Ah, everyone who has ever slept in a tent knows what it is like to sleep on an inflatable mattress. Some people don’t mind it, but some people absolutely can’t stand it. I know that almost every time I let someone else set up my inflatable air mattress when I go camping, I wake up sleeping on the ground and the mattress deflated underneath me.
So I know what you are feeling. I am also here to help. I am going to give you some tips on setting up and purchasing inflatable mattresses that won’t cause you to have that awful sleep that a lot of people associate with tent camping.
First off, what makes a mattress inflatable is a fact that you pump it up with air (duh). These types of sleeping vessels are popular because they can be folded up and stored in a duffel bag which is easy when you are limited on space.
However, as I mentioned before, they tend to be a hassle when you don’t inflate them properly. Most people believe that filling up an inflatable air mattress up to where it is very firm is the way to go. After all, more is better, right? Well, this is where you would be wrong. You do not want to fill it up to full.
This is because your weight could cause the pressure inside the mattress to become too great for the seal and it could break a small hole in it, which will slowly let the air out throughout the night, leaving you lying on the ground in the morning. A good rule is to fill it up so that it gives way when you push down, but still firm enough to hold you off the ground.
You should also watch where you place your air mattress. Before you set up your tent, try to clear the area of any rocks or other objects similar to that nature. I have gone through quite a bit of mattress because a rock punctured it in the night.
You might think that there is no way a little rock could put a hole in an air mattress especially with the tent floor between them. Well, you are both right and wrong. A rock probably won’t put a hole through a good air mattress, but if you tend to go for the cheaper ones (I am guilty of this as well), then the actions of you moving around throughout the night can cause a rock to put a small hole in the mattress. And a small hole is all you need. In fact, I dread the small holes because they are brutally hard to find and patch up.
Now, on to buying a good air mattress. If you are going for a quality mattress that will last you a while, I would really avoid stores like Wal-Mart or other stores of that nature. The mattresses you find there are just not up to par for camping life.
I would seriously consider going to a sporting goods store and shopping around for a specifically designed camping air mattress. These air mattresses are designed to be used camping and will last a lot longer than the cheap mattresses you buy at Wal-Mart. Of course, these inflatable mattresses will be more expensive than the others you can buy. In this case, however, you should definitely spend the extra cash to get a quality product.