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Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods?
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Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods? on 07/17/2013 17:34:59 MDT Print View

Seems like us hammock folk sleep better, at least in places where we can hang. Comfort aside, being above the ground, especially in wooded areas with lots of critter action going on, I feel like I am above the fray. I've hung in a swamp and watched poisonous snakes under me with no bug net and never stressed...and I ain't no Bear Grylls. That would have freaked me out on the ground, but then again, that would never have happened in a decent campsite in the mountains. The perspective raises my comfort level and confidence I suppose. I live in the southeastern US and find that I only truly sleep like a baby on the ground in the winter and when I'm out west at or above treeline. If I'm deep in the woods or some other thick vegetation area, I guess I treat a hammock like a tent--it gets me out of the line of fire, at least mentally--and then I feel the wind, the sway of the trees, I can see and hear better, and I zonk out easily and stay asleep. Peeing out of a hammock is easy too...

I think we all go through some fear of the unknown, and that surely affects our sleep. Don't remember where, but I remember reading a hysterical story by a guy who stayed up all night after something hit his tent and he kicked it off. Turns out is was a hiking pole, but he imagined all kinds of things. If anyone knows what I'm referring to, shoot me a link. I'd love to read it again.

Don't take sleep meds, even something like Tylenol PM. Even if it means you lose some sleep, you'll gain a lot more from the experience without them and you won't wake up groggy.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Ear plugs on 07/17/2013 18:45:02 MDT Print View

After I started using ear plugs at home I sleep the same on the trail. Noises and light are what wake me up. With ear plugs and inside a tent they are about the same on the trail or at home.

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - F

Sleep on 07/18/2013 17:40:02 MDT Print View

I usually sleep poorly the first night or sometimes two. By the 2nd or 3rd night I'm pretty darn tired and I'll have a great sleep. On average I sleep worse but it's always improving as I spend more time outside. A lot of it is mental.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Inside or Outside Mostly the Same on 07/18/2013 21:59:08 MDT Print View

I really don't have any better or worse sleep in the woods. Sure, heat, light, bugs all wake me up, and are more likely found in the woods, but I find that I sleep the same - sometimes even better (I love sleeping in when I'm out in the backcountry) as I think about it. Maybe - and I want to qualify I have never had time to do more than five nights outside - it's because as a kid I camped all the time. A few times a year with my family but in the summers since I was 10 or 11, my friends and I would spend days in the woods of central east Georgia; right in our own backyards. We built forts or slept on the ground (and we carried heavy packs a lot of the time) and, aside from big temperature changes up or down, I have never even given it any thought until this thread.

Scott Toraason
Sleep on 07/24/2013 11:16:29 MDT Print View

As a soloist and often using a bivy a good routine helps, but generally I never see anyone when I’m out. Occasionally a good night’s sleep but mostly only for the first few hours then it is fitful and I’m tired in the AM but that goes away after morning coffee. I do sleep better in my Carbon Reflex 1, but often no place to pitch above tree line.

Bob Salcedo
(Baughb) - F

Locale: So Cal.
I don't want to miss the morning! on 07/24/2013 12:03:52 MDT Print View

While I go to sleep quickly and often wake for my four hour bladder emptying (only con of staying well hydrated), when I see it getting light, I most often start to get up. It is my absolute favorite time to be a voyeur while out and about. The problem is I love poking a fire (when it's allowable) before bed and in summer.... it can get late so I have to turn in early cuz sunrise is coming.


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Sleep on 07/24/2013 15:23:01 MDT Print View

"I usually sleep poorly the first night or sometimes two. By the 2nd or 3rd night I'm pretty darn tired and I'll have a great sleep"

+1. on the Long Trail we got in the routine of being asleep by 9pm and up at 5am and hiked until 5pm. first night i was mostly amped up about the trip.. 2nd night we had a big tstorm but after that I was dead to the world until the sun came up.

for short trips i'll bring my IPod touch to read some if i wake up in the middle of the night

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Jist you wait, sonny." on 07/25/2013 12:03:08 MDT Print View

I used to have that problem when I was young (30s & 40s).

But now that I'm a geezer I fall asleep for an hour as soon as my tent is up, then I cook dinner and hit the sack soon after for a good 8 to 9 hours of solid sleep, arising at 5:30 AM.

On the trail I'll nap after lunch until everyone decides to hit the trail again.
So "Jist you wait, sonny." As you age you'll sleep better. Of course a nitecap of Jim Beam can help you to dreamland. Booze for medicinal purposes only, mind you.
That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
Re: Does anyone find they sleep LESS in the woods on 07/25/2013 12:14:52 MDT Print View

Although I wake up a lot at night at home I usually fall back asleep. In the woods I think the discomfort of a thin pad and old bones wakes me up more often and makes it harder to fall asleep again. Also a heightened sensitivity to noises (weather or wind change, animals, etc). I purchased NeoAir's recently for my wife and me to help with the comfort factor, haven't tried them yet.

I thought I'd have a much better time in Denali two years ago, what with the uber-soft and comfortable tundra as a mattress. But the damned light all night (August) kept me awake instead! ;-)

Edited by ewolin on 07/25/2013 12:15:25 MDT.