Author Topic: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?  (Read 11361 times)

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Offline Daveymac

Hi there! I hope you are well!
I am planning a bike tour south from Vancouver in July.
Ideally, I would love to 'credit card tour', but with all the great and cheap campsites, I think camping will be a great option..
My current set up is:
-Vangoo Banshee 200 tent: weighs 2.3kgs or 5.07 pounds.
-standard summer season sleeping bag.
-Thermarest blow up mattress.
I put all these in one of my rear pannier bags...

Is there a lighter and more comfortable alternative to this set-up?

Also, when I camped down through Europe I found that I didn't sleep very well and woke the next morning, often tired and with a sore back..I would set the tent up, blow up the thermarest and sleep in the sleeping bag on top of the mattress...then put some clothes in a pillowcase for a pillow..
Can you recommend making my sleep more comfortable while keeping a light-weight set-up?

Thanks so much!

Dublin Dave.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 01:02:56 pm »
There are more comfortable kits but perhaps not lighter and more comfortable.  I don't sleep well and have back pain ongoing even at home or motel.  I used air mattress -- 3 1/2 inch air mattress (Big Agnes) and it gave me good support and rest.  Especially after long hours in the saddle I slept well.  For me that was worth the weight penalty.  When I read the post about the light weight setups I usually assume they are for folks who have stronger back health or are younger.


Offline RussSeaton

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2017, 02:00:53 pm »
My current set up is:
-Vangoo Banshee 200 tent: weighs 2.3kgs or 5.07 pounds.
-standard summer season sleeping bag.
-Thermarest blow up mattress.

Your tent does not seem extremely light.  Not heavy but not light.  I think the small, light one man tents can be 3 pounds or so.  Get one.  Assume your bag is goose down.  I have a summer down bag that weighs one pound.  For the Thermarest people have talked about a very light one.  Not sure if that is the one you have or not.  Look on their website.  Think its one of the lightest inflating pads around.  As for aching when you wake up, that is what camp sleeping is about unless you have one of those 5 pound, 3 inch thick pads.  It ain't as comfortable as your bed at home.

Offline Daveymac

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2017, 03:05:03 pm »
Hi! Thank you for the replies...
Yea, my current camping gear is not very light..
Ideally I would love to tour ultralight and stay in b n' b, hostels and hotels...but there seems such a good network of campsites that it would be a shame to not use them..

I have looked at

-the Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum tent; it seems really light
-big agnes q core sleeping pad..
they seem much lighter and more comfortable...

I have found myself waking up really tired and stiff after camping, but I am willing to embrace it and try and enjoy it!
even adding a fleece blanket and buying an inflatable pillow!

Offline John Nelson

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2017, 11:12:39 pm »
For me, the key to sleeping comfortably is to have a good quality air mattress at least 2.5" thick. And yes, your tent is too heavy.

Offline bikemig

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 04:18:06 am »
I read up on the tent; it looks like a really interesting tent but that is one place where you could save some weight.

If you're having trouble sleeping, I'd focus on the mattress. This is one place where a thicker mattress helps and you may not want to go lightweight. If you can't sleep well at night, then focus on a mattress that lets you do that. I use a REI camp bed 3.5 for car camping. It's awesome. I wouldn't take it bike touring as it does not pack down well and its heavy. Still you may not have a choice.

I'd check out the neoair dream, http://www.cascadedesigns.com/therm-a-rest/mattresses/camp-and-comfort/neoair-dream/product

I ended up buying the REI 3.5 because it was cheaper but the neoair dream is a heck of a mattress as well and it packs up smaller than the REI campbed.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 07:46:41 am by bikemig »

Offline Joyride

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 07:48:12 am »
I do stretching and limber up a little before bed. A fit yet relaxed body sleeps better naturally.

Offline attaboy

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 09:07:43 am »
have a thermarest neoair xlite that i've now slept on for a few nights. it's very comfortable. it blows up to 2.5 and i was surprised at how comfortable it was. it is the large size (i'm 6'2") which helps. so lite can be comfortable.  also have sea to summit very light inflatable pillow. it came with pad. very nice and recommend it too.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 11:40:02 am »
I use a Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 tent.  It's only about 3 pounds.  The Seedhouse 1 was just too cramped. I also use one of those eggshell looking foam pads.  They are very light but not very thick, and they don't compress for packing.  And I just bought a blowup pillow.  I have not tried it yet.  It's packs to about 3 inches long--tiny little thing.  I'll be interested to see if that helps. At 68, I'm trying to find a way to get a decent night's sleep for backpacking and bike touring.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Daveymac

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2017, 11:43:09 am »
Good afternoon from Dublin!
Thanks a mil for the replies and feedback...i appreciate it!
Yes, a lighter tent would be great...but hopefully it doesn't let any rain in!
Thanks for the info re the mattresses.. i will check out the neo air x lite & near dream...

It would be fab if the campsites down the westcoast have simple dorm/bed accommodation; do any have these facilities?

I agree about stretching before and after 'sleep'...i remember a really hot night in southern France, when I was really trying to sleep and spent a long time in the same position & I was felt like an old man the next morning!

Dublin Dave

Offline Daveymac

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2017, 12:43:50 pm »
Jonsondasw, fair play to you...Can you carry that eggshell pad on your bike?

It seems like a compromise between travelling light but giving up some of the comforts of camping wild...

I imagine as well, eventually the body will adapt to sleeping in a tent and kinda get used to it..
In my previous tours I loved treating myself every 4/5 nights to the luxury of a b n' b or hotel...it is so nice after camping!

Offline John Nelson

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2017, 01:19:20 pm »
I just bought a blowup pillow.  I have not tried it yet.  It's packs to about 3 inches long--tiny little thing.  I'll be interested to see if that helps.
I absolutely love my inflatable pillow! Never again will I stuff clothes into my sleeping bag stuff sack.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2017, 01:55:15 pm »
Not sure how it weighs in, but it's the best sleep I get, even over any bed... Never going back to ground


Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline dancingcyclist

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2017, 08:50:52 pm »
I'm currently using my old (1990) outdoor gear from my past climbing days, here's how they match to yours.
Sierra Designs 3-season 2-man tent 4lb 6oz. Includes tent, fly, ground cloth, poles, stakes. No longer available
Feathered Friends Down Bag rated-10 degrees. 3lb 4oz. Don't need that low of rating since I don't sleep at 10,000 ft anymore but it's what I got
Therm-o-rest self-inflating pad. 2lb 9oz. No special name as it was the only one made at the time. Full length maybe 1.5-2 inches when inflated

I'd say it's close to your total weight for the three.
I consider these as a bit overboard but it's what I've got for now. I'm 64 and I sleep great with these items.

I've looked into upgrading to save weight but the costs changes my mind real fast.
Tents are about 2-3 hundred plus, Down bags another 2-3 hundred, 3/4 length pad under a hundred

Offline johnsondasw

Re: How to camp lightweight and sleep more comfortably? any advice please?
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2017, 09:57:39 pm »
Jonsondasw, fair play to you...Can you carry that eggshell pad on your bike?

Yes, I could carry it on the bike (straps and bungees!) but I don't have to.  I can use my trailer.  The pad weights very little--less that the air mattress I used to use.  And, most importantly, it will never deflate, which happened to me twice backpacking in the past two years.  That's what led me to give up on inflatables.  I'm pretty rough on equipment, and sometimes have to camp on rough spots.  My most recent air mattress failure occurred due to sharp rocks.
May the wind be at your back!