Camping Pillow

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This pillow is easy to make, inexpensive, and requires no sewing. When my kids were in elementary school, they made this type of pillows as a craft, which should give you an idea of how easy it is.

When camping, a good night’s sleep is paramount. You’re so active, it’s important to get your rest, but it can be difficult to sleep if you are just resting your head on the edge of a sleeping bag or foam mat.

Having a pillow to keep your head off the cold ground can make a big difference in how well you sleep. But a full size pillow can take up a lot of room if you’re trying to travel light, especially if backpacking. Typical home pillows generally have cotton cases and cotton absorbs water and takes a long time to dry. Wet cotton is cold, leading to a restless night.

This fuzzy pillow will help you keep warm. It is made of fleece and fiberfill. These materials absorb hardly any moisture, and if they do get wet, they dry quickly. The fleece will feel warm even if it is wet.

The other advantage to this home-made pillow is that you can make it just the size you need. You can make one small enough to even take backpacking. For an ultralight backpacker this would be a no-no, but for a short backpacking trip, the extra weight might be worth it, as a good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in one’s enjoyment of a trip.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials:

Polyester Fleece Fabric -- available in many colors and patterns

Fiber fill

I paid 9 $U.S. for 3200 square inches of fabric. I used about 1/5 of it for this pillow, so it cost about $1.80. I paid $3.50 for 16 ounces of Fiber fill. I used 4 ounces, so about a cost of $1. Total cost is about $2.80


Tools:

Scissors and a Ruler

Step 2: Cut Material

I cut out two pieces – each 16 inches by 22 inches (40 cm x 56 cm). The finished pillow will be quite a bit smaller than this. The tabs are going to be 2” long, so that shrinks the length and wide of the actual pillow by four inches. As a pair of tabs are tied, the material gathers, further shrinking the length and width. The material you start with is flat, but when stuffed, of course the material curves, shortening the pillow even more. My final pillow is about 11 inches x 15 inches (28 cm x 38 cm), so account for several inches of shrinkage on each side as you decided on the size you want for your finished pillow.

Lay one piece on top of the other. Make sure the side with the pattern you desire is facing out. One side of fleece is generally brighter than the other, so make sure you have the side you want on the outside, on both the top and bottom.

Cut a 2 x 2 inch square in each corner. (or 5 x 5 cm)

Step 3: Cut the Tabs for Tying and Tie Square Knots

Cut into the edges of your fabric 2 inches deep and about 1 inch wide to make the tabs for tying (or 5 cm deep and 2.5 cm wide).

Tie a square not with each pair of tabs, one tab from the upper piece and one from the lower piece.

Go around three edges of the pillow and make square knots with each pair of tabs.

Step 4: Stuff With Fiberfill and Tie Fourth Edge

Use the fourth, open, not-yet-tied edge to stuff the pillow with fiberfill. I used about four ounces on this pillow. This can vary depending on how firm you want your pillow. The fiber compresses quite a bit with the weight of your head, so test it before you tie it up the final edge to see if there’s enough to keep your head off of the ground.

Tie square knots with the tabs on the fourth side to close up the pillow.

My final pillow weighs about 8 ounces (0.23 kilograms)

You’re done. Sleep warm. Sleep well on your fuzzy pillow.

“Sleep under a blanket of stars, and your heart will forever be kept warm by your love of life.”

― Anthony T. Hincks

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