Nothing is fun if you haven’t slept well. No matter how much you may want to enjoy the pleasures of the sun rising, wood fire smoking, coffee steaming, and bacon sizzling, you won’t even recognize them if you’re still in sleep mode with different camping bed ideas.
All the jokes about grumpy-in-the-morning can’t change the way you feel
If you’re going to like camping, you must do everything possible to ensure a good sleep every night. Luckily, it’s not too hard to do. The first thing you should notice about sleeping out is that the combination of outside air and outdoor activity often leads to instant sleep, as soon as the head hits the pillow, you’re off to slumberland.
Then it’s up to the combination of underbody cushioning and over body covering to ensure your continued rest until early light starts the next adventure-filled day
Camping Bed Ideas for Comfortable Sleeping on the Campsite
The shape of your tent floor will have the biggest influence on the family’s sleeping arrangement. It may be a sardine line-up or a modified spoke plan; follow-the-hex-walls, or three-in-a-row and one crossway. Whatever the eventual positioning, be sure nobody’s leaning against a wall.
In most tents, the side walls are made of breathable fabric; if there’s any moisture on the outside of the tent wall, you might wick it through to the inside by touching the wall. Also, when you roll up the sleeping bags in the morning to organize the tent as a day room, be sure no sleeping bags or duffels touch the side walls.
Camp Cots and Different Types
These Can be Good Option for Sleeping
They’re not meant to compare with box springs or inner springs. but a camp cot will keep you off the ground. Cots will work with sleeping only in a tent with sufficient headroom and near-vertical walls.
As basic as they seem, even cots require choices. First, check the way the cot is made. Metal supports at the head and foot can be uncomfortable if you’re tall. long enough to touch them, or if you’re not cushioned well. Some cots are made without these end bars.
If at all possible, try before you buy, at least, take a survey of other campers who have used cots.
Check the way the cot stands, and imagine how the supports might affect a nylon made family cabin tent floor.
Bent, rounded tubing is easiest on the tent, but other styles could be cushioned to protect the tent fabric.
Most fold in half for carrying and packing; one rolls up into a lumpy tube shape. Compare materials: look for sturdy, mildew resistant fabrics, and consider the convenience of removable covers.
Types of Camp Cots
Let’s find out the types of camp cots you can have to have proper sleep and rest.
One metal-framed cot is designed with one end raised. If your pillow is less than fluffy, you’ll still be able to sleep with your head elevated
A 2-inch foam pad covers another cot This is probably the closest you’ll get to a real bed. (It could double as the spare bed for house guests.)
Most camp cots are about 6 feet long by 24 to 28 inches wide, but one design measures 84 inches by 31 inches. Those extra inches can make a big difference in sleep ability, even if you’re not overly tall
You can buy bunk cots: one pair can be set up as a double-layer bunk, or as two separate singles These may be handy to own if one of your children sometimes brings along a cousin or friend.
Repair patches are often included with air mattresses, a reminder to keep tent floors on smooth ground
Ground Cushions, Pads and Air Mattress for Camping
Types and Uses
Many campers would rather sleep on the ground than try to stay balanced on a cot frame, especially sleepers who like to sprawl or move around a lot. Canoeists, of course, don’t even have the cot option-no room in the canoe.
Fortunately, nobody has to sleep directly on the ground, campers can pad their sleeping area in different ways. Basically, these divide into three categories air mattresses, foam pads, and the more recent addition to sleep tech, the self-inflating foam mattress.
Air Mattresses Can one of the Best Camping Sleeping Options
Most air mattresses are variations on two styles: the full-length, tubular-shaped I-beam construction, or the non-chambered fake button quilt look in a square-cornered, flat mattress.
They’re made in an assortment of materials, but the rubberized canvas seems most favored, even though it may be heavier, it has a softer touch.
The heavier weight also means heavier-duty, as it lasts longer.
Air mattresses sound like a perfect solution. They carry small and light; when filled, they provide a large, fairly thick mat, which should be the most comfortable, but some people have trouble Here, too, a lot depends on the way you sleep.
If you usually sleep flat on your back or your stomach a single-size air mattress will be fine. If you like to curl up or stretch out, you’ll probably find some parts of your body will over-reach the boundary of the mattress and be suspended with no support beneath them.
At best, you’ll find a workable compromise (usurping portions of your neighbor’s mattress) at worst, you’ll roll off the edge of the mattress from time to time. (One tubular mat has separate valves so you can make the outer tubes firmer than the inner to help prevent a roll-off.)
Foam Pads Is Great for Camping Sleeping
Instead of an air mattress for cushioning, you may choose to sleep on a foam pad. A full-length pad is naturally most comfortable, but it makes a bigger bundle pack and carries, so many campers settle for a three-quarter length.
A thickness of inch is the minimum and it is truly minimal for comfort. Buy pads as thick as you can pack; the ground pad not only provides cushioning but insulation as well
Closed-cell foam is’rigid” foam, a dense material that cushions
well and doesn’t absorb water. Since they don’t compress closed-cell pads are bulkier than open when comparing equal foam thickness,
Open-cell is the spongy foam; a thicker pad may be more comfortable, but since it can absorb water, it requires more care. (Some pads are fabric-covered, to help keep the foam dry)
Self-Inflating Pads and Types: Comfortable & Cheap Camping Beds
Self-inflating foam pads cushion with both foam and air. The Equalizer camping mattress (below) uses separate chambers, so you can adjust the amount of air for different parts of the body. Three of the chambers are connected, so air flows through; three are independent,
Therm-a-Rest is a popular mattress for good reason. Its open-cell foam compresses to a smaller package. To inflate, open the air valve, and air flows in.
You may need to top off with your breath, especially when the pad is new or has spent time rolled up.
To deflate, open the valve again, this time to release air, and roll up the pad, pushing air out as you go. When it’s rolled tight, close the valve, (You may have to sit or kneel on the pad to get the air started out.)
See Also: How to Heat a Tent Safely While Camping
Therm-a-Rests are made in full and three-quarter length; two can be connected for a double bed. To prolong the life of the mattress, it’s important to store it properly.
Some Other Kinds of Sleeping Pads for Camping
Check out the other kinds of sleeping pads below.
If you have a station wagon or a van, get a station wagon pad to use for one double mattress
To provide a better surface to help hold the sleeping bag on a sleeping pad, some pads have a ribbed pattern, others use egg-crate foam or rely on a non-slip fabric over the pad material.
If you have arthritis, use a good, thick sleep pad. Your hips will thank you.
If you don’t have a manufacturer’s repair kit for your sleep pad take along some self-adhesive nylon repair tape, or seam sealer, to use on pinholes.
When your Therm-aRest pad is new, you might need to blow into it a few times to help speed inflation Later, it will be more willing to self-inflate.
Sleeping Bags: Best Sleeping Options for Camping
Bags are most practical for camp bedding. They’re cozy for sleeping, and even young children can roll them up and out of the way come daylight.
Using a sleeping bag in camping is one of the easiest ways to relax and sleep. A lot of sleeping bag features are built-in for cold-weather camping, designed to keep sleepers warm in near-freezing temperatures.
Summertime campers don’t need all the extra detailing and super tech materials, they may want to be covered, but not cocooned.
Families may already own sleeping bags for the kids, from bringing your-own-bed slumber parties. Adults can buy a similar lightweight basic bag from a discount or department store, and take along a few old wool blankets to pile on top if the weather report calls for chilly nights
As you expand territory and season, you may want to invest in a serious sleeping bag, and since they are an investment, multiplied by how many family members camp, they require some prior study.
Bags are made in two basic shapes, each with a modified version
- Rectangular is the roomiest, so you have the most freedom of movement. They sleep the coldest, but that’s not a problem for summer campers.
- Semi-rectangular, or barrel, shape tapers at the feet, and a bit at shoulders, with less space inside, it warms up faster than a rectangular bag.
- Shaped and tapered, a mummy bag has the least space to heat; made for cold-weather camping, it also has a head-covering hood. If you move around a lot when you sleep, you won’t like the confinement of a mummy bag.
- A modified mummy shape tries to ease the claustrophobia without sacrificing too much heat-keeping ability
Double-Bagging Sleeping Options for Family Campers
Family campers will probably get the basic rectangular bags. Two of the same model bag can zip together into a double-bed bag; this also works with barrel-shaped bags.
You can use two of the same length, or put a longer bag on the bottom.
Most sleeping bags are made for an average size adult, but if you’re above average in height, look for extra-long. If you’re otherwise oversized, or simply like more room to move, look for extra-wide or jumbo (and ignore the label). A few bags are made in children’s sizes, too.
Sleeping Bag Considerations to Check
Checking the rating and materials are two important things of a sleeping bag being better for camping or not.
Tags on sleeping bags give numbered ratings that are more significant to mountain and expedition hikers than to summer campers. Since the numbers are not based on any industry standard, they can only be considered as a basis for comparison on the most general level.
Materials for Camping Bed Ideas
Shell fabrics and insulating materials (usually called fill) could fill their own book. The combination water-resistant/breathable shell fabric is not something the summer camper needs, nor is down fill, even if it is the warmest insulation.
For practical reasons, get a sleeping bag with easy-care fabric and synthetic insulation, and throw it into a washing machine when need be.
Also, before you buy your investment-grade sleeping bag, you may wonder about some other descriptive terms:
Check Insulation of the Bag
Loft describes how insulation fluffs and retains the air pockets that do the actual insulating. Fill power is a way to compare insulation and refers to down’s resiliency, or loft.
When you see “550 fill” that’s the number of cubic inches an ounce of down takes up an ounce of that particular down fluffs to 550 cubic inches. Synthetic insulations use the same comparison
Baffles are interior fabric walls that prevent insulation from shifting about Offset quilting is the way two layers of quilting are sewn together, so the seams are not in line (cold air could sneak through an uninsulated seam, and warmed air could sneak out).
The draft tube is a fabric tube filled with insulation, covering the zipper on a sleeping bag, to prevent heat loss through the zipper.
Special Bags for Sleeping
One practical solution to varied-season camping is a bag with different amounts of insulating material on each side. When it’s cold outside, sleep with the fuller, loftier side on top. When it’s warmer sleep with the lighter side on top.
With any bag, the underside doesn’t do much to keep you warm, because the would-be insulating air spaces are compressed by your weight. The top side always has the warming function.
At least two companies have found a niche selling everything the competent home sewer needs to make sleeping bags for the entire family and also whatever clothing items require the special fabrics not found in the corner fabric store).
Sleeping Options for Children on Camp
Babies sleep like babies in a portable playpen, which also serves as a useful safe haven during the daytime. Later, they’ll use a sleeping bag and mat of their own.
See Also: Camping with Children
For safety, let a small child sleep between two adults, or at least on the side of the tent opposite the entrance, so there’s no chance of an attempted moonlight stroll without your being alerted by the crawl-over.
Little children can share a grown-up’s sleeping bag; just unzip it and use it as an under-and-over comforter.
If you wait till they’re exhausted to put them to “bag” they’ll be less inclined to have giggle-fest playing footsie.
“Middle-aged” children can share an adult-width bag, a good sleep setup when they are also sharing a separate small tent.
Children’s sleeping bags are made in a couple of lengths. These are fine hand-downs, but if no second child is waiting, they’re outgrown too soon.
To bring an adult bag down to size, roll up the unused foot portion, clamping it shut with a long bag clip or giant clothespins.
Or, fold it underneath for extra protection from the ground. You may lose some of the insulating property due to compressing the bag where it rolls; if feet are cold, you can always toss a small blanket over the end of the bag.
Types of Camping Bed Ideas for Children
A neat, efficient child’s sleeping bag can grow. Two zip-in fabric extensions stretch the bag from 39 inches to 55 inches.
Make a temporary “sleeping pen” for baby by arranging duffels around a triangular or square space. Baby sleeps in the middle, cushioned on any side a nighttime rollover might send him
If one child gets chilled easily, arrange sleeping spots so the child is positioned between two less-cold-prone bodies, whether parents or siblings,
Buy a different color sleeping bag for each person, for instant identification
Camping Hammock as Comfortable Sleeping Option
A hammock is hardly required camp gear, but it can be such a good extra, for night sleeping, day napping, and best of all, mind-clearing
A hang-anywhere bed lets your loaf in the nicest places, Beachfront is a personal favorite the cooling touch of a steady sea breeze, the lullaby of endless waves, and the gentle swing of your private cocoon puts your world on hold and gives you something to call on for future stress management
A cotton woven hammock is probably the most comfortable, though it will mildew and rot eventually.
You can also find them in nylon or polyester twine, or solid canvas fabric, Wooden spreader bars at the ends of some hammocks hold the shape, but they must be well padded or they destroy the feeling of unhampered freedom.
See Also: Hammock Camping Tips
You could forget the tent if you sleep in a jungle hammock with mesh net sides, a fabric top, and a cotton canvas floor, you have a self-contained, functional, elevated shelter with all the fun of a hammock
Some Other Camping Sleeping Options
Here are some other options you can look for if you are onto your first or preliminary trips.
Basic Bed If You Don’t Own a Sleeping Bag (on camping)
If you don’t own sleeping bags, you needn’t purchase them for your first camping trips just take as many blankets as you think you might need, and pile them on.
The only problem with this plan is that if you’re sensitive to the blanket fabric, you’ll need sheets to separate you from the blanket, and now you’re bringing more items than you might want to tote around. Still, it works.
Starter Sleeping Bag
Make your own starter sleeping bag with a light cotton blanket or flannel sheet (double-bed size). Safety-pin or sew the lightweight cover to a heavier blanket.
Also double-bed size option you can find. Then lie down on one half and pull the other half over you. This is only temporary: use big needles and big stitches, and it goes fast.
Pillow Tech for Campers
Some people simply cannot sleep without a real pillow. If you usually bring pillows in the car, they don’t seem like too much of an extra when you move them into the tent.
You may be able to substitute a small foam-filled pillow for the real thing. Or, try a poly-filled pillow form from the fabric store. The last choice would be an inflatable.