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Thread: Sleeping in Comfort

  1. #1
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    Default Sleeping in Comfort

    The older I get - the more of an issue this is. When I was young it seems like I could sleep on rocks - or not sleep at all - and suffer no ill effects. Now a day spent portaging and paddling reminds me of my age, and a good night's sleep is a necessity.

    For a good nights sleep on the trail, my favorite bed, if it is dry, is the kind of ground that is spongy wet - in wet season. Thick moss or an area of cedars next to the shore, where the cedar roots act almost like a hammock, will give me a good nights sleep.

    Failing that, a foot of balsam boughs over a hip hole makes a good spot to lay me down. If I take the time to make a shoulder hole as well - I'm assured not to wake until morning.

    To make hip and shoulder holes, lay down on your intended bed and note where your hip and shoulder lay. Use a camp shovel or trowel to dig out an area of sod (setting it aside to be replaced in the morning) where your hip and shoulder will rest. Cover this with small evergreen boughs (take just a few from each tree) to a level of one foot. Lay out your ground cloth, mat, and sleeping bag.

    Happy dreams!
    The perfect canoe -
    Like a leaf on the water

  2. #2
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    I am a great believer in a hammock for sleeping out. More comfy that my bed at home. As I have said on BCUK, "once you take to the trees you will never go to ground again".
    John

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    Thermarest/s thicker the better! With a canoe why not take two!

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    Default for the unlitmate in sleeping in comfort...

    Hi folks,

    for years I've experimented with different ways of sleeping on the ground inside a tent or bivi'ing it out. I've got a metal frame in my spine which makes sleeping outdoors at the best of times quite difficult and on top of this I cannot sleep on my back because of this.

    Foam kari-mats - useless (unless on peat/sand//heather where you can mold yourself better... ) only really good for keeping the cold out!

    I've bought thermarests (the thick ones and even doubled them up), unbeatable warmth in the cold but for me not comfortable at all for sleeping on. What a waste of a lot of hard earned beans went on them!

    I've tried fold up beds-great comfort but too bulky in my kayak!

    As for hammocks... keep the m for your jungle training! If you enjoy the outdoors year round like I do then who wants to spend time setting up a hammock and swinging between the trees without having the comfort and space and security of a tent?

    For me If I can't sleep outdoors then I'm not enjoying my days so I've really made the effort to find what is unbeatable in comfort and warmth. A good quality airbed from a camping shop is unbeatable combined with an insulating layer on top, either a karimat or your fleece jacket (even in summer). I've just heard that feathercraft make ultra light versions for £50 or so and even better I've heard that in the states you can get them filled with goose down for warmth!

    Good luck on finding your heavy zeds!

    Woodsmoke





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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagiKelly
    I am a great believer in a hammock for sleeping out. More comfy that my bed at home. As I have said on BCUK, "once you take to the trees you will never go to ground again".
    I've got a picture in my head, it's one day right at the end of the Mesozoic Era, and an arcaeopteryx just mentions this in passing to couple of small theropod dino's standing around looking up into the sky ...

    Err, anyway, I use a slightly sinister feeling Artiach Skin Mat inside my bivi and it's very comfortable indeed. I had some doubts initially, but after the first time there was no going back. I do try to sleep on grass if I can, to try to give my bivi an easy life, and to help it breathe - failing that I use a thin PU tarp under it, which isn't ideal, but it saves the gore filling up with muck.

    I've yet to try my hammock - I'll give it a go soon tho ...

    If it all goes to plan ... I'll be trying a night or two up on the roof of my incoming LR too, or maybe using the roof-rack as part of my hammock support.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmoke
    For me If I can't sleep outdoors then I'm not enjoying my days so I've really made the effort to find what is unbeatable in comfort and warmth. A good quality airbed from a camping shop is unbeatable combined with an insulating layer on top, either a karimat or your fleece jacket (even in summer). I've just heard that feathercraft make ultra light versions for £50 or so and even better I've heard that in the states you can get them filled with goose down for warmth!

    Good luck on finding your heavy zeds!
    Have you tried the Exped down filled air beds (I'm not kidding). My friends have them and they are extremely comfortable and very warm. A might expensive but I can get them wholesale from the place I got the dry bags if you end up going for one (I need to get a few other bits and pieces from them anyway)

    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmoke
    As for hammocks... keep the m for your jungle training! If you enjoy the outdoors year round like I do then who wants to spend time setting up a hammock and swinging between the trees without having the comfort and space and security of a tent?
    I do enjoy my hammocks year round. First time I used them it was down to -5 that night and I have used them in many cold conditions since. At the meet up at Inchcialloch there were a number of us in hammocks and it was the people in tents that complained of the cold.

    The security of the tent is what puts me off of them. If I am sleeping outdoors I want to sleep outdoors. To hear and see the world around me. In a hammock if I wake up during the night I can look out and watch the world go by, still warm and cosy in my sleeping bag.

    I do of course realise there are places where tents really do hold their own and I do own one for those occasions but I believe that there are many people who would love hammock camping if they just tried it. Of the many people I know who have tried hammock camping only one could not get on with it and that was because she just had to sleep on her front, fair enough. Anyway each to their own but next time we are at a meet up you can try my hammock and we will see if I can convert you.
    John

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey_pork
    I've got a picture in my head, it's one day right at the end of the Mesozoic Era, and an arcaeopteryx just mentions this in passing to couple of small theropod dino's standing around looking up into the sky ...
    Is there a paleontologist in the house
    John

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    I just hammocked for a week, starting on the Inchcailloch meet, and finishing up with 5 nights in the Great Glen (OK, the last one was at the Anderson Hotel[1] in Fortrose )

    Never been warmer or more comfy in or out of the house in my life, and I've tried most tent/campbed/airbed/bivvi bag combos.

    That said, when I'm in a tent (no trees) I *really* don't sleep well sans airbed. Argos to a teeny 6-reed one for about a tenner IIRC, never needed more, except a cheapy karrimat for the cold.

    Deffo a poor second to the hammock, though, for my money, and I much prefer tarp to tent (it being a given that one's kit is all drybagged for in the boat anyhow)

    Jim.

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  9. #9
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    I would vouch that the Exped mats are great. I am a very fussy sleeper, even at home I have gone through many pillows until I got the right one. Some folks grumph about the inflation method (you use the sack to get air in) but I don't mind it, takes about 5 min max. I'm intruiged about the hip and shoulder holes though.

    Susan

  10. #10
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    I must agree with the hammock and tarp sleeping system. I've tried everything from just lying down and sleeping under the stars, to family frame tents to geodesic domes and of all the options, I find the hammock and tarp to be the best for me. Provided your hammock is wide enough and long enough, and you tie it so the ends are at equal heights you'll get a great night's sleep. The equal height ensures you won't end up in a huddled bundle at the lower end in the morning, and the width ensures you can turn over onto either side without falling out or needing to shuffle your bum around to stay balanced. The secret is to lie almost diagonaly in the hammock. Doing so means you almost lie flat rather than banana shaped like you would if you lie in a straight line down the middle. The hammock cocoons you but still allows you to be in the open, it supports your whole body so there are no hotspots to cause rubbing or discomfort and it weighs only ounces if you go for the parachute silk type.

    Eric

  11. #11
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    I figured there would be a "hammock" response. My problem with hammocks: How much packing space and weight are we talking here?

    Anyone got a photo of one rolled up - next to something identifiable (like a 12 inch ruler)? I'm afraid - if they are any larger than a thermarest rolled up - no sale here.

    I can't equate them with a tent as the tents we most often use sleep four people.
    The perfect canoe -
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  12. #12
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    Pierre,

    My hammock (A JK group buy special ) folds into its own pocket. It is around 7"x4"x3", around the size of a training shoe (sneaker ).

    Even the skinniest thermarests I've seen are bigger, and they're the teardrop 3/4 length ones around 8 nanometres thick...

    Of course, lots of people use a thermarest IN a hammock, which rather negates the saving I don't need to as I have a hyouwge sleeping bag...

    ...pauses...

    err. I guess you just have to carry stuff anyhow.

    I do find it very much more comfortable than anything else, though.

    HTH,

    Jim.

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    Recently bought an Fat Airic mat from Alpkit. It's like a Thermarest but being 'fat' it's 3'' thick and only £35 incl p&p. It inflated just like the Thermarest and is filled with foam. takes a few extra puffs to get it hard enough for me. Bought it for my trip at the end of May. I'm sure it's going to be good but I'll let you know.

    http://www.alpkit.com/airic/

  14. #14
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    Best nights sleep I ever have are in the tent, usually in a small hollow, and on my termarest. But then some of my worst nights sleep have been in a tent on a thermarest .

    One thing I'd like to point out is that although moss is wonderfully soft and seems very appealing to lie down on, if its very dry, pressure (someone lying on it) will break its fragile stems and kill it . That big attractive lump of moss could have been growing for decades before someone used it as a bed.
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

  15. #15
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    I agree with Adrian, the Alpkit’s Big Airics are extremely comfy. Without them I doubt whether I could persuade my wife to come along .

    From what I have read they are young company who have strong ethical policy towards their suppliers, sourcing mainly in Europe and therefore have my vote.

    Their head torches at £5 are a bit of a bargain too

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodsmoke
    Hi folks,

    I've bought thermarests (the thick ones and even doubled them up), unbeatable warmth in the cold but for me not comfortable at all for sleeping on. What a waste of a lot of hard earned beans went on them!
    Its obviously a personal thing, maybe it depends on body shape, but I find my thermarest incredibly comfortable. I sleep as well as in my own bed at home.
    I wouldnt be without it now.
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  17. #17
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    I was an instant hammock convert. Light summer bag inside my old(and not as warm as it used to be) winter bag and I've been well cosy so far.

    Never tried a thermarest but they sound comfy. Gave up carting kip mats around years ago, too bulky and I can usualy zonk out on bare ground anyway.
    Even with kip mats I was never anywhere near the comfort level of a hammock. Waking up's the only problem.
    Picture yourself in a boat on a river,

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