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Ok - on a number of posts I have seen people knocking the use of air mattresses and battery pumps, too. Why is this such a big deal to everyone?


Many people bring collapsable chairs - No one looks askance at that - why? Cell phones, GPS devices, and walkie-talkies (used appropriately) are common - heck, there's TONS of stuff most troops bring to camp that really aren't necessary, but add to the "home away from home" ambiance of camp.


I have a very bad back - which gives me no trouble at all if I lift things properly, know my limits, and sleep with my back and neck properly supported. I always bring my airmattress and a small 6" by 6" by 10" dog bone shaped neck pillow. I use a small rechargable battery pump to inflate it- takes about 1 minute and it's less bulky than the foot pump I used to use. (dizzyness and hyperventilating aren't much fun - Plus, then I always have an extra set of rechargable batteries for my flashlight!)


I have been on many campouts with cubs and scouts, and 2 years of summer camp. Most of our boys use those thin foam pads to sleep on - some have those 2" or 3" self-inflating foam /air mattresses - most adults have these - some use both together. I have tried all of these and wake up stiff and sore. Some people also admit they are uncomfortable, but stick to the pads, anyway. Why?


I can understand using the pads for backpacking, where their light weight is important. But our troop has only done 1 true backpacking trip in 2 years - our boys are just working up to such a trip (mostly younger boys) But on a whole week at camp - it just doesn't make sense to me to have the boys or adults be tired and uncomfortable. with the jam-packed,long, full days at camp - they NEED a good nights's sleep.

My single air mattress is much easier to pack and handle than one or two of those big roll up pads - slides right into the stuff bag with my sleeping bag and I sleep better on it than in my bed at home.


My point is NOT that everyone should use air mattresses - but that

1) they should be comfortable

2) their equipment should be suited to their needs and the kind of camping they are doing.

3) they shouldn't be put down for personal preferences or needs


to me it is no different than realizing that Dutch ovens are too heavy for a backpacking trip, but that they are essential to a full week at camp for those wonderful dinners and late-evening cobblers!


comments anyone?

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Personally, I don't like air matresses. They are uncomfortable & don't give much support. I carry a Coleman camp cot when we go camping.


The other thing about air matresses is you need something to pump them up.


Ed Mori


Troop 1

1 Peter 4:10

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I to use a air matress on campouts. Even though I have to inflate mine by mouth. I like it and even though I am purchasing a new cot I still plan on using the air matresson top of the cot. Why?


I have just been camping and am still paying the penalty with back pain. the reason no air matress to sleep on.

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I don't have any problem with air mattresses whatsoever.


In our area sleeping on a pad seems to be a macho thing for the adults. The thinking goes, "the boys don't seem to have a problem with pads, so why should the adults?" However, every adult with whom I have discussed this admits to sleeping poorly on a pad on the ground. And once they give up the pad for an air mattress or cot, they enjoy the campouts a lot more. I am fortunate enough not to have a back problem (knock wood) but since going to a cot, I no longer come home from campouts exhausted from lack of sleep.


In our area, the boys always use cots at summer camp.

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I think air mattresses make most adults more comfortable. Hey, let's face it, our bones and body just aren't able to handle crashing anywhere at this age.


Last year I got a good deal on a self-inflating sleep pad. I like it better, because even with the battery operated pump I can never get the air mattress fully inflated, they it is hard to get up off of. Like getting off a water bed.


I swear my son could sleep on a rock with nothing but his blanket. He doesn't even use a pillow at home, much less at camp. When he spends the night with a friend, he sleeps on the floor.


Most adults I know will do without everything else EXCEPT the air matrress.


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I camp with my Girl Scouts. We don't use the air mattresses but most are quite young. I personally never sleep on the ground without some pain so I take 2 ibuprophen at 10pm, 2 at 2:00 and 2 at 6:00am. I consider it my "air mattress".

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When I was 16 (quite a while ago) I could sleep on a rock. Nowadays, I use self inflating 3" pad. The last outing with the troop, saw me carrying more gear than any by, although one boy came close. This coming weekend, I will be going for Scoutmaster's Training at our council camp for a refresher (it been 4 years since I last attended, I practice what I preach) I will use my pad, thank you very much.

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I never sleep without back pain either (home included) and just put up with it. Paracetomol sometimes.


When camping I dig a small hole, hip shaped for my nether end. Makes it all a bit more comfortable.


If there are limits to what the Scouts use then the adults should operate the same. Otherwise... if you want it you carry it.



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