How To Avoid Back Pain When Camping

With the summer holidays looming and the festival season upon us, it’s that time again to grab the tent and pack up the car. For the majority of us, camping means exploring the great outdoors and getting close to nature. For the rest, it’s back pain from the hard surface and long cranky days from lack of sleep.


Whatever your reason for sleeping in a tent this summer, follow these simple tips for a peaceful, pain-free night’s sleep.

Before you reach your destination:

• If you’re driving, make sure you have adjusted your seat properly to take away pressure from your neck and lower back; you don’t want to be hurting before you even get there. Click here to see our post about how to position your car seat properly.

• Choose a backpack made from lightweight materials such as vinyl or canvas and that has wide, padded shoulder straps and padding in the back.

• When packing your bags, take what you need. Don’t fill your bags too full, carrying unnecessary luggage will contribute to back, neck and shoulder pain. Your backpack should be roughly 10 – 15% of the wearer’s body weight. Distribute the contents evenly and make use of all pockets.

Pitching your tent:

• Take a short break when you arrive, stretch out and try and get your equipment as close to your pitch as possible to avoid unnecessary carrying.

• Find a flat surface and remove any large rocks or sticks. Be aware of any excessive bending when putting up your tent and knocking pegs into the ground, think about getting down on all fours to take pressure off your back and use your legs where possible.


• Using a blow up mattress or a thick camping mat will be better for your back than sleeping directly on the floor, be aware of how far you have to carry it. A camping mat is much lighter but a self-inflating mattress is highly recommended.

• Pillows are a good source of support which keep the head, neck and shoulders aligned. Taking a good quality pillow from home will be beneficial to a good night’s sleep.

• Whilst sleeping bags are very convenient and lightweight, they are very restricting making it hard to turn over in. Try unzipping the sleeping bag or taking a duvet wherever possible. Visit our post on correct sleeping postures for more information.

Clearing up:

• Just as when you were pitching your tent, avoiding excessive bending and using your back too much.

Camping is a great family activity or fun with friends, but bear in mind these simple tips on your next adventure to avoid back and neck pain.

Find our ‘Contact Us’ page by clicking here, or alternatively call us on 01244 880186 for further advice or information.

We’re conveniently located between Chester, Ellesmere Port and the Wirral.

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