Do You Need A Mattress On A Camping Stretcher?

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Written By Jay Clatworthy

Off Grid Camping contributor.

Camping Stretchers are essential items for camping, and they help you sleep well when you are somewhere in the middle of nowhere, far away from home. However, one common complaint many have about stretchers is that they do not feel very comfortable. 

For this reason, some campers prefer to add a mattress to their stretchers for extra comfort. But do you need to add one to feel comfortable? Are there other options besides mattresses? These and more are some of the questions we seek to answer below.

What is a camping stretcher?

A camping stretcher is a sleeping pad with an elevated footrest that lifts the pad above the ground. This tool is helpful for camping in rocky or rough spots where lying in the ground poses a high risk to campers. Underneath the sleeping pad is airflow outlets for air to pass through. 

Stretchers are sturdy, easy to set up, and durable. For extra comfort, many people prefer to add a mattress to their stretchers. However, you don’t necessarily need one if you don’t want to spend extra cash on a mattress or if you don’t want to increase the weight of your backpack.

Positives of adding a mattress to your Stretcher

  • Provide extra comfort
  • Elevates your body even more above ground
  • You get more space to spread your nobody frame if you like

Consequences of not adding a mattress to your Stretcher

  • You can only maintain a particular position of comfort 
  • The stretcher may cause you body pain

Other options

One of the drawbacks of using stretchers is that the mattress will block airflow from penetrating the stretcher, which may lead to discomfort if the weather is humid. Adding an extra mattress is best if the weather is cold. Besides using a mattress, there are other ways to make your mattress even more comfortable. 

Inflatable mat

You can add an inflatable mat to the stretcher. Inflatable mats are not as thick as a mattress, but they are equally comfortable. With a mat, you enjoy the soft comfort of your sleeping pad without disrupting airflow.

Another option is to add a light foam to the Stretcher. Foams have tiny holes that allow airflow. So you don’t have to go for a thick foam but a light one. Furthermore, a light foam will increase your elevation of height matters to you.