Uncomfortable Nights

Buy this pad from REI.
So we slept in a campervan for a while, and let me tell you, they say that the best way to get to know someone is to take a long car ride with them. How about a three week long one, is that long enough? Well, yes, yes it is.

But that is not what I am going to talk about. What I was going to say is that the campervan is also a little bit cramped. I mean, if you slide the bed out, you can’t get to anything underneath (there is storage there) and if one person is putting on their shoes, the other has to step aside. It’s not all bad, but it is a little tricky to manage at times.

The other thing that is a little hard is the sleeping situation. And when I say HARD, I mean hard both literally and figuratively. The bed is not very wide, and for a person who sleeps on their stomach with their leg thrown out to the side (me) it is not enough room for that. So you have to lay pretty much straight, if on your stomach. Or you can lay on your side. However, like I said before, it is hard. The bed is made of wood with a small pad over it. So you end up laying on one side until your hip is numb and your back hurts and your hands are asleep (yes, this happens to me a lot) and then you roll over until it happens on the other side.
However, the good news is: this is NOT the most uncomfortable place I have slept in the last year.

The worst was the tent.

The good thing is, we traded it with these nice people for a used Lonely Planet Europe (about a 30 dollar value new, so maybe 15 dollars used). The bad news is, and it’s not the tent’s fault (or S&Rs!), the ground is hard and it’s cold and my sleeping bag, which is supposed to be good down to 40 degrees, isn’t.
We went through a few stages of uncomfortable tent camping.

(1) THE WORST: No padding/mattress. Rocks beneath me. Can’t curl up in my too small sleeping bag. The wind was blowing hard. It was about 33 degrees outside.

(2) RUNNER UP: Bought an air mattress. Did NOT buy an air pump. Tried to blow up mattress with lungs. Did not work. Slept on little air. Every time one person moves, the other gets rolled off the mattress.

(3) THIRD WORST: Bought an air pump. Blew up mattress. Heavy wind and rain at beach turns tent into a swimming pool. (we slept in the car that night)

(4) BEST: Blew up mattress. Bought an extra blanket. Finally got a good(ish) night’s sleep. Still worse than the campervan.

I have decided that the main problem, since normally I don’t mind camping, is the gear. You HAVE to have good gear. Buy a sleeping pad (I have one at home). Thermarest makes a good one. Spend the money to buy a GOOD sleeping bag, down to 15 degrees (F). It is worth it. Buy a WATERPROOF (3 season) tent (I also have one of these at home). I guess what you could probably add to me is: AND BRING IT WITH YOU. But carrying all that stuff around for 6 months is not always feasible. But you will be more comfortable!

So, where is the most uncomfortable place YOU have slept? Do you like camping? Have you ever slept in your car?

U is for Uncomfortable.


  1. I'll bet you learned a lot about camping.
    Me and the BW camped in Myrtle Beach and it was fabulous. Was my first time, couldn't figure out how to set up tent but two Canadian girls showed mr how (boy was I embarrassed). But my BW knew enough and we brought a pump for the mattress. It rained first night and a little water seeped in but the mattress protected us. I'll say, it was extremely romantic.

  2. I have not really ever camped - but I think I would like it! We grew up going to campgrounds, but my parents had a camper, so it wasn't like camping..

  3. One of the big things for me about camping other than what you mentioned involves pillows. I sleep with two pillows (sometimes three) each night and when I don't have them I just don't sleep as well :)

    We once camped on an island in Florida without a tent or covering besides our sleeping bag--now that was an uncomfortable night and morning since we woke up covered in dew, sand and bugs!

  4. I went rafting a year ago and only had one of those Paco pads for padding beneath me in between the rock beds. That was probably the worst night of sleep I have ever gotten.


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