In camping, a typical bed-type, foam sleeping pad, or roll bed pad is probably the most common mattress pad used by backpackers, travelers and others, often taken for granted as a standard piece of camping gear. Its primary function is to give extra comfort and protection to the sleeper while sleeping in an area with poor or no ground support. This can come in handy during windy conditions, and while in a tent in rainy weather. However, there are some variations on the standard, traditional type of sleeping pad that can greatly help protect against the elements.A typical type of pad is one that has a thick, fluffy inner layer, while allowing room for air flow and ventilation. The thickness of the padding will depend on the needs of the individual user, but generally speaking, it is thick enough to protect the body from cold but not thick enough to create unnecessary weight or additional stress during hiking or other rough use activities. Some people prefer a little more protection than others, so they may consider going with an additional layer of padding to make up for any less protection from the ground or from other users.When buying foam pads, make sure they are made out of a high quality, breathable fabric like down or fleece. These materials tend to keep the wearer dry and comfortable during cold, wet conditions and when sleeping in a tent, where condensation is an issue. Another reason to avoid synthetic materials is that they are prone to mildew and mold if left outdoors and exposed to damp or humid conditions. Additionally, synthetic materials are prone to absorbing moisture, leaving the pad soaked in cold nights, which can be uncomfortable and lead to sleeping on your stomach.Before purchasing, it is a good idea to consult a camping professional or a knowledgeable friend who has been camping for a while to get a better idea of what is available on the market today and which options would work best with the person's specific needs. A good idea to start out with is buying a basic roll bed pad, which should fit most standard sized sleeping bags. When buying a pad that fits bags specifically, make sure to check to see how large the bag is. As pads are sized by volume, a larger bag will require a bigger pad. If you're using a large camping bag to carry all of the camp gear you'll need, it's a good idea to get one that is a little larger than what you plan on using.To provide extra padding, other options may be added. Pillow covers are another item that provides extra cushioning and a means to insulate a bag, which can also be an excellent option in cold nights. Pillows can be purchased separately to cover a bag or they can be included in a camping package, with a couple of them being enough padding for a bag full of camping gear.If you're looking to get more padding, consider buying a pad that covers more than just one sleeping bag at a time. This allows for a smaller pad to be used on several items. These products allow for more protection for the same sleeping bag or to double up as a pad to provide extra protection for the other items.