When I first began myself, I had a thinly pressed sleeping pad through which I could feel every rock. Sleep was fleeting and painful and the following day was spent shaking out the kinks in my neck and my sore back.
Today, there is simply no excuse for this; there are just too many good products out there. Most of my camping nights are now spent on a marvelous Therm-a-Rest – a lightweight blowup mattress which is perfect for backpacking. It is less than an inch thick but somehow manages to absorb the painful ground so that you don’t have to.
I used to think this was the very best camping product out there for a good night of sleep until one evening in Joshua Tree a friend showed up with an air mattress the size of a proper bed. It came with a portable pump and in no time he was asleep in his tent as comfortably as though he were at home.
The Aero Sport All-Terrain Raised Bed with Dual Power Pump (photo above) is the Cadillac of such mattresses. Like regular beds, it comes in twin ($130), full ($150) and queen ($170). It takes just two minutes to inflate to a luxurious 19 inches thick. All you need is 600 thread count sheets and a duvet and the Great Outdoors will be meowing like a pussy cat. REM sleep here I come!