Preparing for a Hiking Adventure? Don’t Forget to Pack Up a Hiking Mat!

As any outdoor enthusiast knows, having the right equipment is crucial for a great adventure time. Proper planning is also part of the preparation for an outdoor adventure. However, it’s easy to get on the verge of overthinking whether to bring more gear or less. This is especially an issue when you’re backpacking.

When you become a true fan of hiking, it’s understandable to delve deeper into gadgets and special equipment with all the right features. Yet, few pieces prove to be as crucial to your overall experience and comfort as the hiking matt designed for optimal support. Some hikers think by investing in top-notch sleeping bags, they’d be able to cut down on the extra cost that comes from mats. However, this is where they’d be wrong.

Truth be told, mats provide you with a range of benefits that sleeping bags don’t. Even if you decide to adopt minimalist packing practices, and give up on some pieces of equipment, don’t let this be the mat. Comfort isn’t something you should compromise on. Read on to find out how a mat can improve your hiking experience and outdoor adventures.


Hiking Mats Are Inexpensive

The last thing you need is yet another expense on your list of essentials, but this won’t be an issue when it’s to do with buying the right hiking matt since these pieces are generally inexpensive. Of course, it all comes down to the brand and design you choose, as well as the materials and features you prefer.


Easy to put out and store, hiking mats are the kind of equipment that doesn’t slow you down. Moreover, since they’re compact when not in use, you have more space to pack up other essentials, even when you carry one or several for your varied needs. Despite the variety in styles, they’re still pretty lightweight, so you won’t have to worry about packing them up and carrying them in a backpack.

Crucial for Quality Sleep

You may be the biggest enthusiast of hiking or any outdoor adventure for that matter. However, sleeplessness or nights spent tossing and turning can easily harsh your mellowness, particularly when you’ve got a long and exhausting hike early in the morning! This is where a sturdy hiking sleeping mat can help provide you with the needed support and comfort for catching up z’s. No matter the kind of terrain you sleep on or whether you’re a side sleeper, the proper mat can prevent soreness from being in direct contact with rocks or roots underneath you.


Keep You Warm

You may find yourself thinking you could skip on packing up your quality hiking matt designed for insulation just because you’re hiking during summer. This would be a huge mistake because temperatures tend to drop at night, and you’d be able to tell the difference, especially if you’re high up in the mountain.

Sleeping on the ground can easily suck up your heat due to conduction, which shows how handy a mat can be. Since there’s a range of options on the market, you should choose the mat by considering the R-value. The higher this value is, the more insulation you can expect, considering a design rated R-value 2 will prevent heat loss twice that of what the counterpart of 1 can. Depending on the season when you’re hiking, you can pick from R1 to R2.1 for summer sleep, R2.1 to R3.3 for the chilly days of autumn and spring, and R3.3 to R5.0 for winter when you’re sleeping on snow covers. The latter happens to be great for cold sleepers too.

Hiking Mats Are Versatile

If you think this refers only to length and width, you’d be wrong. While it’s important to base your decision on these specific properties, it would be of help if you go deeper into the world of hiking mats and find out about the different types. The three options you can shop from are foam, inflating, and self-inflating.


Foam mats are a great choice if you’re looking for something cheap and don’t mind the bulkiness. They remain a popular purchase due to their incredible durability, though you may prefer one of the counterparts for more warmth. If that is the case, rest assured you can use the foam mats with an additional mat for added insulation.

Inflating mats are a more advanced option known for their comfort, lightweight properties, and warmth. However, durability isn’t their strongest side, so if you plan to sleep on uneven terrain outdoors, where they might be exposed to punctures, it’s best to protect them with a cover or sheet underneath.

Self-inflating mats are the in-between type with a self-inflating part and are exceptionally durable in design. You’d also like them because they provide a higher level of comfort. This, of course, comes at the expense of weight as they’re the heaviest of the three.