How to Inflate Air Mattress With an Electric Pump While Camping

After a day of hiking up a mountain trail, you’re going to need some rest. Setting up camp is a great relief for many backpackers. It is when they can get some food, drink and much-needed rest. Air mattresses come in handy at this point. So you’ll have to know how to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump.

Getting your bed set up is crucial for a good night’s rest. Remember, your muscles must recover for that final hike up the hill. If your airbed is not properly pressurized, you will end up tossing and turning in an uncomfortable bed.

Benefits of an Air Mattress

Air Mattress

While we all head out into the wild to get a break from modern living, you definitely don’t want to be sleeping on rocks in the wild. That’s why you need to bring along a sleeping bag. Then again, an air mattress is much sturdier and more comfortable.

Air mattresses were meant for the wild. You can still get one for your home, but they aren’t as robust. It helps smoothen out bumps and inconsistencies on the bare ground for you to rest.

What’s more, an airbed is collapsible after all the air inside it has been released. Once empty, you can easily roll it and pack it onto your survival backpack. It doesn’t weigh much and is a backpacker’s best companion in the wild.

To get the full benefits, you have to buy the right air mattress. One that is specifically designed for the outdoors will last you longer. Once you have your mattress, you will need to know how to inflate it with an electric pump to get the right pressure and level of comfort.

5 Ways to Inflate an Air Mattress With an Electric Pump

You now know what you need for a relaxing camping experience. The next step is setting up your brand-new air mattress. There are two ways to pump it – manually or with electricity.

An electric pump is easier. All you need is an electric pump to get you going. Here are five ways to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump.

1. Use a Car Battery

Your car battery provides electricity to power the appliances inside your car. It also produces enough charge to drive an electric pump.

The battery usually connects to your car’s cigarette lighter that is rated at 12V. Any appliance operating at this voltage can be plugged in. Make sure you get a 12V DC air pump for the battery to work.

Once equipped, plug your outlet into the pump. Attach the nozzle to your air mattress and press play. You’ll have to find an air mattress that’s compatible with the cigarette lighter outlet.

2. AC/DC Power Inverter

Usually, you can access the car battery’s power via the cigarette lighter outlet. However, if you are using an AC pump, you’ll need a DC power inverter like this to convert and deliver AC power.

Your home appliances use AC power. Therefore, this inverter allows your car battery to power some appliances like an electric pump.

3. Use the Campsite’s Electrical Outlet

Campsite’s Electrical Outlet

If you aren’t going to drive to the campsite, you won’t have access to a car battery. Even if you decide to haul it with you, the battery is pretty hefty, especially if you are hiking through thickets. So you are better off picking a campsite with electrical outlets.

Granted, you won’t get the all-natural experience. However, such sites are more secure because you can also connect security lights to ward off intruding animals. The power outlets also provide a convenient way to power up a couple of handy appliances like your air mattress.

You can use the campsite’s electricity in two ways. You can connect your electric pump and load up the airbed. If your mattress has inbuilt electric pumps, you can just plug it in and engage the automatic pump.

4. Battery Packs for Battery-Powered Electric Pump

Any hiking enthusiast knows that convenience is crucial when preparing to venture into the wild. You’ll need to carry only the most essential items. Since you’ll be walking most of the time, your backpack shouldn’t carry dead weight. And if you’re bringing an electric pump, make sure that it uses batteries.

Battery-powered pumps are suitable for savvy campers. Such a power bank packs a mean punch. It can power up your electric pump, which you’ll use to inflate your airbed.

You can also use it to sustain several appliances. Easily charge your phone, GPS, and even personal computer. A good battery is powerful and stores charge for several days with minimal use.

However, if you are gunning for an extended stay in the wild, one battery won’t be enough. Also, as you keep inflating and deflating the air mattress, the battery drains and will require recharging. A battery pack should keep your appliances in check for a few days.

5. A Mini Generator

Your power consumption automatically goes up when you use more appliances. If you’ve got more electronics or in a shared campsite, a battery pack might not be sufficient. A mini generator allows you to power a lot more appliances for much longer.

There are different types of generators – solar-powered or gas-powered. Solar-powered generators are usually much smaller and don’t make noise.

Gas-powered generators are big and powerful. They run on fuel just like a smaller version of your car. Also, they make a fair bit of noise when powered. Nevertheless, you can do much more with them if you can ignore the noise.

Generators use fuel to produce an electric current. Get a gas-powered generator if you want to know how to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump. Remember, they also have a DC outlet, and you might need an inverter to pump your air mattress.

Why an Electric Pump Is the Best Option

Using an electric pump is the easiest way to inflate your air mattress. These gadgets just need an electrical outlet to get going. There are a handful of options you can consider to deliver the required power for your pump.

Unlike manual pumps, you don’t need a workout whenever you want to pump your air bed. An electric pump is controlled with buttons. Once it’s connected to the mains, simply flip the switch, and it will drive air into your air mattress.

There are different kinds of electric pumps. Some mattresses are made with built-in pumps. All you need to do is connect the bed to the power outlet. You can also use a battery pack or mini generator to inflate your bed.

Other pumps are standalone gadgets. They have to be connected separately to a power outlet and the air mattress. These are a bit problematic to haul around if you aren’t driving yourself to the campsite.

Other Ways to Inflate an Air Mattress Without an Electric Pump

If you have an air mattress, an electric pump is your best option. However, there are other ways to get a well-inflated mattress.

Manual Pump

Manual Pump

A manual pump is an effective device that will inflate your mattress. It works on older airbeds. Also, if you lost or damaged your current pump, the manual one is a cheaper substitute before you get a replacement.

There are two primary types of manual pumps – a hand and foot pump. A hand pump is larger than a foot pump. You’ll have to work through a series of up and down motions to inflate your mattress. The pump has a substantial vertical length through which air is gathered and forced into your bed.

The foot pump only uses the power from your feet to inflate the mattress. It has a platform on which you place your foot and push air into the bed.


There are times you might miss an electric pump to inflate your air mattress. You can still get by with a regular hairdryer. This common household appliance is used to dry wet hair. You can also direct it onto your mattress’ valve hole to blow the air in.

However, only use the cold air option. Most airbeds are made from PVC, which might melt or get warped when exposed to hot air.

Final Thoughts on Inflating Your Airbed

Now you know how to inflate an air mattress with an electric pump. So, the next time you decide to go camping, make sure to take an air mattress. There are a handful of ways to inflate it – from using your car’s battery, battery packs, and even hauling a mini generator to the campsite.

Remember, an air mattress is your go-to for comfort after a long day on the nature trail. You need it to be as appealing as possible if you want to get a good night’s sleep.

These solutions will work in a variety of situations. If you are driving, then taking a generator will not be a problem. But if you are backpacking, then travel light and carry battery packs instead.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top