_______________________________________________________________________

Would you suit a permaflate?

A very good friend of the writer's makes his living as a highly capable engineer, and he has done some of the tooling for the permaflate tube welding. Out in the bush beside the 4WD he plugged his deflated big air mattress firmly into the little air compressor, and wandered off on other business. His thoughts returned to the airbed when there was a very loud bang.

If you camp beside the 4WD, amid the gadgets, you would probably find another airbed type more useful.

It does not take long to unroll and inflate this airbed, and less time to deflate and roll up. In some social camping situations even this period is excessive. The writer spent a few short months with a hiking club many years ago, and has camped solo ever since. Camp leaving time in the morning was set at nine o'clock, and the tour leader let it be known he wanted to beat that by half an hour at least. The mad scramble that ensues is no place to pack up a permaflate. The tour leader was Tough, he slept on a closed cell mat, and was out of bed at Six, no doubt for that reason. If this sounds like your hiking club, I would give this product a miss.

The other non-recommended location is camping out with a helpless family and/or friends. Erecting six tents, one after the other, at maximum speed because the light is going and no-one knows a tent peg from a clothes peg, can take years off your life. Six permaflates later, you might be going home in a box. Don't splash out on gear if your companions cannot even be bothered to learn how to put up a tent. Better still, don't take them camping.

It goes without saying that if you are a discriminating, finicky , light-sleeping solo camper in no real hurry, the permaflate is for you. There may be only a single example of this species in the world, and he is already sleeping on one.