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Question, sleeping needs for BOB. I figure one needs ground cover, maybe a 8x10 tarp. One needs overhead cover, let's say USGI poncho. Once needs warmth, that is where I lose it. Do I get a survival Bivy? A sleepong bag type of thing? What is the best route?

Am I approaching this right as far as what I need to stay dry and warm when sleeping? What would you suggest?
 

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If we're just talking about sleeping needs, then you have two basic choices; on the ground or off the ground.

For on the ground, you'll need a sleeping bag or the like. Check out the SOL Escape Bivy as a lightweight option. I've seen them at Gander Mt. for $39.99 and at Bass Pro Shop for $49.95. I suggest some sort of ground cover to protect you and your bag from ground moisture. You can use black plastic from Home Depot or Lowes or a large black plastic contractor's trash bag. I also suggest a tarp for shelter. 8x10, 10x10, or 9x12 are good sizes for up to two adults. You can get a good tarp at Walmart, Home Depot, or Lowes.

For off the ground, take a look at hammock styles. I've seen these at Gander Mt. for $80 or so complete with a "roof" and netting to keep the insects off. I have no direct experience with these but based on naps taken at the beach in rope-style open hammocks, You'll get a restful sleep. At least until a loved one decides you've had enough rest!
 

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You'll find people go different ways about what they feel is a need. And you'll have to find what you. As much what we called a "pussy pad" (roll up sleeping pad) is nice on rough ground, I forego carrying one these days. You've only got some much room on and in your pack to pack around so you can't bring everything. What I do is de-rock the area I'm sleeping in and lay down a base layer of soft leaves and brush where I'm sleeping on the ground. If I'm sleeping on an elevated platform for snake and bug protection, than I cover the platform. Than my sleeping bag goes on top and me on top of it, covered by my poncho liner. (usgi style OD green) My poncho/tarp is spread out and tied above me using 550 cord and whatever trees/bush is around to protect me from the rain. It's a light set up and basically the same thing I've done since the Army. Minus the p pad. The sleeping bag replaces the p pad a little but not much. The sleeping bag is more important is things get cold. I pack a Recon 3 these days. The coldest I had it in was about 20 degrees through the night and it was just warm enough.

 

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I consider getting quality sleep to be very important. Your needs will vary with your climate, but I'm gonna be sleeping in a comfortable sleeping bag.

My sleep system includes a 5x7 silicone-nylon tarp, a Catoma IBNS bug net system, and a Coleman Traverse 4-In-1 big n tall sleeping bag. I also carry a 10 X 10 silicone-nylon tarp if my GF is with me.

Edited to add:

Oh yeah, I also carry an army-type sleeping pad.
 
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I've spent many a night camping in MD, PA, and most of the rest of the states East of the Miss. River. Never seen one night without there being bugs wanting to crawl on me or fly in and suck on me. Even in winter when you warm the ground up they will crawl up out of the ground to get to your warmth! Not much chance of sleeping with critters all over you to my experience.

PUP TENT!

Also, any tarp laying out over night will be covered with dew by about 4:00 in the morning. COLD, WET dew. Just saying...
 

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One of the most important item I carry when backpacking and sleeping in a tent is a thermarest mattress. They are the standard for backpacking.
YOU SIR, speak from experience! :D Tarps are ideal. In theory. Tents and good padding... That's real world stuff. ;-)
 

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YOU SIR, speak from experience! :D Tarps are ideal. In theory. Tents and good padding... That's real world stuff. ;-)
Lol, I guess those of us who've used tarps all these years must have been sleeping in some alternative reality. I must have been taken away to OZ and didn't know it.

The reality is though BCS, is lots of people don't sleep in tents and prefer to stick to a lighter approach. That's why tarps and poncho's are still so popular. Bugs and mosquitoes are part of the outdoors. You deal with it. Some people just deal with it better than others I'd say and try not to let it control them. Sleeping in a tent nice. If you don't have to worry about anyone trying to sneak up on you that is, because a tent closes you off to be able to react to a threat a hell of a lot. In the real world anyways. I predict quite a few people dying, sleeping cozy in their tent when the shtf and people are out looking to steal from and harm those they can.
 

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Basically I go along with Fuzzee. I have 2 different sleeping bags, light and heavy plus the equip shown in Fuzzee's pix, minus the M1a. I prefer something a tad lighter in weight, but still 7.62 for myself.
 

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As a minimum, I think you need a couple of tarps, a sleeping pad unless leaves and such are available to get you off/insulate you from the ground and a good bag appropriate for the weather conditions you expect to endure.

Don't like roughin it so much get you a good bivy type tent, pad and sleeping bag for the weather at hand and you should sleep well. The addition of a 8x10 tarp would probably be well worth the added weight to put over the bivy for added protection if the weather should turn really nasty on you.

Me, Im a girly-boy. I have a 9x7 dome tent, insulated sleeping pad (us old folks bones are pretty brittle and muscles get sore easy) and a pretty heavy sleeping bag good to about 0 degrees (it doesn't often drop below 20 here), a blanket and a sheet. Yeah its more than I need and weighs a bit but I will carry the extra weight readily if I can get a good nights sleep and have enough room inside to sleep and store my gear, especially if its raining outside all day and I am going to hunker down. Being cold and wet, sucks!!!

Everyones needs are a little bit different and most folks have a pretty wide range of ideas on whats comfortable and whats not. Look at your needs and address them as required and you should be fine. BTW...Im really not that old but the hang overs hurt more than they used to and there are few things in this world more important than a good nights sleep! Think about that one for a few...
 

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Lol, I guess those of us who've used tarps all these years must have been sleeping in some alternative reality. I must have been taken away to OZ and didn't know it.

The reality is though BCS, is lots of people don't sleep in tents and prefer to stick to a lighter approach. That's why tarps and poncho's are still so popular. Bugs and mosquitoes are part of the outdoors. You deal with it. Some people just deal with it better than others I'd say and try not to let it control them. Sleeping in a tent nice. If you don't have to worry about anyone trying to sneak up on you that is, because a tent closes you off to be able to react to a threat a hell of a lot. In the real world anyways. I predict quite a few people dying, sleeping cozy in their tent when the shtf and people are out looking to steal from and harm those they can.
Tents are a Grizzly bear taco shell. But your saying you've actually spent several nights in the woods, and slept well with bugs biting and crawling over you, but would quickly wake up if a larger creature were anywhere near? VERY UNIQUE. Hopefully none of the bugs ever prove poisonous or anything. Where is the limit on what is and isn't worth waking up over? Snakes for instance? Wish to God I could sleep like that! Not sure I'd like waking up covered with the sores though...
 

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Personally, my BOB has a lightweight tent with bottom, sleeping pad, and sleeping bag. My sleeping bag is not for real low temps (San Diego!), but I can keep warmer if needed by wearing one or more layers of dry clothing to sleep in and/or building a fire for warmth. I've been fortunate in not living or camping in areas where bugs were a real bad problem (was talking with a friend from Congo this week and he only goes to some parts of Congo for 2 months out of the year and wearing insect repellent for fear of swarms of biting flies which cause blindness), but bad enough I prefer a completely enclosed tent. I like backpacking, and this influenced my decision in this regard.

If I were to go the tarp route, I'd get one long enough to at least go completely around--i.e. cover the ground as well as sheltering from the elements. I am not at all fond of using ponchos for shelters.

Real minimalists go with heavy-duty construction site plastic trash bags.
 

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I'm in the tent camp. Not much worry of bears here but snakes are a real concern. Only way I do snake is in a skillet.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I have enough tents to start a refugee camp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You'll find people go different ways about what they feel is a need. And you'll have to find what you. As much what we called a "pussy pad" (roll up sleeping pad) is nice on rough ground, I forego carrying one these days. You've only got some much room on and in your pack to pack around so you can't bring everything. What I do is de-rock the area I'm sleeping in and lay down a base layer of soft leaves and brush where I'm sleeping on the ground. If I'm sleeping on an elevated platform for snake and bug protection, than I cover the platform. Than my sleeping bag goes on top and me on top of it, covered by my poncho liner. (usgi style OD green) My poncho/tarp is spread out and tied above me using 550 cord and whatever trees/bush is around to protect me from the rain. It's a light set up and basically the same thing I've done since the Army. Minus the p pad. The sleeping bag replaces the p pad a little but not much. The sleeping bag is more important is things get cold. I pack a Recon 3 these days. The coldest I had it in was about 20 degrees through the night and it was just warm enough.

That sure is a nice little sleeping bag!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I consider getting quality sleep to be very important. Your needs will vary with your climate, but I'm gonna be sleeping in a comfortable sleeping bag.

My sleep system includes a 5x7 silicone-nylon tarp, a Catoma IBNS bug net system, and a Coleman Traverse 4-In-1 big n tall sleeping bag. I also carry a 10 X 10 silicone-nylon tarp if my GF is with me.

Edited to add:

Oh yeah, I also carry an army-type sleeping pad.
isn't that a lot of weight for a BOB? I think you are referring to camping?
 
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