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Cot or bedroll?


Q. On camp-outs I see some boys with cots and others with bedrolls. Which should I use?
— Elijah the Bed-less, Comstock, Texas

A. Personally, I prefer a bedroll. Cots are definitely comfy and keep you off the ground, which in theory should make you warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. But here are some of the downsides of a cot: They can be bulky, take more time to set up, can malfunction or break (leaving you with no bed), and are way more expensive than a basic bedroll. And if you plan on doing some backpacking, it makes sense for you to start getting used to sleeping on the ground in your tent.

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6 Comments on Cot or bedroll?

  1. Both. Bedroll for winter camping and a cot only for summer camp. If I had to choose one – bedroll.

  2. Pack 7 Den Leader // December 19, 2016 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    I wonder why the article didn’t mention hammock? Most people think you need 2 trees to set up a hammock, but I’ve seen one “inventive” Scout who made 2 A-frames from sturdy 4′ branches that were 1.5″ in diameter. He had them spaced about 7′ apart, anchored the opposing sides with a guide line and strung his hammock between the 2 A-frames.

  3. Cot! Even with a ground cloth under the best sealed tent, if you get a lot of rain, over several days, you will get damp. And you don’t have to worry about sleeping on that tree root that you couldn’t avoid when you were setting up the tent. Or a leaky air mattress. Plus I find it to be more comfortable. Unless it below freezing, then you don’t want the cold air under the cot.

  4. Depends on the situation. For summer camp, I would suggest a cot. Better yet, I used my hammock this year and LOVED it – the hammock has a built in bug net. Secure up the rain fly and you’re good to go.

    For weekend campouts, I would suggest a bed roll. More versatile than a cot. Bedrolls weigh less and can fit in a backpack.

  5. ScouterMomSETEX // July 22, 2016 at 11:51 am // Reply

    I have recently discovered the joy and comfort of the hammock so that is my new preference. Up to this time I used a bedroll. My husband only uses a cot at summer camp and he is now after me to get him a hammock along with our son.

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