Only a few things can be worse than spending a night in the campsite tossing and turning inside a tent and unable to get a good night’s sleep. Although your sleeping bag may have a lot to do with this, many veteran campers would agree that your sleeping pad or mat can also be a cause of many sleepless nights while camping. This is why it is important that when buying a sleeping bag for camping, you should also get a high-quality sleeping pad to go along with it. But what if your sleeping pad gets damaged? What now? A natural course of action would be to fix whatever is wrong with it, provided that the damage is minimal and reparable. Fortunately, repairing a sleeping pad isn’t all that difficult. With a sleeping pad repair kit in hand and by following the steps outlined below, you should be able to bring your damaged sleeping pad back to its usable and efficient condition.
1. Collect Your Repair Supplies
If your sleeping pad starts to leak small amounts of air while you’re at the campsite and you can’t identify where the leak is coming from, a temporary repair would be to simply re-inflate your sleeping pad before you go to sleep and pray that it doesn’t lose all its air until you wake up in the morning. However, if you know where the leak is, then you can get the following supplies and proceed to step number 3.
- Sleeping pad patch kit
- Alcohol-based wipes
But if you can’t pinpoint the location of the leak, then you’re going to have to wait until you get home until you can do a full repair. In that case, you’re going to need the following items along with a sleeping pad repair kit:
- A bucket of water
- Mild liquid detergent
- A sponge
- Clean rags
- Felt-tip pen or marker
2. Determine Where the Leak Is
So let’s say that you’re already back home and ready to make the repairs. The first thing you’ll want to do is to determine where the leak is. One way of doing this is by inflating the sleeping pad and go over it while listening for any hissing sound and finding where it’s coming from. (You can actually do this while you’re camping, but it may take a while before you find the leak which means less time for you to enjoy the outdoors.)
If you can’t find the leak using the method above, then you can use the following approach.
- Place your sleeping pad on a flat surface and fill it with air.
- Mix a small amount of mild detergent into the bucketful of water. Slowly stir the mixture with your hands to distribute the liquid detergent and keep the amount of soap suds minimal.
- Grab a sponge and soak it into the water and soap mixture.
- Using the soap-soaked sponge, wipe the surface of the sleeping pad slowly while gently squeezing it. Look at the areas where the sponge has just passed and keep an eye out for any bubbling. This is why you should only use a small amount of detergent and not stir it too much since the suds created by the soap may obscure the bubbles made by the escaping air.
- Once you’ve determined where the leak is, mark it using a felt-tip pen or marker.
- You’ll also want to check on the other side of the hole. Assume that whatever punched a hole on your sleeping pad may have punctured it all the way to the other side.
- Continue wiping the sleeping pad with the soap and water mixture until you’ve identified all the possible holes and leaks.
Once you’ve determined the leak’s location, you can now start preparing the sleeping pad for repairs.
3. Prepare the Surface to Be Repaired
- Rinse off any soap residue from the sleeping pad.
- Deflate the sleeping pad and dry it using a clean rag. Leave it out to air dry for a few minutes.
- Once the damaged area is completely dry, wipe it clean using some alcohol-based wipes. You can use an ordinary rubbing alcohol and clean rags if you don’t have any wipes.
- Leave the sleeping pad to air dry again for a few minutes to give the alcohol some time to evaporate.
4. Apply the Patch
At this point, you should already have a sleeping pad patch kit ready. You can buy these from any local outdoor or camping shop. The kit should contain an adhesive or glue and some patches. Some manufacturers sell these kits with pre-cut patches (usually in round or rectangular shapes). If you’re kit’s ready, let’s patch that hole up.
- Draw a large circle on the area you marked back in step 2. The circle should be as large as the circular patch you’ll be using
- Apply a generous amount of adhesive on the circled area, filling it.
- Get one of the patches and put an adhesive around the perimeter of the patch. This will help to keep the patch’s edges from peeling off in the future.
- Place the patch over the damaged area and press firmly. Hold the patch in place for a few minutes to give the patch some time to adhere to the sleeping pad’s surface. You can also get something heavy (e.g. a stack of books) and place it on top of the patch and leave it there overnight. This should be more than enough time for the adhesive to cure.
The following morning, inflate the sleeping pad and check the patched area for any leaks. If there’s isn’t any, then you can now breathe easy. However, you’ll want to leave the sleeping pad inflated overnight and check it again in the morning just to make sure that there is no slow leakage.
Globo Surf Overview
Even the best quality sleeping pad can get punctured or damaged from time to time, especially if you accidentally camped in a stony spot and forgot to clear it before pitching your camping tent. But as can be seen above, repairing a damaged sleeping pad isn’t really that difficult. Finding the leak can be time-consuming, but once you’re done with that part, then the rest of the procedure which entails using a sleeping pad repair kit should be a breeze. By the way, always carry with you a sleeping pad patch kit while camping. As mentioned earlier, you can repair the campsite provided you can identify where the leak is, thus saving yourself from having to do a full-blown repair when you get home.
More Camping Reviews:
- Kids Sleeping Bags
- Teepee Tent
- Eureka Tents
- Rectangular Sleeping Bag
- Foraging For Food
- Winter Camping Sleeping Pad
- Wild Camping
- How To Wash A Sleeping Bag
- Summer Camping