Author Topic: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?  (Read 1055 times)

Bhod

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Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« on: 19:56:03, 23/04/20 »
I've been watching several youtube videos of late of throughhikers, backpackers, long distance walkers, wild campers etc  and a couple of videos have brought up the idea of folding rather than rolling your sleeping mate in an effort to save space.  Having just spent a not inconsiderable sum on a new sleeping mat (non-self inflating) , I don't want to be wrecking it, so what's your thoughts on folding v rolling ?
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Owen

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #1 on: 20:47:57, 23/04/20 »
I'm not sure but I think the folding mats come pre-folded. If you try to fold an ordinary flat mat, it will take up lots of room.

gunwharfman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #2 on: 21:05:12, 23/04/20 »
I tend to use 'fold' when travelling by plane, I want most of my stuff (not money, passport, etc) in my rucksack before it goes in the hold. When I arrive and sort myself out I then 'roll!'

Travelling by plane seems so long ago!

Bhod

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #3 on: 21:23:35, 23/04/20 »
I tend to use 'fold' when travelling by plane, I want most of my stuff (not money, passport, etc) in my rucksack before it goes in the hold. When I arrive and sort myself out I then 'roll!'

Travelling by plane seems so long ago!
Thanks GWM.  It was a thru hiking video that I watched, am sure he was using a thermarest neoair xlite, thing was he had an ultralight pack with no frame/back support, so instead of rolling his mat he folded it and put this to the back to act as support/stop things digging in to his back.  Just wondered if in the long term this would damage or weaken the mat in some way as opposed to rolling it.
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Rigel

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #4 on: 21:40:33, 23/04/20 »
I've never once used a mat. At very worst, I will use any spare clothing or in extreme cases my pack.  It's a fairly long story, but I once used a bumper pack of paper plates to insulate on the French Alps. 

Bhod

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #5 on: 09:38:11, 24/04/20 »
I've never once used a mat. At very worst, I will use any spare clothing or in extreme cases my pack.  It's a fairly long story, but I once used a bumper pack of paper plates to insulate on the French Alps.
When I was younger I never used to bother either, more or less doing the same as you.  That was until I was trying to sleep on a park bench in Paris without much luck as although my sleeping bag was of excellent quality the heat loss from below didn't bode well for a good nights sleep.  A fellow 'tramp' suggested I put some cardboard down first as it would help stop the wind coming up through the slats and provide a bit of insulation, after the first night I was convinced and have always made sure I have an insulating layer between the ground and my bag ever since.   

Mats have come a long way since then but I'll never forget my first closed cell foam mat, gifted to me by a German traveller who I helped out late one night after she had missed her connecting train and was stranded for the night.  To cut a long story short, I stopped her from getting hassled by some Parisian lowlife and kept her company throughout the night until she could get on her first train in the morning.  As she left she gave me her mat that we'd used to sit on during the night, the mat has long since gone but Nikola Kim and I still converse and are friends to this day, some 30 years later.

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gunwharfman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #6 on: 09:51:10, 24/04/20 »
I've used the cardboard/newspaper insulation method a couple of times, notably near Grasse when I slept on a metal 3 seater bench all night. I laid out my NeoAir but I woke up after midnight freezing. I had already noticed a bin about 50yds away so I just got a couple of newspapers out, laid them on the bench, put my NeoAir on top, then me and I slept warmly until dawn. When I awoke the area around me was thick with frost.

richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #7 on: 13:56:58, 24/04/20 »
If you roll your closed cell mat fairly tightly, there is not much wasted space in the centre - and you could always roll your mat around your tent poles to both save space and protect the poles, perhaps a factor if flying.

Bhod

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #8 on: 14:37:20, 24/04/20 »
If you roll your closed cell mat fairly tightly, there is not much wasted space in the centre - and you could always roll your mat around your tent poles to both save space and protect the poles, perhaps a factor if flying.
It's not a closed cell mat but an inflatable one Richard.  I know they roll down to the size of a nalgene bottle (or a little bigger in my case), but the video I watched had him folding it almost flat rather than rolling it, just wondered if in the long term this would compromise the integrity of the mat.
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richardh1905

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #9 on: 16:12:59, 24/04/20 »
Ah, I misunderstood - my bad.


Read non self inflating and assumed closed cell

fernman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #10 on: 16:21:16, 24/04/20 »
I don't know about inflatable mats but I am chipping in to say that when new my Multimat Superlite self-inflating mat came rolled very tightly and fitted into a plastic sleeve. After I had taken it out and looked at it I was completely unable to get it rolled up tight enough to get it back in the plastic sleeve. After several efforts I gave up, and the sleeve went in the bin.

Now, after a night's use, I open the vave (and would anyone would care to explain to me the purpose of its double valve, I have never understood that) and I roll it flat, if that makes sense, kneeling on each fold as I go to remove as much air as possible. The resulting flat roll fits nicely across my rucksack.

Regarding closed cell foam mats, I have heard of them being placed as a large tube in the rucksack, with everything else packed down the middle, though I don't know if anyone actually practices that.

Rigel

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #11 on: 16:32:08, 24/04/20 »
When I was younger I never used to bother either, more or less doing the same as you.  That was until I was trying to sleep on a park bench in Paris without much luck as although my sleeping bag was of excellent quality the heat loss from below didn't bode well for a good nights sleep.  A fellow 'tramp' suggested I put some cardboard down first as it would help stop the wind coming up through the slats and provide a bit of insulation, after the first night I was convinced and have always made sure I have an insulating layer between the ground and my bag ever since.   

Mats have come a long way since then but I'll never forget my first closed cell foam mat, gifted to me by a German traveller who I helped out late one night after she had missed her connecting train and was stranded for the night.  To cut a long story short, I stopped her from getting hassled by some Parisian lowlife and kept her company throughout the night until she could get on her first train in the morning.  As she left she gave me her mat that we'd used to sit on during the night, the mat has long since gone but Nikola Kim and I still converse and are friends to this day, some 30 years later.


Good stuff, Bhod. It was actually one of YOUR posts that made me sign-up initially on the forum. I think people who have been homeless, slept in unusual places, done things through necessity can find themselves becoming exceptional wild campers. And I dislike using the term, 'wild camping'


It's not a machismo thing, or that  I want to appear as some kind of purist/tough guy, but a  mat seems almost like glamping. I could sleep on a washing line if I had to. And I'm fairly certain you could too.


Kudos to anyone who has slept on a park bench! Fold or roll seems like a first world problem imho.
« Last Edit: 16:42:16, 24/04/20 by Rigel »

gunwharfman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #12 on: 17:03:24, 24/04/20 »
I once (I felt unwell) booked into a site that had 'glamp' type tents set up with proper beds and mattresses inside and complete with a wooden floor, plus a polyester mat. Sometime during the night, I woke up feeling very cold and threw over me a supplied blanket, it didn't work, I was still very cold. Then I realised why! The cold was coming up from the ground and through the mattress to me so I took out my NeoAir, didn't blow it up, just laid it on top of the bed mattress and then I laid on top of the NeoAir. I was then warm as toast and slept off the feeling of being unwell and the next day hiked on. Before leaving I mentioned the problem to the site owner, who took me seriously because other 'glampers' had complained in previous weeks of being cold. I suggested that he should save and use old newspapers!

fernman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #13 on: 18:13:30, 24/04/20 »
When I was younger I never used to bother either, more or less doing the same as you.  That was until I was trying to sleep on a park bench in Paris without much luck as although my sleeping bag was of excellent quality the heat loss from below didn't bode well for a good nights sleep.  A fellow 'tramp' suggested I put some cardboard down first as it would help stop the wind coming up through the slats and provide a bit of insulation, after the first night I was convinced and have always made sure I have an insulating layer between the ground and my bag ever since.

+1,  but I expect I preceded you.
Fields and woods on the way to the south of France, beaches in Saint Tropez, the entrance of an outdoor pool in Switzerland, under the eaves of the border Customs post, under Seine bridges and on park benches in Paris, in an empty house in Dover (where the key was in the lock!), on the roof of a Soho office block and in derelict buildings in Chalk Farm.
Don't judge me by that, though, for I worked hard in the years that followed and have built up good assets.

gunwharfman

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Re: Sleeping mats- fold or roll?
« Reply #14 on: 18:47:13, 24/04/20 »
I think it's great that we don't all fit the Daily Mail/Express/Telegraph idea that we are only 'acceptable' if 'we' are like 'them.'

I always remember the great selling point of the 60s when the Vietnam War was being justified, the 'silent majority' was called on to stop the protests, it didn't work and I don't believe it really ever works!

Vive la difference! We are all individuals.