The Ray-Way Sleeping-Pad Kit
Ray & Jenny Jardine
Introducing our Ray-Way Sleeping-Pad KitAnd as a reminder, we don't sell anything that we don't use ourselves. And this kit is no exception. Once you have bought the pad from a sporting goods store, or whatever (see below), our modification kit will be pretty easy to put together. But once again, this idea is not open source. So after ordering and building a kit, please don't pirate the idea by telling your friends and posting any details to the web. Showing Jenny and me respect for our ideas will encourage us to share more ideas. How simple is that? Our Kit will allow you to modify a foam pad so that it fits folded snugly inside your Ray-Way Backpack.
Caution: The blade included in the kit is sharp. Please use extreme caution when handling the blade and assembling it into the foam knife. Once you have the foam knife assembled, please store it in a safe place, as you would any other razor-sharp knife.
OverviewFor my 2010 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I wanted a substantial foam pad that I could sleep with on cold or frozen ground. Because of the early-season nature of this hike, the pad had to be somewhat thick, yet it had to fit easily into my ray-way backpack. I researched the options available commercially, but without finding anything suitable for my purposes. So I bought a cheap foam pad from wal-mart, and simply rolled it up and shoved it into my pack vertically. This worked in a pinch, but was difficult to get out of my pack, and more difficult to put back in. I wanted it to fit into my pack, internally, because I didn't want anything sticking out and caching on brush or blow-downs. So I hit on the idea of making this cheap foam pad collapsible. This idea worked so well that I carried and used it for 100 days on my 2010 thru-hike. Of course I took good care of it, and it held together nicely for the duration. And in fact I am still using it today.
Not included in the kitNot included in the kit, you will need to also buy a foam pad. The one that I recommend is made by Ozark Trails. It is readily available in most towns, in the camping section of department stores such as wal-mart, or in the larger sporting goods stores. It is the closed-cell Adult Size Camping Pad, 1/2 inch thick, 20 inches wide and 72 inches long. While at the store, you might also need a bit of super glue, about 3 feet of duct tape, a sharpie type marking pen, and a 24 inch long straight edge. When you bring the pad home, you may want to unwrap it, roll it out, and place some weights on the corners, to coax it to lay more flat. Then you might leave it like that for a few days to get the pad to relax a bit, before you begin your work on your kit.
The kit comes with detailed instructionsThe kit comes with detailed instructions that show you how to proceed. Please note: The kit will not work with any other type of foam pad. And again, treat your Foam Pad Kit with care, and it should serve you well for many years.
Spring 2013 UpdateDepending on what type of blue foam pad you have purchased (we have seen two different types that look about the same), after several night's use the foam might begin to split along the seams/folds in a few places. Ray has experienced this splitting during his AT 2013 hike, with what appears to be a new type of blue foam. The splitting is not a problem; just reinforce it with a few pieces of duct tape, each 2 inches long, 1.5 inches tall, equally spaced along the backside of each seam/fold (same side as the existing duct tape).