Sleeping on a Cloud
One of the challenges of camping is a comfortable bed. Storage space is at a premium. We’ve got the back of our SUV, the luggage rack on top, and the space in the rack behind the car (thank you CeCe and Ryan) that’s it. Cots are out of the question. They’re too bulky and no room for our dogs. Yes, they sleep on the bed.
We tried foam but you’re basically sleeping on the ground. The thickest I’ve found is 2 inches and while you might think that would be sufficient, you still feel the lumps and bumps on the ground. And the foam is rolled and takes up quite a bit of space. Well it would except that we lay it over the backseat and the dogs sit on top of it while we travel.
The answer, at least for us, is an air mattress. It’s compact when deflated, reasonably comfortable and inexpensive. We’re on our fourth one in 18 months. The first one bit the dust, but it was our fault. It was in the roof luggage rack. The saw (for wood) was tucked inside the box with the propane stove. Somehow the saw worked its way loose and rubbed up against the air mattress. Needless to say, but I will anyway, the mattress was no longer airtight with half a dozen holes. The next air mattress didn’t work from the get go. We’d fill it and by 1 AM or so it was flat.
The third one busted a seam. And that brings us to number four which is still with us, at least for now.
What we’ve learned is price doesn’t relate to quality. The busted seam mattress was close to $60. You can buy more expensive ones, but they come with an internal air pump which requires electricity. Obviously that’s not an option for us. The one that wouldn’t keep inflated was around $25. The cheapest one — we’re still using it — is $15. We now carry a backup air mattress.
Note to Self: Make sure to carry an extra set of fresh batteries for the air pump.