Sleepin’ Sticky

There is nothing harder, other than walking 10 hours a day over rocks and river beds and mountains, than going to sleep sticky. When you walk all day, you sweat. When you sweat all day, you get sticky (as well as stinky). You don’t notice you’re sticky until you snuggle into your sleeping bag and you try to peel your legs apart, or your arms, You feel like a human post-it note, sticking and unsticking over and over again.

 

Backfire at Swinging Lick Gap

 

I tried to fix this problem by wearing tights and a long-sleeved shirt to bed, but my sleeping bag is rated for 15 degrees. With the tights and the long-sleeved shirt on, I starting sweating again. Not good. 

Spider on the Chunky Gal Trail

 It’s been 35 degrees at night and the sweat was making me cold –and sticky!  I finally decided that I was better off being just sticky, not  sticky and cold, and went to bed with just shorts and a t-shirt–which is hard to do when it’s freezing cold out! I guess there’s  just no getting past sticky when you don’t shower for days on end! 

Backfire enjoying a beautiful view

  

It’s also hard to get comfortable in a tent–especially a very small tent with two people. Mel and I have to take turns getting ready to sleep and getting dressed in the morning– othewise we run the risk of poking each other in the head with an elbow –which is what happened last night when Mel sat up suddenly with a cramp in his leg and almost  put my eye out! I could probably still hike with only one  eye,  but it would seriously mess up my depth perception. Not good on a mountain! 

One of many lovely waterfalls

Sometimes, it’s hard to just find a comfortable position to sleep. We have inflatable mattresses which are very light and very comfortable, but they tend to slide around in the tent a lot.  We might start out sleeping at the head of the tent and end up at the bottom. Mel tried to fix this problem before we left by painting a silicone product on the tent floor to make it a little tacky. It didn’t solve the sliding mattress problem but it did a good job of attracting all the loose feathers from our sleeping bags. Our tent floor now looks as if it’s harboring the feathered  remains of a hundred dead chickens. If it attracts enough feathers, we might have a better mattress to sleep on than we do now! 

Another beautiful overlook

To make sleeping more comfortable, we also have inflatable pillows–but I need more ‘lift’ than they provide, so I make my own pillow by stuffing all of my clothes, both stinky and clean, into a mesh bag that Mel made for me–that doubles as a mosquito hat that I can put over my head during mosquito season and pull the drawstring around my neck! So far,  it’s worked well as a pillow. Once it gets hot though, I may not be able to sleep with stinky clothes so close to my nose!

Coming into town and sleeping clean is my kind of heaven! Such a sweet contrast to sleepin’  sticky! 

     

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Comments 15

  • Avatar
    Nichole : May 2nd

    You guys are so amazing and inspiring!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jeanne Church : May 2nd

      Thanks!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Rachel Marcus Elliott : May 2nd

    Y’all are adorable (and amazing)! Keep on keeping on.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jeanne Church : May 3rd

      Thanks!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Carol : May 3rd

    Hey Jeanne and Mel! We’ve been thinking about you two a lot. It’s fun to be able to follow you here, and read about what we’re missing! 🙂 We will be visiting Jeff the week after next and will miss seeing you at the watering hole. We’ll raise a cuppa to you!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jeanne Church : May 3rd

    Thanks, Carol! Good to hear from you!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    imin2w8s : May 3rd

    Thanks for keeping it real! Sleeping sticky is going to be hard for me, but guess I’ll just have to suck it up and deal. It’ll make the hostels all that much sweeter! Enjoying your posts!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Jill : May 3rd

    Sleeping sticky. Hmm, I used to wear one piece cotton long johns in my bag. Probably too heavy for your long hike. No sticky, but they would be warn too. Love the photos, you are hiking in a fantastic place!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jeanne Church : May 5th

      Long pants and a long shirt keep your arms and legs from stcking tigether, but also make you hot! More sweat!

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Nancy Camden : May 3rd

    Thanks for the laugh and reminder to enjoy my nightly shower. The lack of shower would be the worst for me–until the bug stories start coming.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    imin2w8s : May 3rd

    As I was discussing this with my husband, regarding my future hike, he wondered if rubbing myself down each night with baby powder would help prevent stickiness??

    Reply
  • Avatar
    Audrey and Your Friends Here : May 4th

    You’r Posts are both inspiring and heart warming! Keep up the great work! We love your blogs!!!!

    Reply
    • Avatar
      Jeanne Church : May 5th

      Powder might help. I’ve mever tried it.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    Jeanne Church : May 5th

    Thanks, Audrey and Friends. I think of you almost every time I forget to stretch my arm! It’s hard to add an achy arm to two achy feet! I’ve twisted my ankles several times, but my hiking sticks have saved the day!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    dimbles : May 7th

    lush makes a really wonderful dusting powder! it’s kind of like baby powder, but much silkier. it’s actually called silky underwear. which doesn’t help now that you’re out there but maybe for future or someone could send to you? i have absolutely no thigh gap and it saves my life when sticky!

    Reply

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