Cheap DIY folding sleeping pad.

Name brand folding sleeping pads can cost a lot of money. Make your own fast and cheap. Forget perfection.

Supplies you need:

Monkey math (your brain)

Cheap blue camping sleeping pad

Razor knife


Carpenters square

I needed a folding sleeping pad to insert in my G4 ultra-lite backpack. Not being sure if my pack would even hold together on a hike, I just decided to make my own folding sleeping pad on the cheap. Why spend the money when the pack might fall apart. Plus I had an old mat in the moonshine camp wrapped around some old copper.

There is a video online that shows you how to make one using a hot knife, but I don’t own a hot knife.

First do the monkey math and figure how many folds you want in your mat. My monkey math ended with 7 folds. If you can’t figure the monkey math, then turn yourself in at the local zoo. Maybe they will free a monkey. Exchange type program.

So use a razor knife set so that it will not cut through the sleeping mat.

Then make your marks with a carpenters square. My marks were every 10.5 inches for a total of 7 folds. Your marks and cuts will alternate from front to back, so that the mat folds.

You need to make several passes to get a clean cut. Be sure you do not cut all the way through the mat. Set your razor accordingly.

These cheap foam mats are durable and hold together even when you cut 3/4 of the way through the material.

Here the mat is folded out and it has a total of 6 cuts.

Here is the camping mat compressed after all cuts were made. Not perfect, but will get the job done.

The DIY folding mat inserted in the G4 ultra-lite pack ready for the trail.