The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Camping => Topic started by: archer on August 22, 2012, 08:51:53 PM

Title: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 22, 2012, 08:51:53 PM
So I've camped for decades, but always on some type of backpacking pad. Well, the old bones are starting to protest this more, and am wondering how cots work for sleeping on in a tent. Anyone have any experience or recommendations for me?
Do you put some type of mattress/pad on the cot under your sleeping bag? how stable are they?
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: excaliber on August 22, 2012, 08:56:49 PM
I have spent months sleeping on an army cot, learned a lot.

they are very stable, but can be somewhat hard to assemble (the parts fit together really tight)
I bought a walmart cot that was fine except the nylon squeaked on the aluminum every time I moved really loudly, I covered the aluminum with duct tape and that fixed the problem.

THE CURE WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS  The best thing I ever done was bought a 2 inch think memory foam bed topper for a twin bed, throw it on the cot and it is nearly as good as a regular bed. Spend the money it is well worth it.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 22, 2012, 09:09:20 PM
I have spent months sleeping on an army cot, learned a lot.

they are very stable, but can be somewhat hard to assemble (the parts fit together really tight)
I bought a walmart cot that was fine except the nylon squeaked on the aluminum every time I moved really loudly, I covered the aluminum with duct tape and that fixed the problem.

THE CURE WORTH A MILLION DOLLARS  The best thing I ever done was bought a 2 inch think memory foam bed topper for a twin bed, throw it on the cot and it is nearly as good as a regular bed. Spend the money it is well worth it.
thanks for the tips excaliber!
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Nicodemus on August 23, 2012, 07:36:23 AM
I have wide shoulders and every cot that I've tried was really uncomfortable due to the supports cutting into one shoulder or the other if I shifted out of dead center. I found a couple of extra wide cots at Cabela's though. The memory foam idea might help for this as well.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: RPZ on August 23, 2012, 08:38:29 AM
You will still need some form of insulation underneath your compressed sleeping bag on a cot in colder conditions.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: endurance on August 23, 2012, 09:01:51 AM
During the hot summer nights, going without a pad they are great at keeping your cool.  During the cooler months, without some type of pad I've found myself cold with a -10F rated bag in 35 degree weather.  Even a thin closed cell pad makes all the difference in warmth.  There's no comparison to the comfort of a cot.  It's pure luxury.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 23, 2012, 09:32:57 AM
thanks all. good to know.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Saint on August 23, 2012, 09:52:02 AM
Inflatable mattress.
everything about the cots above is right on, if you're "car camping" (i.e. close to the vehicle) then the weight and room is not an issue and an inflatable mattress is lighter than the cot, but a bit bulky since you have the mattress (when rolled up is a little bigger than a rugby ball - but most have a built in nylon carry "wrap") and the pump (rechargeable battery operated).
day hiking then camping you could do either depending on how you pack and how much you carry.
back country camping (pack it in, pack it out, multiple miles) I use a 2" thick inflatable pad; cot or inflatable is too much to worry about bringing.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: ncjeeper on August 23, 2012, 12:19:04 PM
X2 on the inflatable mattress.
Much more comfortable than a cot. If your dead set on the cot then get the one for big people as Nico mentioned. That gives you alittle room to wriggle.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: ttubravesrock on August 23, 2012, 01:57:02 PM
I'm going to go off in a completely different direction and recommend a hammock!  They make bivy-style hammocks as well.  As long as you have other camping gear, you should have problems with getting too cold or anything.  The only downside to a hammock is you are pretty much forced to sleep by yourself.  I don't know if this is an issue for you.

Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: markl32 on August 24, 2012, 12:36:20 AM

Cots are more comfortable than inflatable mattresses in my opinion.  Cots are way more volume to pack though. 

I'd take a cot while camping over anything else if space and weight were no object. 

Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 24, 2012, 08:20:48 AM
I love to nap in a hammock, but hard to hit into a tent when it is raining...
thanks to all for all the recommendations...
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: ttubravesrock on August 24, 2012, 12:35:00 PM
I love to nap in a hammock, but hard to hit into a tent when it is raining...
thanks to all for all the recommendations...

Take a look at the Hennessy Explorer with the Hex Rainfly.

http://hennessyhammock.com/

I have not used one of these, but after looking at the product, I think I will be getting one before next summer!
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: joeinwv on August 24, 2012, 03:39:17 PM
tarp + hammock = best camp ever
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: 16onRockandRoll on August 26, 2012, 12:35:57 AM
I love cots for car camping. My wife and I use a big air matress when we both go, but I may have to pick up a cot for deer camp if I end up doing overnighters since I gave my Dad his cot back. Some of the best sleep I've ever had was camping on a GI cot with a thick foam pad.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: JC2 on August 26, 2012, 01:17:15 AM
After 20 plus years of the military i have found an occasion or two to sleep on a cot:)
I would recommend the good heavy duty aluminum cots even though the plastic ends have a tendency to get lost which really sucks next time you want to use the cot. Practice putting it up once or twice before you head out camping. Definitely dont get the older wooden ones.
As far as the foam mattress - don't leave home without it. It is bulky - get one of those bags where you can suck the air out and store it in there (big room saver).
I would rather have to worry about a bit of bulk but know i rested well than to be grumpy and sore the next day because i was trying to save some room:)
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Dusti on August 26, 2012, 10:07:57 AM
After spending a long time sleeping on cots in the Army, I learned to keep the end support disconnected at my feet. I don't sleep well on a firm surface and this worked great to still provide support, but also provide a softer surface.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: TwoXForr on September 08, 2012, 09:51:10 AM
I have a Hennesy Hammock, the exact model named earlier, the Explorer, just get the largest fly available, and the higher you tie it above you in hot weather the more airflow.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: nelson96 on September 08, 2012, 11:24:56 AM
I too vote for using a cot (if not hiking).  This is the one I have and it accomodates my size and weight very well for a perfect nights sleep.  It also sits pretty high off the ground, leaving a lot of room for storing items on the ground underneath me.  And I use their pad designed to fit this cot. . . 

Cabela's Outfitter XL Cot:
Do you love spending multiple days in the outdoors fishing, hunting and camping, but dread sleeping on a tiny, uncomfortable cot that really is built too flimsy to adequately support your weight? Constructed with a heavy-duty 600-pound weight capacity and sporting a huge 85" x 40" x 20-1/2" set-up size, Cabela’s Outfitter XL Cot ensures even the largest-framed outdoor enthusiasts enjoy a comfortable, restful nights sleep. Innovative rubber leg bushings absorb shock and add firm support to eliminate the sagging and bowing common with other cots. Reinforced legs combined with tough 600-denier nylon fabric guarantees season after season of lasting performance. A lightweight aluminum frame complete with spring-loaded connecting pins delivers quick, hassle-free setup. Cot folds down to a small 42" x 9" x 7" for easy transport and storage in the included nylon carry bag.

Cabela's Deluxe Cot Pad:
Padded with thick 3" open-cell foam, our Outfitter XL Cot Pad makes camping, hunting and fishing outings as comfortable as being at home. Built-in attachment/roll-up straps complete with quick-release buckles keep the pad properly positioned on the cot and ensure compact transport and storage.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on September 08, 2012, 02:53:25 PM
thanks all, time to go out and look for cots.. there is a cabellas about 2 hrs away. hmm. road trip!
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Nicodemus on September 08, 2012, 03:18:25 PM
They're opening a Bass Pro Shop about 30 miles away from here, therefore Cabela's decided they needed to be represented in the area as well, so double win for me.  ;D
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on September 08, 2012, 06:21:07 PM
They're opening a Bass Pro Shop about 30 miles away from here, therefore Cabela's decided they needed to be represented in the area as well, so double win for me.  ;D
lucky man!
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Blu on September 08, 2012, 09:45:24 PM
My dad had a GoKot and liked it alot.  I slept on it several times as a kid, but not as an adult.  It was pretty comfortable and was somewhat compact . 
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: alexbrentwood on July 11, 2013, 11:25:07 PM
I am a big buy.  TETON XXL Cot from this site http://heavydutycots.blogspot.comIt si really wide and very sturdy.  I amso got the topper and it makes it like a small bed.  A lot easier than an air mattress.  I use it for camping and as a guest bed.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: The Wilderness on August 12, 2013, 11:05:43 PM
The last 2 times we have been camping, the weather has been great. Hannah and I slept on cots under the EZ Up. I did have a mattress pad, and slept like the dead. Maybe it was the whiskey, I dont know. ;) If I am car camping, I will use a cot. I bought ours from REI, very reasonable.


TW
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 13, 2013, 08:49:07 AM
thanks all. time to go out cot pricing
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Cryptozoic on September 14, 2013, 11:33:19 PM
Coleman makes a fine 30" cot which folds in half and comes with a pretty good pad.  Very stable and comfortable.
I had one delivered and it was about $100.  I have not taken it camping, I used it to outfit a tornado shelter under the basement stairs.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: soupbone on September 15, 2013, 08:10:50 PM
In my back's humble opinion, nothing beats a genuine GI aluminum cot. They aren't exactly portable, but for car camping [or a few weeks out in the woods with the guys ;) ], they are hard to beat. They are high enough off the ground so you are not killing yourself trying to get in or out of it, and they are sturdy. Setting them up can be an issue until you learn to use the cot itself as a tool. They aren't the least expensive item out there, but they will last a lifetime.

soupbone
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: trekker111 on October 18, 2013, 05:27:40 AM
A cot is a wonderful thing. I prefer it to an airmattress. Less time to set up, and storage space underneath. I have an xl cot, and the organizer that hangs from it is an added bonus.

For hiking and backpacking, I have switched totally to a backpacking/ bivvie style hammock. The weight of a tent, pad, and in summer, a sleepimg bag replaced with a few ounces.

If I can't see the truck, hammock all the way, if close to the truck, I will not be without a cot.

If you have one close enough, I prefer Sportsman's warehouse to Cabelas/ bass pro/ gander mtn, and last I was there, had a decent selection of cots. I have both a spartsman's warehouse, and a bass pro within an hour of me. I go to sw 4 or 5 a year minimum. I haven't been to bass pro in 8 years.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: allofthemonkeys on October 20, 2013, 01:26:57 PM
I have spent several summers working at camps and it really does beat sleeping on the ground.  I also love my hammock too.  The military style cots, like already shared, are really tight and that means the sleeping surface are really tight and therefore kinda hard.  I diddo having some sort of pad to put on top of it.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on October 20, 2013, 01:37:05 PM
thanks all,  I'm convinced. . now i just need to find some on sale
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on October 25, 2013, 04:51:41 PM
another dumb question, when sleeping in a test that has a floor, how do you keep the cot legs from tearing thru the flooring? is this an issue at all?
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on October 25, 2013, 04:53:36 PM
and i seem to have answered my question,
http://www.cabelas.com/product/Slumberjack-Floor-Saver-Cot-Booties/1524459.uts
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: mootz on February 21, 2014, 09:34:54 PM
I bought a "military style" cot from Cabelas many years ago, but never really used it...  until recently.   Because of employment/economics, I've slept on this thing every other four days for the past 8 months.  From the looks of it, it looks and weighs like the real thing, at least 15 lbs and sometimes a real bi*** to set up; I'm working to perfect my technique. It's still standing and the fabric always sets up tight.  I use a self-inflating Thermarest on it, but it slips a bit.  Lucky I've learned not to move too much when I sleep.

If I have to stay with this set- up, I would definitely use a memory foam mattress on it.  It would slip less and the comfort would be just like a regular bed.  The cot just gives height to sit on.  This would, in my opinion, be only be for car camping or above.  I think memory foam is one of the best inventions, but it's bulky as all hell.  Until someone makes a light-weight version of this or you have a willing soul to pack it, I wish you the best of luck.  My back is not getting any better....
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Veritas on February 22, 2014, 12:04:50 AM
My buddy and I have used a tent and cots for several years in the winter to hunt. Cots are the way to go with a nice thick bad under your sleeping bag. Luckily we had an expedition tent with a small wood stove. Quite pleasant for the wintertime. I also agree the bigger cots are more durable and comfy.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: spud on September 16, 2014, 08:47:37 PM
I am a small guy and use a slumberjack and it is pretty hard which for me is good cause  softer ones sink to much for me.  I spent the night a friend extra wide and it was soft and consequently not very flat or comfortable.  We are all different and like different things.  I prefer a air mattress but have yet to find one that last for very long w/o developing a leak.  Ditto on foam pads, you can also fold over foam mattress pads too.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: keebler on March 06, 2015, 08:19:16 AM
I just Bought & received (2) cheepies $ 26.98  from sportsman guide---made by (stansport)-steel leg cot--- A pain to put together,but I did it. NOT something I would want to do to many times---I bought them for visiting friends camping @ my place to get them off the cold ground. once together, decent item. right this minute My cat took over so I could type this. it's hers now.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on March 06, 2015, 09:35:22 AM
haha.. thanks. i'll look that up.. one human cot, 1 cat cot..
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Cedar on March 06, 2015, 10:17:20 AM
I make my 'cots'. I use scrap materials and some rope actually. It is a 15th century pattern (kinda sorta), but when I was at a museum I saw the very same type frame, but it used moosehide rawhide for the webbing from the 1860's in northern BC. You can also use slats, but I started using the rope bed style and I sleep very well on it. Make sure it is tight, bowing the sides in a bit to act as a spring, or you will sag in the middle of the night, which is not a huge bad thing, if you are by yourself.... . It took me about 30 minutes to make it out of four 1x4's, but you can make it out of thicker materials. Once laced together, you can drop out the three 'spreader bars' and wind it up on itself, so putting it back together is quick and easy.

My first one was a double, but after that I started making twin beds. They are cheap enough, occasionally I will change out the wood, but I have kept the rope though 15 years worth of versions? I also did not 'dovetail' the corners. I used a jigsaw and a drill only for the project and usually the wood I get for free.
http://www.greydragon.org/furniture/beds/ropebed.html

This would be a really easy one too, but I think I would make the slats on two strips of cloth, so you can just roll it out and they won't go wonky on you. Also easily made, and on the cheap. Both these beds pack down to nothing.
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a3/1d/1f/a31d1f364cc3a4053182001b626015b2.jpg)

I just knew everyone was giving me a bad time for taking a bed to an event once, but after the monsoon that happened, I think I had the only dry bed in camp. Plus, I made mine tall enough I could slip coolers and other things underneath. But you can make it anywhere from inches above the ground, to I think mine were just about an inch above the height of a normal large cooler. 24" or something like that.

Cedar
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: outoforder2day on August 15, 2016, 01:55:35 PM
I can't speak highly enough of the ExPed downmats. They aren't like your normal camping pads. They're plush, comfortable, and much more packable than a cot. They're not cheap, but they are fantastic.
http://www.backcountry.com/exped-downmat-sleeping-pad
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on August 15, 2016, 02:04:59 PM
nice options there, thanks.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Smurf Hunter on August 15, 2016, 02:06:37 PM
REI garage sale.  I missed their flagship model cot that was discounted $100 by mere seconds.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: Lostjagged on December 22, 2016, 08:43:33 PM
As long as the tent is big enough to fit the cot without touching the walls I think the cot is one of the best choices out there.
 I hate having to get up off the ground when I get out of bed ;D
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: surfivor on December 23, 2016, 03:53:13 AM
Quote
I just knew everyone was giving me a bad time for taking a bed to an event once, but after the monsoon that happened, I think I had the only dry bed in camp.

 That is the general problem with tents. Even if your bed is dry, if the ground is wet then it would be no fun. Some kind of tent platform is ideal, but such a thing is not very portable and good for some place permanent.
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: racer038 on December 23, 2016, 08:28:06 AM
I use my enclosed trailer for a shelter when I deer hunt.  Previously I used an air mattress on the floor. This year my buddy went hunting with me and brought a Coleman Ridgeline III cot that he bought at a yardsale.  I inflated my air mattress and discovered a hole in it.  Upon his recommendation, I bought the Coleman cot.  Very nice.  Good sleep.  I put some extra blankets on top of the "mattress" that comes with it, sleeping bag on top of that and it was better than the air mattress.  The grandkids love the cot!!! We bought another, with some cheap kiddy sleeping bags, it's an adventure for them.  They fold up and store well with my preps.  Being lightweight, they will not take much abuse and I would never hike with them. 
Title: Re: Sleeping on a cot
Post by: archer on December 23, 2016, 10:28:55 PM
thanks for the good review.