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.


Nothing Says Summer Like a New Grill

One of the indications that summer has arrived is the aroma of grilled food that fills the air. If you have not invested in a grill, it is a high time that you did so. Your choice of a grill will determine whether dinner with family or friends will be a delight or a disaster. So, choosing the right one is necessary. Fortunately, there are different types of grills on the market, which means that you have many options. Nevertheless, it’s advisable for you to take your time to evaluate your needs so you can identify the special features that might come in handy. The following are some helpful tips on how to choose the perfect grill:

Consider how you want the grill to be powered.

Grills vary in the way they are powered. Some are powered by charcoal, others by gas and some by infrared. Charcoal-powered grills are generally cheaper and more common, while the infrared grills are newer and slightly expensive. Besides the price factor, you also have to consider the unique taste each of the different grills give to food. Many users state that charcoal provides the best taste, while others like how quickly propane and infrared grills cook.

Our Top Pick: Char Broil Signature

Know the must-have features

You should note that some features are more important in others, thus crucial for you to determine the ones that you need the most. Some of the must-have features include a built-in thermostat, sturdy shelving on the sides, grill cover, grill burners and cooking space. If you have a big family, it makes sense to buy a grill that has ample cooking space.

Some of the secondary features that casual and novice grillers may find unnecessary include the smoke box, electronic charcoal starter and a rotisserie. These are add-on features that you can live without. However, it is better to have them and not use them, than need them and realize that you do not have them.

Go for the one that reflects your style

While some users do not really care what their grills look like, avid grillers and gardeners do not just choose any grill they get. They ensure that the grill they choose complements their patio and backyard. The style, size and color should integrate well with the style of the space in which the grill is set. Many homeowners go for stainless steel grills, but there are those that are content with black-colored grills.

Check for a favorable warranty

While modern grills mostly operate flawlessly without hitches, there’s still the likeliness that some features may malfunction. Grill accessories and parts are pricey, so a warranty that covers grill replacement parts and repairs could save you some cash. Besides checking on the manufacturer’s warranty, it is also advisable that you check with the store’s policy in regards to returns. It is worth knowing that the store will be willing to take back a faulty grill and exchange it with another.

There are various other factors of considerations that you should pay attention to when buying a grill. For instance; it is imperative that you determine what materials were used during manufacturing. This will give you a clue about the grill’s ability to withstand the test of time and its resistance to rust or corrosion. Cast iron grills last a couple of years, while stainless steel grills can last for at least a decade.

You should also note that some grills come fully assembled, while others aren’t. If you are good at putting things together, you may not have a problem with purchasing one that isn’t assembled. However, if your DIY skills aren’t something to boast about, it would be best to choose an assembled grill.


The Excitement of White Water Rafting

Are you ready to embark on an exhilarating adventure that will take you far away from today’s modern technology and busy city life? If you are looking for an ultimate vacation experience deep into nature’s wilderness, you should try white water rafting. This is an activity that guarantees an adrenaline fueled experience that is good for both your physical and mental health. The following are some of the benefits that you get from the excitement of white water rafting:

Our Favorite: Bris Boat 14.1′ Whitewater Raft

It offers a fantastic physical workout

Rafting is known to be a great exercise that helps to reduce obesity and increase cardiovascular and muscle strength. While this great physical workout exercises the whole body, the arms and the legs receive the most intense workout as they are the main sources of energy of that offer momentum and propel boat downstream. Rafters get to test their endurance and strength to have a successful conquest in roaring Class III and IV river rapids. Other activities such as hiking while camping, or even wakeboarding are fun ways to get exercise—though whitewater rafting is among the most exhilarating. All these activities are great ways to utilize your outdoor lifestyle to improve your health.

Helps improve mental health

What’s good for your physical health might as well be as good for your mental health. White water rafting greatly helps in relieving stress and pent up tension. It provides and stimulating escape from busy everyday life, and enables you to relax. Studies reveal that those who exercise in environments with sights and sounds of nature exhibit greater improvements in self esteem and mood compared to those who exercise in urban and non-green environments. Just imagine how grounded you’d fill after spending a day on the water and coming back to your campsite and grilling a healthy outdoor meal.

It helps reduce illnesses

As rafters have a connection with the sights and sounds of nature, they not only get to de-stress, but they also get to boost their immune system. Health experts say that stress plays a huge role in about 80 percent of all illnesses.  It has been established that this activity (white water rafting) helps to put blood pressure in check, reduces levels of stress hormones and increases the release of pleasure mediators.

Provides the thrill of the great outdoors

Whether you are adventurous or not, you will find white water rafting an incredibly thrilling outdoor experience. The sights and sounds of nature bring a lot more excitement as compared to be in an amusement park. From pristine wilderness and breathtaking scenery, to historic sites and scenic backdrops, to rolling rapids and meandering rivers, you get to see them all while rafting. Other activities such as grilling and camping are great ways to integrate with the outdoors, but are more passive in their reach. White water rafting is an engaged and exhilarating experience which helps to focus the greatness of Mother Nature.

It fosters excellent team building skills

This activity can also be best enjoyed when done by more than one person. When people embark on white water rafting as a team, it helps them to bond better and get an opportunity to maximize the benefits of social bonding. Furthermore, participants get to acquire team skills through exciting and vibrant real-life scenarios.

All Things Considered

Overall, white water rafting is an awesome activity that provides physical, psychological and social benefits for people of all ages. Many doctors recommend this activity to help adventurers explore their qualities and capabilities while reconnecting and bonding with one another. In addition to that, it is a very economical activity as it doesn’t require much. Engaging in this activity guarantees your improvement in health and peace of mind!



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!.