How To Choose A Camping Bed For The Perfect Night’s Sleep
We’re beginning to understand sleep in ways that we’ve never understood before. Research is now suggesting (probably to no one’s real surprise) that a consistent good night’s sleep is one of the most important aspects contributing to our health and sense of well-being.
Getting a good night’s sleep when camping is often harder than on a regular night. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably experienced the horror of a restless night in a sweltering summer on a paper-thin mattress. If that’s the case, it’s time to think a little more carefully about your next camping bed.
Different types for different needs.
Maybe you seek luxury when you’re camping ( or glamping as some might call it), or perhaps the minimalist approach is the way for you. Whatever your preference, there’s plenty of options to make sure you find the perfect bed for the perfect night’s sleep.
If you like to do some serious hiking to find remote hidden treasures in the backcountry, then obviously you don’t want to be carting around much weight. Options such as airbeds can weigh less than a kilogram and could probably fit in your back pocket if you were determined enough.
If you like to camp in your car or to set up at a site for an extended holiday, then the extra hassle of transporting a heavier bed is probably worth it. You’ll be thanking yourself when your sleeping problems disappear as the sun sets on another glorious day in the outdoors.
If you’re out in woop woop, a large bed may not be the right option for you. If you’re setting up semi-permanently, a bed with a little extra wiggle room could make for a much more restful stay.
In saying that, air mattresses provide for some extra options. Since they’re light and don’t take up much packing room, you can get a luxurious size wherever you have ended up for the night.
Closely related to size and weight, this will again depend on where and how you like to camp. It’s probably more relevant if you like to camp just one or two nights and then move on to the next place.
If you’re setting up a second home for the Christmas holidays, then get a trailer and choose the biggest most luxurious bed you can find!
If you’re regular campers then assembling your campsite becomes something of an art. Being able to save even a couple of seconds each time you set up can be a very rewarding pursuit. This becomes even more pertinent if you happen to be arriving in the dark, or if it’s raining when you set up.
A fluid set up can be the difference between unwinding the moment you arrive or spending your first hours de-stressing because you had to yell at the kids or your partner a few more times than you’d hoped!
Whether you take pride in getting a Guinness Book of Records set up time, or you prefer to relax into it, it’s probably a good idea to take some time to try the set up at home before you go deep out into the wilderness.
This is as important as it is at home and, like everything, depends on your preference. Cotton based fabrics are still popular because they’re natural fibres so it’s easier for your skin to breathe. However, they can become dirtier a little quicker.
Camp cots often have a layer of nylon or polyester, while these offer support and are easier to clean, they can get a little hot. If you’re using an air-mattress it’s probably worth finding a fabric that is strong and relatively puncture-proof, otherwise, you might find yourself sleeping on the ground for the rest of your holiday!
Frame or no frame?
The answer probably depends on if you’re a glamper or a camper. There are options so that your bed isn’t resting on the ground but is supported by a frame – while this will give you the best night's sleep possible, it might be hard to take up the top of Mt. Everest!
This is always a negotiation when it comes to camping: usually to get the best comfort and support means more weight and size, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t great options for more light-weight, portable bedding. Just don’t be suckered in by the super cheap options – they’re probably cheap for a reason. While they might feel fine in the shop, often the lifespan of these cheaper made products will be less than the time you’ve planned to camp.
Above all, figure out what is most important for you, take your time in choosing and go get out in the great outdoors!