When you head out camping you want to make sure that you have all the right gear, including a sleeping pad and a sleeping bag. But getting these two things to work together can be difficult. You often end up with trouble staying on the sleeping pad, which defeats the entire purpose of having it. So, what are you supposed to do to stay comfortable?
Do You Need a Sleeping Pad?
The first thing to ask yourself is whether or not you need a sleeping pad. This can be extremely convenient because you are up off the ground. This helps you stay dry and also warmer because it’s keeping the cold of the ground away from you and helping you retain more of your body heat. So, unless you’re camping in the middle of the hottest part of summer, it’s likely a good idea to have a sleeping pad just for warmth. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to have one to add a little more comfort, since you’re on the hard ground.
Using Your Sleeping Bag with a Sleeping Pad
When you put a sleeping bag on a pad or air mattress, it tends to cause problems. After all, your sleeping pad and your sleeping bag are both typically made of plasticized materials like nylon. And when those rub against each other they tend to slide around rather than sticking well. When you lay the sleeping bag down on the pad and then try to get comfortable you end up sliding right off the pad. So, what do you do?
Staying on Your Pad or Air Mattress
There are actually a few different options that you can use to help keep your sleeping bag where you want it to be, on top of the sleeping pad where you’re going to be the most comfortable. Let’s take a look at a couple of those top options.
1. Use a Grip Product
You can find grip tape or even different types of grip products to create a slightly rougher surface. What you need to do is clean your pad thoroughly and then apply a random pattern of grip tape. Or use a product like SeamGrip to create a pattern of small dots over the surface. When you let these dry and adhere properly they’ll make it easier for your sleeping bag to grip the pad and not slide around.
Non-slip mats are another great option that you can use. You put it between the sleeping pad and the sleeping bag and it creates a textured layer that keeps the bag from sliding. And you don’t have to worry about creating a pattern yourself or waiting for the product to dry. It’s ready to go whenever you need it.
2. Use Velcro
You can also attach Velcro strips to the bottom of your bag and the top of your pad. Then, when you’re setting up your tent you Velcro the two together and you’re ready to go. You can technically pull apart Velcro while you’re sleeping by moving around a lot. But if you’re not the type to squirm or move too much this is going to help you stay where you want to be. Also, the stronger the Velcro you use the better you’re going to be.
3. Create a Hook Attachment
If you really want to ensure that your bag isn’t going anywhere, you can attach small hooks or clips to the sides. These hooks will let you attach the two together. You purchase your sleep system with already attached these hooks and are designed to go together, but you could also create your own to get the ideal combination. If you replace either piece, however, you’ll need to go through the process of resetting hooks and making sure that it’s ready to go again.
5. Put it Inside the Bag
Another option is to put your pad inside your sleeping bag. While this is not the normal way to do it, you can use this method if there’s enough space in your bag. This will ensure that the pad can’t move around too much but is always right under you, where you want it to be. Just make sure that you’re going to have enough room for you in the bag along with the pad or you’ll just make yourself uncomfortable.
See which one will work best for you or try out a couple and see which one you like best. You might also find that a certain combination works better than a single method. The key is persistence so you can easily pick up and go camping at any time and be comfortable.
4. Stick it to the Floor
All of the above methods will work fine for attaching your mat to the floor or a pillow to your sleep system. You can stick your mat to the floor rather than just your bag. After all, it’s not just the sleeping bag that’s sliding. The pad is also sliding over the floor of the tent. That means you may need to focus on both of these problems when you’re trying to get yourself more comfortable and keep from getting knocked off your sleep mat during the night.