One of a very powerful features of any backpacking journey is getting a great night time’s sleep on the finish of every day. Crushing miles all day is kind of the endeavor, and if you happen to’re unable to get high-quality relaxation afterward every successive day will get tougher and tougher. Sadly, one of the vital vital items of substances in your equipment can be one among your most fragile.

Having a high-quality inflatable sleeping pad is commonly the distinction between an evening spent tossing and turning and an evening spent peacefully sawing wood, however have you learnt what to do when your pad springs a leak?

There is no such thing as a worse feeling than waking up in the midst of the night time on prime of a flat sleeping pad. Belief me: I’ve been there. On my thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Path, my sleeping pad suffered a catastrophic failure. It couldn’t have come at a worse time.

Deep within the Sierra and days away from the subsequent city, I awoke on the chilly, laborious floor. With subfreezing temperatures and a quilt with a temperature ranking that was a bit questionable for the time of 12 months, I merely couldn’t afford to proceed dropping warmth to the bottom beneath me.

Fortunately, I had a patch equipment with me, and extra importantly, I knew the way to use it. My restore job wasn’t good, nevertheless it was ok to final me the subsequent few nights till I may get to city.

I hope you don’t ever end up in a state of affairs like mine, however if you happen to spend sufficient time within the backcountry, chances are high you’ll. Right here’s the way to restore an inflatable sleeping pad if it will get punctured.

Patching a Gap

The steps for fixing your sleeping pad are roughly common. Most sleeping pads include a small patch equipment for subject repairs, or you may all the time make your individual patch with Tenacious Tape.

For the needs of this text, I can be repairing a gap in my outdated Therm-a-Relaxation NeoAir Xlite utilizing the Immediate Subject Restore Equipment that comes with the pad. The equipment contains alcohol wipes, glue dots, and self-adhesive patches.

Finding the Leak

This may be one of many extra irritating features of sleeping pad restore. It’s clear that air is escaping, however from the place?

Hopefully, you may hear air escaping slowly when your pad is absolutely inflated and can be capable of find the outlet primarily based on sound and the texture of air escaping, however this isn’t all the time the case. Some small pinholes could launch air so slowly that they offer off nearly no sound, and the air is just not leaving the pad in massive sufficient portions to really feel it.

If that is so, don’t fret. There are nonetheless a couple of methods you should use to find the puncture.

Get It Moist

That is the best method to discover a leak. Inflate your pad and submerge it. Bubbles ought to begin popping out of the puncture location. If you’re at house or in a lodge, I’d advocate dunking the pad in a tub. If this isn’t an choice, a slow-moving stream or a lake ought to do the trick.

how to repair an inflatable sleeping pad

It’s also possible to use a moist rag and a few cleaning soap to pinpoint a leak. This technique is just a little trickier than the submersion method however can work in a pinch. Suds ought to seem on the gap as you slowly rub the moist, soapy material round your pad. (It’s also possible to mist the pad with cleaning soap water in a twig bottle as a substitute of utilizing a rag.)

If neither of those choices is feasible, it’s best to absolutely inflate your pad and put as a lot strain on it as attainable. Lay on it, fold it up, and do no matter it’s worthwhile to to power as a lot air out of the puncture as rapidly as you may. Hopefully, this added strain makes it simpler to listen to the air escaping or to really feel the slight breeze it creates.

how to repair an inflatable sleeping pad

Upon getting positioned your puncture, remember to mark it not directly. I used a sharpie, however a chunk of tape proper subsequent to the outlet would work simply as properly with out leaving a everlasting mark.

Fixing the Puncture

Step one right here is to guarantee that the positioning of the puncture is totally clear. In case your pad remains to be moist out of your puncture location efforts, dry it completely. Wipe the world across the gap with an alcohol wipe to take away any dust or oil that would preserve the patch from sticking properly.

Subsequent, take one of many glue dots and take away one aspect of the protecting wrapping. Firmly press the glue dot, urgent by the protecting layer on the opposite aspect, into the material of the pad. Be sure to totally cowl the puncture.

Upon getting labored the glue dot into the material you may take away the opposite layer of protecting coating and apply the patch over all the space. Firmly press the patch to make sure that the adhesive absolutely sticks to the pad, then go away it alone for at the least 10 minutes so the glue can remedy.

Fixing the Puncture with Tenacious Tape

In case you don’t have or don’t wish to carry a devoted patch equipment, you can too make your individual patches by reducing bits of Tenacious Tape right down to dimension. This technique foregoes the extra sealant of the glue dot included within the Therm-a-Relaxation equipment, nevertheless it nonetheless works in a pinch.

Be beneficiant together with your reduce: a bigger patch will work higher than one reduce so small it simply barely covers the puncture. As with the opposite technique described on this article, it’s best to nonetheless clear the world with an alcohol wipe out of your first help equipment earlier than making use of the tape and provides the adhesive 10 minutes to set earlier than inflating the pad.

Testing the Seal

At this level, it could be a good suggestion to put one thing heavy on it for a couple of minutes to make sure. Therm-a-Relaxation recommends leaving the pad inflated with a weight on prime of it in a single day, however if you happen to’re mid-thru-hike this might not be an choice.

how to repair an inflatable sleeping pad

That needs to be it; reinflate your pad and sleep simple.

How To Prolong the Lifetime of Your Sleeping Pad

Now that you’ve gone and finished all that onerous work, listed below are a couple of ideas to assist it to final so long as attainable.

1. Don’t Puncture It Once more!

Duh. However actually, there are some things you are able to do that will help you obtain this.

Before everything is campsite choice. When organising camp, it’s best to completely examine the world the place you propose to arrange your tent and take away any small rocks, twigs, or micro-trash. (I’ve heard that individuals who pack micro-trash out of campsites obtain glorious sleeping pad karma, however possibly that’s only a rumor.)

As soon as your campsite is totally clear just be sure you are additionally utilizing a footprint on your tent. It may be both the footprint particularly designed on your path house, or one thing makeshift, like a chunk of Tyvek.  Not solely will this assist to guard your pad, however can even assist to forestall the ground of your tent from carrying skinny or tearing.

2. Cease Blowing Into Your Sleeping Pad

I used to be responsible of this for a very long time. I by no means needed to hold the inflation sack with me on my hikes. It simply felt like unneeded further work (and further weight) and I felt I may do with out it. That stopped once I held the sleeping pad I used on the AT as much as the sunshine and noticed simply how a lot mildew was rising within it. Disgusting.

Utilizing the inflation sacks which are included with many sleep pads helps to forestall moisture from moving into them, and thus helps to scale back the potential for mildew development.

Moreover, utilizing the inflation sack when it’s chilly out can truly assist preserve your pad agency all night time. While you blow into your pad straight, you’re blowing scorching air into your pad. Over time, that air will cool and condense, leaving your pad much less agency than it was whenever you first went to mattress.

The inflation sack sidesteps this difficulty. By inflating your pad with cool air from the inflation sack relatively than your breath, you keep away from this temperature change and may sleep soundly all night time. Science.

You probably have any extra ideas on your sleep pad please let me know within the feedback. Sleep tight!

Featured picture: Graphic design by Chris Helm; photograph by way of Carl Stanfield.



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