I’m just back from a few days off road riding on Salisbury Plain. It’s been an age since I was last there – and when I was last there I was rough camping wherever I could find a space. Always happy to find a hedge, but most often I would find a place to pitch my little one man tunnel tent (green of course) out of sight.

But those days are long behind me and these days I like to get a bit more comfort when out and about. My best mate Stace had already made the switch from a down mat on the ground to a cot – and then to a hammock – switching as the environment demands.

When I visited him last year he was using his Helinox High Cot One as his main bed as he was mid-move and was split between two places. He waxed lyrical about how comfy it was… so of course I had to give it a try.

He combines his cot with an exped down mat. It is super comfy and I couldn’t let him outdo me on the camping gear front could I?

So now I have one as well. I went for a super simple green High Cot One. I went for the high version as it adds almost no weight and the extender bars fit within the standard cot bag – but importantly it makes getting up (and down) so much easier – especially for that 3am wee (mid-life comes to us all).

I’ve taken mine a little further however and, just like Stace, I added an exped downmat to the top and then wrap it with the Helinox fleece sheet (which they call a ‘cot warmer’).

This creates an amazingly comfortable bed which is lovely and warm and soft. A far cry from a hedge in a field – but as one very wise camping gear supplier once said to me ‘any fool can be uncomfortable’.

The finished bed is combined with a square sleeping bag which can be used as a blanket or bag and/or a rumple blanket along with an exped and nemo pillow. I’m almost certainly going to change this to two nemo pillows.

It fits beautifully in my Big Agnes Wyoming Trail 2 and adds very little in terms of pack size and weight to my setup. In fact my tent, sleeping cot, table, sheet… everything I need for my camp easily fits inside my trusty Ortlieb 89l Rack-Pack, which means I can get to my camp site, drop my camp and be away very easily.

Ultimately I could have a camping set up that was lighter and took up less space and weight – but at some point comfort becomes more important than showing off how tough you are. I love my new set up and I’ll be writing about the Helinox One Hard Top Table very soon.