Monday, August 19, 2013

Luxury Camping Mats

A few weeks ago, the girls and I decided to practice sleeping out in our tent.  Whenever we have done this, it's always good practice to see what we might need or to answer questions about camping before we're out there.

I remembered that two of our mats lost air before the night was over, so I used one of our "older" mats that is a bit thinner. It was surprising how uncomfortable I was on it. So much so that I moved us all inside about 3am. 

New self inflating camping mat
My quest for a more comfortable camping mat began the next morning. After some research, I discovered a two part mat which had a layer of memory foam on top of a more typical camping mat. Both parts were enclosed in a microfiber top and nylon bottom cover. The more I considered the $200 mat, the less likely it seemed a real possibility. 

When I really understood all the parts, I looked around for one inch memory foam.  I found a King sized memory foam mattress topper which was 1.5" and was the perfect dimensions to be split into three mat sized pieces. Everyone could have a more comfortable mat and not be too expensive. 
1.5" Memory Foam Mattress Topper layered on top of mat

Instead of enveloping the mat parts, I figured a fitted sheet would hold the parts together fine.  We usually use fitted sheets, but because they are for bed mattresses, it isn't a tight fit. 

Tutorials for fitted crib sheets were pretty easy to find and one even had instructions on how to modify the pattern for other dimensions. 

Fortunately, I had a surplus of microfiber left over from my cloth diaper making days. I had enough for one purple one, a pieced blue one, and a pieced orange and purple one. I did need to purchase fabric for two more fitted sheets. 

The directions were perfect. I cut out the right sized squares at each corner and sewed the new edges together. This made a perfect corner for the layered mats. 

I had a bunch of 1/4" elastic and just sewed it to the unfinished edge all the way around with a three step zig zag. 

Some family members think these new luxury mats are even more comfortable than our beds!
Fitted Camping Sheet

3 step zig zag with 1/4" elastic

Memory Foam topped camping mat

Corners fit perfectly

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