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Camping pad help!

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Offline Tayous

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Camping pad help!
« on: October 25, 2017, 02:20:30 PM »
So far I have gone through two camping pads/ air pads and have not found one that works for me. First was the Alpine mountains pad only problem it was two thin and felt ever rock and bump it was the 1inch thick one. Next I bought air pad Klymit static v I'd say this was bar none the best air pad ever I would say that but this air pad could not hold up to the everyday thorns and sticks that come with the Texas desert! First night rolled it out blew it up and felt great did not notice anything that was until 3 am when it deflated on me and the next night it could not hold air for an hour wife also had the same problem.

We made sure boots had been taken off and stored outside tried to make sure any hitch hikers where off clothes but we had no luck. Now we are looking for some advice most of the people in my sons scout group use cots it's all fine and good but we want something we can hike with and take on personal hikes that we will be doing in Big Bend. So looking for some of the experience hikers advice on this issue. Thanks

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Offline Flash

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2017, 02:32:52 PM »
My second night on a high dollar air pad, my tossing to roll over resulted in a small angular bit of Sierra Quemada gravel punching a hole through three layers of footprint, tent floor and air pad. Needless to say, it was a big let down. I now use a 4-foot long piece of cheap blue foam pad such as can be found at Wal-Mart or Academy underneath my air pad. No holes yet after many nights.  :crossedfingers:

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Offline mule ears

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 02:43:37 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.
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Offline presidio

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 02:45:32 PM »
My second night on a high dollar air pad, my tossing to roll over resulted in a small angular bit of Sierra Quemada gravel punching a hole through three layers of footprint, tent floor and air pad. Needless to say, it was a big let down. I now use a 4-foot long piece of cheap blue foam pad such as can be found at Wal-Mart or Academy underneath my air pad. No holes yet after many nights.  :crossedfingers:

If folks just would select the nerf gravel sites, no pad would be needed.
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Offline tbone

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 03:24:27 PM »
My second night on a high dollar air pad, my tossing to roll over resulted in a small angular bit of Sierra Quemada gravel punching a hole through three layers of footprint, tent floor and air pad. Needless to say, it was a big let down. I now use a 4-foot long piece of cheap blue foam pad such as can be found at Wal-Mart or Academy underneath my air pad. No holes yet after many nights.  :crossedfingers:

If folks just would select the nerf gravel sites, no pad would be needed.

Can't afford the extra fee!!!

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Offline Tayous

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2017, 03:34:31 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

Have you seen or heard anything about the REI Co-op 3.5 camp bed? http://www.rei.com/product/870757/rei-co-op-camp-bed-35-self-inflating-sleeping-pad

It's what we are looking at now. I liked your article also nice to see someone doing gear reviews on desert gear all I can find are reviews for cold weather gear! Like try looking for good non waterproof hiking boots it's just about impossible to find any.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2017, 03:39:32 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

First of all: everything MuleEars writes is worth reading. I know I've learned an amazing amount from him.

"I finally put it together in 2008 on one of the across Big Bend walks by using a cut down 36″ Ridgerest under my old 47″ Thermarest Prolite 3.  We slept on mostly rock surfaces with temperatures down into the 20ís.  It was very durable with the closed cell pad on the ground to protect from thorns and rocks and the inflatable pad on top which I could deflate a little and get the hip and shoulder hole effect.  It worked perfectly both in my chair kit and as the frame in my Six Moons Designs Starlite pack.  The combination (without the chair) weighed only 18 ounces with an R-value of 4.8 and 1.66 inches of padding."

"Thermarest finally came out with a 36″ Prolite XS that weighs 8.3 ounces (my scales) which puts the pad combo at just over 14 ounces.  All three components together are brilliant- comfortable, warm, tough.  Since 2008 I have had no pin hole leaks or deflation issues despite many desert trips.  I know of no other pad or pad combination that is this light and gives the warmth, toughness and comfort."

Second of all: I still go my own way.  :icon_biggrin:  I use two 48" Thermarest RidgeRest Solite closed cell foam pads on top of each other. Total weight: 16 ounces. R-value: 5.6 (minimum). Thickness: 1.24 inches. 

Why?  Because 1) that combo is absolutely indestructible and can be carried and placed anywhere without worrying about failure, 2) has a great R-value, 3) sets up and strikes almost instantaneously, 4) lasts forever, and 5) they're CHEAP.  Also, the two-pad combo allows me to futz with placement in order to better meet the needs of each campsite. The only downsides are that this system is bulky, and it doesn't allow for deflation to create hip and shoulder dips for comfort. I usually try to craft these onsite from the substrate. Sometimes I still feel sharp objects under my pads. They are not as forgiving as an inflatable.  I use my backpack for a big pillow, or if it's really cold, for a footrest to keep me off the cold ground. Now, bear in mind, the RidgeRest pads wouldn't mate with a camp chair, but then I don't carry one.

Sleeping pads are one of the most personal decisions a hiker makes. Good luck on yours.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2017, 03:54:35 PM by House Made of Dawn »
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Tayous

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2017, 05:04:46 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

First of all: everything MuleEars writes is worth reading. I know I've learned an amazing amount from him.

"I finally put it together in 2008 on one of the across Big Bend walks by using a cut down 36″ Ridgerest under my old 47″ Thermarest Prolite 3.  We slept on mostly rock surfaces with temperatures down into the 20ís.  It was very durable with the closed cell pad on the ground to protect from thorns and rocks and the inflatable pad on top which I could deflate a little and get the hip and shoulder hole effect.  It worked perfectly both in my chair kit and as the frame in my Six Moons Designs Starlite pack.  The combination (without the chair) weighed only 18 ounces with an R-value of 4.8 and 1.66 inches of padding."

"Thermarest finally came out with a 36″ Prolite XS that weighs 8.3 ounces (my scales) which puts the pad combo at just over 14 ounces.  All three components together are brilliant- comfortable, warm, tough.  Since 2008 I have had no pin hole leaks or deflation issues despite many desert trips.  I know of no other pad or pad combination that is this light and gives the warmth, toughness and comfort."

Second of all: I still go my own way.  :icon_biggrin:  I use two 48" Thermarest RidgeRest Solite closed cell foam pads on top of each other. Total weight: 16 ounces. R-value: 5.6 (minimum). Thickness: 1.24 inches. 

Why?  Because 1) that combo is absolutely indestructible and can be carried and placed anywhere without worrying about failure, 2) has a great R-value, 3) sets up and strikes almost instantaneously, 4) lasts forever, and 5) they're CHEAP.  Also, the two-pad combo allows me to futz with placement in order to better meet the needs of each campsite. The only downsides are that this system is bulky, and it doesn't allow for deflation to create hip and shoulder dips for comfort. I usually try to craft these onsite from the substrate. Sometimes I still feel sharp objects under my pads. They are not as forgiving as an inflatable.  I use my backpack for a big pillow, or if it's really cold, for a footrest to keep me off the cold ground. Now, bear in mind, the RidgeRest pads wouldn't mate with a camp chair, but then I don't carry one.

Sleeping pads are one of the most personal decisions a hiker makes. Good luck on yours.

Thanks for the advice the problem I have been having is that I'm a side sleeper and all but the air pad I'd wake up with a sore shoulder. I don't remember having these problems in the military and sleep many of a night outside and in a hole in Iraq.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2017, 06:18:01 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

First of all: everything MuleEars writes is worth reading. I know I've learned an amazing amount from him.

"I finally put it together in 2008 on one of the across Big Bend walks by using a cut down 36″ Ridgerest under my old 47″ Thermarest Prolite 3.  We slept on mostly rock surfaces with temperatures down into the 20ís.  It was very durable with the closed cell pad on the ground to protect from thorns and rocks and the inflatable pad on top which I could deflate a little and get the hip and shoulder hole effect.  It worked perfectly both in my chair kit and as the frame in my Six Moons Designs Starlite pack.  The combination (without the chair) weighed only 18 ounces with an R-value of 4.8 and 1.66 inches of padding."

"Thermarest finally came out with a 36″ Prolite XS that weighs 8.3 ounces (my scales) which puts the pad combo at just over 14 ounces.  All three components together are brilliant- comfortable, warm, tough.  Since 2008 I have had no pin hole leaks or deflation issues despite many desert trips.  I know of no other pad or pad combination that is this light and gives the warmth, toughness and comfort."

Second of all: I still go my own way.  :icon_biggrin:  I use two 48" Thermarest RidgeRest Solite closed cell foam pads on top of each other. Total weight: 16 ounces. R-value: 5.6 (minimum). Thickness: 1.24 inches. 

Why?  Because 1) that combo is absolutely indestructible and can be carried and placed anywhere without worrying about failure, 2) has a great R-value, 3) sets up and strikes almost instantaneously, 4) lasts forever, and 5) they're CHEAP.  Also, the two-pad combo allows me to futz with placement in order to better meet the needs of each campsite. The only downsides are that this system is bulky, and it doesn't allow for deflation to create hip and shoulder dips for comfort. I usually try to craft these onsite from the substrate. Sometimes I still feel sharp objects under my pads. They are not as forgiving as an inflatable.  I use my backpack for a big pillow, or if it's really cold, for a footrest to keep me off the cold ground. Now, bear in mind, the RidgeRest pads wouldn't mate with a camp chair, but then I don't carry one.

Sleeping pads are one of the most personal decisions a hiker makes. Good luck on yours.

Thanks for the advice the problem I have been having is that I'm a side sleeper and all but the air pad I'd wake up with a sore shoulder. I don't remember having these problems in the military and sleep many of a night outside and in a hole in Iraq.

I hear you. I'm a side sleeper, too.  Inflatable pads are definitely easier for side sleepers. I manage to make it work with my RidgeRests, but I do occasionally have a rough night. I LOVE sleeping in sandy washes (when there's NO threat of rain) because I can scoop out beautiful hollows for my hips, shoulders, and head. Best of luck in finding the right pad combo.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline elhombre

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2017, 07:54:05 PM »
I can say we car camp a bunch, and we have used either the REI or Thermarest 2.5 for many nights, and either are fine.  The 3.5 is too much in my opinion.  There is a big difference in packed down size between the 2.5 and 3.5.  I don't have the extra space to spare.  It goes from the size that can be stuck any place (2.5) to needing it's own place (3.5) in the car.  Look at Moosejaw or campmor to compare to REI.  Bought my last one for $75, big and tall size.

Backpacking we use Rei Air-rail 1.5  with total success so far.  At least 10 backpacking trips.  I do spend about 3-5 minutes kicking out a nice plant free spot when making camp. 

When starting out, we use to carry that big REI 2.5 backpacking strapped to the outside on many trips.   Around 4#.   Good times!
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Offline nuggetf5

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2017, 09:31:53 PM »
Fan of the Therm-a-Rest ProLite (XL) that's 1 lb. 6 ounces and very compact. Along with a one pound sleeping bag makes for comfortable tent sleeping along with a couple of inflatable pillows that weigh almost nothing. This get-up is making its third trip to BB this weekend and I've probably spent 12-14 days camping with this setup as best I can recall. No punctures. I use the lightest Big Agnes single tent that's also about 1.5 lbs. which has a very thin layer/pad that goes underneath the tent, then the ProLite and sleeping bag inside. Never been a fan of roll-up foam pads but to each to their own and they're very lightweight. Seems they've really improved over the years. My older bones like the comfort and for that weight I can still scoot around BB with less than 20 lbs most of the time.

Good luck in your hunt. Let us know what you end up trying.
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Offline hunterhughes

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2017, 09:37:31 PM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

Have you seen or heard anything about the REI Co-op 3.5 camp bed? http://www.rei.com/product/870757/rei-co-op-camp-bed-35-self-inflating-sleeping-pad

It's what we are looking at now. I liked your article also nice to see someone doing gear reviews on desert gear all I can find are reviews for cold weather gear! Like try looking for good non waterproof hiking boots it's just about impossible to find any.

I bought two REI 3.5's a year ago that I use for car camping.  They are bulky, heavy and awesomely comfortable.  I use two pieces of webbing to hold them side by side.  Whole Earth made the webbing for me.  I gave them the measurements, they cut the webbing and then put on some buckles.  Since the pads are so high you do not want part of your body hanging over the edge.  Choose a size accordingly. 

Regarding folks puncturing their backpacking pads... I prefer mummy shaped inflatables.  I am paranoid about punctures so I put the pads inside my sleeping bag.  Also, when the pad is in my bag I never roll off it and it never gets out of position.  However,  It can make for a tighter fit.  I take my sleeping bag with me when selecting pads to make sure they fit inside.  I was using an Exped SnyMat (14.7 ounces) that I was in love with.  Very comfortable on hard surfaces and enough cushion for side sleeping.  Then one of the baffles delaminated and I got a bulge in the pad.  REI exchanged it.  Year later and only about 3-4 trips the same thing happened with the replacement pad.  I have since learned that the moisture in your breath can cause problems and that you should try to inflate it with some type of pump.

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Offline tbone

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2017, 10:37:12 PM »
I do spend about 3-5 minutes kicking out  finding a nice plant free spot when making camp.
Fixed it for ya!

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2017, 11:10:00 PM »
Anybody use any of the newer ultralight cots on the market?

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Offline Hang10er

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Re: Camping pad help!
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2017, 08:13:36 AM »
I am with Flash on this, some kind of closed cell foam pad under your choice of inflatable pad.  Here is my piece on exactly that subject.

Have you seen or heard anything about the REI Co-op 3.5 camp bed? http://www.rei.com/product/870757/rei-co-op-camp-bed-35-self-inflating-sleeping-pad



It's what we are looking at now. I liked your article also nice to see someone doing gear reviews on desert gear all I can find are reviews for cold weather gear! Like try looking for good non waterproof hiking boots it's just about impossible to find any.

I bought two REI 3.5's a year ago that I use for car camping.  They are bulky, heavy and awesomely comfortable.  I use two pieces of webbing to hold them side by side.  Whole Earth made the webbing for me.  I gave them the measurements, they cut the webbing and then put on some buckles.  Since the pads are so high you do not want part of your body hanging over the edge.  Choose a size accordingly. 

Regarding folks puncturing their backpacking pads... I prefer mummy shaped inflatables.  I am paranoid about punctures so I put the pads inside my sleeping bag.  Also, when the pad is in my bag I never roll off it and it never gets out of position.  However,  It can make for a tighter fit.  I take my sleeping bag with me when selecting pads to make sure they fit inside.  I was using an Exped SnyMat (14.7 ounces) that I was in love with.  Very comfortable on hard surfaces and enough cushion for side sleeping.  Then one of the baffles delaminated and I got a bulge in the pad.  REI exchanged it.  Year later and only about 3-4 trips the same thing happened with the replacement pad.  I have since learned that the moisture in your breath can cause problems and that you should try to inflate it with some type of pump.


Putting the pad inside the bag! I might try that.  I think I'm a side sleeper.  Not always the same side so I do toss and turn a lot.  That means I end up moving around a bit and slide off the pad.  To remedy that I was thinking about going with one of those "blankets" that attach to the pad but I just purchased my sleeping bag a year or so ago.  So I might try putting the pad inside the bag.  I just need to make sure it's not too tight. 

 


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