Sleeping Pads Get Dirty, Too.
Why clean your pad? Like all gear, regular cleaning and proper storage are essential to your pad’s longevity.
To clean your pad:
- Never put your pad in a washing machine.
- Make sure the valve is closed!!!
- Wash in warm water with a mild hand soap or a gear wash.
- Make sure your pad is fully dry prior to storing it.
Bonus: If you have sap on your pad, try using an alcohol wipe or mineral oil to remove it.
How to Store Your Pad
Does it really matter how you store your pad? The answer is an emphatic yes!
On the Trail:
Be sure to store your pad in its storage sack to provide extra puncture and damage protection inside your pack. Ideally, try not to fold your pad exactly the same way every time you use it - folding your pad along an established crease and packing it in a tight space will lead to thinning of the insulation and stretching the fabric in those areas.
For long term storage, make sure your pad is clean and bone dry, and pick a warm, dry, temperature controlled storage space. If you have the space to store your pad unrolled with the valve open, that is ideal! If not, allow your pad to rest for an extended period of time, unrolled with the valve open, before folding, rolling, and packing in it's stuff sack. A resting period unrolled with the valve open will allow any moisture inside the pad to dissipate.
Storing your pad unrolled is especially crucial with foam core pads. Foam stored under continued compression can impact it's ability to loft and keep you warm.