Best Thing To Sleep On while Camping | Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

Nothing is better than the sight of a million stars when you are on a camping trip, but for people who have a sleeping routine, it seems like getting a good night’s sleep can be an impossible task. So let us help you as we introduce the best thing to sleep on while camping.

With standard sleeping bags that are not heaven-sent in their comfortability, bedtime routines are moot when going on such a trip. Top that all off with an exhausting trip the following day, let us just say that you will be seeing stars and grabbing your head for a good hour or two.

Indeed, comfort is the last thing that comes to mind when one mentions camping. However, there are a few more options of comfortable bedding that you could consider, making your next camping a version that will bring stories other than those that start with “I woke up in the middle of the night.”

So, What Is Best Thing To Sleep on While Camping?

Here are some camping sleeping ideas to have great outdoors on your next camping adventure.

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Camping Cot

A couple looking up at the sky while lying down in a tent

A camping cot is a portable bedspread that you could open inside your tent or near your campfire for sleeping comfortably. It is lightweight as it is supported by metal, wooden, or plastic frame, and is only attached to a sheet of canvas, linen, or nylon that serves as the “cushion” of the entire setup.

Each kind varies based on its height, weight, and incorporated material. It certainly does not cover much of an area like a sleeping bag does. But, it provides a comfortable sleeping pad that is safe from the insects or puddles that might enter your tent so that you can sleep comfortably.

From a general perspective, it seems like a top-runner among sleeping gears – making it a perfect fit when you are planning out your all-improved camping kit.

However, it does come with its struggles in various areas. To start, camping cots are a bulky option. While you can get backpacking camping cots, most will be a bit too large to take on a multi-day hiking trip and better suited to longer stays at campsites. But, it does mean you can also get camping cots for two – or a double bed Also, you can opt to use the cot on your car camping trips, since weight is not an issue for car campers.

Also, canvas camp cots rely on textile that can harden when pressure is applied, sore shoulders will be news for side sleepers.

However, if want to enjoy your weekend camping trip, you can use the most comfortable sleeping pad, foam pad, or a regular air mattress on your camping bed for extra comfort. You may also want to use your cot with a sleeping bag to withstand cold temperatures.

Much like with any other product, a camping cot is not the perfect all-rounder option that covers all ends with its features. However, you can still find the right camping cot among the many types of camping beds. A cot remains one of the most comfortable sleeping gear to make your tent camping great.

  • Elevated from the ground
  • Specifications are varied
  • Lightweight
  • spare bed for extra guests
  • Can use or without a tent
  • Inefficient for large groups
  • Uncomfortable for side sleepers
  • Setting it up takes longer than other camp bedding forms

Air Mattress – The Manual and Self Inflating Type

Air mattresses can provide that bed like comfort when you sleep in camping

An air mattress is a portable bedspread that is either manually inflated or self-inflating depending on the variation. 

Camping mattresses can provide that bed-like comfort thanks to their surface that adjusts perfectly to your body while keeping your body heat at its sweet spot. With the adjustable firmness of these air pads, they can offer more comfort when compared to some camping cots, foam pads or sleeping pads.

This heavenly sleep experience, however, falls short in its durability and convenience. Choosing the affordable yet manually inflated one would require either a piece of additional equipment such as a hand pump, or another set of lungs to keep you going as you fill the air mattress during your camp. 

Combine that with the sharp points and edges outdoors, it would certainly be a less-than-ideal experience for a camper when the white noise is flooded by the hissing sound of a leak.

If you are camping in places with cold temperatures, use a mattress topper to insulate yourself.

It is due to this that cheap regular air mattresses are generally a poor choice, but if you are willing to invest in a comfortable sleep, you can find some excellent choices.

  • Ease of storage
  • Bed-like comfort and style
  • Adapting firmness
  • Prone to leaks, punctures, and damages
  • Ease of inflation is proportional to the price
  • Demands too much space

Mattress Pad – An Open Sleeping Bag

Mattress pad can provide that bed like comfort when you sleep in camping

Mattress or camping cot pads are the epitome of storage and sleeping setup convenience that dominates sleeping tips for camping.

It is made up of a closed-cell foam that easily rolls to form a compact sleeping tool that you could insert at the tightest corners of your bag. With camping trips being as exhausting as it is, the search for light and all-rounder options are certainly the rave among campers.

Considering how its foam insulation is perfect for you to stay warm, keeping you toasty through the night while still being perfectly sized to fit inside a tent, the world is your sleeping space.

Sure enough, it might not be as snuggly as most sleeping bags or as bouncy as an inflatable pillow or an air mattress, but if you are looking for a way to hit both comfort and convenience with a single stone, then consider your search finished and fulfilled.

Despite needing things like a camping pillow to hug for when you are sharing stories in the tent, it certainly is hard to dethrone the mattress pad in any aspect imaginable.

With its improved convenience and efficiency, especially for campers who don’t mind a little hug from nature while sleeping, this sleep pad certainly is a must-have that offers a little more in exchange for a little less.

It might not be the perfect option, but it sure does come quite close to what you may consider as one. It is also way better than sleeping on the cold ground or tent floor.

  • Convenient to store and carry
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with most environments outdoors
  • Relatively uncomfortable
  • Requires more tools to make it more comfortable

Camping Hammock

The camping hammock the concept of sleep during camping

The camping hammock revolutionized the concept of sleep during camping – offering an approach that veers away from some of the limitations that comes with a sleeping bag or a tent. It is much more comfortable than sleeping on the ground.

It is suspended above the ground with the help of cables or ropes, and it may resemble a “knit-hat” that is more comfortable than your standard camp tent or sleeping bags. Due to its thin material, fits comfortably within your bag while still being lightweight and adaptable.

By just having two trees that are relatively close to each other, you are ready for another round of hassle-free sleep. With its arching shape that requires no pillow for your already-elevated head along with the efficient air circulation around your body, it certainly comes close to the title of an “all-rounder.”

It hits some snags, however, in its privacy and capacity – having no covering whatsoever and only accommodating a single person at a time. It sometimes even becomes “too good” at its job, leaving you cold due to the “excellent air circulation” that works best on hot summer nights.

With the additional issue of being uncomfortable for “over-active” sleepers, it certainly becomes a little restrictive in practice. Topping that all off with the need to be placed outside the tent, it surely resembles the other tips in the way that its benefits and limitations are balanced against each other.

Balancing out features is hard, especially when both the comfort and convenience of sleep are in question.

However, much like with any other product, it all depends on what you think will be necessary along the way. The camping hammock might be a little too “relaxed” to be compatible in certain environments, but it sure does a terrific job when the circumstances are just right.

  • Safe from insects and puddles
  • Relatively more adaptable
  • Requires no pillow or cushion
  • Uncomfortable to sleep in for over-active sleepers
  • Restrictive in part
  • Becomes too cold or too exposed

The Ground

A view of some people campfire outside of their camping

The bare ground, the basic soil, the ever-so-vast land. Unlike when you are safely enclosed in a sleeping bag or mummy bags, the bare floor is certainly not as comfortable to sleep in, especially when it gets cold. It does not have a temperature rating to gauge its feel, you are as exposed as you could be, and there are no tiers of comfort that you look at for your next camping adventure.

However, despite these glaring flaws, it also comes with a few logical upsides that would certainly make you go “huh.” To start, it completely removes the necessity to pack a sleeping kit -sleeping pad, sleeping bag, inflatable camp pillow, or air pad. You may carry a tent if you’re a tent camping enthusiast to sleep on the tent floor.

With more room in your bag, you could bring more things to sustain you along the trip. 

Removing the weight aspect and time-consuming setups of conventional and comfortable sleeping bag alternatives such as sleeping pads, packing a bag becomes less of a hassle and less of a critical decision.

It is indeed not the best trade-off that there is out there in the market, especially with cold weather. But if your budget is tight and you are not particularly concerned with the risks that would otherwise make others reconsider, then maybe it is not such a bad idea after all.

Being with nature and sleeping just like how nature intended sleep to be? Might be worth sending your friend’s inbox with this idea.

Extra Tips For a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep while backpacking or car camping is certainly an arduous journey to take on with all the things that certainly does not make sleep easy, but with the right preparatory measures by your side, let us just say that a guaranteed “Zzzzz” will be flying out of your tent in no time.

  • Exercise during the day to have good sleep at night
  • Try to follow your usual bedtime routine and sleep schedule
  • Apply protection against bugs
  • Use ear plugs or an eye mask
  • Choose an ideal place for your tent set-up to have great outdoors
  • When tent camping, ensure that the ventilation is just right to ensure fresh air flows
  • Try to avoid eating anything sugary before sleep
  • Do regular activities like deep breathing before bedtime.
  • Stick to your regular sleeping hours to fall asleep with ease

Final Thoughts

Whether you are accustomed to bringing the occasional sleeping bag with sleeping bag liners or are the kind to raise a tent whenever camping is right around the corner, it is still a fact that camping sleeping is never as comfortable as you would ever like it to be.

From insects to bumpy surfaces, there are a lot of things that scream “I am not for sleeping” or “get me out of this tent.” Nevertheless, with the best thing to sleep on while camping, then perhaps it could edge a little bit away from being completely insufferable to being slightly tolerable.

Happy camping!

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