Since August has barely started, camping season is still in full swing. Now that you’ve probably purchased your camping air mattress, you’ve got to ensure it doesn’t get punctured. Air mattresses can go through some wear and tear, but even then a stray stick puncture any air mattress.
One priority, after you’ve taken down your campsite, is to properly clean your air mattress after use. This increases the life of your air mattress, and you get more out of your investment. Keep in mind a few other tips to help your air mattress stay puncture free and clean after camping:
- It can be difficult to maneuver a blown up air mattress into the tent. If you can, try to blow it up while it’s in the tent. If you’re using a pump that plugs into the car, then you have no choice but to carry a blown up air mattress into the tent. As you try to get it in the door, don’t drag it on the ground as you move the air mattress into the tent. At least for a queen size, use two people to move the air mattress into the tent.
- Make your tent a no shoe zone. This simple step severely limits the amount of nature that makes its way into the tent. (This tactic also keeps your tent quite clean.) While you might have a great relationship with nature, your air mattress isn’t too fond of it.
- Don’t fold your air mattress if it’s wet. While this is a rare occurrence, sometimes mold can start growing on the mattress from left over bits of nature. If this has happened to you, then clean the mold with dish soap and water. Once you’ve removed the mold, let it dry before folding it again.
- Clean off any other part of the air mattress covered with sap or other gifts from nature. Again, soapy water is ideal to use. Don’t completely soak an air mattress in water, especially if you have a built-in pump, because water could damage the pump.
- Take a repair patch kit with you. (If you don’t have one from your air mattress, one for a bicycle kit works just fine.) You can never be too careful, and you don’t want to sleep on a deflated air mattress for a weeklong camping trip. Inflate the air mattress during the day so you can catch a leak early on. Better yet, test it out at home before you go.
- If you want to use the air mattress outside the tent (e.g. for stargazing), place a tarp underneath it if you can.
If you aren’t hiking three miles to your camping destination, then it might be worthwhile to invest in an air mattress with thicker vinyl (at least 18 gauge). Air mattresses with thicker vinyl tend to be bulkier and harder to carry than thinner air mattresses. If you go camping with Bear Grylls, than maybe a thicker air mattress isn’t for you (or any air mattress at all.) Check out our infographic to see what kind of camper you are.
Invest in these tips while camping this summer, and you’ll have many years to come with a great camping air mattress.