This is also space friendly.

Also Read: Tips to install a tent

6. Camp In Vehicle

If you have a car with you, sleep in the car comfortably without any worry. This is a luxurious option for those who are accustomed to camp in RV. A pickup truck will be the most suitable option here.

7. Hammock

How To Camp Without A Tent

A hammock is an ideal option for a camp without a tent. It’s lightweight and takes minimal space. You can hang it between two trees to make the shelter off the ground for better safety.

8. DIY Shelter

If you are a DIYer, you can use fabric to make walls and roofs. Alternatively, you can make a small house using tree branches, grasses, etc. Or think of gathering rocks to create a temporary shelter.

Consider Safety While Camping Without A Tent

There are different things that are necessary for safety in the wilderness.

Check The Weather

The first thing to camp without a tent is to monitor the weather forecast. Although the forecast mightn’t be accurate, still you have to rely on it. Temperature between 80oF to 85oF is ideal to sleep outside.

If the weather forecast says, there is a chance of rain, wind, snow, hot, or cold on that day, postpone the schedule and choose another good day.

Camp In A Good Site

Is It Safe To Sleep Outside Without A Tent

Selecting a good spot on the campsite is very essential. If there is wind choose a good place with wind barriers like behind hedges, trees, and hills.

The place should be dry and flat enough or make it leveled. Don’t camp on a slope or under a dead tree trunk or branch.

Also Read: Tips to protect the tent from wind

Ensure Proper Safety

As discussed before that animals and bugs are roaming your surroundings. So, you should ensure safety in the right way. For bug protection, you can use a bug net or spray.

To keep snakes, bears, and other harmful animals away you can use repellent spray. Build a campfire or bonfire near the campsite to frighten the wild beasts.

You can also keep your dog with you for extra protection. And survival gear like knives, machetes, etc, might also be necessary for an extreme situation so bring them with other camping gear.

Know The Local Wildlife

Before camping in the wild, you should learn about the campsite, especially the wildlife. Call the ranger station and get a clear idea.

Get some safety and survival items, depending upon what animals are there. If you love observing wildlife, don’t forget the lightweight binoculars.

Don’t Sleep Where You Eat

It’s recommended to eat far away from the sleeping place so animals can’t get closer to you. National Park Service recommends keeping food at least 100 yards away from the campsite since raccoons, bears, and many other animals can detect food smells from long distances.

Be Prepared For Bad Weather

Weather is unpredictable, especially in the wilderness. It’s always recommended to keep the necessary gear to keep dry and warm during camping otherwise your trip might be ruined. So, you should take the essentials that will help you to deal with the worst situation.

Final Words

If you want to camp in the wilderness without a tent for stargazing or observing nature at night, it’s not properly safe until you are skilled enough and have the right gear for protection in the wilderness.

So, first, know how to camp outside without a tent. Hopefully, this article gives you a good guideline in this regard. So, consider the safety, then decide whether it’s okay for you or not.

In case you are not confident to camp or sleep outside without a tent, I recommend you to go with tent to make things easier.

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