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Old 03-07-13, 05:03 PM   #1
Niles H.
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A New Sleeping System

The bats are calling out the techno-hobbled humans on this one.

On some of my recent tours, the ravens, the bats, the owls, the falcons and eagles, the caterpillars and their chrysalises, the millipedes and the snails, the rock wrens and the bush tits have all been wondering why the great and powerful human race has been reduced to abject dependency and wussiness by their technological accoutrements, habits, and traditions.

The mountain lions just sleep on a ledge.

The bats fly right up into a cave or an eave or a tree, hook on, wrap right up, and sleep -- all done within seconds.

The eagles and falcons fly up to a ledge on the crags or the cliffs, land out of the wind in a niche -- and they're done.

They wake up and fly out into the day in seconds.

The humans have all this junk they lug around. They go through elaborate packing and unpacking, staking and guying, setting up and taking down, etc. With all kinds of sleeping pads and bags and liners and all the rest of it.

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One wonders if the humans can't do better.

It would be great to be able to simplify and streamline.

Some rock climbers seem to have come closer.

I saw a picture of a sleeping bag recently that had 'legs' -- you could walk around in it. Similar idea to the Feathered Friends Rock Wren, but better in some ways. It had a hood like a good down jacket.

Some rock climbers seem to do something similar with a warm down jacket and a half-bag. Why not utilize the half bag as something like down snow pants?

Some people have mentioned that the half bag is optional. What do these rock climbers do without it?

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Sleeping bags put one in an inefficient position. All stretched out.

It it less efficient thermodynamically. A fetal position is much more efficient (when people get a little cold at night, they often spontaneously assume the warmer position). And it needs (1) a shorter bag, (2) a shorter pad, (3) a much shorter tent (or other shelter), (3) less fabric and weight and insulation, etc., etc.

That's just an example. Not everyone would want to go that route.

There is also the lotus position and its variants. In India (and Japan, and Tibet, and elsewhere), meditators learn to hold such positions for many hours at a go.

In India, some have devised various systems to support the body, in case of sleep or samadhi -- so the person doesn't fall over from the sitting position.

This sort of approach has a lot of potential. Ultralight slings could support arms and chin. Existing fabric (sleeves for example) could even be used [an arm sling is usually a separate piece of fabric; but existing fabrics (a long-sleeved shirt for example) could be used in the same way].

Most of us have slept sitting down rather than lying down, at some point in our lives. On a plane, in a waiting room, a classroom, a library, a train, a car, etc. It can be done.

It might be possible to eliminate or at least significantly reduce the size of the pad this way. And the shelter, and the rest of the system.

A system could also be devised in which the point of contact is the feet. No pad would be necessary.

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This approach is perhaps a little verbal-abstract at this point, so here are a few visual examples (please don't get too carried away or too humor-distracted by the first one):



[She actually has a very strong British accent in 'real' life.]


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Fishing line, fishing hooks, ultralight slings, built-in slings, efficient positions, wraps....

Last edited by Niles H.; 03-07-13 at 06:15 PM.
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Old 03-08-13, 06:25 AM   #2
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Here is the sleep system I have. They are pretty much a self-containedunit.

http://www.tennierindustries.com/rfi-mss.html

Here is a system similar to what you suggest. I have neverused it.

http://www.selkbagusa.com/default.aspx

As a kid we had these snow suits and I remember times justfalling back into a snow bank and taking a nap nice and warm and dry. That wascold and dry weather. Now 32F and rain might not have been so much fun.
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Old 03-08-13, 11:20 AM   #3
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So what about those stereotype shots of Mexicans sitting with their back against a wall and a sombrero covering their face while they take a siesta from the afternoon sun?

I've had no issues napping while sitting and using a bike cover as protection from the rain. You can literally sit IN it with your knees pulled up and the top pulled over your head for complete protection. The wool poncho I bring, folded, was more than enough cuishioning for the butt.

Most of the sleeping products on the market deliberately trade off simplicity for added comfort and convenience. Particularly important as people get older.

The thing is - once you get into tents - thats not just a sleeping system. A tent is a sheltered space that provides protection from insects as well as weather, room to cook, read, plan, and sort out, repair and manage a lot of other personal equipment. Traveling with one or more other cyclists - I wouldn't be without one.

Last edited by Burton; 03-08-13 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 03-08-13, 12:02 PM   #4
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A military poncho and a poncho liner will get you by asposted above. My poncho liners I slit where the head hole is and you can laceit in and wear it as a lined poncho oruse it as a sleeping bag. Lean against a tree sitting on something dry and youcan get 20 winks with the hood pulled up.
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Old 03-12-13, 05:09 PM   #5
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The selk'bag is exactly what came to my mind too. If I didn't own a sleeping bag already before I saw those I would have bought one (seems like it would work great with a hammock). Although I'm not sure if anyone could be taken seriously in one of the selk'bags because it looks like a moon suit minus the visor. Then again, nothing beats an astronaut.
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Old 03-12-13, 05:45 PM   #6
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What temperature and weather extremes are you trying to accomodate with your new sleeping system?

For the same amount of loft, a down bag is warmer than a down jacket and down pants. A sleeping bag with legs is for camping convenience, but it's not warmer or more efficient than a standard bag. In a jacket and pants you only get localized insulation so your right leg has to keep your right leg warm, your left arm keeps your left arm warm. In a bag, the heat is distributed so that warmth from your core can heat the rest of your body. It works and is more comfortable; I've tried it both ways. The pants and jacket thing is ok for a night or two.

Don't underestimate the difficulty of keeping your feet warm and dry without a bag. Carrying extra weight or volume is a much bigger deal for climbers than cyclists, and climbers are willing to suffer for a couple of days because it is often the only way (not just an easier way) to get the climb done.

How much comfort are you willing to sacrifice, and for how long?
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Old 03-12-13, 06:23 PM   #7
Niles H.
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That image that someone has brought up, of the Mexican taking a siesta in a poncho or zarape, has jogged some experimenting. If you sit down and pull your feet in toward your seat, with knees up and approximately a foot apart, and fold your arms, and rest them on your knees, and rest your head on your arms (a piece of clothing used as a pillow for your head can help with comfort), and balance the weight between sit bones and feet, you can find a very balanced, comfortable position.

I took a little nap like that while on a hike, and it wasn't bad. It reminded me of the position in which I would sleep during French class in junior high. Or in the library on occasion -- just resting my head on my arms, with the arms resting on the desk or table. Except in this case, they are resting on my knees.

It's a nice, stable, balanced, sustainable position. Small straps can help to keep the legs/knees/arms in place.

A viable way to sleep.

Find a dry spot near a tree, for example (or in the midst of a small grove of trees, which is what I did -- you don't really need to lean against anything), and simply sit down. Just get up when finished. Nice and simple.

And it's almost like an upright version of the fetal position.

Efficient.

It allows for a significant savings in material needed for insulation and cover.

And it can eliminate the need for a pad.

A real simplification.

Just the sort of thing I've been looking for.

Still looking at additional possibilities, and looking to refine this one.
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