Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

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Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby StewartFamily » Tue Jan 19, 2010 4:41 pm

Hi all, about to take the plunge and set the fam up with the gear to go camping.
One thing i'm unsure about is -
What do you need to put under the sleeping bag, is it one of those flat mats ?
I see there are inflatable ones etc, is this over-kill ?
Seeking advice of those in 'the know'
I imagine the mats are both for water protection and comfort ?
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:57 pm

Hello StewartFamily and WELCOME to the forum.

Firstly you do not say if it is just yourselves and or children (how old etc) also who will be camping.

IMO one of the absolute musts for successful camping is a comfy bed and this means a self inflating mattress under your sleeping bag. The floor of any tent is very hard and non flexible. You may even decide that stretchers to get you up off the ground are the way to go for yourselves at least. I also recommend that you get 2 singles as opposed to a double. You can put them together just the same as a double. This will make packing them up easier and you will find less movement as one partner moves about in the bed. You can put them together with a fitted sheet. I would also look at the better/thicker self inflators for the adults and the cheaper ones for the children. Two well known brands are DMH & Oztrail but there are a number of others out there as well. Look for one that are 10cm in thickness.

Young children are a different issue and they are often quite happy to sleep on the floor, older children, not so. I suggest that you get self inflating mattresses for all the family. These are also beneficial if you camp in the winter months as they act as insulators as well.

For your first camp it is probably a good idea to go to a caravan park or campground with amenities. This way you have the showers & toilets covered and in addition there is the camp kitchen in which you can prepare and even eat your meals.

This will eliminate the need to race out and spend a lot of money on camping items. It will also give you all an opportunity to see if this is something you and the family will want to continue doing (I will be surprised if you do not love it)

I also recommend that you spend some time reading the older threads here on the forum. There is just so much great info contained in them and lots of great advice too. Reading these threads will help to generate more ideas and questions for you to ask members of this forum.

Research, research, research....good luck & happing camping.


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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby mr_grumble » Tue Jan 19, 2010 8:02 pm

Those are an option, but from the ones I've seen, they don't look thick enough to suspend you off the ground. The more insulation you have from the ground, the better otherwise the ground will be very hard and will suck heat straight out of your body.
If your looking for comfort, get yourself a decent blow-up matress and a 12v inflator / deflator.
Oztrail make some good blow-up matresses. Whilst mum and I sleep up on the camper, we purchased an Oztrail inflatable matress with fold-out frame for our little one. I can vouch for the heavy duty PVC Oztrail use, is thicker than most.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby GypsyLady » Tue Jan 19, 2010 9:48 pm

My mum uses one of these beds with a self inflator MrG. The air mattress provided went down the first time she used it so I ditched it and added the self inflator. She says it is very comfy & believe me I'd hear if it was not.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby StewartFamily » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:46 am

Great advice as I expected.
My wife and I would be camping with the 3 kids - 2 boys (9 and 5) and our girl (3).
Space is going to be an issue in our hatchback so mats that fld down very compactly will be a must !
Taken your comments on board and love the forum, have picked up so much knowledge already - refreshing
to see people giving of their knowledge/experience.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Blue Bravo » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:06 am

The bed as pictured is ok during summer but in winter you will freeze unless you get lots of insulation between you and the mattress. We tried these but changed to self inflating mattresses. The only problem now is the ground seem to be getting further away :(
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby StewartFamily » Wed Jan 20, 2010 10:24 am

Haha
I'm looking at -5 rated bags as Winter camping interests us more
Kids like the idea of a campfire so will avoid the hot Summer days etc when there ay be fire bans in place and prohibit camp fires..
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Young Camping Family » Wed Jan 20, 2010 11:04 am

We've just got inflatable matresses at the minute (about $16 ea for singles) but plan on getting one of those inflatables on legs in the future when finances permit.
Put a heavy blanket under your sleeping bags to increase insulation from the cold.

ETA - when the baby gets a bit older we will also look at getting a camp bunk for the 2 of them.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Komodo » Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:44 pm

Self inflators or 4x4 mats all the way.
Airbeds are good but they do have a tendancy to go down due to holes, slow leaks through the valves and because of air density changes due to temperature.
I personally think that stretchers are cold as the air flows under them. Fine in warmer climates but for down my way (vic) they are no good IMO.
Foam matteresses from clark rubber etc are good and cheap - but bulky.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby amanda » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:11 am

Young Camping Family wrote:We've just got inflatable matresses at the minute (about $16 ea for singles) but plan on getting one of those inflatables on legs in the future when finances permit.

Keep your eye on the K Mart catalogues, as they often have these on sale. When they do, just put them on layby and pay them off over a couple of months. In the past I've seen the singles for around $79 and queens for $149.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Ozzycamperboy » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:01 am

I tried out a great little fold away stretcher type arangement from rays outdoors the other day, was around the $20 mark. Only problem could be is it's a bit narrow.

That said, my egg crate foam mattress with a sleeping bag or blanket on top is about as comfy as my bed at home.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Jo&Kev » Thu Jan 21, 2010 1:49 pm

If I were buying bedding from scratch I would buy:
Quality sleeping bag rated to -10 deg C that unzips and can convert to a quilt,
Cheapo air matress - our is and has lasted 40 or 50 nights without a leak,
Cheapo self inflating mat - ours are cheap, but the foam stops the cold.

As it happens we each use a self inflating mat between our sleeping bag and the air matress.The air matress is for comfort/support etc, the mats stop the cold from rising through the matress and into my bones! If it's too hot to be in a -10 bag we unzip one and use it as a quilt. Cool in summer, warm in winter!

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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Jan 21, 2010 6:18 pm

Jo&Kev wrote:Cheapo air matress - our is and has lasted 40 or 50 nights without a leak,
Kev




Congratulations Kev.....you are most definitely one of the lucky ones with a success story like this one.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Titch » Thu Jan 21, 2010 8:19 pm

Bubble wrap, is a great emergency mat underlay,Under a Camping mat it works wonders.
If it rains and you get bored. Pop Pop Pop. bonus.
Serious. takes up very little room as well.
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Re: Sleeping in tent - newb advice needed

Postby Lin » Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:37 am

If you don't want to shell out on more expensive gear, I'd recommend inflating mattresses for everyone. They don't take up more space than a yoga mat and are comfy if it's not too cold. Take a spare one though as it's through that they do easily get leaks. And definitely get an electric pump! I also take a foot-pump to top up as my battery operated pump isn't quite powerful enough for that last bit.

I have a small car (Holden Astra) for my daughter, my dog and me. On my last trip I put a big suitcase on the roofracks that had all our clothes, sleeping bags, cushions and sheets in it. Made a huge difference!
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