Inflatable-roll-mats are ever popular for hikers, and for many, one of their most important pieces of kit. They are getting lighter and lighter, keep you warm but also make sure you have a comfortable night’s sleep.
These modern roll mats also pride themselves on durability. After all, there is nothing worse than a pop or tear ruining your night’s, and consequentially tips, sleep. There are some really important maintenance tricks to make sure that the special foam type material works as well for many years.
Here are my 5 top tips that I make use of with my Therm-a-Rest ProLiteTM which set me back approximately £70.00 and is currently in it’s second year of regular use:
1) Don’t sleep directly on the roll mat. If the mat comes into contact with either sun cream, DEET based bug repellent or even your oily sweat, the material can become damaged over time. Instead either make sure you always use a sleeping bag, or simply place a sheet (or sleeping bag liner) around your roll mat to keep it in tip top condition.
2) When you do get around to having to clean your roll mat, simply wipe the material down with a soft sponge and warm water. For stains and more durable marks, a simple multi-purpose household cleaner should be used.
3) Avoid you roll mat being exposed to direct sunlight. The UV rays have been known for damaging the all important fabric and sponge materials.
4) Store your Therm-a-RestTM, unrolled with the valve undone.This means that your roll mat will self inflate. Stored in this manner, it will be able to return to it’s original shape and continue to self inflate quickly.
5) Based on the above point, only place your roll mat in it’s stuff sack when transporting it in your trekking bag. When packed safely inside your trekking rucksack the wilderness (such as pesky spiky bushes etc.) are prevented from causing any damage.
There are many self-inflating roll mat ranging from £17 to £130+. There is a real difference in terms of temperature you are protected from as well as general comfort and durability. Email me for more advice on your equipment: firstname.lastname@example.org
Author Bio: Matty is a charity project manager and expedition leader for Quest Overseas in Peru and Bolivia. Graduate from University College London, BA History. Currently residing in Colombia and always looking for new adventures to lead his teams on.