Camping is one of the families favorite activities to do together. For years…aka pre-marriage, friends and I were content throwing a sleeping bag out next to the fire with a tarp close by in case it starts to rain. Those days are generally long gone as the wife and young kids need a bit more shelter to feel comfortable when camping.
Now that I’ve had years to accumulate gear I feel like I have a pretty good handle on what works and what doesn’t when camping. I definitely have had my share of buying cheap only to have to replace that particular piece of gear after one trip of use. If you plan on camping often it’s worth biting the bullet and buying good gear the first time around.
Camping – Sleeping Gear
Probably the biggest hurtle that keeps people from fully enjoying their camping trip is their sleeping setup. Whether your gear is too warm or too cold for your environment, picking the right tent, cot, pad and sleeping bag are paramount in having a successful fun campout.
I have found that adding a cot to your camping gear arsenal is one of the quickest ways to improve your nights sleep when out camping. Most camping cots are meant for car camping, some manufactures are coming out with backpacking models as well though.
Upsides to a cot: Cots get you fully off the ground and most provide much more support than an air mattress. Setup time is similar to an air mattress with an air pump. Nicer models have shown to last a lifetime when taken care of. Most can support more weight than an air mattress. Typically have better support for people with bad backs or achy joints.
Downsides of a cot: Most can only sleep one person. Weighs more than most air mattresses. Can take up more sleeping space than a comparable air mattress.