I was doing a little research for a side project today and found myself following a series of links to “survival gear” and “survival tools.”
I don’t have the money or the mad planning skills to build a bomb shelter complete with a year’s worth of food and a dedicated “bug-out bag.” If the world were to end tomorrow, I’d be using what I had on hand to survive. And mattresses are what I know best.
So the question of the day is: Could I use my beloved latex mattress as a survival tool?
Here’s what I know about a latex mattress, and how I’d use it:
• As a sleeping pad: Latex mattresses often come in layers, and if you’ve ordered a latex mattress without glue between the layers (Which in my book is infinitely superior), you can pull your mattress apart. Pick a middle layer that’s firm enough to hold up your weight but soft enough to mold to your body. Use a knife to cut it down from full size to sleeping-bag size, and you’ve got a little luxury along in your new life on the road.
• As a shelter: Latex breathes like a dream, so you don’t stifle while you sleep. It doesn’t react to heat or cold like memory foam, so it’ll stay pliable. If you pull your mattress apart into layers and dissect the wooden foundation underneath, you’ll have the pieces you need to slap together a temperature-regulating shelter – foam latex over a wood frame.
• As a brace: Cut your mattress into smaller pieces, and you’ve got a ready-to-use splint for any injury – one that will contour to the body, gently cradling an injured limb – while holding its shape enough to stabilize even a break.
• As protection in high winds: I love latex, but these mattresses are heavy. Drag it into a ground-floor bathroom or closet, climb under, and you’ve got an improvised storm shelter that will deflect flying debris and high winds.
• As a fire suit: I wouldn’t recommend trying to pull apart a mattress in the midst of a fire – ever. Concentrate on escaping. But if you’ve already pulled your mattress to pieces, save the outer fire-retardant layer. In a pinch, I’d throw it over my head and body and make a run for it. Or, if I were well and truly trapped, I’d throw the whole mattress over myself and hope for the best.
There’s no experience like sleeping on all-natural latex foam. It would break my heart to rip my mattress to pieces. But should the apocalypse come to pass, it’s nice to know I have one adaptable survival tool in my arsenal.
How would you use a latex mattress as a survival tool?