Camping · Camping Gear · Jeanious Note · Scouting

My Winter Sleeping Pad

For years I have been searching for a sleeping pad that is comfortable, won’t deflate and won’t cause me to be cold when it’s cold out (50 degrees F or less).  I know that’s not very code but I hate being cold and uncomfortable at night when I’m camping.  While doing the OKPIK cold weather training while I was apart of the Northeast Illiniois Council of the Boy Scouts of America I learned many tricks and tips to staying while while cold weather camping.  Like putting at least 2 inches between you and the ground. From this training I now have a sleep system that keeps me warm.  Since my winter sleeps system is so bulking I only do car camping in the winter.  What is my sleep system?  I use the following layers (from top to bottom)

  1. Wool blanket made of old sweaters
  2. 0 degree sleeping bag
  3. A reflective pad made of heating duct insulation
  4. 2 inch think pad made from green furniture padding
  5. 2 inch think foam insulation board 

WOW only the sleeping bag Is the only item in the list that I bought in the store and use it as is.  For several year it was just me and my oldesn’t son (who has his own sleep system) camping when it was cold.  Now there is frequently 3  of us (me and my younger 2 children) camping at the same time.  It’s time to make some more of the 2 inch think sleeping pad (#4). Below are step by step pictures and instructions on how I made my latest Sleeping pad.


  • 2 yards of Airtex Heavy Duty Foam Slab 2″x24″ (you may want more if you are more than 6feet tall.
  • 2 1/3 yards of table vinyl table cloth
  • Duct tape

Cost < $100 if you can find the foam on sale for 2 sleeping pads

Simple directions: Wrap the foam in the table cloth fabric like you would a present using the duct tape instead of scotch tape.

Pictures of the process:

The Materials   

Center the foam on the wrong side of the table cloth fabric.

Fold the long sides of the table cloth across the length of the foam.  Smooth the table cloth as much as possible. Using the Duct tape secure the two sides of the length of table cloth as shown below.  FYI Use one solid piece of duct tape instead of multiple small pieces of Duct tape.

Fold the ends like you would if you were wrapping a present. Use Duct tape hold your folds in place.  See the next few pictures for examples.  Use the next 4 pictures for both ends of the sleeping pad.

Using one solid piece of Duct table secure the end. As pictured below.  

Here’s my new sleeping pad. 

I like to use belts to hold my sleeping pads together.  This belt just happens to be a scout belt that my sons don’t wear any more.  I prefer to use belts made of webbing and having a clip buckle. 

I can’t wait to use my new sleeping.  Next I need to cover one for my son and recover my original sleeping pad that I covered with garbage bags for my daughter.

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