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5thGenTexan

Need a Cot or...?

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I camped when I was a Scout.  I slept on the ground 20 years ago on the second or third date with my now wife.  I am 44 now and camping with the Pack honestly sucks.  We tried an air mattress once and it wasnt fun.  This past weekend my wife and I went for BALOO / IOLS and used pads on the wooden platforms with tent frames.  I wasnt horribly comfortable, but my wife wasnt happy sleeping that way.  

 

Another issue... I dont sleep all that great at home, but on Pack campouts I feel obligated to go to bed early when I am "supposed" to go.  I go in and can't go to sleep, but have to be still and quiet for the others in our tent.  So I end up just staring up and hoping for the best.  Last weekend I slept in 15 - 20 minute spurts at a time all night long.  Makes for a bad next day.

 

First thing I guess is cot selection.  I was worried about carrying too much and looking like a wimp, but I am past that.  Tired and sore all day seems to throw cold water on that idea.

So... what do I want? :)

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2 minutes ago, 5thGenTexan said:

Another issue... I dont sleep all that great at home, but on Pack campouts I feel obligated to go to bed early when I am "supposed" to go.  I go in and can't go to sleep, but have to be still and quiet for the others in our tent.  So I end up just staring up and hoping for the best.  Last weekend I slept in 15 - 20 minute spurts at a time all night long.  Makes for a bad next day.

First thing I guess is cot selection.  I was worried about carrying too much and looking like a wimp, but I am past that.  Tired and sore all day seems to throw cold water on that idea.

So... what do I want? :)

Take your own tent. Or start hammocking. Go to bed when you want. Sort your sleep issues at home, and camp will probably follow. Mind you, camp is always a battle, I usually go to bed and am mulling over the days events and pondering tomorrow's. Never a great combo for sleep.

Ian (48)

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Have you tried the single air mattress?  That works way better than a double / queen sized.  There are some smaller camp cots, not sure they are more comfortable.  Also have you tried the ENO or Hammock for sleeping?  Some find those better.

As for going to bed early, I often (if not overly cold) just sit in front of my tent with a book and headlight and read.  If cooler I sit by the fire and just bank it / put out some of the coals when I go to bed.  Now I do sleep on a pad in a backpacking tent, so I enjoy the ground.  

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First, sleep in a tent by yourself.  When I first joined the troop there was a tradition of the adults sleeping together --- picture five guys in one of those Taj Mahal tents.  I also wasn't a good sleeper and heard every sound any of my tent mates made.  A couple weekends and one summer camp and I had enough of that.  I bought my own tent and told everybody I snored and didn't want to subject anybody else to that. 

After that get a good quality military style cot and a good quality sleeping pad sized to fit it, Cabela's or Bass Pro for the cot, REI or similar for the sleeping pad.  I use the sleeping pad when I backpack but I have a back that can be finicky and I am indifferent to any snickers about setting up a cot every other time.

Sleep is a health issue and you need to be aware of it for yourself as a leader as well as for your scouts.

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11 minutes ago, T2Eagle said:

 When I first joined the troop there was a tradition of the adults sleeping together --- picture five guys in one of those Taj Mahal tents. 

Man...that is a special kind of hell in my opinion.  On outings the adult tents (all singles) are spaced waaay apart.  Even at Philmont all the leaders tote their own tents.  The extra couple of pounds is well worth it.

5 leaders in one tent "shudder"

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12 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

Man...that is a special kind of hell in my opinion.  On outings the adult tents (all singles) are spaced waaay apart.  Even at Philmont all the leaders tote their own tents.  The extra couple of pounds is well worth it.

5 leaders in one tent "shudder"

That is absolutely my version of hell. I'm a light sleeper, so the snoring would keep me up all night. We had a few adult leaders share tents at Philmont, but that's the only time I've seen that with my Troop. I could see that being a practice in units that are underprivileged and the adults also don't own their own tents. That'd be solid stewardship of funds. 

But I agree, I think most folks will sleep better in their own tent. Cots are fine, but I've come to really prefer the inflatable thermarest mattresses. I've also found a little benadryl before bed can be helpful. Stops any itchness or allergies. 

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I am 65, and sleep on a Kylmit Static V sleeping pad.  Lightweight, easy to inflate, compact, and very comfortable (as long as getting down to, and up from, ground level is not an issue).

When we are backpacking, I carry an ultra light weight Big Agnes tent, for things like camporee, etc. I bring a tent I can stand up in, and always tent singly.

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I have a $45 1.5 man tent that I use.  Can't fully stand up in it, but can adequately sit up in it.  Gives enough room for me and my pack.  i use a thermarest as well.  Even on OA weekends, when cabins are available for the adults, I tent by myself.  I have an ENO hammock, but I'm so much more of a side sleeper than a back sleeper, so it isn't very restful for me.  If you have a routine you use at home that gets you into the rest mode, try and keep that as much as you can even on camping trips.  If you like to watch TV before a few minutes after climbing into bed, try and watch a few minutes of move or something on your phone in your tent.  

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On car campouts, I bring a cot and a 4-man tent that fits it. Tried using a hammock a couple times, but it feels unnatural to me and I got a worse night sleep. On backpacking trips, I'll use a small lightweight tent with a sleeping pad. The sleeping pad isn't a bad night sleep, but the cot is better, and nobody really wants me to wake up grumpy from a bad night's sleep.

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I can't have my own tent or hammock.  Not now anyway.  I have a Wolf now who will be a Bear next year.  There is no way he is staying in a tent alone.  :)

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I can't have my own tent or hammock.  Not now anyway.  I have a Wolf now who will be a Bear next year.  There is no way he is staying in a tent alone.  :)

wow you have 3 years left to suffer on the ground:). There are lots of options - 2 hammocks with a spreader bar between worked for me. 1 giant tarp over both of us. I sleep well in a hammock. Now that my son is in a troop I sleep solo in a hammock and haul my turtle dog stand in the troop trailer.

If you can find a nice cot that you can sleep on thats great too, Dont worry about hauling too much when car camping. A 3 inch memry foam topper works great for me in my camper.

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1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

I can't have my own tent or hammock.  Not now anyway.  I have a Wolf now who will be a Bear next year.  There is no way he is staying in a tent alone.  :)

Cubs can sleep with their buddies in a tent. they don't have to sleep with their parents.  But setting that aside, if you're going to bed the same time an eight year old is going to bed than one of you is doing it wrong.  Just like kids go to bed at home before their parents, Cubs should go to bed before the adults.  My experience with eight year olds is rusty, but they usually can sleep through anything once they're out.  

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4 hours ago, T2Eagle said:

Cubs can sleep with their buddies in a tent. they don't have to sleep with their parents.  But setting that aside, if you're going to bed the same time an eight year old is going to bed than one of you is doing it wrong.  Just like kids go to bed at home before their parents, Cubs should go to bed before the adults.  My experience with eight year olds is rusty, but they usually can sleep through anything once they're out.  

Mine can't. :)  Still a couple of times a month he still comes in wanting to get in our bed in the middle of the night.  I cant see sleeping in a tent in the woods almost alone would work for him, yet.

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Has anyone tried those super low to the ground cots? I'm a side sleeper with a cpap hose. I was wondering about making an under-quilt for the cot for the cold months and the low to ground cots look better for winter than the normal height ones.

For me, the cpap doesn't lend itself well to hammocks and we don't always camp where there are good hanging spots.  Oh, and my hammock rope broke with me in it. Gravity works!!! But I do enjoy them for afternoon "rests". 

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I tried a Helinox cot and OMG it was amazing.  but it is like $400 so I didn't buy one.  I borrowed one and it was amazing.

 

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