I love to be out in nature, I love sleeping over and just enjoying my time out in the woods. I don’t need to be gone very long, usually when I just need to get out, a one night sleep over is enough. However, I have one constant problem always bothering me and the reason I even changed over to a Hammock: I get massive pain in my hips and shoulder when sleeping on the ground.

I have tried many different sleeping pads from the exped synmat and dunmat  ul 7, multimat, big agnes double z, different configurations of the Thermarest sleeping pads, currently I use the Thermarest x-therm. However, the pain is persistent, and as a side sleeper it just kills me. I have dug holes under my hips, raised my legs and changed the different air levels in my pads.. alas to no avail.

Well, eventually I have changed over to the Hennessy hammock and now the Warbonnet blackbird and I have to say that all the pain is gone. I sleep almost as well as I do at home, at times better, I love being elevated off the ground, and the feeling of having my own little cocoon is awesome! And for most parts of sweden I find there is no difficulties in hanging the hammock between two trees.

However, as lovely as sleeping in a hammock is, there are some draw downs that still leave me longing for a regular tent again. For example with a hammock you don’t have much room for anything other than yourself and a sleeping bag. Your gear usually has to sit outside on the ground or at the least hang from your hammock. This works, but I miss having everything in the tent with me. I also miss the solidness of the ground under me, hard to explain but its pretty nice to just be on the ground sitting up, making dinner and reading a book inside a tent while the weather is horrible outside. Of course you can have a lot of comfort and near the same things in a hammock, but this post is more about my grievances than anything else.

Also, with a hammock it just seems in some ways more complicated at times: Tie hammock between trees, tie tarp between trees, set guy lines, hook up an underquilt… While a tent has it’s process as well, just seems the hammock and gear weighs more and takes longer to setup.

In anycase back to my original thought here: How to sleep comfortably on the ground? I will not give up on it just yet, and with my son nearing the age of two, I’m sure he will want to start camping outdoors with daddy.. I just need to find a way to be comfortable while sleeping on the ground!

Here are some picks and gear info from my latest outing – the gear I am using is:

Black diamond Hilight tent weight 1,35kilos – great one man freestanding winter tent – however I am too tall for it and that’s why it’s being sold now and replaced with a Mountain Laurel Design Supermid (weight .8 kilso). I hate small tents when the condensation runs all over me and my sleeping bag – especially in the winter. Thats why I am getting the Supermid.

North face inferno – 20 sleeping bag weigh 1,65kilos – I love this sleeping bag. Weighs less than having dubble sleeping bags in the winter and keeps me extremely warm. A great weight to warmth sleeping bag that is hard to beat for the harsh Swedish conditions.

Thermarest X-therm sleeping pad weight .65 kilos – Not much to add here – a great and warm sleeping pad. Easily the best pad I’ve used in the winter. I place this on top of a regular lightweight sleeping pad.

Zpacks arc blast backpack weight .560 kilos – Great backpack. I will have this one for a very long time. simply the best.

The big three total weight: 4,21 kilos. Not ultralight – but certainly warm, safe  and relatively comfortable (still a side sleeper) down to about -25 degrees.

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Posted by Kenneth Shaw

Blogger, photographer and backpacker. If you like my writing or my site don't be afraid to follow me, like or share my posts here on the site. Thanks and enjoy!

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