Five simple ways to make your campsite a little more comfortable

Going camping with Scouts gets you out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean your campsite needs to be uncomfortable.

After a full day of Scouting adventures, you’re ready to relax at camp. By following the five tips below, powered by our friends at Thermacell, you can make roughing it a little less rough. 

Most of these ideas don’t apply to backpacking, where every ounce of added weight must be considered. But if you’re camping near your car, these are the tips you’re looking for.

1. Get a tent with a higher ceiling.

Do you know your tent’s “peak height”? This refers to the distance from the tent’s highest point to its floor.

If you’re a tall human or simply like extra space for changing clothes or organizing gear, look for a tent with a taller peak height. (You can easily find this info online.)

Cabin-style tents with walls that are almost vertical will offer the highest ceilings and most livable space. Dome-style tents with sloping sides will have slightly less room.

2. Bring along some games.

Does your family often spend its evenings watching a movie, playing videogames or catching up on favorite shows?

When camping, take advantage of some screen-free time with activities that don’t have a power button.

I’m thinking cards, a board game or some sports gear — anything to step up your down time.

3. Get a Thermacell lantern.

Mosquitoes can derail even the coziest campsite. Next time, bring along a Thermacell lantern.

The Thermacell Scout Lantern, available at most Scout Shops and at, creates a 15-by-15-foot zone of comfort by repelling mosquitoes, black flies and other biting insects.

It’s great for camping with your pack, troop, crew or family. You’ll keep mosquitoes away without spraying any chemicals on your skin. Plus, the Thermacell Scout Lantern is an excellent light source. You can use the lantern and mosquito-repelling functionality separately or simultaneously. It’s a win-win.

Even cooler: If you purchase a Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Lantern between April 1, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, you can get $10 off through a mail-in rebate. Hang on to your receipt, and go here to get started.

4. Think about location.

When selecting a campsite, first consider safety. Stay away from dead or dying trees or any areas that could get flooded if it rains.

Beyond that, think about where you’ll be most comfortable. How’s the view? Does the site provide ample shade? How far is the campsite from the water spigot and latrine?

You and the bathrooms shouldn’t be next-door neighbors, but nobody likes walking half a mile for a middle-of-the-night bathroom break, either.

5. Upgrade your foam pad to an inflatable mattress.

Closed-cell foam pads are the cheapest option. And that’s … about all of the nice things I can say about them. They’re bulky and uncomfortable.

That’s fine for a night of camping every few months. But if you’ll spend multiple weekends in a tent each year, it’s time to upgrade.

An inflatable mattress compacts smaller, is lighter and is much more comfortable.

Your back will thank you.

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.


  1. Nice commercial. I would be interested to know how a light source can repel mosquitoes.
    I would have put #4 in #1 spot, but that’s just me.

    • it clearly states this is a sponsored post, in other words, yes they were paid to post it….

      • That is a tiny little notice at the top of the post. I would have missed it if you hadn’t pointed it out. I can’t believe we have sponsored posts like this.

      • from the main page the sponsored post are actually different colors. But yeah the little word up there is all you are going to get — covert marketing

      • I’m proud of our sponsors, like Thermacell, and their support for Scouting. Sponsors help keep the lights on … in this case literally!

      • Nobody is saying they are bad people. But you would expect a recommendation from a trusted source like the BSA would be based on first-hand experience with the product showing that it actually works, not just based on a donation, as appreciated as that may be.

    • If possible, don’t camp under any cover – even if a tree isn’t dead or dying, a rotten or dead limb can be dislodged by a strong wind. Locations need as you say to be chosen with safety as the primary concern. I concur with James – location, location, location!

    • I wrote out a long post on exactly how it works and what the chemical is and linked to studies and wrote up a whole bunch of stuff about mosquitos. All strictly factual stuff, all supported by studies. It’s still pending.

      • It was removed. No notice as to why. I thought it was helpful and friendly. But its overall conclusion was that this device 1) may be deleterious to people with asthma, 2) there’s a reason you can’t use it in a tent and that’s because the stuff it emits is harmful to people/animals in higher quantities, 3) what mosquitoes like and don’t like, which I thought could be helpful, so perhaps the post was removed because it is a sponsored post and it could overall be perceived as negative towards the sponsor in the same manner that I’d be overall negative towards going on a long hike in new shoes that hadn’t been broken in yet. Money talks, people walk, I guess.

    • It is not the light, that is just an extra feature, it emits Citronella or something similar, it uses replaceable cartridges.

  2. Whether this is a paid post or not. The idea is to learn what’s useful to each one of us. I don’t think the post is forcing anyone to buy anything.
    I got a few good ideas out of it and I don’t feel forced to purchase anything lol.

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