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Homemade Crash Pads
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By Chase Gee
From Wyoming/ Logan Utah
Jan 19, 2009
My Top Secret Yet to be named crag.

I've got several commercial pads but I want to make my own for kicks.

anybody got a good patern/template or pictures of their home brewed Landing strips?

Beta on their contruction would be great as well.


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By Mike Dudley
From Vegas
Jul 3, 2009
Cracker Jack on lead.

I would be interested in this as well if someone has more info.


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By AnthonyM
Jul 3, 2009
Maroon Bells-Bell Cord Couloir

I second this... it'd be cool to see what people have made...


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 3, 2009
Bocan

My roommates are from MN and they say the owner from Organic (form MN) is super nice...I'm sure he wouldn't mind offering some advice..


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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jul 6, 2009
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.

Organic Climbing has a couple of videos on how they make their crashpads on their website.

May help you out:

www.organicclimbing.com/


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By Adam Catalano
From Albany, New York
Jul 21, 2009
me

I got pissed at the airlines for changing the luggage size from 72" to 62" and I was heading to JTree. So I made a pad that would fit within their guidelines and still maybe soften the landing.
It is a trifold - 48"x36"x3.5". Folded up it is 36"x12"x12". The foam is 2" of open cell and 1.5 of closed with that gym carpet top (got some gym scraps).

It was kind of a tricky sewing job, with a good bit of hand sewing involved to close all the foam pockets. I put some straps on it to close it up and carry it on my back, but some of them tore off. Also used a velcroed on cloth to close the center seam.

I'm no Organic designer or anything. I posted some picks in my album. Click on my name to see them I guess?


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By Ben C
From Portland, OR
Jul 25, 2009
just before the crux

i think the real trick is getting the foam and fabric at reasonable costs. i remember my friend looked into it, and could only find the materials in bulk. that being said, i'd just take a look at the pads that you have, and go from there. maybe read up on the manufacturer specs to get an idea on materials.


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By JFK
From San Diego, CA
Jan 15, 2010
halloween 08.  Creepy Uncle

I've been looking into this recently, want to make a big beast of a pad to take out on solo ventures. Anyone have any luck finding decent supplies of foam, closed and open-celled?


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By Adam Catalano
From Albany, New York
Jan 17, 2010
me

Asana will sell foam sized for their pads at a pretty reasonable cost and you can sew your own cover for it for very cheap.


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By Woodchuck ATC
Jan 17, 2010
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Ben C wrote:
i think the real trick is getting the foam and fabric at reasonable costs. i remember my friend looked into it, and could only find the materials in bulk. that being said, i'd just take a look at the pads that you have, and go from there. maybe read up on the manufacturer specs to get an idea on materials.

Reupolstry place nearby has scrap couch and chair sections of foam that work great for making a pad. Haven't done it yet but just knowing the material is nearby makes it inviting.


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By Adam Catalano
From Albany, New York
Jan 17, 2010
me

I've found that couch and chair foam is a little too soft for pads. Plus what you really need is appropriate hard cell to disperse the impact. 1 or 1.5 inches on one or two sides.


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By Robin like the bird
From mountain center ,CA
Jan 17, 2010
oh

Just a quick Question--- What makes Organic pads organic?


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By JFK
From San Diego, CA
Jan 18, 2010
halloween 08.  Creepy Uncle

Adam Catalano wrote:
I've found that couch and chair foam is a little too soft for pads. Plus what you really need is appropriate hard cell to disperse the impact. 1 or 1.5 inches on one or two sides.


Exactly. Having trouble finding the closed-cell foam. Maybe mats that are made for workstation floors in commercial kitchens to save your knees and feet?


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By Kelly C.
From Moab, UT
Jan 18, 2010

Already mentioned, but be very careful with the sofa/couch foam. Really tall, and too soft, very easy to roll ankles.


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By Adam Catalano
From Albany, New York
Jan 18, 2010
me

JFK wrote:
Exactly. Having trouble finding the closed-cell foam. Maybe mats that are made for workstation floors in commercial kitchens to save your knees and feet?

I have a pad that I made with the puzzle piece foam flooring. Not great. It feels very crunchy. Good closed cell is definitely the crux. Possibly some ensilite sleeping pad foam could work a little better?


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By Bawls E. Climber
Jan 18, 2010

Try here, free shipping on orders over $75

The Foam Factory


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 19, 2010

Here are two crashpads I've made:

Home made crash pads.
Home made crash pads.


I second the Foam Factory. Getting the foam is the crux, and this is the best place I've found. The best deal, if you're making a big crash pad like the one in the photo is on their "accessories" page, they sell bags of scrap for $30. I only needed 2 of these bags to fill my 5'x8'x1' huge crash pad. If you bought sheets of foam, it would cost close to $500 to fill a pad that size.

A good source for fancy outdoorsie fabrics is The Rainshed You can get ripstop nylon and stuff there, which you need if you're making an outdoor pad. I recommend using velcro to close the pad because plastic buckles will get broken. For my big indoor pad, I just bought some muslin fabric at hobby lobby. I double stitched everything, and you want to get heavy thread, like an upholstry thread.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Jan 19, 2010
Pulling a small roof at 2/3 height on Mission Impossible.  Adam Sanders photo.

Mike Anderson wrote:
I recommend using velcro to close the pad because plastic buckles will get broken.


We used velcro on our first pad, and I agree if the pad is gonna get a lot of abuse, velcro is probably best. However, sewing velcro onto the cover is a big PITA, since its so thick, etc. We basically ruined our crappy sewing machine trying to sew the velcro on the second pad, and we eventually gave up.

If your pad will see limited, indoor use, snaps work pretty good. They will definitely unsnap from time to time, but installation is, well a snap (oh no you di-int!).


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Jan 19, 2010

Robin like the bird wrote:
Just a quick Question--- What makes Organic pads organic?


[from the Organic webpage] One of the definitions of "organic" is forming an integral element of a whole, fundamental.

Josh would often joke about selling a burlap sack filled with straw for those who insist that Organic pads must be USDA organic. They are getting closer, buying foam made from soy and the like. The covers will be the hard part.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 19, 2010

Monomaniac wrote:
We used velcro on our first pad, and I agree if the pad is gonna get a lot of abuse, velcro is probably best. However, sewing velcro onto the cover is a big PITA, since its so thick, etc. We basically ruined our crappy sewing machine trying to sew the velcro on the second pad, and we eventually gave up.


That's a bummer. I think you can glue velcro on, as another option.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 20, 2010

Oh yeah, one more tip. If you're making a big crash pad, I highly recommend sewing in some baffles. If you don't, and you stuff it with loose foam scraps, it will balloon into a football shape which could be dangerous when you land on it. You can see in this photo where I sewed baffles (the two straight lines in the middle of the pad).

home made crash pad. <br />
home made crash pad.


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By Kiel
Jan 20, 2010
Mah Dog, Virga preppin for the climb

Thanks Mike for the tips. Any more information would be much appreciated as well. I am ordering the scraps tonight and I plan on making a couple of these for my woody that is almost complete.

When you land on it, does it bottom out? Would putting carpet on it disperse the impact at all if it does bottom out?

How difficult was the sewing of the fabric? Thanks for any advice you can give.
Edit: also, you found muslin wide enough to make one big strip on top? I dont see a seam on top, so it would appear that is the case.


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By M.Morley
Administrator
From Sacramento, CA
Jan 20, 2010
8-21-09

If you plan on heading to Joshua Tree and are flying in (see Adam's comment above), another option is renting a pad from Joshua Tree Outfitters. They also rent camping gear.

joshuatreeoutfitters.com/Miscellaneous.aspx


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Jan 21, 2010

Yes, that is one big piece of muslin. You should be able to get fabric at least 5' wide. That pad does not bottom out. It depends on how much foam you put in there. If you find that it's bottoming out, put in more foam. The sewing isn't too hard because you are mostly doing long straight lines. However, it's never a bad idea to have an expert do it for you, if you have one available. You are dealing with a ton of fabric which can be tricky to feed through the sewing machine, but it's not impossible.

Make sure you put the opening along the longest edge of the pad, or you will have trouble getting all the foam in there.


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By Kiel
Feb 1, 2010
Mah Dog, Virga preppin for the climb

Well Mike. Thanks for the advice. I attempted my first huge pad today with enough stuff for 2 more. It certainly doesnt look as good as yours. Itlooks like blown up footballs between the baffles. It will work for falling on your knees, but it looks like an ankle breaker with the odd shaped foam pieces inside. How did yours turn out so flat and smooth looking? Did you put the foam pieces in like tetris to get a perfect fit?


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By Heeheehaha
Sep 3, 2012

Haven't tried it out on anything super highball, but me and my friends used two old spring mattress stacked on top of each other, it worked for problems about 20 feet high, nobody complained about the impact


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