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.