Saturday Morning Ramble on a Good Night Sleep

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:32
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Having spent a lot of time sleeping away from home and for extended periods, I think that I have found the solution to a good night sleep.
Location is very important. Finding a level space with a slight rise is not always possible so make the best of what you have.
I take a head of a rake that is handy to get rid of and sticks and other bits you don't want to sleep on. Next look at the lay of the land and always sleep with your head higher than your feet. Blood flowing to the brain over night is not good.

This I think is the most important bit. Insulation. To start with a small tarp on the ground first. From a tent to a swag a tarp will help with keeping the bottom of the tent or swag dry. If you are going to use a tarp under a tent, make sure that the tarp does not extend past the out side of the tent walls. If it should rain, water running down the side of the tent will fall onto the tarp and then flow under the tent. Shade cloth is good as it still allows the ground to breath and will not allow water to flow over it.
Next, the floor of the tent or swag. Most have a vinyl floor of some type. This also acts as insulation. In the tent I will put another tarp down then enough of those square mats with holes punched into them. They are good for insulation and also keeping the air mattress away from and little sharp objects that can deflate a mattress over night.
The mattress comes next wrapped in a blanket. Again insulation and will also stop the sleeping bag from sliding off. The self inflating mattress are the way to go. The old lilo or air bed, even though they look nice and comfy they are very cold to sleep on. There is nothing worse that using a air pump to inflate a mattress, or if you try to blow it up by mouth, head spins. As the name implies, self inflating, undo the valve unroll and let it do the rest. A quick puff or two and that is it. Don't over inflate as they can be too hard. Your hip should just be off the ground when the mattress is at the right pressure.
The sleeping bag. When I use to do a bit of hiking and had to carry everything a small sleeping bag was the go, but now that I can pack everything into the back of the Troopie I go for comfort now. I have got an oversize sleeping bag, one that I can roll around in and not tie myself in knots. One that has a hood,70% of heat is lost through your head, and they way my hair is going I an up to 80%. I have gone for a synthetic fill. A inner sheet will also protect the sleeping bag and also make the sleeping bag warmer. If it is too hot,sleeping in the inner sheet only is a lot cooler. Down is very expensive and if it gets wet it is cold. I didn't pay a small fortune for the bag either, just over $100 for an Australian made sleeping bag.
With all the insulation underneath you and a good sleeping bag there is no need for blankets or doona on top of you.
The other big mistake I find is that people get over dressed to go to bed. This does not allow your body heat to warm the sleeping bag. When people complain that they had a cold night sleep it is because they don't insulate themselves from the ground and or they are over dressed. Strip down to your undies for a good night sleep. In a swag this can be a little harder but with going to bed last and getting up first getting changed should not be a big problem. I have found that I have a very good night sleep in a swag. A tarp over the swag of a night will keep it dry from any dew. A swag is very quick and easy to pack up. I just undo the valve on the self inflating mattress and roll the whole lot together.

When you get home don't forget to air the sleeping bag out and leave the bag unpacked. When packing the sleeping bag back into the carry bag, stuff it in, don't try and roll and push it in. Stuffing is best.

I have not reached the stage as yet to use a camp bed but the same rules apply, insulate your self from the ground.

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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:51

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:51
the bed that use to be in your profile must have been hard to pack!! see you next sunday.Dave

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AnswerID: 151425

Reply By: Vince NSW - Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:55

Saturday, Jan 28, 2006 at 10:55
Good Sound advice Wayne.
But I found that the inner sprung KING size matress in the camper is the way to go.
AnswerID: 151427

Reply By: Member - t0me (WA) - Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:30

Monday, Jan 30, 2006 at 12:30
Good stuff, thanks for the tips.
We use a 3 fold double foam mattress, and its very comfortable but it takes up a ton of space in the car and we're thinking of trying something else.
I haven't seen a double in the self inflaters (though 2 singles would be easier to pack anyway), and I also worry that because they're so thin they won't be much chop.
The next possibility is a big air mattress. I sleep hot so I haven't got any problem with them being cold, but the missus might complain if its too cold. Decisions decisions.
AnswerID: 151762

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