How to make a sleeping pad? A sleeping pad is a great way to sleep on the ground when camping or hiking. Sleeping pads are also known as air mattresses, but they are not just for sleeping!
They can be used for many different purposes while you’re out in nature. Whether it’s sitting on the beach, lounging by your campsite, or even using it as insulation underneath your tent floor, there are so many ways that you can use them!
How To Make A Sleeping Pad?
Sleeping pads are an essential piece of camping gear. However, they can be expensive to buy. This tutorial will show you how to make a sleeping pad for less than $10!
It is also great because it uses items that are not only easy to get but also easy to transport, meaning you don’t have bulky equipment weighing down your pack when backpacking or hiking long distances.
I love this project because it is so simple and fun! Follow these instructions for making your own sleeping pad in no time at all.
What you will need:
- Thin, lightweight material (I used the fabric from an old sheet)
- Utility or Exacto knife
1. Cut your fabric into three pieces that are each 4×12 inches in size. The pieces will end up being folded in half to make a 6×12 inch mattress, later on, so you can make them bigger if you want.
2. Take the folded piece and loop it through itself three times.
3. Pull the ends of the fabric through the loops to secure them in place, then pull them tight to make your pocket shape! The larger you make this opening, the more comfortable it will be to lie on.
4. Repeat this process three times, then fold all of the pieces in half to form 6×12 inch rectangle-shaped pieces that are all connected to the pockets.
5. Now comes the time to hook it up via sewing! I recommend using a heavy-duty needle for this project because it will go through many fabric loops.
6. Start from the center of one side and begin sewing all of the layers together as tightly as you can, following a straight line on each side to keep it looking smooth.
7. Once this is complete, repeat for the other two layers so your mattress is now three-layered!
8. Since the fabric isn’t very supportive on its own, we need to add some support to make it easier and more comfortable for you to sleep on.
Take your 2×4 inch piece of foam and fold it in half (so that it is 2×2 inches), then use a sharp object like an Exacto knife to make a slit that is 1/2 inch deep down the middle.
9. Now, slide this into one of the sections! You may need to play around with which section you put it in because if you put it too close to the pocket, it will be difficult for you to fold your sleeping pad closed.
10. Once all three layers are sewn together, you can now fold them closed, as shown above. Please do this by folding each layer up and then tucking them into the pockets that form along the top.
11. Your sleeping pad is finished! It should be approximately 6×12 inches in size when folded (3×12 inches for each of the three layers).
12. To inflate it, unscrew your air valve and blow air into the middle section until it is firm enough for you to sleep on! If you don’t have an air mattress pump or electric pump, use a long stick and roll up the fabric as you blow air inside.
Also Read: How To Make A Baby Sleeping Bag
13. You can now test it out! This camping mattress is lightweight and easy to carry around. It will be perfect for your next outdoor adventure.
Why Need A Sleeping Pad?
1. If you need a first aid kit, a flashlight, or even a knife to cut something open, having a sleeping pad can make all your camping needs much easier.
2. A sleeping pad is essential for any outdoor trip that will require you to rest on the ground! They are lightweight and easy to inflate as well as deflate.
3. Instead of sleeping on the hard ground, you can sleep on your air mattress without discomfort!
4. If you are backpacking or hiking over long distances, having a lightweight sleeping pad will make carrying it much easier! You don’t want to carry around something too heavy because it could slow you down.
5. Having the right gear makes the difference between having an enjoyable camping trip and a miserable one!
6. Sleeping pads are also great for extra padding when fishing, hunting, or even attending outdoor concerts!
How Thick Should A Sleeping Pad Be?
A sleeping pad should not be more than an inch thick. Otherwise, it will take up too much space in your backpack or bring unnecessary weight.
You also do not want to make them any thinner because it could cause bruising on your body’s top and bottom!
What Can You Use As A Sleeping Pad?
Any material made to take the shape of your body can be used as a sleeping pad. These are usually foam, air, or even water!
How Do You Fold A Sleeping Pad?
1. Tie one loose end of your rope around its center section.
2. Make two loops with the other end of the rope and pull it underneath the first loop to create a knot.
3. After creating the knot, push it up to the center section and pull hard on both ends of your rope until it is tightly folded.
4. All three layers should now be completely flat and easy to slide into your backpack!
5. Using a sharp object like an Exacto knife, make a small slit in the middle of your sleeping pad.
6. Tuck one end of your foam through the slit and slowly push it to the other side while making sure that this piece is completely flat against your sleeping pad. The goal here is to create a hidden pocket.
7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 with your second piece of foam.
8. Once both ends are tucked in. You can now fold your sleeping pad closed!
9. To make it easier for you to fold, flip the sleeping pad inside out and repeat steps 5-7 on this site as well.
10. Fold each layer up and tuck them into the pockets that form along the top. Voila! Your sleeping pad is finished!
How Do You Put Warmth On A Sleeping Pad?
There are very warm sleeping pads available today, but if you don’t have the money to purchase one, here are some tips that can keep you warmer at night!
1. Place your sleeping pad on top of another piece of foam before setting up camp. If you feel cold, take this out and place it underneath your body to retain heat.
2. If you are not using a foam piece, make sure to cover your sleeping pad with extra clothes or even an emergency blanket! These can help keep the heat in and become warmer as well.
3. Always take off any wet clothing before going to sleep because it can absorb heat from your body, leaving you colder.
4. If you have a sleeping pad with an air valve, let some air out, allowing it to retain heat more efficiently!
5. When constructing your shelter, try using some tree branches to create a windbreak around your body while you sleep. This will prevent cold winds from reaching you while you rest!
How Do You Seal A Sleeping Pad?
1. Using a sharp object like an Exacto knife, make a small slit in the middle of your sleeping pad.
2. Tuck one end of your foam through the slit and slowly push it to the other side while making sure that this piece is completely flat against your sleeping pad. The goal here is to create a hidden pocket.
3. Repeat step 2 on the second piece of foam that you will be using.
4. Fold your sleeping pad closed, and make sure to tuck in each layer of foam! Voila! Your sleeping pad is now sealed!
How Do You Inflate A Sleeping Pad?
1. Attach one end of a tube to your sleeping pad’s valve.
2. Inflate the sleeping pad by blowing into the other end of the tube! Keep inflating it until you reach your desired level of firmness.
3. You can also inflate this with your mouth, but make sure to close it by putting your lips over the opening. This will prevent any water from entering the valve.
4. If you don’t have a tube, you can also use your mouth to inflate it completely! Be careful not to overinflate, though, so that it doesn’t pop and become unusable.
Now you know how to take care of your sleeping pad and what its parts are!
Have any questions? Comment below, and we’ll try our best to answer it for you.
Thanks for reading, and happy camping!