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Comfort Camping Without an Air Mattress

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Confession: I hate air mattresses. They aren’t that comfortable, they have this nasty habit of deflating while you are asleep, they have those weird pot holes in them and they are fuzzy so sleeping without a sheet on them is weird. (Seriously, why are they fuzzy?) And they just seem to be constantly in the way when they are blown-up.

And then there’s blowing them up at all. Hand pump? Major pain. Car battery powered pump? Yes, that’s exactly what your campground neighbors want to hear as they are trying to fall asleep — you, the moron who forgot to put extra air in their mattress when it was still light out.

But I’m also not yet the type of girl who enjoys sleeping on the ground. I mean, I can do it. But I don’t LIKE it better than, say, NOT sleeping on the ground.

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My solution? The camping cot.

I know, I know. Camping cot? Seriously, Amy? Are you 89-years-old?

You guys — don’t knock it until you try it.

We camp in the REI Kingdom 8, which a friend of ours has dubbed the “Taj Mahal of Tents.” We chose this bad boy because it was not that much more expensive than the smaller Kingdom 6. And why not go big? So we went big. Bonus: it fits cots for everyone with a nice little aisle for walking thorough the tent. That means if the weather is bad and all four of us are stuck in there together we aren’t crawling on each other.

My kids are also better sleepers when they are off the ground. For them we use the Regalo My Cot. This awesome little piece of equipment folds up like an accordion and slips inside a carry bag. It is good for kids up to 75 lbs and/or 52 inches tall. I’ve not slept on it, obviously, but so far I’ve not heard any complaints.

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And for me and the Mister? After doing a lot of research he chose the Slumberjack Big XL Cot. This cot is incredibly comfortable, folds down into a small bag and doesn’t squeak at all. Frankly, it’s a little bigger than it needs to be. But since we have the space in the tent, why not?

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Our solution to comfort camping without an air mattress is a pile of cots. But maybe you’ve found the ground more to your liking. Or maybe your a hammock kind of person. Tell us in the comments how you make camping a cozy experience.

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