The Best Bedding for Backpacking
Every backpacker knows that sleep is an invaluable asset when you are seriously hitting the road. Before you leave for your trip, one of your key purchases should be your sleeping bag. Do not grab the cheapest sleeping bag and shove it in your backpack. Read on for some handy tips on what to look for in your sleeping kit on the road.
The first thing to think about is where exactly are you going? It’s not a straightforward question because you may be heading somewhere where the weather is hot during the day but very cold at night. If that is the case, then it is advisable to go for a three season’s bag, only buy a four season if you are likely to be in a temperature zone that drops below zero.
If you are travelling to very warm climates, then think twice about taking a sleeping bag at all. The sensible thing to do in these circumstances is to take a silk liner or a cotton sheet. These weigh much less than a traditional sleeping bag and will afford the traveller with an excellent light and breathable cover.
Of course, if you don’t mind the extra weight on your back, you can also take a bed with you. The lightest and possibly cheapest is a bedding roll – a rolled up piece of foam that fits nicely under the backpack straps. It costs less than £10 and will give you some degree of protection from rough ground.
A self inflating sleeping mat gives you even more comfort on your adventures. It is heavier to carry than a bedding roll but you will reap the rewards at bed time. This is a must if you are planning on sleeping outdoors for more than a week.
Hammocks are great for throwing in your trusty backpack but require some decent trees and some decent knots to get a good sleep in one. Also, they leave you quite exposed so if you are going to a busy area, it may be safer to find a cosy tent. However, if you are heading somewhere like Mexico, a hammock is an ideal addition to your kit.
After many years of testing travelling gadgets and sleep accessories, there is one clear winner that has not been mentioned. If you have been camping for some time and sleeping in hammocks, on trains or even airport floors, there is one solution to those sleepless nights. Book a decent hotel room. This is essential every now and again to recharge your batteries and have a nice soak in a tub. It is always a good idea to build the odd night in a hotel into your budget. To really enjoy the experience, make sure that the hotel has some great luxury bed linen – it is a real essential.