Hey gang! I need to vent and I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but bear with me as there is a point too all this I promise. Sorry in advance for the wall o' text.
Did a little solo overnight backpack trip this weekend in the Colorado Rockies (Abyss Lake trail on Guenella Pass, for the curious.) I wanted to get out there for a night before winter sets in at that elevation. It's been quite a while since I did any *real* backpacking and I learned 2 very important life-lessons on this trip.
- My old 2-man tent with rain fly and footprint, down sleeping bag and giant inflatable sleeping pad weigh a freaking ton and take up a huge amount of pack space
- Even with the REI camp bed 3.5" inflatable "luxury" pad sleeping on the ground was horrible
Some may recall that not long ago I joined the community here and got myself a hammock: a grand trunk double and it's great, but it's all I have. No tarp or bottom insulation system yet. Because of that I had to go with the ground setup this time. The sleeping pad I brought was totally overkill for any sane backpacker, but I already knew my old thermalrest foam pad didn't work well for me so I tried the super thick REI camp bed 3.5 along with a nice inflatable camp pillow.
It was bad, bad times.
I can't believe how uncomfortable I was. It got down to maybe 33 degrees, but temp wasn't a problem. I ached all over, developed a headache and overall probably got a total of 3 hours actual sleep though it wasn't continuous.
So the good news? I think I'm truly done with sleeping on the ground. It's hammock time.
My double size hammock is pretty big for solo backpacking, but still much lighter/smaller than my tent setup so I'm not worried about "having" to get a better hammock just yet.
There are 2 key things I know I need:
- Bottom Insulation
I'm going to keep reading through the relevant sub-forums here and hopefully come up with a plan. I love being out in the wild, but the experience is pretty tainted when you have a crappy night.