First let me set the stage:

  • Location: Outside of Tokyo (Lake Sagami or something similar)
  • Time: End of April
  • Temperature: The temperature at night is above 9 °C
  • Weather: It's dry (not raining or snowing)

I have no camping experience and just want to sleep outside for a night or two.

What is the difference of sleeping in a tent compared with just a sleeping bag? Is it warmer? What are the other advantages?

  • 1
    @OddDeer Not duplicate because in that question in both cases you have something over your head while with only a sleeping bag you don't :)
    – kemis
    Jan 20, 2017 at 7:03
  • Yep, also thought about that. Plus you add specific conditions to the question (like the certain location and so on). =) Still, basically it comes down to "why do we even use a tent?" and that's answered in the linked question (imho).
    – OddDeer
    Jan 20, 2017 at 7:07
  • I think if this question is narrowed down to the warmth aspect, it is distinct enough. With the current catch-all phrasing of "What are the other advantages?" it does look like a dupe.
    – imsodin
    Jan 20, 2017 at 8:57

1 Answer 1


A tent would protect you from rain and snow, and it would keep you warmer since it will create a warm pocket of air around you. It would also keep the bugs away.

However, if rain and/or snow and bugs aren't an issue, then I would totally recommend sleeping outside without one, because then you can see the stars and shooting stars and its a way cooler experience.

Just make certain that your sleeping bag is rated for that temperature.

  • Thank you, and one more questing: Temp rating for sleeping bags is with tent or without tent?
    – kemis
    Jan 20, 2017 at 6:42
  • So long as you're sheltered from any wind, you could probably regard the temperature rating as not in a tent, unless you feel the cold in which case treat it as in a tent. Ratings cover quite a wide range anyway, but you might want a bit extra if you're expecting a clear night (more heat loss to the sky).
    – Chris H
    Jan 20, 2017 at 8:07
  • 1
    @MilosRadosavljevic the bags are rated for a given temperature in still air. while the tent does help the air stay around you, if there is no wind, the gain is very little (especially when put in regard to the weight of the tent). You just want to be sure that your bag is rated for the worst temperature you may encounter, and also that the rating is consistent with your own perception (which you can only do after you have spent at least one night out)
    – njzk2
    Jan 20, 2017 at 15:10
  • 2
    Aside from just bugs, it'll keep other creatures out too. I live and camp in southern California and while I've camped a few times just laying out under the stars in my sleeping bag... I often worry about waking up next to a rattlesnake that cuddled up against me during the night for the heat. Might be a good idea to find out what natural dangers you have to worry about out there. Could help you with your decision.
    – DawnPatrol
    Jan 22, 2017 at 8:24

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