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Pillow and Groundsheet
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Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/19/2010 16:25:13 MDT Print View

I'm not happy with my pillow or ground sheet situation. My current pillow is my spare clothing but lately I dont have any spare clothing so i have to use my shoes as a pillow. My ground sheet is tyvek, but its not water proof so i end up carrying poly as well.

1. new idea: get a cheap inflatable pillow or something similar and make a fleece pouch for it that will attach to my foam sleeping mat. know of any walmart type inflatables that might work?

2. is there a cheap source of material that makes good ground sheets?

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
pillow on 10/19/2010 17:05:57 MDT Print View

stuff some foam from a mattress pad or something similar between the inflatable pillow and the fleece case. extremely comfortable.

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
ground sheets on 10/19/2010 17:07:21 MDT Print View

there is also the ground sheets from gossamer gear and i think MLD has some as well. any drop cloth for painting from a hardware store will also work.

Edited by derekcox on 10/19/2010 17:07:51 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

P & G on 10/19/2010 17:36:38 MDT Print View

For the groundsheet you can use generic painting drop cloth as mentioned. The 3mil thickness is widely accepted as a good choice. I'm not sure if you can safely go lighter or not. This stuff is cheap (ie. $3-5 for plenty). I've got some 1mil stuff that I haven't tested as it seems too light. 2mil might be okay.

For the pillow, one idea is that you might be able to utilize some inflatable stuff that you are already carrying like a water bladder or platy bottle and fill that with air to the desired thickness. Then toss your windshirt over that to give it a better feel. Even on cold nights I can usually spare my windshirt or hiking shirt for pillow case duty as these don't provide a lot of insulation anyways.

No guarantees that'll give you a good night sleep, but it's something to try. I'm currently wondering myself how I can sleep better. I usually don't sleep well until a few nights into a camping trip which is troublesome because most of my trips are 1-2 nights. Maybe next summer I'll see what hammock camping is all about.

Edited by dandydan on 10/19/2010 17:38:13 MDT.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Drop Cloth and Water Bladder on 10/19/2010 17:42:16 MDT Print View

Ive tried using a thin drop cloth and it had pin holes all over after the first night because of rocky soil. The water bladder idea is good, hadnt thought of that.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Groundsheet on 10/19/2010 18:40:35 MDT Print View

I bought a Duck brand window insulation kit (polycro) at Walmart for $9. You can make 6 groundsheets of ~5x7 size from it. I've only spent 9 nights on the first one so far (8 were in the Rockies), but it seems to be holding up well.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Groundsheet on 10/19/2010 19:13:42 MDT Print View

The Montbell inflatable pillow is one of the best $30 I've spent on backpacking comfort, period. Although I don't always carry it (stays home when fastpacking), it's one of my favorite pieces of gear. I've attached grommets to all of my closed cell foam pads to keep the pillow in place- this has eliminated SO much trouble.

As for groundsheets, I like polycro too. Find a cheap window insulation kit as stated above.
I used to use 2 and 3 mil painter's tarps. While cheaper and fully functional, I think they're a ultimately a bigger waste as they don't last as long as polycro- I'll typically get at least 3x the use out of a sheet of polycro.

Edited by xnomanx on 10/19/2010 19:15:56 MDT.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Montbell pillow and polycro on 10/19/2010 22:01:05 MDT Print View

My buddy Casey showed me that Montbell pillow and it looked great, maybe i need to stop being cheap and just do it already. Fussing with the pillow is one of those all night affairs that i would not miss.

That polycro stuff sounds exactly like what i needed. thanks!

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: Montbell pillow and polycro on 10/19/2010 22:13:46 MDT Print View

Get the pillow. Love mine. A Buff makes a perfect pillowcase too.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Pillow and groundsheet on 10/19/2010 22:27:39 MDT Print View

+1 on the Montbell Pillow--

Equinox makes a great ground sheet with 4 corner loops.
35x85 at 4.6oz....

Edited by Creachen on 10/19/2010 22:28:12 MDT.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/19/2010 22:30:22 MDT Print View

I have loved my pillow from the beginning. It's been stored in the garage at prob. 120+ degree heat (Calif - Central Valley)every summer and has lasted ~15 yrs and never leaked a bit.

An unbeatable $6!

As for groundsheet, the polycryo is super light, but just be aware that unlike your Tyvek, the bottom will be covered in condensation and the dirt/duff will then stick like crazy when you pick it up in the morning. The slightest breeze will get it spinning and twisting so a bunch of that dirty condensation will end up on the "clean" side. Grab the corners, quick! If you don't mind the mess, go for it. Hard to beat 1.75 oz for ground cover, but I went back to Tyvek anyway.

But, as always, do what works for *you*! :-)

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Tyvek in Wet Weather on 10/19/2010 22:49:19 MDT Print View

Do you use your Tyvek in wet weather too? it's not waterproof right? Maybe i should use my Tyvek in fair weather and polycro in wet?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/20/2010 00:10:00 MDT Print View

+1 on the MontBell pillow and Tyvek.

Now, the pillow was designed to meld with a MontBell pad using toggles. You will chase it around the tent all night with a mummy bag-- the slick fabrics make the pillow like a bar of soap. I put heavy-duty Velcro strips on a Prolite short pad and the pillow--- soft side of the Velcro on the pad. I used polyurethane glue (Gorilla glue).

Tyvek is easy. You can trim it to the exact shape you want and it folds up small enough. I tried polycro once and it went in the garbage can when I got home.

Dan Marchiando
(marchiando) - F
Re: Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/20/2010 00:46:08 MDT Print View

I know what you mean about trying to sleep on a bag of spare clothes. Somehow they just aren't as soft as the pillow on your bed at home. I made a couple of versions of pillow containment sleeves, one out of nylon taffeta, and another out of kite tyvek, that I can slip the BPL LARGE inflatable pillow into. The sleeve attaches with 3 velcro strips to the edge of my shortie Thermarest NeoAir. The pillow doesn't sit on top of the mattress, it sits at the end, basically extending the length of the pad. The sleeve keeps the pillow from "squirting" away in the middle of the night. The sleeve is closed on three sides, and open on the edge that attaches to the mattress, so you can insert the pillow. Your shoulder keeps the pillow from coming out the open side of the sleeve. I snipped off the outside corners of the sleeve so I could access the filler opening on the pillow regardless of which way it was inserted in the sleeve. I leave the whole thing attached to the mattress during a trip, and fold it up altogether once I've let the air out. I use my pack and extra clothes to go under my calves and feet. The pillow and sleeve weigh just 1.2 ounces. The mattress weighs 9.2 ounces. My current sleeve is just kite tyvek, and it gives a little extra protection to the BPL pillow, which has lasted 3 seasons I think. For ground sheets I have used kite tyvek, 3 mil poly, a cryo sheet from GG, and a mylar sheet. I like the fabric feel and toughness of the kite tyvek, but don't trust it for water proofness, so I will probably go back to poly. I have piece of GG white spinnaker cloth but have not tried it yet. Zpacks likes cuben, but I don't think the heavy cuben he recommends for ground cloths has a real weight savings over nylon or other options. Is there some way to post a picture on this forum?

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/20/2010 08:25:39 MDT Print View


This hand crafted pillow is crazy light at only 1.3 oz.

I use a homemade Meteor Bivy with a silnylon floor and sleep under a tarp so I do not use a groundsheet.

Party On,


Ben Wortman
(bwortman) - M

Locale: Nebraska
Pillow on 10/20/2010 20:36:15 MDT Print View

I bought a mont-bell pillow and I connect it to my BA IAC pad with a short lenght of bungee cord to keep it from sliding away at night. I sewed the bungee to the Edge of the air pad, and then tie on a little hook to the other end that will hook into the holes on the corner of the pillow. It works great so far, and it has not eascaped yet.

sheila o
(bumpass) - F

Locale: The Far Left Coast? : /
pillows on 10/20/2010 22:16:14 MDT Print View

Since you are considering "buying" a pillow...
The Exped pillow is a dream. My .02

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Cheap Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/21/2010 16:29:57 MDT Print View

Well after considering everyone's comments carefully, I have decided on the Cohlan's pillow and Polycro. Why? Because it satisfies the first and most important requirement: it's cheap! Problem is, I cant find the Cohlan's pillow locally (San Gabriel Valley) and it's almost $15 after shipping. foiled again. As for the polycro, I'm only going to carry it in rain/snow conditions, otherwise I'll use my tyvek.

About the polycro getting wet and collecting debris, I'm used to this with my family tent. I simply fold it over and roll it, wiping it with a towel as i go.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Pillow and Groundsheet on 10/21/2010 16:45:22 MDT Print View

Go buy the $5 inflatable pillow (with memory foam) in the camping section at Walmart.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: pillow on 10/22/2010 15:51:58 MDT Print View

Have you thought of Bender's SUL inflatable pillows? Take a look: I bought one of the Walmart pillows described by Joe, in the above post, and replaced the heavy bladder with the Kooka Bay pillow.

I've been using one for over a year now and it's the best backpacking pillow I've ever had.

Edited by redleader on 10/22/2010 15:56:05 MDT.