Recent Comments

Inexpensive cot or sleeping pad for camping

thermarest-200x148Q. Hey Gear Guy! I need something to keep me off of the ground at campouts, a cot or just a simple ground pad. However I don’t have much money. What’s something cheap that works well?
– Sleepless Tanner, Winnemucca, Nev.

A. Good question, Sleepless. If you’re looking to save money, skip the cot and go with a foam sleeping pad. They are lightweight, maintenance-free and cheap. They also provide just enough insulation from the ground and enough comfort for sleeping on the ground. Here are two good options:

Self-inflating air mattresses are more comfortable, but they can pop and are much more expensive.

Ask the Gear Guy

Not sure which gear to buy? Need tips for maintaining your equipment? Click here to send in your questions for the Gear Guy. Selected questions will be answered here and in the printed magazine.

5 Comments on Inexpensive cot or sleeping pad for camping

  1. Therma- Ridge- Rest is the best just foam mat I’ve slept on. really comfortable

  2. My local army surplus business has used U.S. Army issued sleeping pads for $5.00. These are the real deal with straps on them, and if they are good enough for the U.S. Army, they are good enough for me or any other scout.

    • I hope you’re as big and strong as a soldier, there’s nothing military that’s made light. Add a military bag, ruck sack, 2-man tent & mess kit and you should be around 23 pounds for just these 5 things; Ouch! Military stuff is tough alright …. tough to carry.

  3. I have the ridgeRest. its a great value.

  4. Off-trail Monkey // September 9, 2013 at 11:34 pm // Reply

    Cardboard works well: free.
    Blue closed-cell foam pad; get at K-Mart for about $4.00.
    Swimming air mattress; get at K-Mart for about $4.00-$6.00.
    Borrow one: again free.

Leave a Comment

Please don't use your real name.