How to Choose Sleeping Pad

How to choose appropriate mattress?

The different mattresses are not only for comfort. Their role is rather to prevent a transfer of body heat to the ground and they have an insulating action against the cold. At the time of the purchase, therefore have clearly in mind the type of comfort, the available space on the bag, the importance or no weight, or even the temperatures expected during the hike. For use in scouts it is especially important to have a mattress that makes at least the size of the child, and a minimum 1 cm thick (foam or auto-gonflant) but planned for hiking.

Foam Mattresses

These pads are not compressible, but they are very reliable, flexible foam one to two centimeters thick, they do not fear addicts or moisture, and are the best markets.

Self-Inflating Trekking Mattress On Foam Base

At the opening of the valve, these mattresses automatically fill with air up to a point. The thickness and hardness can then be adjusted by additional swelling. These mattresses, the structure is made of foam cells, provide a very good insulation, waterproof and roll in relatively complex ways. They are more fragile than foam mattresses, and unless you have the repair material, a pierced mattress loses all its properties.

Fully Inflatable Trekking Mattress

They are light and comfortable, some have even a small integrated pump, they provide maximum insulation and comfort, and are waterproof. But this type of mattress is relatively expensive and above all very fragile. Once drilled, no structure remains apart from the envelope of the mattress. We advise against it for the scouts.

Other Types Of Blowing Mattress

Type beach or lounge 20 cm thick, they are clearly deprecated see forbidden to scouts, they will Pierce easily, take a lot of space, are uncomfortable and weigh very heavy.

Sleeping Bag

To choose a sleeping bag, there are several criteria to be taken into account. First the budget, we found bags of beds in all price ranges, but even the most expensive are not perfect and suited to all situations. The season in which we will use it: for a first sleeping bag that will be so used all year (and according to the experience of officials is used between 5 and 10 years) we recommend a sleeping bag from mid season (with a temperature around 0 ° comfort index). Space available: the sleeping bag must go in the backpack and there must still be space available for the rest of the business. In general a sleeping bag occupies about one third of the bag back.


Explanation on the index of temperature of the sleeping bags: compare bags between them requires that the test has been run according to the standard: EU 13537. This standard defines 3 zones and therefore 4 limits: Blue dark on the right indicates the value out of which lies in dangers of hypothermia if you spend more than 4 hours with the bag: it doesn’t help.

The second limit: at the end of the yellow indicates the limit of comfort for men: this is the critical temperature for men.
The third boundary between the yellow and the orange / red indicates the value of comfort for women: it is the critical temperature for women.
The fourth indicates the superior comfort temperature, it is not used much. Indeed when it is hot, the sleeping bags can be opened.

Ideal for a summer camp in a sleeping bag should be a comfort to at least 0 ° Celsius temperature, ideally with a temperature between-5 and -10 allows to be sure not to get cold and use the bag during the weekends in the fall, spring or winter.


We recommend for a first purchase a sleeping bag with a fill plastic (and no feather) indeed it will be significantly cheaper, but especially it will dry much faster if he had to get wet and it will be more easy to maintain. As the material inside of the bag (between synthetic or cotton) each has his sensitivity, in all cases we can add a small bivouac sack (a kind of inner cover) which will allow to wash the bag less frequently.