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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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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