Camp comfort is subjective. What you think is comfortable might be an abject sufferfest for someone else.  Some people will take only a Z Lite® and be just fine, while others balk at the idea of anything short of a 4” MondoKing™ in a deluxe van build. However you define it, there are some basic principles that can be used universally to define camp comfort and what that comfort affords you on your adventures. Here’s our take on those basic principles, and how Therm-a-Rest can deliver on them, helping you achieve your own definition of comfort in the great outdoors.

3 Basic Principles of Camp Comfort

relaxing comfortably at camp in tent

1. Security

The first thing that camp should provide is a sense of security. This is really the building block for why camp provides that initial fuzzy feeling. After a day of movement and exploration, it’s time to settle in and relax.

Being able to escape the elements is crucial to feeling secure at camp. Not having a firm understanding of what your gear can handle could lead to that feeling of security slipping away. Specifically, being cold not only saps you of your energy, but can also kill your psyche if getting to camp doesn’t provide a break from it.

Having a firm understanding your sleeping bag’s temperature ratings and the capabilities of your sleeping pad’s R-value insulation is key to keeping the cold at bay so you can let go of the day’s struggles and relax.

relaxing at camp comfortably in ponchos

2. Relaxation

Once you’re nice and secure at camp, you’ll want to slip into a worry-free space. This is so crucial during big days in the backcountry as you give your mind the space to take a break, giving yourself time to reboot before tomorrow’s adventure.

This is when that extra stability of your sleeping pad or thoughtful design choice on your sleeping bag come into play. Our NeoAir® pads feature our unique Triangular Core Matrix which creates some of the most stable air pads available, regardless of inflation levels. This means you can inflate your pad to your preferred firmness without dealing with the “pool float” feel of bobbing up and down on a mattress with a less advanced internal support structure, like one that welds top and bottom together. When it comes to sleeping bags, we use soft-touch fabrics in our liners, the best down available and add (in our opinion) crucial comfort touches like a Toe-Asis™ foot box with extra room and insulation, and oversized draft tubes with snag-free zippers to seal out drafts without hassle.

Those kind of thoughtful design considerations are the difference between a merely functional camp  you can survive in, and a dialed tone you can relax in. It’s exactly why our design team takes the time to sweat the details.

staying warm in mummy style sleeping bag

3. Tranquility

There’s a part of being at camp that brings a sigh of relief and feeling of contentment. It’s this beautiful cocktail of setting and experience that brings a feeling of tranquility to our homes in the wild. It means having every last bit of your needs addressed so you can bliss-out on the scenery and just be in the moment.

If you’re seeking this extra bit of tranquility, a few choice pieces of gear can make all the difference. A perfectly inflated air pillow under your head or maybe a warm cushion to transform that rock into a place to hang out in comfort can deliver that last degree of homey-ness that makes a lake-side patch of grass and rock feel like a dream.

Individually, these are things you might not consider essentials starting out, but given how little they weigh and how big an impact they can have on your comfort around camp, they’ve earned their place as staples in many a kit.

drinking from thermos in comfortable camp quilt

Your Definition of Camp Comfort

To recap, your idea of comfort is unique to you. That’s why we offer such a range of  things that can be mixed and matched to create whatever cocktail of comfort you desire. The universal truth is that removing dis-comfort always makes things better, and no matter how small your pack needs to be or how much room you have in your van, we’ve got some pretty cool solutions for every situation to make your time outdoors exactly that–better.

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Updated. Originally Published February 5, 2019.