Western Traveler

Sleeping Pad

Initially this sounds sort of silly, and until I got older I wouldn’t have thought it a necessity.  When camping as a Boy Scout, sleeping pads weren’t even considered.   However, the older I get, the better the pad I use.

There are two basic considerations in selecting a pad: pack weight and comfort.  The rule is “the lighter the pad, the less comfortable it is”.  In my case, I want the most comfort available, no if’s, and’s or but’s about it.

After purchasing several pads over the years, trying to find the “perfect pad”, I finally ended up with a Therm-a-Rest pad.  It’s a full 2 inches thick and 72 inches long as well as comfortably wide.  It weighs about three and a half pounds (which is considerable in a pad) but always gives me a good night’s sleep.  Additionally, I keep warm on the coldest night, another “plus” to the thicker pad.

There are pads on the market which weigh and cost less, but for me the larger and thicker pad is worth the weight and money.

When car camping, I use army-style cots with my pad on top.  It’s just like sleeping at home.

Last modified on: March 1st 2012.
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