Camping Indoors With Jamie Ramsay

When it comes to adventure, there are few who’ve been as far and wide as Jamie Ramsay. As an Endurance Adventure Athlete, he’s taken on some of the world’s toughest challenges, camping out in some of the harshest conditions on Earth. But when he can’t get out there, Jamie is always looking for ways to keep adventure alive, even if it means pitching up indoors. 


If you’re looking for some indoor camping inspiration (and some expert tips to boot), you’ve come to the right place. Here’s Jamie’s guide to pitching up inside to help inspire you to bring the outdoors in.


“Camping indoors is a little different from camping outside! For starters, you don’t need to think about the weather and if you want to see the ceiling, you can sleep without the flysheet. However, you might not be able to stick your pegs into your floor, so I would suggest you choose a tent that is self-supporting or try playing with a tarp attached to items of furniture around your living room to make an alternative shelter. Here are my kit recommendations and expert tips, inspired by my own indoor camping experiences.


The MSR Hubba Hubba NX is my go-to tent for all camping; due to its structure, it’s also really easy to set up in your living room without drilling holes into your floor!


If you’re after something at a lower price point, a Vango Tryfan 300 is a good option or even a festival-style tent like a Regatta Malawi 2 Pop Up Tent. All of these can be pitched indoors quite easily without the need to peg them down and don’t take up too much space. 

Sleeping Mat

Sleeping on a hard floor can be even more uncomfortable than a nice grassy field, so you are going to need a sleeping mat. My go-to sleeping mat is the Thermarest NeoAir Lite. I have trialled this outdoors around the world and on even the floor of Luton Airport!  It is an investment, but due to how small it packs down and how light it is, it’s totally worth it. I also used a mat similar to the Vango Trek 3 for my Running the Americas adventure, so check this out as an alternative. You don’t have to buy a pillow - some clothed stuffed inside your sleeping bag’s bag will suffice - but if you want a bit more comfort, just grab one from the house or get yourself a travel pillow which you can use both indoors and out. 


Check out our guide to buying a sleeping mat here.

Sleeping Bag

There is something special about sleeping in a proper sleeping bag rather than just pulling the duvet in. The sleeping bags I have been using recently are the Mountain Equipment Helium range. I have the 400 weight but depending on your future camping trips, you could drop down to the 250 or jump up to the 600. I also have a cheaper and more packable alternative - an Ayacucho Lite 700 Sleeping Bag – which is a good option if you’re not planning on doing lots more camping or are just getting started. Top tip: make sure you buy a sleeping bag liner as this will help keep your sleeping bag clean but also will add a couple of degrees heat or serve as a cooler standalone option in really hot climes.


Check out our sleeping bag buying guide here.


Even inside you are going to need a headtorch, just in case you need to get up in the middle of the night. Plus, it makes the whole experience feel much more authentic! I’ve used a lot of headtorches over the years and have finally fallen in love with the Petzl Actik 450L. This is a super bright headtorch with a number of brightness levels. It comes with a rechargeable battery (micro usb) which means you won’t need to buy countless batteries, though should the rechargeable battery run out, then you can just use AAA batteries - I would advise Lithium as they last longer and perform better in the cold!


When you are camping, it is always nice to have a hot cup of something, so brew up a flask before you head to your living room – camp cooking probably not advisable indoors! I can recommend the Lifeventure 1000 as a great flask and with a handy cup acting as the lid, you are fully sorted. If you are a mint tea drinker or prefer plain water, consider a Nalgene 1L wide mouthed bottle. You can fill this with a couple of peppermint tea bags (or fresh mint) and then fill with hot water. This can then be put inside your sleeping bag as a hot water bottle until you are ready to drink it, or simply filled with hot water and popped at the bottom of your sleeping bag to keep you toasty all night!


If you are camping in the garden and fancy doing a little cooking, then I would suggest a Trangia 27-2UL stove. It is not as quick, light or packable as an MSR, Primus or Jetboil but it is the essence of camp cooking and gives you the flexibility to do a fry up, boil water in a camping kettle and cook with two pans! Don’t forget your trusty spork and camp crockery too.


Check out our camp kitchen kit list here.

Want to see Jamie’s indoor camping set up? Check out his time-lapse video of his loft-conversion campout!

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