Before our trip to Helm Creek we were scrambling to get everything we thought we might need in case of emergency. This put our "packing for comfort" needs at a low priority. I knew that the cabins had plywood bunks, and that you needed to bring your own pads if you didn't want to sleep on the hard bunk...but I didn't really have time to figure something out for the kids. (we had an air mattress for ours...hells yes we packed an air mattress)
As I was doing my last minute Wal-mart run for the trip I realized that a twin sized mattress pad cut in half lengthwise would be a perfect sized mat for my kids. So I picked up the least expensive, which here in Alaska was $11 (usually everything is pricier up here...so it might even be cheaper elswehere). I brought it home, cut it in half and grabbed some old cheap cotton fabrics I picked up at walmart for 25 cents a yard. I just placed the mat on the fabric and eyeballed it, then cut it out and sewed up 3 sides. I put the mat in (like you would insert a comforter into a duvet) and sewed up the top side.
At this point I did something that you don't have to do, but I did it because as a kid I always remember my pillow sliding away from me when I was camping. I folded the pad over and sewed the edge back to the pad, making a pocket for a pillow. I made it the same size as some extra throw pillows I had, then I just slid the pillow in, rolled up the pad and packed it up.
They worked like a charm, the kids were comfy, the pillow stayed put and it only cost me $6.50. Nice. (Plus, as you can see it works well for movie night too!)
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.