Ultralight Backpacking Pads Can Be TOO Thin

In earlier posts, I mentioned that I have three ground pads:  a 3/4 Thermarest, a full-size Thermarest and a down-filled Exped Downmat 7. The D7 is heaviest, but is thick and ground-insulating with an ultralight sleeping bag. In a Yahoo discussion group a guy was inquiring about the Gossamer Gear 1/4 inch pad. A reader responded saying:I was using an army sleeping bag with cover on a hunting trip, and where we set up the tent was a VERY thin layer of dirt on a stone shelf. We were fine till I
noticed after turning in, that I could feel the cold from below seeping up through the bag, cover, and tent floor, into my body. Not wishing to wake up
dead from hypothermia, and being many miles from any thing or place that could offer solutions, I remembered that years ago, I’d bought an emergency “space blanket” which I’d always kept in my first aid kit. Due to it’s thickness, to
prevent it being torn, I unfolded it to a sleeping bag size, and inserted it
between the bag and cover. Climbed back in the bag, and was AMAZED at the
difference- absolutely no feeling of cold from the ground below me, and the bag
was alot warmer. Best $5.00 investment I’ve ever made, despite the fact it took
10-15 years to show it’s worth. They only weigh an ounce or two, and I have a new method of keeping warm (and DRY) on chill or damp ground. They also fold up to something that can fit in any pocket, so carrying a spare isn’t even a problem …”.

I suspect ultra thin isn’t a problem in summer, except it doesn’t offer much padding.

Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.

One thought on “Ultralight Backpacking Pads Can Be TOO Thin

  1. I’ve tried a number of different pads, and finally decided that I wanted to move up in the world, so now I sleep in a hammock! :D An emergency blanket still resides in my pack, since it can provide an extra bit of warmth reflection or wind-blockage when the situation calls for it.

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