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Knee Pads.
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Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Knee Pads. on 03/18/2014 22:11:02 MDT Print View

Does anyone use knee pads in their UL kit? I'm guessing a resounding NO (in fact, I'm expecting ridicule for even broaching the idea), but knee pads are a common part of a soldier's kit for obvious reasons, and I find myself on my knees quite a lot in camp. All of my cooking time is spent on my knees, as is much of my shelter setup. When relaxing I either kneel or lie down, as I seldom find decent back support for sitting. At this point I use my minimalist "sit pad" for kneeling, but darn it would be handy to have some of those lightweight closed cell foam kneepads clamped to my legs--or better yet, CC foam in a pocket over my knees, like some contractor's pants have. Just curious if anyone else has ever given a thought to kneepads, and where you came out on the idea.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Knee Pads. on 03/18/2014 22:35:21 MDT Print View

I typically carry knee pads. A couple of 4" x 6" foam scraps do the job. Connecting them with a string helps keep track of them and I can hook the string to something to prevent them from blowing away. I usually stuff them under my tent so they are handy for getting in and out of the tent.

Putting adhesive backed insignia cloth on one side prevents small sticks and tree needles from embedding themselves in the foam.

Travis Higdon
(life-goes-on) - M

Locale: PNW
Re: Knee Pads. on 03/18/2014 23:08:32 MDT Print View

I usually bring one of these:

I use it as a frame for my pack, a sit pad, a knee pad, a pillow, an extension of my sleeping pad, a stand pad on snow, a stove wind break, and probably a few other things. Our last trip involved igloo camping, and I spent 5-6 hours on my knees on this thing. It was a total life saver. I'm not against the idea of knee pads, but it's hard to see many multi-use options. But if they're light enough, that may not be an issue.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Knee Pads. on 03/18/2014 23:18:51 MDT Print View

I always sit. No back rest? Just cross your legs. If you get tired, lean forward a little bit.


Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Knee Pads. on 03/18/2014 23:36:02 MDT Print View

Some pants are dual layered in the knees and are designed to accept foam inserts to serve as kneepads. Carharts and 5.11s come to mind but there are others.

Unless you are planning on doing some really tacticool stuff, I think you could easily MYOG something from a CCF pad.

victoria maki

Locale: Northern Minnesota
:knee pads on 03/19/2014 12:32:24 MDT Print View

Delmar. I don't bring knee pads, but I have been using something for years that I can use multiple ways thus saving some weight. I take a zpad from thermarest, sit on the edge and trace my behind with a maker. (Make sure the fold is such that when you fold it the dirty side will be facing in). Precede to cut on the marker line. You now have a kneeing pad, a sit pad, a pad to put in front of your tent and a cushy pad that I place in front of my backpack under the belt to help my hip bones. Really light weight for all the uses.....
P.S. I like your picture. My husbands favorite movie...

Edited by ENERGIZER on 03/19/2014 12:33:38 MDT.

John Martin
(snapyjohn) - M

Locale: Pacific NW
511 tactical on 03/19/2014 13:54:46 MDT Print View

I just purchased a pair of tactile pro pants and they have a pocket for knee pads which are great on the knees. Not light but you can add a pocket to you light pants.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Knee Pads. on 03/19/2014 14:20:36 MDT Print View


I'm envious. Neither I nor anyone else in my family has ever (even as kids) been flexible enough to sit like you are sitting in the photo. I can't even get my upper torso vertical let alone forward enough to become balanced.

When I was in the Marine Corp the shooting range instructor insisted that he could bend me into a balanced sitting position from which I could fire a rifle. I sat on the ground as best I could (leaning backwards and bracing myself with my arms). He then sat on my shoulders and bounced his full weight on me, trying to get me forward enough to stay balanced in that position. He failed.

Rudy R
(rudyr1999) - F
I pack them on 03/19/2014 15:28:21 MDT Print View

I found some incredibly lite knee pads at Walmart. Contoured foam with elastic/Velcro.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: I pack them on 03/19/2014 16:54:10 MDT Print View

Interesting discussion. I've been thinking about a pair of kneepads--not for camping but backcountry fishing. I want to be more stealthy when stalking trout.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
5.11 brand pants W/knee pads on 03/19/2014 17:02:13 MDT Print View

5.11 brand "FBI" pants have double knees with an inside "pocket" for 5.11's 1/8" neoprene pads.

This setup is great for scrambling and tele-skiing.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Re: Re: Knee Pads. on 03/19/2014 17:23:40 MDT Print View

> I'm envious. Neither I nor anyone else in my family has ever (even as kids) been flexible enough to sit like you are sitting in the photo. I can't even get my upper torso vertical let alone forward enough to become balanced.

Same here. Sitting forward like that would be uncomfortable for me within 10 minutes. And that's despite a full stretch routine I do daily. That's why I find myself on my knees so much of the time in camp.

Count your blessings Nick.

Brad A
(bradmacmt) - F

Locale: Montana
knees on 03/19/2014 17:55:16 MDT Print View

OK, since no one made a seriously snarky comment, I'll be the first...

Kneepads, aka San Francisco Slippers.


Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Bucket Boss Knee Keeper 2 on 03/19/2014 21:23:32 MDT Print View

These Bucket Boss Knee Keeper 2 pads are advertised at 3.2 ounces (ship weight). I've used them at work and they're decent for a thin pad. Wonder how they'll do on the trail.

Edited by Bolster on 05/30/2014 12:58:48 MDT.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
MYOG pants on 03/19/2014 21:48:13 MDT Print View

>"Some pants are dual layered in the knees and are designed to accept foam inserts to serve as kneepads. "

I've MYOGed my caving overalls into that. Then cut ensolite sections to fit, about 5" wide x 9" tall. It is surprising how far down the pad location is when you are standing. i.e. mock it up with duct tape before sewing in the pockets.

When I was hanging sheet rock, I didn't like having a traditional tool-belt, handy though it was, because of the bulk and due to snagging things. I took back pockets and sections of the pants legs off of retired Levis and stitched them onto my current pair - a double layer below the knees for knee pads and an entire pocket on the right side of my right thigh, subdivided to hold my pencil, razor knife and Phillips all snugly enough but projecting enough to "quick draw".

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
2.2 oz, yes, I'll carry them. on 05/30/2014 12:44:40 MDT Print View

Toted my 2.2 oz (for the pair) Bucket Boss Knee Keeper 2 kneepads on the last trip. Used them a lot, liked them. I find it much easier to do camp chores, virtually all of which are on the ground, if I'm kneeling. I know it's a luxury, but this is 2.2 oz I'm willing to keep in the pack for camp setup. A chair would be nicer but these are more versatile.

Now I'm trying to conjure other uses for the pads, to reduce my cognitive dissonance.

Strap-to-your-head pillow? No, that's silly...

If I could find a way to strap one to each butt cheek, I'd have a nice portable sit-pad...

If I were a woman, these would make a dandy bikini top...

AHA, wrap them around my dinner as a cozy. That's the ticket.

Edited by Bolster on 05/30/2014 13:00:44 MDT.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: Knee Pads. on 05/30/2014 16:02:49 MDT Print View

“Does anyone use knee pads in their UL kit?”

Yep. It’s about 12”x14” from a cut CCF pad. It’s my most used piece of gear:
1. Saves the knees when kneeling. There’s some mean ground out there.
2. Keeps pants clean when entering the tent. And keeps the tent clean so dirt won’t be dragged in.
3. Great tent door mat.
4. As a door mat and when getting out of my tent, I stick my clean feet out the tent door and put them on the pad and wiggle my toes. My sandals have been sitting outside all night and usually have been washed off in the rain. I then put on my sandals outside my tent.
5. Another note on kneeling and keeping the pants clean: The pants last longer because of no knee holes.
6. Other hikers ask “What’s that blue thing on your pack?” I reply “It’s my sleeping pad”. They answer “You are hard core!” I don’t tell them about my neoair inside my pack. I just bask in the wild-man compliment.
7. At every stop, I whip out the pad and sit on it. It’s so much softer than a tree stump or rock. Plus, it keeps your back side clean. And thus your pants last longer. Without the pad, people will think the dirt streaks are doo doo problems.
8. As mentioned from the OP, it’s a great help for cooking since cooking is on the ground.
9. And I do use it as a soft and protective hand placement on a fallen tree when I go #2.
10. In the winter, it’s a great sit insulator.
11. I put it under my feet at night.

Here are us using our kneeling pads for a late night supper:

late night supper

Here’s me. You can almost see my manly pad off my left shoulder:

manly sleep pad

This little boy did a 3-day 30 miler in the Tetons with us. He had a pad but chose to take a nap on his food bag during a rest stop instead:


My organized tent with my door mat:

tent door mat

I circled some of the other hikers that carry kneel pads with us:

other hiking buddies using mat

Another door mat in front of my brother’s tent:

brothers door mat

My breakfast. Who wants to kneel on those rocks? It looks like I’m the Ziploc king here:

ziploc king

Happy kneeling:

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Knee Pads. on 05/30/2014 18:08:05 MDT Print View

We don't use knee pads (except at home, gardening), but we do carry 'sit-mats'. Comfortable on rock of course, but a god-send in damp rainforest! Insrtead of a cold wet bum from sitting on a wet log, we have 'warm bums'. Works well when the log is covered in snow too.

I will add that we rarely kneel in camp; we sit.


Gordon Gray
(GordonG) - F

Locale: Front Range, CO
yep on 05/30/2014 18:38:34 MDT Print View

Good pics Barry.

I too am unable to sit 'indian style'. Hmmm, wonder if I should create a pad for my knees too?

deleted section.
Roger Caffin

Edited by rcaffin on 05/30/2014 21:46:27 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Multi-Use on 05/31/2014 14:09:26 MDT Print View


Don't let gender keep you from enjoying that bikini top.