DIY Camping Pillow

Boy, let me tell you about an unforgettable camping trip when I forgot my camping pillow.  I was out in the backcountry with my kids and husband.  As we continued down the trail, we decided to stop for the night.  Since this was the first day on the trail, I never realized that I had forgotten my precious camping pillow.

diy.camping.pillowWe set up the tents, got our sleeping mats out and made our beds with our sleeping bags.  Next, we got a fire going and prepared dinner.  As the night went on, my children went to bed and shortly after that I went into my tent.  I got settled down in my sleeping bag and realized I did not have a pillow.  I thought no problem.  I will simply get up and pull one out of my pack but………….to my dismay no pillow.  What to do, what to do?

I first tried the old, rolled up clothes.  Yes, this works but it really is uncomfortable.  I also tried, sleeping on my arms but do to a past injury to my back, this approach was painful.  After coming out of the tent with a look of despair on my face, my husband offered his inflatable pillow.  As I looked at the pillow, an idea hit me.  Why not make my own?

The process is simple and only requires a zip close bag.  Since the camping trip described above occurred, I have tried many different types of zip close bags.  Yes, I have tried gallon size.  While it does work, the size of the pillow is just a little small for my liking.  To get the size that I am really looking for, I use a jumbo zip close bag that is 2.5 gallons.  Once I have my bag, I just zip it up except leaving a little corner open.  I then blow air into it.  I completely fill it with air and then seal it up.  Next, I test is out.  A trick I have learned is to lay on it so that the “zipper” is at the top.  This allows me to adjust the hardness of my DIY camping pillow by simply unzipping it slightly and then closing when the hardness has been reached. 

To add to the comfort of my pillow, I will wrap it in a fleece jacket or some other soft material.  Really, whatever I have packed.  Now, I have my camping pillow.

Since I have made my first DIY camping pillow, I have found that I really prefer this approach.  The bags are pretty cheap and can be used several times before they need to be disposed of.  They are also lightweight and in a pinch can be used to carry other items.  All in all, more functional than the store bought camping pillows.