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9 Tips to Choosing the Right Camping Pads

9 Tips to Choosing the Right Camping Pads

Aloha all you nature freaks! I am yet to find a better experience than a good camping adventure out with majestic nature. Whether you’re going for hunting, camping or just hiking, you need to have fully braced yourself, or you will be forced to improvise – don’t be fooled by such shows as Wet Hot American Summer; extemporizing is just not as easy as most people like to assume. That said, you need to know a few things before choosing your camping pads. Thank me later.


  1. Air Mattress Sleeping Pads

If planning to go heavy and tag along with your car, you can have your air mattress with you as these lots tend to carry more weight. Nevertheless, if you’re the light camper planning to have long walks with your bag, the pads would come in really handy.


  1. Cots Mats

This is where I tell you; you’re in luck. If the above choices bear no appeal to you, perhaps these will. Mats are simply mats – no complicated definition here. At maximum, they will weigh 2 pounds making it a go for the experienced campers. It’s just effective and comes in different forms – synthetic and down mats.

Cots, on the other hand, are either wooden or metallic frames with a tear-resistant fabric acting as the lying surface. They are easy to dismantle and assemble and mostly used with the military.


  1. Type of Sleeping Pad

Here, we’ll take a look at 3 different types then you’ll make the wiser option for you.

  • The closed cell foam pad happens to be the longest lasting of the three. It just won’t puncture unless you intentionally do so. However, some have complained about the low comfort levels, especially beginners – you’ll eventually get used to it.
  • The self-inflating pad uses air and open-cell foam insulation to fill itself up automatically once the valve is open.
  • Air pads, as the name suggests, use air for cushioning and are manually inflated. The bed is generally comfy and offers insulation and reflective materials to increase warmth.


  1. Weight & Size

You have the power to make your camping as memorable as you want it to be. It can be memorably good or stressful. You first need to ensure that the dimensions of your bed are in line with your sleeping bags. Then, if possible, try to go for the lightest option for a relatively easier time. But if you’re willing to bear the stress for increased comfort, don’t limit yourself.


  1. R-Value

This is but a measurement of your pad’s ability to combat heat flow. As the resistance value increases, the better you are insulated from the cold hard ground. Cold weathers would call for R values above 5.


  1. The Pad’s Design

Sleeping pads designed for campers, just like mattresses, come in different construction forms. The side baffle design will generally prevent you or your child from rolling and flipping over. There is also a pillow design for head support.


  1. Pumping

You might be deadbeat after that long ass hike. You won’t want to come back to your campsite and do more pumping to inflate the bag. You can purchase an integrated hand pump or relatively have a bag-style hand pump with minimal weight and one that rolls up small.


  1. Sleep Positions

For the best experience for the different type of sleepers, let’s have a look at what suits them best while sleeping on the ground.

  • Back sleepers will benefit from cots which are explicitly designed for this particular lot.
  • Stomach sleepers would require a harder surface and a mat would work just fine.
  • The side sleepers who need contouring will enjoy the foam options and air mattresses.


  1. Thickness & Firmness

Since the pads come in different forms and types, the easiest thing to do here would be to make a comparison of what you have at home versus what you want to purchase. The camping grounds should also be put into consideration – the rocky and harder surfaces would require a thicker and stronger pad.


There you have it. Now your camping experience should be awesome from now on, and you won’t have to wake up feeling 80 at 30! Be sure to share the joy with friends and family, especially the ones fascinated by this hobby. See you in nature pals – adios.

About Mark Griffin

Hi, This is Mark Griffin, a professional camp instructor, a passionate hunter and wildlife enthusiast. I like to travel & participate in hunting events across the country and abroad. I have been reloading, shooting and hunting for over 15 years now. Beside, a professional Camp Instructor, I am an avid blogger and freelance writer. Plenty of my blogs/articles have been featured on popular hunting forums and web magazines. When not hunting, photographing, writing, or spending time with my 'kiddos', I usually try to master wildlife painting!
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