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I spent the (August) Bank Holiday in Abersoch (North Wales) with some of my male friends for a 'lads' weekend of camping. This was the first time I had been camping for a few years, and it was the same for several of the other lads, so we were in a bit of a panic a few weeks before we were due to go, as we had no tent, and quite a few of us didn't even have the basic sleeping bag or camping mat!
Luckily I had a nice little sum of money in my Amazon Gift card balance, and so I decided to purchase some of my basic equipment off there. I only wanted something cheap, as this camping trip was a bit of a one off, and would not be likely to turn into a regular event.
I opted for a Lichfield Camping mat off the Amazon site, which was sold by a company called Thinkprice. It was retailing for just over £6 which seemed pretty cheap to me. Delivery was really quick, I ordered it on a Monday morning and it arrived at my house on Wednesday. It was packaged accordingly and inside the packaging it was rolled up as seen in the picture above.
The 'Lichfield Camping mat' is basically a bright blue foam mat. In terms of size, it has dimensions of 180 cm in length by 48 cm in width and is 0.8 cm thick. It is quite lightweight at 0.14kg and a decent size in terms of home storage or for packing in the car when rolled up tightly.
At the campsite I unrolled my new mat for the first time. As it had probably been tightly rolled up for several months (if not longer) it wanted to naturally maintain its curved form at first, and so I had to lay it down the opposite way to its natural curl, and then place my sleeping bag on top of it to weigh it down, and flatten it out. In terms of how it performed at night, I have to admit that it did an adequate job, and I did have a decent night's sleep. A couple of the other lads had proper inflatable mattresses which looked a lot more comfy than my mat, but they had to pay a lot more than me, and had the hassle of inflating them, and the worry of them popping!
Being a bit vertically challenged, the mat was plenty long enough for me, and also wide enough to hold my frame easily with a bit of extra room to wriggle about in my sleep.
The mat could certainly be improved if it was thicker, probably at least twice as thick as it currently is, or certainly if it was composed from more dense foam.
For the price though I cannot really complain, as it allowed me three comfortable night's of sleep when combined with my sleeping bag, and it didn't affect my sleep in any way, and I never suffered any aches or pains in any area of my body the on the morning that followed.
So in summary, it is a basic cheap camping mat, which is ideal for a few nights of camping on pretty flat ground, and when accompanied by a decent sleeping bag. For any situation like this it will provide enough comfort and insulation on a warm(ish) night inside a tent. I would envisage that this mat would not be suitable for a long camping trip, in cold weather, or on un-even or lumpy surfaces though, as it does lack a little thickness.
Thanks for reading.
© L500589 2013