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Are You Using Yoga Mat For Camping? (Clearing All Doubts)

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Using Yoga Mat to do yoga during camping trip

When I first thought of bringing a yoga mat on a camping trip, I had so many questions that I wanted to clear out.

You can check out the table of contents and click on the questions you want to answer. If your question related to the topic is not answered here, feel free to ask me in the comments, and I will ensure that the inquiry is responded to on this same page.

Is a yoga mat the same as a camping mat?

In short, a yoga mat’s functionality is best for doing yoga, while a camping mat is made to provide insulation and comfort for sleeping. A camping mat has nothing to do about yoga.

To give a clear answer, allow me to break it into parts to give you an idea about where a camping mat and a sleeping mat are similar and where they are not.

In weight

On average, yoga mats weigh between 2 to 4 pounds; your mat weight depends upon the thickness and size.

Where on the other hand sleeping pad or camping mat’s weight lies between 9 oz to 2 lbs.

After seeing all these numbers, a straightforward question arises, why a 3.5-inch winter sleeping pad weighs around 1 lb, whereas a 1/2-inch thick yoga mat weighs more than 2 pounds?

Are you curious to know why a less thick yoga mat is heavier than a thicker winter camping mattress?

A yoga mat is heavier because it is designed to provide traction, stability, shock absorption, extra support, and comfort. Also, their primary material is rubber which weighs more than the sleeping pad’s foam.

On the other hand, a camping mat or pad will be declared good if it provides good comfort and insulation to the surface, so they don’t have to use extra materials to provide things like shock absorption and stability.

I hope it is clear now.

In insulation

Yoga mats are poor in insulation! At least in the current market because manufacturers don’t know we’re interested in using yoga mats for camping. In the case of a thick yoga mat, it will give you some amount of insulation, but don’t expect much.

To maintain comfort, the heat lost in the winter must be replaced by your heating system and the heat gained in the summer must be removed by your cooling system


On the other hand, the main focus of sleeping pads is to insulate you from the cold surface while not lacking in comfort. The r-value of the sleeping places lies between 1 to 10, where some pads provide an r-vale of more than 10. Though, you can check out the ways to increase the r-value of the sleeping pad instead of getting a new one.

In Comfort

In a line: Sleeping pads are always more comfortable than yoga mats because they are made to give you a restful sleep.

If your mat is highly comfortable, your body craves sleep or lying down. This is the most common reason why yoga mats are not comfortable as sleeping pads or camping mats, where the camping pads are designed to make you fall asleep comfortably.

However, not all sleeping pads are comfortable to the same extent as the comfort of sleeping pads depends on thickness, length, and width to properly hold your body, material, and the type of sleeping pad. Usually, if you want a highly comfortable sleeping pad, you should be ready to pay more.

Is a yoga mat good for camping?

Yes, yoga mats are suitable for camping if you want to continue your yoga practices during your camping trip. (Scroll down to find the answer about using a yoga mat as a sleeping pad). I know a lady who does yoga on her camping mat on the roof of an RV. As we know, yoga mats are easily portable and not heavy, making them easy to carry and bring for camping.

Note: Backpackers should go for mats that aren’t bulky which may be more comfortable, yet it is not practical for hikers and backpackers.

Can I use a camping mat for yoga?

According to Di Hickman, who has been teaching yoga since 2019, In situations where you don’t have anything like a carpet or thin towel or rug and you’re stuck with the camping mattress (maybe you forget your yoga mat or it is intentional), you can do yoga on a camping mattress.

The statement is further elaborated by Ginnani Lombardi, who is the yoga instructor at Versilia, Tuscany; your camping mat will work well if you mainly do static, restorative yoga, and relaxing poses. But never use a camping mat for things like Bikram yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hot yoga, or anything that asks for dynamic and strenuous poses.

Why? The main reason is that camping mats are not slip-resistant. However, there are ways to stop your sleeping bag from sliding from the pad for yoga, and you’ll do above it where its surface is slippery compared to yoga mats, which can even cause injuries.

Other reasons are: they are very thick, soft, too comfortable, and often too small to do yoga. If you’re doing such advanced poses of yoga that require a stable and hard surface, then instead of doing it camping, do it on the ground, either on a clean rug or without it; both ways are nuanced.

Can I use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad?

Yes you can use a yoga mat as a sleeping pad if you don’t care about insulation

When you’re using a mat along with a sleeping pad to increase its r-value (keep reading to know how to use a yoga mat under the sleeping pad and the benefit of doing so), it is fine. besides that, if you are thinking to replace your sleeping pad with a yoga mat, then if it is thick, it may work fine in summer, but if you’re using it instead of the sleeping place in winter, then I doubt if you can stop your self from freezing unless you’ve some ways to stay warm in winter and to insulate your tent.

Can I use a yoga mat under the sleeping pad?

In one of our articles about keeping your sleeping bag on the pad, we told you that you can use a yoga mat under the sleeping pad due to its slip-resistant property. Yup, using it under the pad will help your pad to keep you insulated a little more, but it is not the primary function that camping it can offer.

Now, how to use it under the camping mat or sleeping pad? See, there are two simple ways to do this; first, if your yoga mat is wider than the size of a sleeping pad, you can place it under your pillow, and in another, you can use the velcro tape to hold your pad on the yoga mat if the size of the rug is same as the sleeping pad.

Are yoga mats closed-cell foam?

Yes, closed-cell foam yoga mats exist. Instead of closed-cell foam, the other type available in the market is open-cell foam yoga mats. What is the difference between closed-cell foam and open-cell foam yoga mattresses? Let’s differentiate it using a table.

Closed Cell Foam Yoga Mats Open Cell Foam Yoga Mats
It is considered hygenic It is not that hygenic
It does not absorb bacterias It can absorb bacterias
It is water resistant It is not water resistant
It don’t absorb moisture It absorbs moisture
Will last longer Will not last as longer as closed cell one
Not ideal for heated class Ideal for heated class
Bad for a sweaty person as it slippery Good for the one with sweat hands because it isn’t slippery
Often made from materials that aren’t eco-freindly Often made from eco-friendly materials

Does a yoga mat count as a carry-on?

You can carry your mat on a plane unless the mat is not too bulky and thick to fit in the carry-on overhead compartment.

You can buy yoga bags instead of torturing your suitcase to carry the yoga mat; the current version of yoga bags features several pockets to carry essential things like your travel documents, a towel, a strap, keys, wallets, and a cell phone.

With this, we answer the last question about using yoga mats during camping. Maybe this question is of no value to local campers or the one who don’t need to travel the plane to reach their camping location. Still, some people may be wondering if you want to camp in another country, campground, or any location which is far from your home and you prefer to go there in the plane.

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