A lot of the appeal of camping is the sense of accomplishment that comes from successfully getting everything successfully set up. It’s a measure of your ‘outdoorsiness‘, your outdoor proficiency. In some ways, camping is all about roughing it, but that is no reason you have to feel uncomfortable. but, do you need a camping pillow?
A great, comfortable camping trip is a perfect way to leave your troubles behind. Fresh air, exercise and relaxing in front of the fire will really clear your head.
Few moments in life are better than laying in bed at the end of the day, looking at the stars and listening to the owls. There you have found peace.
It is more important to care for your body and your comfort out in the elements than it is back in town. For example, you must take care of your spine if you expect to wake up ready to conquer the day.
See our guide to the Best Camping Pillows here.
Whether you are packing all your gear for a 10-mile hike or just strolling down to the swimming hole, you don’t want to be hampered by a stiff neck.
Why Do I Need A Camping Pillow?
A camping pillow will support your neck and spine and provide insulation from cold or wet conditions. It will stay in place throughout the night to ensure a quiet and peaceful rest.
This is crucial for being prepared for physical activities such as hiking, swimming, climbing or preparing the next camp.
What Is A Camping Pillow?
Camping pillows range from ultra-light space-age fibers to a balled-up jacket. It is an easy detail to overlook, but at the end of the day, you need something comfortable to rest your head on while you sleep.
What to Look for In A Camping Pillow
It depends on the type of camping you plan to do, what are your needs, and what makes you comfortable.
If you are hiking, you need to make every ounce count.
Car campers don’t have to compromise for weight, but still have other factors to consider. Be sure to find a pillow that works with the way you sleep.
If you sleep on your side, you will want a pillow that supports your neck. If you sleep on your back you may want a softer and thinner type of pillow.
Here are some factors to consider when choosing a camping pillow.
- Comfort – The feel of the material against your skin.
- Support – The shape, size, and firmness all affect the spine.
- Weight and Size – Inflatable or compressible pillows for when you are tight on space.
- Durability – Easy to clean, resistant to moisture.
- Insulation – Keeps warm or wicks away sweat on hot nights.
- Stability – Some pillows will attach to your sleeping pad to keep from sliding around.
- Noise – The materials used for camping pillows can be crinkly.
- Price – The good news is that you can find an excellent camping pillow without spending a fortune.
Types of Camping Pillows
Different types of camping pillow will serve you in slightly different ways:
- Stuff Sack Pillow – A lightweight and simple solution is a small dry bag made to be used as a pillow. Just grab a soft or puffy article of clothing to put in the sack and you’re good to go. The right type of stuffing is important. This may not work if you wear all of your soft and warm clothes while you sleep.
- Inflatable Pillow – Extremely lightweight and small-sized inflatable pillows are great for hiking. These pillows come in all shapes and sizes to provide you with excellent support and comfort. Be sure that the inflatable pillow you use has a good nozzle and will not leak during the night. We recommend our DreamVangaurd Expedition Pillow.
- Compressible Filled Pillows – Try for a pillow with a high-tech fill material that compresses down to a small size. There are also hybrid pillows that inflate and also utilize a fill material for maximum support and comfort. Therm-a-rest offer the best ones.
- Pillow Seat Combinations – A pillow that doubles as a camping seat. This is an efficient way to make sure you aren’t getting stiff and sore while you rest. A good removable cover will assure that fireside dirt doesn’t make it into bed with you. For example, the Klymit Cush.
Homemade options for Camping Pillows
- Bring Your Pillow From Home – If you are car camping or just want to be as comfortable as possible, what can be more soothing than bringing your pillow from home. This is an especially good option for kids who are still getting used to being away from home. A designated camping pillowcase is a good idea.
- Improvised Pillow – Most of us have tried just balling up a jacket or some pants as a pillow. Better than nothing? Yes. One problem is that it will move around during the night. Also, those clothes may be wrinkled, cold and damp when you need to wear them in the morning.
- Roughing It – You will wake up feeling… rough. Not only is the ground hard and lumpy, but you will discover that the bottom of your tent not made from soft material.
Find The Right Pillow For You!
There are few experiences in life as exhilarating as waking up out in nature. The air is fresh and clean, the birds are chirping and the day promises a big adventure. You want to feel great during that moment. Starting out the day with neck trouble can take all of the joy out of your experience. If you plan to put on a pack and cover some serious miles, that soreness may last the entire trip.
When you are preparing the equipment list, it is tempting to think of a pillow as a small or insignificant luxury. But now you know better. Take the time to choose the pillow that will meet your specific needs.
Considering all the work that goes into making your camping trip perfect, you will earn a good rest by the end of the first day. Let that perfect camping pillow serve as a reminder that you have thought of everything and are ready to fulfill your intention of being rejuvenated while enjoying the best that nature has to offer.
See you on the mountain.