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

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