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Anyone else hate sleeping sticky?
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Robin Bouc
(robinbouc) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Anyone else hate sleeping sticky? on 07/31/2007 01:19:23 MDT Print View

I know it seems like small thing, but I am fishing BPL'ers for some advice for how to avoid the unpleasant sensation of sticky, clammy sleeping while bacpacking, short of a full lake dip and Dr. Bronnering.

I know I need to stay drier on the trail, but I like to work up a little sweat--even with shorts and a smart wool T.

Handywipes? Pack towel bath? Sleeping liner?

Any brilliant advice?

John S.
(jshann) - F
stuff on 07/31/2007 04:28:47 MDT Print View

To feel sticky and/or clammy while sleeping sounds like you have too much clothing on or your bag is too hot for the temps or you have not allowed your body to cool off before retiring? In temps below 60 degrees I don't think I have ever felt clammy. I shoot for comfortably cool : )

Edited by jshann on 07/31/2007 04:29:40 MDT.

Donna Chester
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Anyone else hate sleeping sticky? on 07/31/2007 04:47:25 MDT Print View

I use baby powder or some kind of talc powder. It gets hot and sticky here in the south and powder works best for me. I can find the small travel size powders in any drugstore.

Tim W
(watters) - F
sticky? on 07/31/2007 08:50:39 MDT Print View

A sponge bath with rubbing alcohol works wonders.

Robin Bouc
(robinbouc) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: sticky? on 07/31/2007 09:36:02 MDT Print View

Interesting. I will certainly try both the baby powder and the alcohol bath.

And to respond to John's comment, I don't think that I am too warm-in fact that's kinda the issue--the moisture on my skin seems to make me feel a bit colder--I struggle with keeping warm. The Northern Californian weather is a humid kind of cold in many places. I've felt warmer in the snow when it's 20 degrees cooler. Sometimes the thick coastal fog can really be bone-chilling.

When I do bundle up in my Long Hydrogen bag, I just want to feel cozier--not where my thighs are stuck together and I have to peel them apart every few minutes.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Anyone else hate sleeping sticky? on 07/31/2007 10:03:59 MDT Print View

I have used handywipes successfully for ridding the sticky post-sweaty feeling, but I am always tempted to leave them out for weight savings.

I always wear socks, long underwear, and a longsleeve top in my sleeping bag regardless of temp. If it's too warm in the bag I sleep on top. This both keeps things from feeling sticky, and keeps my inner bag fabric much cleaner.

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 07/31/2007 10:05:04 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sticky on 07/31/2007 10:06:31 MDT Print View

One non-scented baby wipe, a plastic bag, and 8 oz of hot water works wonders to remove stickiness.

Take the wipe, bag, and water to your tent when you are ready to retire for the evening. Pour the water into a plastic bag and then support it vertically in a shoe, etc. Start cleaning at the top of your body until the wipe is dirty or dry. Next, rinse it out in a plastic bag with the hot water and repeat the process until you are clean. Throw any remaining dirty water out the tent door, and place the dirty wipe / plastic bag outside. Burn or pack the used wet wipe after it has dried.

Joseph Jacaruso
(CaptainJac) - MLife

Locale: Southeast
Hate sleeping sticky too! on 07/31/2007 13:38:11 MDT Print View

I do most of my hiking in the mountains of NC. Humidity is the norm on the east coast. After a day on the trail I take a sponge bath using a water bottle (cold water) and a neckerchief. Just do it away from your water source.

I tried the baby wipes a couple of years ago but decided that was too much weight to carry. The cold water and neckerchief works just fine for me.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: sticky? on 07/31/2007 14:12:03 MDT Print View

So you wear shorts at night? I wear long pants. There is definitely nothing wrong with a sponge bath. I would have the sticky feeling too if I didn't keep on my long pants.

There are dry facial wash cloths made by ?oil of olay? and walmart brand. Those wash cloths just need water and work similar to baby wipes without having to carry the added water.

For sleeping I pull on over my pants and shirt, a windshirt and windpants to act as a sleeping bag liner, instead of wearing long undies or using a separate liner.

Thomas Travis
(tbtravis) - F
keeping it clean on 07/31/2007 16:05:20 MDT Print View

I sleep much better when I'm clean so I try to take a shower at the end of the day. This also makes it that much longer before I have to launder my quilt.I use 2 Aqua Fina 1 liter bottles to carry my water. Drill small holes in an extra cap to make a shower. It takes me 1-1.5 liters for a decent shower. I bring to a boil about half the water I need, top it off with cold water and I'm set.

Robin Bouc
(robinbouc) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: keeping it clean on 07/31/2007 17:27:16 MDT Print View

I must say, these are all very creative, interesting solutions.

I can't wait to try them all!

Thanks everyone.

Hope it helps other "sticky" sleepers out there :)

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Sleeping on 07/31/2007 17:46:39 MDT Print View

Sounds like you're too hot in your bag. Keep in mind that most of my hiking is in the Sierra's.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Avoiding Stickiness on 07/31/2007 19:02:42 MDT Print View

In totally hot and humid climes, you will sweat no matter what... but short of that, the following will help you avoid/minimize that sticky feeling:

1. Before going to bed, wipe yourself down with a few anti-bacterial sheets (e.g. Wet Ones). They're very soothing at the end of the day.

2. Wait a minute or two after above, then put on long tops and bottoms to avoid "skin on skin" contact, which is a major cause of that sticky feel. Silk or silk weight long joins weigh as little as 8 oz. total for both top and bottom.

3. Don't immediately zip up your bag when going to sleep -- unless it's genuinely cold. Leave it unzip, then partly zip -- as your body relaxes and cools down. Use the time to "relive" the hike of the day. Zip up (if needed) when you are ready to fall asleep.

Hope this helps.

Wayne Teipen
(wamyteipen) - F

Locale: midwest
"Anyone else hate sleeping sticky?" on 08/01/2007 00:34:42 MDT Print View

I too have a hard time sleeping/getting comfortable when sticky. I do what many have already noted and that is: 1) Wash off with water and pack towel if water is readily available and 2) wear silk weight long thermals and a light weight long sleeve shirt. Depending on the weather, I start out on top of my bag and gradually climb in as my body cools down. On hot summer nights the thermals are plenty to keep me warm until the wee hours.

Brett .
(Brett1234) - F

Locale: CA
"Anyone else hate sleeping sticky?" on 08/01/2007 09:43:37 MDT Print View

Yes, me too.
1. Bird-bath; turn a bag inside out (your sleeping bag WP bag for example, fill with hot water and bathe using a small quick dry towel.My SealLine StormSack is great for this because is waterproof to the height of the bag.I use an REI poly towel.
2. For the stinky areas, alcohol wipes during the day and after removing shoes. Or carry alcohol and water it down before use with the same poly towel. Careful cause it evaporates fast.
This stuff weighs ounces, yes; but 'anything else would be uncivilized'!

James Watts
(james481) - F

Locale: Sandia Mountains
Backcountry showering on 08/01/2007 12:43:18 MDT Print View

Wow, I had no idea that so many people showered (using the term loosely, I suppose) in the backcountry. I generally don't do any type of body cleansing unless I'm out for more than a few days. Of course, maybe that's why I have trouble finding people to go out with me :p . I generally prefer a slight stink over the complications of carrying and utilizing cleansing techniques, particularly when bivy / tarp camping (privacy may or may not be important, but I sure as heck know that I can't shower or wipe down inside my tiny bivy).

Perhaps if you find it sticky and cold inside your shelter, something like a candle lantern to provide warmth and control humidity might be an idea. I've had good luck using a candle lantern in the winter, and it does seem to help with humidity and condensation inside the shelter, but I'm unsure of what mechanism (if any, could be psychological) is at play here.

Henry Liu
(henryliu) - F
shower on 08/01/2007 13:41:45 MDT Print View

I carry a collapsible pocket bowl, fill it with hot filtered water and use two extra small MSR pack towels (one wet, one dry) + camp soap to take a wash. Works great and weighs only a few ounces. More importantly, works great even if the trip is weeks and weeks or in the snow.

David Olsen

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Anyone else hate sleeping sticky? on 08/06/2007 08:40:19 MDT Print View

I made a sleeping bag liner of a wool/polyester blend
that is comfortable. A pretty open weave and long enough
to pull over my head. I used it on outward bound courses
where you can get pretty grubby, especially in the desert
where there is nothing but spit baths and you are slathered
with sunscreen. Solo trips I use thin long johns for the
same purpose.

Mark Regalia
(markr) - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz
silk liner on 08/06/2007 15:22:02 MDT Print View

I use a silk liner for my bag. It feels so much better than bare nylon and doesn't have the sticky feeling. I always hated the feel of nylon against my skin, but I also prefer not to wear clothes to bed unless conditions force me to. As a bonus the liner keeps the bag clean and even adds a bit of warmth..

Al Shaver
(Al_T.Tude) - F - M

Locale: High Sierra and CA Central Coast
Sticky Thighs on 08/08/2007 18:00:47 MDT Print View

I have this same problem when I order the Honey Glaze Dark Meat bucket from Colonel Sanders...and when I'm backpacking.
Like Robin, it's not from over heating, it just happens to be the one place where post sweating stickiness bothers me when I'm sleeping. Long johns solves the problem for me. If going "commando" in the bag, I have discovered that an article of clothing such as a shirt placed between thighs eliminates the discomfort. Yes, I suppose the radical notion of cleansing oneself while in the backcountry would also work.