Check & Pack

Checking and packing your sleeping pad

“ I already want to take a nap tomorrow.” Author unknown

Check for wear and tear to the material (both top and bottom). Check that any valves are working (no hissing when closed and pressure on the mat) and that there are no punctures (check it stays inflated). Check that the material is clean and dry.

Although tempting to strap a sleeping pad to the outside of a pack, as seen in movies and many many other walkers, it really depends on the terrain as to whether or not this is a good idea. If you are expecting wide routes, little obstructing vegetation and no scrambling, then the chances of damaging sleeping pad are low. However, if you’re expecting even a small section of dense bush, narrow tracks or pushing packs over rocks, then there’s a good chance the pad will suffer quite a bit of damage when strapped outside. Try to have all you carry inside your pack.

If the only feasible way to carry your sleeping pad is to strap it to the outside of your pack, please do not wrap it in plastic garbage bags – these just get shredded on the track, and tiny bits of plastic will fly off into the bush. A classic way to destroy any hope of leaving no trace! If you need to strap it to the outside of your pack, then strap it to the very back of your pack where it will brush up against fewer plants. Avoid strapping it to the top, bottom or side of your pack, where the sleeping pad will be brushing up against rocks and plants often.