The Ray-Way Backpack Kit

Make Your Own Backpack!

Ray-Way Products

Ray & Jenny Jardine

Carrying a Foam Pad page 9 of 19

Pg 9: Carrying a Foam Pad

For camping, we recommend a thin closed-cell foam sleeping pad, (as opposed to a thicker pad or inflatable) in order to save weight. We also recommend carrying this pad in the backpack, internally, to protect it from catching on brush or blow-downs.

One method of carrying a closed cell pad internally is to roll it up and place it in the empty backpack, vertically, and then un-roll it part way so that it takes the shape of a hollow cylinder the same size as the backpack. This leaves no space between the pad and the wall of the pack. Then load the other gear inside the hollow cylinder.

This works in a pinch, but is difficult to load into the backpack, and then more difficult to extract from the pack at day's end.

A better method is to make the foam pad foldable.

Our Ray-Way Sleeping Pad Kit will allow you to make an ordinary thin closed-cell foam pad foldable, so it fits snugly into your Ray-Way Backpack, placed against the back. This works so well that we use it on every trip.

To carry a foam pad in the backpack, whether folded or rolled, the backpack must be somewhat over-sized, to compensate for the space taken by the foam pad.

How much over-sized?

First, multiply the pad's width by the length by the thickness.

For example, if I have a foam pad that measures 20" x 72" x 3/8", that would be 540 cubic inches. If I were determining my needed pack capacity, I would add that number to the volume of gear required. So if I needed a 2,400 cubes backpack, I would add 540 for the pad, so my volume requirement would be 2,400 + 540 = 2,940 cubic inches.

Then if I needed to use the 540 for other things, for example if I am hiking away from a grocery store with a load of food, then I might remove the pad and tie it temporary on the outside.

This works for the type of foam pad that folds, or rolls.

Of course if I were to plan for a hike in summer time, a 20" x 72" x 3/8" pad would be over-kill, at least for me. But I am just giving the general idea of how a person can figure the pad into one's capacity requirement.

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