Camp Bedding Options

It’s important to have something between the ground and the sleeping bag, because otherwise it will be uncomfortable and cold.

When choosing a bed for camping, there are various factors to consider. These include price, comfort, durability and how much room there will be to pack the camping gear.

Camping Mats

Thin foam camping mats for sleeping are compact, light and weather proof. They’re not that thick or comfortable, but they’re better than nothing.

The sleeping mats are easy to roll up and carry along backpacking. Find these in outdoor outfitters; hardware stores and camping sections in discount outlets.

Exercise mats are similar and play mats for children that piece together like puzzles work wonderfully. The play mats are better for couples or someone bigger because they can be made wider.

Camping Cots

These foldable camping cots usually include a thin foam mattress. The great thing about a cot is that it’s an actual bed with legs, so it keeps campers right off the ground. They wouldn’t pack that easily into the trunk, especially if there were more than one cot.

Another drawback is that most camping cots seem to be made for people less than six feet tall. Look for an extra large camping cot for taller people. These make great compact spare beds to have at home.

Air Mattresses

Air mattresses are comfortable, but there is the risk of them deflating. Bring along a repair kit just in case. This is probably the most popular choice, but keep in mind, it’s no fun trying to inflate a deflated mattress in the middle of the night. Some of these air mattresses self inflate, include speakers for ipods or are raised off the ground. Most of these things aren’t necessary, but there are varying degrees of durability and quality in air mattresses. Often campers get what they pay for.

Foam Mattress

Another option if there’s room is to check fabric and/or upholstery outlets for thicker foam. They’ll cut the foam to size and the price is very reasonable in exchange for comfort. This foam needs to be kept dry, which isn’t always easy when camping. An old duvet or futon cover would work as a covering. At least the cover can be washed easily while the foam can’t. If the foam does get wet or dirty, scrub it down with a hose and hang to dry.

Lawn Chair Pads

Long foam lawn chair pads would also work for camping mattresses, and they usually have a plastic weatherproof covering. They can get pricey, but if there are already some around, bring them along.

Some form of protection and comfort for sleeping makes a huge difference when camping. Everyone has more fun at the campsite if they’re well rested and free from an aching back.