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[pct-l] Re:Therm-a-Rest

>3) Have past throughhikers used an inflatable Therm-a-Rest or those 
>styrofoamones?  The styrofoam ones just seem so bulky, but maybe it is 
>worth it.Anyfeelings on the ones that fold up as compared to the ones that 
>roll up? It seems that the ones that fold up would be a lot colder along 
>the seems, but that they would be less bulky.  I bought a Therm-a-rest, 
>but I have alreadypunctured the hell out of it after I forged my own trail 
>through some Southern CA sage brush last summer.  I am afraid I will be 
>patching that thing every day on the PCT!

Hi Kristian --  Walt and I both took a Therm-a-rest and never had a blow out 
or puncture and we slept on plenty of rough terrain -- of course we were in 
a tent. Were you placing yours on the ground without any ground cover -- 
like a bivey or tarp?   There were plenty of hikers using the "accordian" 
type mats and they had no problems with it being bulky.  Infact, Walt and I 
will probably go with this type in '99.

Here are my 2 cents:  The Therma-a-rest does make sleeping more comfortable 
for me --I have a lower ruptured disk in my back.  I sleep with it inside my 
sleeping bag, which I use as a quilt and is attached to a coupler made of 
thin cotton.  This keeps the pad from slipping around and provides another 
layer between the pad, me and the ground.

This year we will probably go with the accordian pad.  There may be some  
loss in the cushioning but I am willing to try.  There are several reasons 
for this making this change. Since the pad is carried on the outside of 
the pack it is easier to use as a mat when resting or eating -- just unlatch 
it and throw down on the ground in a couple of seconds and you can shake any 
dirt, etc. off (it even floats on in the water!!!-- good way to clean it and 
take a skinny dip -- if it isn't tooooo cooold!)  BO can be more easily 
obsorbed on the Therm-a-rest pad nylon than the accordian mat  (I wouldn't 
recommend floating on a Therm-a-rest!   When the mosquitoes are circling in 
for the kill at night, or even in when taking a daytime nap or lunch break, 
I won't have to get everything out of my pack to get to my Therma-a-rest.  
It also takes time to blow it up.  It requires deflating in the morning, I 
use my for extra cushioning so it is packed first and goes next to my back. 
By using the accordian mat I will be eliminating a great deal of frustration 
I hope-- we'll see about 4-5 months from our how my sleeping goes.  So far 
we haven't heard of anyone saying there is any colder feeling in the spaces 
of the folds, I think they fold pretty close together when laid out anyway.  
You can also unfold as much as you want if you are in a narrow space or want 
to use part as a pillow.

Anyone else have any opinions? 

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