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 ScoutShop.org, 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.