Stargazing adds to the pleasure of sleeping outdoors. Shown here: the glow of the Milky Way in the summer night sky.
Photo by William C. Keel
On warm summer nights in Idaho, David and Janeen Brown roll their bed outside and sleep to a lullaby of woodland sounds.
At the Permaculture Institute of Northern California, Penny Livingston-Stark and James Stark sleep outdoors most of spring, summer, and fall in their bale (pronounced “balay”), a Balinese structure that raises their bed above the ground and puts a natural roof over their heads. “The joy of sleeping outdoors,” says Penny, “is hearing the owls at night and awakening to the predawn chorus. Sometimes the birds forget we're here and fly right through the bale.” Penny and James also use their “outdoor garden room” for dining and entertaining. The bale and linens are available from the Permaculture Institute, (415) 663-9090 or www.permacultureinstitute.com.
A bed of chamomile just below the bale helps dreamers drift off to sleep.