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  1. #1
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    Default Anything underneath a Inflatable Sleeping Pad?

    Wife and I are hangers and just switched to a tent in prep for our thru hike. Bought a Big Agnes inflatable pad. Do you peeps use anything underneath it in shelters or tents to either protect it or help with insulation?


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  2. #2

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    It won't be inflatable long if you don't use a ground cloth under the thing. I prefer a cut to size 10mil tarp---to block sharp stones and thorns etc.

  3. #3
    Registered User kestral's Avatar
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    In shelters I use a piece of tyvek cut a bit larger than my inflatable under the pad to protect from floor, splinters, mouse poop. This tyvek is folded for a sit pad while I’m hiking so it’s kinda dual purpose. I’m sure a crafty person could create a rain kilt from the tyvek also. While tenting I put the pad directly on tent floor. Happy hiking!

  4. #4
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I used to use the cheap K-mart blue foam pads cut to the shape of my Thermorest 3/4 pad. But in more recent years have gone to Gossamer gear 1/8" pad. I put it down first then run my hands over it feeling for anything sticking up. Might be luck but have never had a leak. As an aside I do not use a ground cloth for my tent.
    Lonehiker

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kestral View Post
    In shelters I use a piece of tyvek cut a bit larger than my inflatable under the pad to protect from floor, splinters, mouse poop. This tyvek is folded for a sit pad while Iím hiking so itís kinda dual purpose. Iím sure a crafty person could create a rain kilt from the tyvek also. While tenting I put the pad directly on tent floor. Happy hiking!
    Thanks I will look that up. Is it something you buy at a Loweís or HD or a camping material?


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  6. #6

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    In the early spring and late fall when temps get near freezing, a piece of CCF pad under your hips can help a lot. I always deflate my pad a little so my hips sink in a bit and that creates a cold spot. It doesn't have to be big, a 1/4 pad is sufficient.

    I use a Tyvek sheet under my tent, mostly to keep the tent floor from getting all muddy. If I sleep in a shelter, I may or may not put down the Tyvek depending on the looks of the floor and how lazy I am.

    The only time I got a leak in a inflatable was back in the days when the bunks in the GSMNP Huts were 12 layers of beat up chicken wire. You had to spend some time making sure all the sharp pointy ends were turned down. I missed one.
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  7. #7
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    I used to use nothing, other than the tent floor, and somehow never got any leaks in my inflatables, very lucky I suppose? This is over many decades of backpacking, though before about 10 years ago, those inflatables were much tougher, and much heavier, those "old" thermariest self-inflating jobs.

    These days, most of the time, I carry a 6-foot long 1/4" CCF pad, 4.5 ounces, it's really nice to lay out and take mid-day naps on, plus I use it at night under my inflatable, slightly more R value and yeah, it would help if I missed clearing out any sharpies before pitching my tent.

    The very rare times I sleep in a shelter, I just lay my tent body out for protection against shelter platform sharpies, splinters, whatever.

  8. #8
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    I always use CCF under my inflatable (the one time I didn't was the last time!). Any foam will do, including the CCF mentioned by others already. I use a 6-8 section piece of z-rest, it's handy to toss on the ground at lunch, and comfortable enough if the inflatable springs a leak. Reflectix also works, but it's squeaky.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    I used to use the cheap K-mart blue foam pads cut to the shape of my Thermorest 3/4 pad. But in more recent years have gone to Gossamer gear 1/8" pad. I put it down first then run my hands over it feeling for anything sticking up. Might be luck but have never had a leak. As an aside I do not use a ground cloth for my tent.
    I also use the Gossamer gear 1/8" pad. It also is a nice sit pad.

  10. #10
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    I always use a ground sheet under by tent (if for no other reason that to help keep the bottom of my tent clean). So when I stay in shelters, I'll use the tent ground sheet under my inflatable.
    If I'm on a trip where I only plan to be in shelters, I'll take along a tarp as an emergency shelter and use it under the inflatable.

  11. #11

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    Not in a "tent"(tarp with inner, groundsheet or bivy), but in a shelter, the bivy or groundsheet would get the nod.
    Unless it's pouring rain, I'm pretty selective about where I set up, and clear away any little branches, rocks, pine cones or whatever that are noticeable, and typically get in and run my hand over the floor to make sure nothing's sticking up before inflating my pad. I have no idea how they got there, but the only "puncture wounds" I've experienced over the past 9+ years of using inflatables have been a pair of tiny pinholes on *top* of one of my Expeds' outer baffles.

  12. #12
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    Definitely get one of the inflation bags if you don't already have one.

  13. #13

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    I use a hammock, but carry a neoair for sleeping in shelters on trips where that makes sense. Rolled up in with the neoair I have a cut to size sheet of polycro that keeps the air mattress clean and safe from splinters. Super light, but does what is needed in a shelter.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbar View Post
    Definitely get one of the inflation bags if you don't already have one.
    I donít and I will. Take 27 breaths now. Thanks


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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbar View Post
    Definitely get one of the inflation bags if you don't already have one.
    Donít now but will do. Take 27 breaths currently.


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  16. #16
    1000+ miles down (2009), 1000+ miles to go (2021) RadioFreq's Avatar
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    I use Tyvek under my tent and the Goss. Gear foam pad under my BA inflatable pad. The foam pad is the support for my Mariposa.
    I also highly recommend the inflation bag for the pad. Four bags of air is all it takes. Use it for a clothes bag the rest of the time.
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    That's relativity." --Albert Einstein--

  17. #17
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbar View Post
    Definitely get one of the inflation bags if you don't already have one.
    For Therm-a-rest owners, I hate that they got rid of the Neo-Air AirTap (lets you turn any bag into an inflation bag) and your only option seems to be the battery powered inflators or the heavier pump sacks.
    Some show how to use a pack liner to inflate, but I could never get the huge opening of a large bag around the tiny valve tightly.
    What I used (until I got the AirTap) was a thin trash bag with a tiny hole in one corner. Place the value in the hole and use a rubberband or two to hold it on tightly.

  18. #18
    Some days, it's not worth chewing through the restraints.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crossbar View Post
    Definitely get one of the inflation bags if you don't already have one.
    If you're able to get a pad with the old-style thermarest valve, you can make your own inflator (check it out on youtube). Much tougher to do with the flat valves. I'd like to see the manufacturers come up with a universal valve so we could get one inflator to work with all the pads.

  19. #19

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    All my Thermarests are self inflating---just top them off with a couple puffs of breath. My inflator bag are my lungs. Problem solved.

  20. #20
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    For Therm-a-rest owners, I hate that they got rid of the Neo-Air AirTap (lets you turn any bag into an inflation bag) and your only option seems to be the battery powered inflators or the heavier pump sacks.
    Some show how to use a pack liner to inflate, but I could never get the huge opening of a large bag around the tiny valve tightly.
    What I used (until I got the AirTap) was a thin trash bag with a tiny hole in one corner. Place the value in the hole and use a rubberband or two to hold it on tightly.
    18 Strong breaths inflates my 3/4 length thermorest (22 if I'm lazy). There is no need for an inflation bag. Just one more thing to mess with.
    Lonehiker

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