Do you know how important camping beds are when you camp? The right choice is going to help you to stay warm all night long and help to make your camping trip more enjoyable overall.

There are different types of beds available. We’ve all seen the ones from Wal-Mart that could double as a spare bed for when you have guests at you house. The other end of the scale of course is the sleeping bag.

For me those big bulky beds from Wal-Mart just are not the way to go. Sure they’re probably very comfortable but to lug something that size around on any camping trip I would go on is just far too much work. I like to go smaller than that. They’re a good choice when you’re car camping and don’t have to be mobile but if you’re hiking or paddling then those ones are just too large.

Folding cots are a better choice than an actual folding bed but even they can be too large in my opinion. They’re certainly more comfortable than sleeping on the rocks but defintely at the cost of taking up space in your backpack and by adding weight to your load.

My bed of choice is the self inflating mattress and for a number of reasons. First of all they’re light and so they only add a marginal amount of weight to your pack. Secondly, they can be lashed to the outside of your pack and will stay compressed until you are finally ready to open it up and inflate it. Last but certainly not least, they offer excellent insulation value when you’re on the trail.

You obviously can choose whatever camping bed you like but here is the single most important thing to consider when buying one. That is the insulation factor. The big beds will offer insulation because their mattresses are made from some sort of foam but not all foams are created equal. Some foams insulate very well and other cheaper ones simply do not. You cannot rely on a sleeping bag to keep you warm all night when you’re sleeping on the ground. It simply won’t. Especially on cooler nights and early or late in the season. A sleeping bag needs to be used in conjunction with a good sleeping pad to keep you warm and that will allow you to be comfortable.

Some folks will choose to use an air mattress but they’re not really the best choice either. They do get you of the ground but often your heavier mid section will still touch the ground unless the mattress is overfilled, in which case it’s no longer comfortable. Besides all of that they make a lot of noise while you toss and turn and you just don’t sleep as well as a result.

A good self inflating sleeping pad will be both warm and comfortable and is also very rugged so you’ll be able to use it on many trips to come. They can be somewhat expensive but you don’t need to buy the most expensive one. There’s always one available that is mid priced and excellent quality. I have bought several and know from experience that the best ones are made by Thermarest. There are others that are similar in construction and quality to the Thermarest mattresses but be sure to look for one where the foam core is physically attached to the out lining. This keeps the lining from spinning around on itself when you move around on it.

There are a few options for you here. It really depends on the type of camping your doing. RV camping or camping out of your car offers more room for bigger items like the Wal-Mart camp bed where backpacking and paddling pretty much demand the self inflating air mattress. The important thing is that you get off the ground. That’s the best way to stay warm and comfortable.

You can get more info on camping beds and how to choose the right one by clicking here

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