Hiking Tip-Improvise and save $

Hiking, backpacking, and Camping tipsTips for hikers, backpackers, and campersTrail hikes and sleeping warmI go nuts in outdoor stores. Everything looks good, and I try to rationalize that items I don’t need may come in handy.

Hiking Tip: Improvise and save $    Here are a couple of ways you can be frugal and get the job done.

Sleeping warm   I found that I became colder in my bag by morning. I was convinced dampness seeped up through my tent floor and through my pad into my sleeping bag. Obvious solution—buy a warmer bag. Then I remembered several hikers who placed contractor insulation paper on their tent floor and put their sleeping pad over that. I can tell you it makes a difference, in the same way such insulation retards cold and moisture from getting into your house. Tyvek insulation paper does the same thing that Dupont and other insulation paper will. A local carpenter cut me the piece above, and it weighs next to nothing.

Mesh Dunk and Storage Bags   To air out stinky clothes, to soak or chill something in a stream, to store garbage, etc., meshed ditty bags, sold in outdoor shops, are popular on the trail and in camps. But the citrus bags (holding oranges and grapefruit), which my wife brings home from the grocer work just fine. I save them and use a couple of new ones on every extended hike. They do the job, and I’ll never run out.

You work hard for your dollars,so improvise and save a few. Happy trails!

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Self-inflating mattress or Foldout Pad

hikers' bed rollsBed-rolls for campers, hikers, and backpackers

Most hikers on an extended hike will carry either a self-inflating mattress, or some type of non-inflatable pad. The pictures show a purple mattress (not inflated) and a yellowish foldout pad. Either item goes under your sleeping bag.

If you are looking only for comfort, the self-inflating mattress (this one from Therm-a-rest) is the way to go—hands down. But there are advantages to the pad, and this Z-lite pad (also made by Therm-a-rest) is very popular.

I’ve settled on the non-inflatable pad, and here’s why.

Light weight–Pads weigh less than inflatable mattresses; this pad weighs less than a pound.

Indestructible–No worries about puncturing it, or wrecking the valve.

Convenience–Shake it loose and it’s ready to go. When I take a meal, especially in wet or rocky areas, it’s the first thing I grab to sit on.

Pack Support–As more hikers go ultralight with frameless rucksacks, this pad provides pack support.

I admit that I miss the cushy comfort of an inflatable mattress when I sleep. For convenience, however, especially on breaks, when you want to smother ants and insects with something other than your pants, when you want to rest and air out your socks and footwear, nothing beats the pad. So why not carry both? Well, one day I may.

Hiking Tip-Improvise and save $

Hiking, backpacking, and Camping tipsTips for hikers, backpackers, and campersTrail hikes and sleeping warmI go nuts in outdoor stores. Everything looks good, and I try to rationalize that items I don’t need may come in handy.

Hiking Tip: Improvise and save $    Here are a couple of ways you can be frugal and get the job done.

Sleeping warm   I found that I became colder in my bag by morning. I was convinced dampness seeped up through my tent floor and through my pad into my sleeping bag. Obvious solution—buy a warmer bag. Then I remembered several hikers who placed contractor insulation paper on their tent floor and put their sleeping pad over that. I can tell you it makes a difference, in the same way such insulation retards cold and moisture from getting into your house. Tyvek insulation paper does the same thing that Dupont and other insulation paper will. A local carpenter cut me the piece above, and it weighs next to nothing.

Mesh Dunk and Storage Bags   To air out stinky clothes, to soak or chill something in a stream, to store garbage, etc., meshed ditty bags, sold in outdoor shops, are popular on the trail and in camps. But the citrus bags (holding oranges and grapefruit), which my wife brings home from the grocer work just fine. I save them and use a couple of new ones on every extended hike. They do the job, and I’ll never run out.

 You work hard for your dollars,so improvise and save a few. Happy trails!

Hiking Tip-Improvise and save $

Hiking, backpacking, and Camping tipsTips for hikers, backpackers, and campersTrail hikes and sleeping warmI go nuts in outdoor stores. Everything looks good, and I try to rationalize that items I don’t need may come in handy.

Hiking Tip: Improvise and save $    Here are a couple of ways you can be frugal and get the job done.

Sleeping warm   I found that I became colder in my bag by morning. I was convinced dampness seeped up through my tent floor and through my pad into my sleeping bag. Obvious solution—buy a warmer bag. Then I remembered several hikers who placed contractor insulation paper on their tent floor and put their sleeping pad over that. I can tell you it makes a difference, in the same way such insulation retards cold and moisture from getting into your house. Tyvek insulation paper does the same thing that Dupont and other insulation paper will. A local carpenter cut me the piece above, and it weighs next to nothing.

Mesh Dunk and Storage Bags   To air out stinky clothes, to soak or chill something in a stream, to store garbage, etc., meshed ditty bags, sold in outdoor shops, are popular on the trail and in camps. But the citrus bags (holding oranges and grapefruit), which my wife brings home from the grocer work just fine. I save them and use a couple of new ones on every extended hike. They do the job, and I’ll never run out.

 You work hard for your dollars,so improvise and save a few. Happy trails!

Self-inflating mattress or Foldout Pad

hikers' bed rollsBed-rolls for campers, hikers, and backpackers

Most hikers on an extended hike will carry either a self-inflating mattress, or some type of non-inflatable pad. The pictures show a purple mattress (not inflated) and a yellowish foldout pad. Either item goes under your sleeping bag.

If you are looking only for comfort, the self-inflating mattress (this one from Therm-a-rest) is the way to go—hands down. But there are advantages to the pad, and this Z-lite pad (also made by Therm-a-rest) is very popular.

I’ve settled on the non-inflatable pad, and here’s why.

Light weight–Pads weigh less than inflatable mattresses; this pad weighs less than a pound.

Indestructible–No worries about puncturing it, or wrecking the valve.

Convenience–Shake it loose and it’s ready to go. When I take a meal, especially in wet or rocky areas, it’s the first thing I grab to sit on.

Pack Support–As more hikers go ultralight with frameless rucksacks, this pad provides pack support.

I admit that I miss the cushy comfort of an inflatable mattress when I sleep. For convenience, however, especially on breaks, when you want to smother ants and insects with something other than your pants, when you want to rest and air out your socks and footwear, nothing beats the pad. So why not carry both? Well, one day I may.