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Sleeping mat?

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mariann_bb said:
do I need to bring a sleeping mat

That's a matter of debate. I brought along a self-inflating short mat, but I never used it because I always got a bed. However, many Euro folks had a foam mat. The ones I walked with reclined on their pads during breaks on the trail. It was a good way to keep from getting dirty or poked by sticks/plants while resting (they worked great in fields of harvested wheat/grain, with all those hard stalks). I was afraid to use mine in the same way because I figured it would puncture. If I go back, I'd leave the self-inflating pad home and bring a foam pad instead. :arrow:


I took a sleeping mat on the VDLP and only used it once when sleeping in the change rooms of a swimming centre. If you don't need to use this kind of accommodation, you don't need the mat.

If you are thinking of camping, the proliferation of spent shottie cartridges along the way might change your mind.
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Posted elsewhere on a parallel forum (not pilgrimage-to-santiago), I copy this exactly as posted:

Ps. Had a wonderful time on the camino during he months of August and September. It isn’t that crowded. Everywhere new albergues opened up. There is space enough for everybody. I met lots of wonderful people. I guess in altogether 4 months I spent walking or biking the Camino so far, I didn’t get a bed only about 4 or 5 times, although I love to walk in the afternoon into the sunset :) and tend to arrive late. So I slept on my mat in the patio of the albergues. So what?

To each his or her own, the last two words (my underlining) has suggested I quietly retire from that type of forum, thanks heaven we have Ivar.



Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
As I understand it a mat is a good insurance in the busy months of July and August when you may need to sleep on the floor occasionally. Outside of those months it is not needed.
I walked in august last year and needed a mat just once....but without it I would have bedded down on a stone flag floor, which would have been pointless basically.

Sleeping mats do two things; they stop heat being leeched out of your body into the ground and they give you a little more comfort. Given how utterly crucial a good nights sleep is in those conditions I would say its worth the investment if you travel to the camino in the summer months. I put it on the list of things I "hope i dont need but am very glad I have if needed!" Same as a first aid kit...pointless weight if you dont need it, absolutely crucial if you do.

For a great - and I do mean GREAT - budget inflatable have a look at the Slim AIric by Alpkit. Only on their website, no retailers for this..however...we got TWO (in a deal) for £42.50 and I would argue they are as good as the high end thermarests. In fact that one night I had on it was one of teh best nights sleep I had.

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