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Sleeping bag / pillow question

Old 11-10-09, 07:18 PM
  #1  
paulrad9
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Sleeping bag / pillow question

With a mummy bag, do you place the pillow between the mattress and the sleeping bag or does it go under your head within the sleeping bag?

TIA
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Old 11-10-09, 07:22 PM
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I put it under bag.But its personal choice,can be done either way i guess.
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Old 11-10-09, 09:58 PM
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I like in the bag but if you use a regular pillow it may get tight
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Old 11-10-09, 10:41 PM
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Go pillow free. If you really need roll up a t-shirt or something. Double bonus is that you have a warm shirt in the morning.
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Old 11-10-09, 11:42 PM
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big angus makes a sweet bag that has a pocket that holds your sleeping pad and a pocket for a pillow

https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Bag/SaverySL
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Old 11-11-09, 12:38 AM
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I use small thermarest travel pillow that fits perfectly in my sleeping bag hood. The hood actually holds my head and pillow in a state of perfect harmony.
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Old 11-11-09, 05:29 AM
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ah the great pillow debait,i can't think who put me onto bringing a real pillow instead of these blow up one's ,anyway do yourself a big favour buy a good stuff sack and stuff you home pillow into it and sleep on it as you would when your in your own bed.
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Old 11-11-09, 06:02 AM
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When it is cold enough that I will not be lowering the hood I put the pillow inside. More often I will be adjusting through the night by raising and lowering the hood, usually starting out with it down or even with my shoulders out of the bag until the temperature drops. In those cases I leave the pillow outside.

BTW: I like a small but real pillow (maybe 11x14"). It was about $8 from a fabric store and I find it superior to any of the much more expensive "camping pillows". It takes no extra space since I manage to stuff it in with my sleeping bag in the compression sack. Most of my riding friends consider me a bit of a weight weenie, but I consider my pillow a necessity.
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Old 11-11-09, 10:58 AM
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Thanks for all the good replies. I started bike camping this summer and can't seem to get a good night's sleep. I'm warm, but just can't get comfortable and wake every half hour or so. I've been using a small pillow and placing it within my mummy bag and thought that was causing the problem but last night I did a trial in my home using my regular pillow outside the bag, but I sill slept like cr*p.

I'm using self inflating mattress half inflated, mummy bag, liner and several different pillows. Any insight into what I can do to get a better night's sleep?
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Old 11-11-09, 11:11 AM
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how about inflate the mattres fully rather than half.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by TheBrick View Post
how about inflate the mattres fully rather than half.

With Thermarests, half is more comfy than full.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by truman View Post
With Thermarests, half is more comfy than full.
That has been my observation with my Prolite, but I am still learning
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Old 11-11-09, 11:59 AM
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From your post I'd beg to differ.

Try temazepam and / or ************.
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Old 11-11-09, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by paulrad9 View Post
Thanks for all the good replies. I started bike camping this summer and can't seem to get a good night's sleep. I'm warm, but just can't get comfortable and wake every half hour or so. I've been using a small pillow and placing it within my mummy bag and thought that was causing the problem but last night I did a trial in my home using my regular pillow outside the bag, but I sill slept like cr*p.

I'm using self inflating mattress half inflated, mummy bag, liner and several different pillows. Any insight into what I can do to get a better night's sleep?
I'm kinda with you....getting a deep, restful, uninterrupted night's sleep is proving elusive.

I am of the opinion that if the bag is properly sized (neither too long/short or otherwise binding on you) and is warm enough without being too warm and you have a reasonably comfy pillow and sleeping pad, then it's just a matter of getting used to sleeping in such an "unnatural situation"...at least from the vantage point of one who has slept in a "normal" bed all their lives.

To me, acclimating to the varied temperatures (much more varied than what you'd find in you home), the constricted fit of almost any bag and the relatively discomfort of a sleeping pad (they are either a bit too thin, too thick, too cold, too slippery, too narrow, too short...you name it) is the trick. And so my strategy is to just keep on trying to get used to it all. I think with time I will "learn" to get comfortable and relaxed and will sleep better. I think getting relaxed is the thing to focus on....sleep should follow.

In the meantime, my strategy is to vigorously seek solutions that maximize my comfort (within the volume and weight confines that are the reality of bike touring and back packing), hoping that relaxation and restful sleep will follow.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:27 PM
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im a very restless sleeper when away from the comforts of home, never really get a good sleep but having said that im quiet comfortable in my pipedream down sleeping bag and the exped 7 down mat is only fantastic.i have to many thought's running through my little head to get to sleep properly,maybe that's your problem as well.
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Old 11-11-09, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBrick View Post
From your post I'd beg to differ.

Try temazepam and / or ************.
+1, ************ always works for me.
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Old 11-11-09, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
+1, ************ always works for me.

For a 12-star rating, it had better!
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Old 11-11-09, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by paulrad9 View Post
Thanks for all the good replies. I started bike camping this summer and can't seem to get a good night's sleep. I'm warm, but just can't get comfortable and wake every half hour or so. I've been using a small pillow and placing it within my mummy bag and thought that was causing the problem but last night I did a trial in my home using my regular pillow outside the bag, but I sill slept like cr*p.

I'm using self inflating mattress half inflated, mummy bag, liner and several different pillows. Any insight into what I can do to get a better night's sleep?
I've experimented with different setups, and here are some things I've noticed:

--If you are really tired and ready to sleep, it can come naturally, like a bomb. It also tends to be sounder sleep.

--If you are worried about where you are sleeping (some fear or anxiety about it, or about what might happen, or who or what might come along), it can affect the quality of the night considerably.

--We seem to have some vestiges of animal instincts. There is a lightness of sleep or a wariness that comes naturally, especially in unfamiliar or somewhat risky territory. If you take the time to find a place that has a good, safe feel (for you), it can help.

--A lot of the self-inflating pads aren't really very comfortable. I've tried using an open-cell pad over a Thermarest, and it is very comfortable. Accessory straps can be used to hold them together. They work well.

--A few self-inflating pad designs stand out, and are much more comfortable than most.

--Open cell foam over closed cell foam can also be a good arrangement.

--Open cell foams vary quite a bit in quality, firmness, and comfort. I replaced the original (REI) open cell foam in a couple of my pads with high-end egg-crate foam from an experienced, quality alternative matress/futan/foam store, whose owner knew the different foams well, and carried a variety of them. These pads turned out to be very, very comfortable and long lasting. He knew what he was doing.

--Those open-cell foam (covered) pads from REI allow you to remove the existing foam easily. Then you can slip in a layer of closed cell foam and some better open cell foam, if you choose.

--Keeping your feet and lower legs off the hard, cold ground helps. If you have a 3/4-length pad, you can use fleece or a variety of other things to make those parts of the body warm and comfortable.

--The best pillow I've tried was an inflatable one from a travel store. It had a nice texture that felt good to sleep on. It was shaped something like a horseshoe. It was light, reliable, very comfortable, and well designed. And it collapsed to a very small, light package.

--I've found that layering helps to fine-tune the warmth levels.

--The thoughts that you have just before going to sleep can strongly affect the quality of the sleep. If your mind is worried or agitated, it can adversely affect the soundness and peacefulness of the sleep. If everything is in order (in your mind and life), it helps.

--You can also do certain mental exercises before going to sleep. These can help a great deal. They are one of the very best things I have found for getting good, high quality, restful sleep.

***
Hope some of that is of use -- please let us know how it goes, and if you find something that works well for you.
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Old 11-11-09, 07:55 PM
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When I camp, I use a thermarest and let it self inflate then blow more air into it. No back problems and normally a good sleep.
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Old 11-12-09, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
I use small thermarest travel pillow that fits perfectly in my sleeping bag hood. The hood actually holds my head and pillow in a state of perfect harmony.
+1

10 times more comfortable than a rolled up shirt or stuffed stuff sack. I'll never go back. Mine goes inside my bag with me.
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Old 11-12-09, 04:19 PM
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In the Northern Hemisphere, the pillow goes on top of the bag. Reverse their positions in the Southern Hemisphere.

If you can't get to sleep at night, you just haven't exercised enough. You can do fine with a foam pad and spare clothing placed in a stuff sack.
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Old 11-16-09, 01:08 PM
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I recently took a short camping trip with my 17 y.o. son. On the second night, we backpacked into a beautiful site with a great overlook. Unfortunately, camping during the late fall or winter means hours of darkness. Like many, I often have trouble sleeping through the night while camping. I decided to try a over-the-counter sleeping pill. Normally, these will leave the groggy in the morning, but I took one about 9 PM, sleep well all night (except for hearing some owls screaming like ghouls in the wee hours of the morning--but went right back to sleep). Didn't even get up to take a leak during the night. These will definitely be on the gear list next time. Of course: YMMV.
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Old 11-17-09, 02:39 PM
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Some people find that effective, comfortable earplugs help them to sleep better, whether the environment is a noisy one or not.
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Old 11-22-09, 01:54 PM
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Thanks all for the great comments and suggestions

I've tried many of the suggestions and still couldn't achieve a good night's but now starting to thing that my problems are user error and not the equipment - I'm a side sleeping and even in a good bed, I can toos and turn a lot before falling to sleep. I'm getting used to the constrained feeling of a mummy bag, especially when on my side & in fetal positon
I think the real problem lies with the angle in my neck when on my side - a normal sleeping pad doesn't allow my shoulders to sink into the mattress like my bed does, so I need ~4" of pillow or else my neck is in pain. Conversely, if I lay on my back, I need almost no pillow.

Truman, a couple of your suggestions seem spot on, especialy when used together, such as the doubling of matteresses. I think this may be my next move
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Old 11-22-09, 02:08 PM
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People on backpacking forums highly recommend the Exped Downmat if you aren't comfortable on an ordinary sleeping pad. They aren't cheap but they may be worth the money if you sleep better. Also, there are mummy bags that stretch; that could help keep you from feeling so constrained. I can't recommend anything from personal experience though, being one of those people who can pretty much sleep anywhere.
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