A long time before modern beds were invented, people used to sleep wherever they could: on hard ground, on animal fur, leaves, straw or husks. The development of society also meant an evolution of resting conditions, and now we have smart mattresses that we can control with a simple app. But they may be utterly useless in a survival situation, which is why we need to be prepared to come through any harsh circumstances.
Learning how to create a mattress with whatever nature may provide for us is essential for any prepper. Take the people choosing to live off-grid, for instance: they are already doing it! They use natural elements to make their bedstead, and all they did was to look centuries back, into the history, to find the right examples. I believe it's vital for any survivalist to know how to prepare the right set for a good sleep while being out there. I know it may sound challenging, but all it takes is creativity, easy labor, basic tools and the following tips.
Have a tick prepared
A tick is, in fact, a mattress cover which you can do it yourself and keep it packed in your survival kit. You can choose any resistant fabric to make it. When you're outdoors or in a shelter, unpack it and fill it with dry leaves, grass, and straw – anything you can find. I should warn you to stay away from hay because it causes allergies, but if that's the only option, it'll do too. One essential part when creating such a bedstead is to stuff the filling tightly into the tick, so you won't have lumps bothering your sleep. Push the leaves or straw with a stick or, even better, as trymattress.com suggests, get inside the cover and arrange them with your hands.
Pick dry stuffing
No matter your filling choice, make sure it is dry. Wet leaves or straw will not be a good mattress for you. The moist mixture inside the cover will only make you shiver, and you won't get a good sleep, in fact, you could even catch a cold. So if it's raining and you can't find anything dry, look for moss on trees and rocks, which may have been protected from the rain.
Use the ground
If you don't have a tick, just make the most of what nature gives! Dig a few inches deep round hole into the ground; put in it whatever you can find (leaves, straw, grass) and get ready to sleep soundly, with Mother Earth as your protector. This type of mattress will keep you warm. You can also make a pile of leaves or grass on the ground if digging is not an option. Or, better yet, braid a mat out of twigs: you can use it to place the straw or leaves on it.
Work with water
If you find yourself close to a water source, make the most of it! The only trick in making a water mattress is that you need a few mandatory items: a thick plastic foil, baking paper (or transfer paper), a flat iron, a hose and adhesive tape. This type of natural mattress goes best with having a shelter prepared and all those items in it, waiting to be put to good use. You can find plenty tutorials on the web; but bear in mind the fact that, as good as it sounds, this type of mattress can't be improvised anyhow and anywhere, while the grass or straw filling or the ground beds come in handy wherever you may be.
Finding a dead large animal or hunting one down might provide you with fur, which has always been an excellent option for sleeping. The only problem here is skinning the animal, which is not an easy job and not anyone can do it. I'd say this is a choice only for advanced skilled preppers and survivalists.
Until next time…
Take care and God bless
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