Camp Tangled Nest: Why We Love Sleeping In Our Backyard Tent

We’ve been off camping in the Olympic Peninsula’s Hoh Valley all week.  Beautiful!  But it’s always nice to be back at Camp Tangled Nest.  When summer comes, we spend most nights in our plenty-big, extra-cozy backyard tent. Last year we stayed out there into October! Here’s why:

house from tent

Tom: Despite the occasional raccoon grunting past in the dark, I sleep better out there in the fresh air, with the sound of our pond and waterfall gurgling nearby. I usually stay up much later than Lyanda and Claire, and I love that moment when, instead of heading upstairs to bed, I head out the back door, into the cool night air, and walk through the garden under the moonlight, with the sunflowers towering over my head and the the occasional spiderweb already spun across my path.

Claire: Well, first of all, it’s really cozy in there. Plus I sleep really well on the ground. It’s also  fun when it rains because it’s about 5 times as loud in the tent. Quite meditative. But the real fun part is you can hear all the raccoons, opossums, etc., and boy they are LOUD!!! My dad is an expert sleeper, but when he hears the raccoons shaking the wind chimes above the tent, he goes crazy! It’s really funny.  The tent is just awesome!!!!!!

Lyanda: I love crawling outside at midnight (OK, because I have to pee in the grass…) and finding myself in the night world–sky, moon, stars, the rustling of night creatures, real and imagined.  It always feels new and surprising.  And, being something of an insomniac, I love that I sleep so much better out there, tucked in a big flannel sleeping bag, cool air on my face and the stars overhead.


  1. lyanda


    Alicia–Sprinkler system? Dear me, you must live someplace warm. Lucky you. Here in Seattle, we just water the vegetables as needed–no “system!”

  2. Erica Sternin

    My husband and I have been sleeping outside on our deck all summer for the past 5 or 6 years. We look forward with great anticipation, to the day when we can (more or less) safely move the matress, bedside lamps, radios etc etc out to the deck. We have a tarp for the odd shower, a mosquito netting for the odd mosquito. The odd cat and the odd dog cuddle with us under the Perseid meteor showers. There is just NOTHING as great as the fresh air and the stars and the full moon lighting up the garden…. I can’t express it, it is just so wonderful. We don’t move in until sometime in October, usually.

    1. lyanda

      Wow, lamps and radios–You are deluxe! What fun. And yes, isn’t it the most wonderful thing? We, too, are reluctant to move back in, and plan on October again this year. I met an elder couple at Seattle Audubon who sleep outside on a platform they built in the trees ALL YEAR. They made such an impression on me.

  3. Greetings from Sw’Equity-One

    The summer has been interesting, we are just getting to the end of our ‘High Season’ with everyone winding down and getting ready to escape to Camp One for a couple of week of serious hammock time.

    As we are usually either on our near the industrial site that a lot of Victorians love to hate, until they discover what really goes on there, the one thing that has given us time to pause with processing the steel detritus of our consumer society is the four raven nest in the Gary Oak grove next door. We have been greatly entertained by the parents becoming agitated by the Humans taking tea at Ellice House while having a peace treaty between the family groups. Then there was the ‘raid’ on this year’s anchovy run [roughly 2 Million fish] on the Gorge which brought all manner of coexistence between the Ravens, Crows, Herons, Kingfishers and Mergansers.

    The Gorge in Victoria BC was considered a ‘Dead Zone’ not so many years ago but with the industry much less that it was and with what still exists much cleaner, we are co-existing very well

    Martin G. Smith – Research Coordinator
    Sw’Equity One

  4. Dana

    I agree with all the lovely outdoor night sleeping experiences except one – I miss my bed! I used to be a backpacker and tough girl, but, since kids, I hate sleeping bags and sleeping on hard ground. I really like the idea of the sleeping porch with semi-permanent furniture for the season, though.

  5. I bet there’s a lot of people out there who chose to sleep outside during the warm (or where I live the Dry) months.
    I can just see the testimonies rolling in from all those backyard campers.
    I love the photo of your yard too.

  6. I’m charmed by this description and almost inspired to try sleeping on the ground, I mean, sleeping on an air mattress. For me, camping (that is sleeping in a tent) has always meant being cold, damp and uncomfortable, but your descriptions of the night sky and the night sounds are seductive.

  7. Pingback: Backyard Camping: Sleeping Out in the Urban Wilderness

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