What Do You Put on a Camping Cot? A Guide to Sleeping Comfortably

It’s 2 AM and you jolt awake to the jarring sensation of hard packed dirt under your back. Sometime in the night, you’ve rolled right off your flimsy, thinly-padded camping cot onto the cold, lumpy ground. As you crawl back onto the precarious perch of your cot, you wonder for the hundredth time – isn’t there a better way to sleep comfortably while camping?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone in your frustration with painful, sleepless nights on unreliable camping cots. But with a few simple upgrades using items you likely already have at home, you can create a cozy oasis that rivals your own bed!

In this post, we’ll share insider tips on how to hack your camping cot so you can finally get the restful sleep you need to wake up feeling refreshed – not achy and exhausted. We’ll walk through how to add cushions, pads, and blankets that provide cloud-like comfort without weighing down your cot.

With just a few inexpensive additions, you can enjoy your best camping sleep ever. So grab another cup of coffee, get cozy in your favorite chair, and let’s start making your cot a dreamy slumber zone!

Why Add Cushioning to Your Camping Cot

Before we dive into the best ways to trick out your cot, let’s look at why it’s so important to add padding and comfort:

  • Prevents body aches – Thin cots don’t provide much cushion between your body and the hard ground below. Waking up sore ruins the restorative effects of sleep.
  • Insulates against cold – Just thin fabric between you and the ground robs body heat, leaving you chilled. Proper insulation keeps you toasty warm.
  • Absorbs lumps and bumps – Rocky, uneven ground pressing into you makes for a miserable night. Extra cushions smooth it out.
  • Provides comfort – We sleep best when we feel pampered and peaceful. A cot that mimics a real bed sets the stage for deep, refreshing rest.

Now let’s look at different ways to add those missing creature comforts and finally get some decent shut-eye!

Toppers for Cushioning and Padding

One of the easiest ways to add plushness to your rocky cot is putting a thick, cushioned topper directly on top of the canvas sleeping surface. Here are some top options:

Self-Inflating Camping Pads

These lightweight, portable pads provide cushioning and also insulate against the cold ground. Many allow you to customize firmness level simply by how much air you let out. Popular brands are Therm-A-Rest and REI.

Memory Foam Mattress Topper

For luxurious comfort, you can’t beat memory foam. Pick a 2-4 inch topper and cut it to cot size. The dense foam perfectly cradles pressure points and absorbs every lump and bump.

Egg Crate Foam Pad

For a budget-friendly option, cut a twin size egg crate foam pad to fit your camping cot. The rippled surface distributes weight and adds softness. Find them affordably at Walmart or Target.

Yoga Mat(s)

For minimalist cushioning, unroll your yoga mat(s) over the cot’s canvas before rolling out your sleeping bag. The firm padding smooths and evens the surface.

Fitted Sheets for Comfort

Now that your cot has a cushy topper, finish it off with cozy bedding to recreate the comforts of home:

  • Use a fitted sheet designed for the exact dimensions of your cot mattress. Secure it snugly in place to keep padding from sliding around.
  • Add a pillowtop mattress cover over your topper for an extra plush feel.
  • Finish with soft jersey cotton sheets and your favorite blanket to crawl between each night.
  • If it’s cold, layer a flannel sheet and insulated blanket underneath for warmth.
  • For ultimatum camping luxury, use real sheets from home and a duvet instead of a sleeping bag.

Cushioning Hacks for Under Your Sleeping Bag

If you don’t want to make permanent alterations to your cot, you can still add cushy comfort underneath your sleeping bag:

  • Place a self-inflating sleeping pad on top of the canvas before rolling out your bag. Let it inflate and customize firmness.
  • Fold a fleece blanket in half for 2 layers of soft padding beneath you and your sleeping bag. No bulk.
  • Cut a camping foam pad like those found at REI to cot size. Super lightweight yet adds insulation and comfort.
  • For quick cushioning, layer bubble wrap sheets with the bubbles facing down. The air pockets absorb bumps.
  • In a pinch, fold up sweatshirts or coats to use as a makeshift topper under your sleeping bag for softness.

With a few affordable additions like memory foam toppers, cozy sheets, or even just an old blanket you have at home, you can transform that torturous cot into a relaxing sleep haven. Don’t spend another night tossing and turning! Follow these tips so you wake up feeling well-rested and ready to take on a new day of adventures.

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