I’ve been able to sleep most any where, and occasionally that’s even included a nap on a sunny log. Still, there is something nice about settling into an air mattress in a tent after a long day backpacking into some remote lake. While I could probably find a way to sleep on a pile of clothes, a good sleeping pad can make a heckuva difference.
I first went backpacking without a pad and just a bivy sack. That wasn’t particularly great. Later I went with a Therm-a-Rest long and wide self-inflating pad. That was much better. But then I discovered inflatable air pads and there’s no going back.
Inflatable air sleeping pads are usually around 2.5 or 3 inches thick and they only weigh about a pound. At first, you’re in constant fear that they’ll puncture, but then you come to realize they’re pretty tough. Haven’t had to use a repair kit yet — yet.
In any event, getting an ultralight sleeping pad is a great way to not only reduce the weight in your backpack, it’s a great way to get a good night’s rest while backpacking or car camping.