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Camp Mattresses & Pads: A Guide to Sleeping Better Outdoors

Camping can be one of the most rewarding experiences one ever undertakes. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature, put into focus your resourcefulness, and bond with friends and family. One way to ensure that everyone has the best time possible is to ensure a comfortable sleeping experience. Finding the best places to camp is only half the battle—for a quality outdoor adventure you need the right gear as well!

Our Favorite Camp Mattress: Light Speed Outdoors Self-Inflating Camp Mattress

Finding the Best Mattress for You

Modern luxury mattresses might have figured out how to ship in small boxes, but you’ll never get them back in them once removed. This negates these as viable camping options, which brings us to the consideration of inflatable mattresses and sleeping pads. Each offer unique advantages and considering a few attributes of each can help understand which might be the best option for you. The mattress you take camping will be the final accent to all the daily activities you may choose to undertake. Being able to sleep restfully can help provide you with the energy needed to go hiking, backpacking, and even white water rafting day in and day out while in the great outdoors.

Inflatable Mattresses vs. Camping Pads

The best mattresses for camping are often regarded as being those which allow for comfortable sleep while still offering the convenience of portability. There is little practicality in considering bringing a regular mattress camping, though it would certainly be within the realm of possibilities. This would only be a viable option for comedians and those with money to burn. Air mattresses offer easy portability and a great degree of comfort. There is some difficulty during inflation if an automated source isn’t available. In addition, one disadvantage of inflatable mattresses is their size. Many of these mattresses don’t fit well in smaller tents. They are also susceptible to puncture wounds and deflation.

Camping pads, also called sleeping pads, are either foam or thinly-designed inflatables that offer a sturdy escape from the ground while still conserving space. Camp pads are like egg cartons often in how they appear. Their design is modular and able to be easily packaged with common backpacking gear arrangements. These products are revered by many hikers for their easy transport, but this mobility comes at the sacrifice of comfort. For those simply looking to avoid the pressure points of roots, rocks, and the raw ground—a camping pad may be the best option for you. These options are great for backpackers because they allow the extra space to tote along camp stoves, pillows, fishing poles, and other crucial gear.

Considerations to make to Increase Camp Sleep Quality

If you have kids or other family members that seem hesitant in their desire to go camping, make extra consideration for them. For young children, the comfort of their typical nightly routine can help. If you read your children bedtime stories, give them ice cream before bed, or make them wear pajamas; these can all be great ways to help them get to sleep while camping. On the flipside, if your children seem to have no qualms about sleeping in the outdoors it might be more enjoyable for them to break routine! Routines and common practices during bedtime can be useful when children are having trouble accepting the environment of camping.

For yourself, spouse, or friends; sleeping while camping can be either an exciting change from normalcy or it can be a dreaded change from the comfort of normalcy. Either way, you’re dealing with normalcy—how people are used to sleeping. For those people that are hesitant to sleep in an unfamiliar place on an unfamiliar bed, it can help to offer some creature comforts. Soft linens, a comforter, perhaps some soft lights and the accustomed reading materials can help bring along a comforting piece of home. For those that are excited to step outside the norm—sleeping bags, long johns, and even mosquito nets can help augment the sense of adventure! It’s all about knowing your fellow campers and how their experience might be become even better with a little help and consideration.

Final Remarks

Camping is one of the most incredible ways to experience the great outdoors. It’s a great adventure for friends, family, and even lovers. The intimacy of Nature can help reconnect us with our past and innate Self. For many however, the act of sleep can become burdensome while camping. Roots, rocks, and the sounds of the great outdoors are all problems that might cause many to become hesitant about camping. Finding a quality camp mattress—be it inflatable or a sleeping pad—can help to relieve this burden tremendously. Other considerations such as typical nightly routines and managing expectations can help ensure everyone has an excellent adventure.

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Fun Ways to Cook Food While Camping

If you are contemplating camping, you must be wondering what sorts of meals you’ll have. Basically, your choice and amount of food to carry will be determined by three things – the number of days you intend to stay in camp, the number of campers who’ll need to be fed and the weather. Obviously, the longer the trip, the more food you’ll need to carry. The standard goal should be to carry at least two pounds of food for each person per day. For cold weather, you should consider warmth-generating foods. Some of the best campground recipes offer the best of both worlds!

Favorite Camp Stove: Etekcity Ultralight

Factors to Consider when Choosing Food for Camping

The following are some of the things to consider when choosing food for camping:

  • Weight

One of the things that make food weighty is the water content in them. For example, a quart of milk is heavier compared to an equivalent cup of dry milk. Dried fruit and other dehydrated foods are also a great lightweight option that you can consider.

  • Perishability

Since you will not have the luxury of eating out of your fridge while camping, you have to choose food that doesn’t require refrigeration. This is where dried food come in handy. Cook those foods don’t last long first to ensure that they don’t go bad and get wasted.

  • Nutritional value

Camping that involves hiking, rock climbing, fishing, hunting, etc requires you to reconsider your nutritional needs. Those activities are strenuous and the last thing you need to do is to diet. You should make food choices that have enough nutritional value to prevent you from feeling weak.

  • Cooking time

You also need to consider the amount of time needed to have food ready to be served. At the end of each expedition, you will be tired and hungry. Food that takes too long to cook isn’t ideal for camping. You need to choose quick, tasty and easy to prepare food.

Thoughtful Camping Food ideas

Breakfast Ideas

Quick and easy foods are ideal for breakfast, especially if you intend to embark on long, hard, early hikes. Eggs and bacon are scrumptious, but they won’t stay fresh for long. Fresh fruit and yogurt will stay fresh a little bit longer. For long trips, homemade or commercial granola bars, instant oatmeal, quick hot cereals or dried fruit served with tea, cocoa mix or coffee will do.

While cereal is considered to be among the easiest breakfasts, it’s advisable to shun bland selections such as crispy rice and corn flakes and pick cereals with stronger flavors such as fruit loops and granola. You can also opt to have energy bars if space and weight are an issue. You can pair them with nuts and dried fruit for variety.

Lunch Ideas

With a stove, you can manage to prepare a hot lunch. To make lunches quickly, you can buy pre-mixed varieties. Alternatively, you can buy ingredients separately and mix a custom blend. Marshmallows, mac and cheese, hot dogs and instant oatmeal also appeal to many campers as they are delicious and easy to prepare.

If camping for less than ten days, you can bring along veggies such as cucumbers, carrots, celery, fennel and potatoes, etc. For longer trips, you might want to consider compact breads (the sturdier kinds such as tortillas, bagels, English muffins, pitas, etc), sausage (dry and dense sausages such as beef sticks, summer sausages, pepperoni, salami, etc), and nut butters and crackers.

Dinner Ideas

Pasta is an ideal choice for dinner, as it is not only quick and easy to prepare, but it is also filling. You can also bring along canned veggies, canned sauces and tuna. You can also fry slices of bread and have it with canned beans. You can also try out burrito bowls. Supplements such as salsa, canned or grilled onions, hot sauce, mushrooms, peppers and canned chili can also help turn your dinner into a finger-licking meal.

Final Considerations

Camping can be one of the best ways to share quality time with one’s family. It helps connect with the natural world in such a way that we are often deprived of. Learning how to provide fun and delicious food options for your fellow campers can help to increase the overall experience. We recommend finding the best grill possible to take along with you, though make considerations for size! Overall, camping is amazing and the food you bring with you can help set the tone for the entire trip and create a better outdoor lifestyle experience!.