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  1. #1
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    Default side sleeping question

    I always sleep on my side. Just like it plus my neck doesn't hurt when I get up in the morning!!!!!!! It looks like all mummy bags are made for back sleeping. How do they work for sleeping on your side? Would a quilt be a better item for side use.

    I think the quilt would be a great. I can shorten it to about 4 feet long, really light. I really curl up and fit entirely on a 4 foot pad.

    So far I have not been outside camping on a cold night. Dont know what I will need. I do plan to do some hiking in cooler weather. Like lows of 25 F.

    Does anyone else sleep on their side? What do you use??

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Registered User hopefulhiker's Avatar
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    Default

    I am a side sleeper and back and stomach sleeper.. I use an insulated air mattress in combination with a down back country blanket... Without a pad you can sort of dig out a little place for your shoulders and your hips..

  3. #3
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    Big Agnes Lost Ranger fitted with an AirCore inflatible pad works well for me. I am a side sleeper also. The Lost Ranger (and several other of the Big Agnes bags are cut to be between a rectangular bag and a mummy. Good room. The hood does not work so well on your side however. Big Agnes does make hoodless bags with this semi-rectangular cut but I have not tried one.

  4. #4
    Donating Member Cuffs's Avatar
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    Side sleeper/turner here. I gave up on ground sleeping, even with a pad. The circulation in my shoulder and hip would slow, causing numbness... tossing/turning all night. Now I hang in the trees. No more problems, even side sleep!
    ~If you cant do it with one bullet, dont do it at all.
    ~Well behaved women rarely make history.

  5. #5
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    I sleep on my side. Never had a problem with a mummy bag - just get into it on your back, then roll over, bag and all. However, I just switched to a quilt. Makes more sense weight and comfort-wise.

  6. #6
    Rain Man's Avatar
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    I definitely sleep on my side(s). Have yet to find an acceptable sleeping pad of any sort, but have Big Agnes on my list to try. I've even doubled-up sleeping pads, which doesn't seem to help.

    I find that a good "pillow" is as important as anything, to keep the weight of my head off my shoulders, not to mention preventing cricks in my neck!

    Sleeping comfortably is one aspect of hiking I have not conquered.... yet.

    RainMan

    .
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

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  7. #7
    Registered User hopefulhiker's Avatar
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    The insulated core mummy BA is what I use.. I have got an extra Insul mat air mattress if you want to give it a try. Cheap...

  8. #8
    Hikin' my own hike Crazy Legs's Avatar
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    I guess I'm a bit odd. I sleep on my side, use a Z-rest pad, and have no issues. After 21 years in the Marines, I learned to sleep any and every where. :-)
    Legalize Freedom

  9. #9
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    Default

    When I was using a thermarest, there wasn't enough air to keep my hips from hitting the floor. I switched to a 2+1/2" thick insulmat (3/4 length 13oz, same as the thermarest). And I'm still sleeping on my side with it now, six months after the trail. Not having a bed saves a lot of square footage in your room.

  10. #10
    Registered User scope's Avatar
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    Default side-sleepin'

    Quote Originally Posted by happyhunter View Post
    I always sleep on my side. Just like it plus my neck doesn't hurt when I get up in the morning!!!!!!! It looks like all mummy bags are made for back sleeping. How do they work for sleeping on your side? Would a quilt be a better item for side use.
    You must be talking about the Big Agnes bags that have no bottom insulation. Those bags are cut roomy so that you move around inside them. A traditional mummy bag is absolutely perfect for side sleeping as it insulates all over no matter what position you're in. I would say, though, that in a roomy traditional mummy bag - like my Marmot Sawtooth - it is easy to move around inside the bag, which on the positive is very comfortable for me, but it also means my face ends up inside the hood. I'm mostly not out in real cold weather so I don't use the hood, but in 25F you'll want the hood cinched down. My advice would be to go with a snug-fitting mummy bag that will move with you when you go from side to side.

    In cold weather, I use two pads, one CCF on the bottom as insulation and a Thermarest or air pad for comfort.

    Believe it or not, a hammock is great for side sleeping - no pressure points. If that interests you, there's more than plenty of info on WB to inform you on what it would take to go down into the 20s in a hammock (not something for the uninformed).
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

  11. #11

    Default

    I'm like Crazy Legs. I'm a side sleeper and use just a Z Rest foam pad. And I have no problem switching from side to side in a mummy bag. I find, however, that even in a comfy bed I do switch from side to side frequently and the habit has become so ingrained that I wake up only briefly, if at all, when I do this. So when switching frequently from side to side on the ground in my sleeping bag, I don't lose sleep like some people might when doing the same thing.

  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by happyhunter View Post
    I always sleep on my side. Just like it plus my neck doesn't hurt when I get up in the morning!!!!!!! It looks like all mummy bags are made for back sleeping. How do they work for sleeping on your side? Would a quilt be a better item for side use.

    I think the quilt would be a great. I can shorten it to about 4 feet long, really light. I really curl up and fit entirely on a 4 foot pad.

    So far I have not been outside camping on a cold night. Dont know what I will need. I do plan to do some hiking in cooler weather. Like lows of 25 F.

    Does anyone else sleep on their side? What do you use??

    Thanks!!
    i sleep on my side always in a tent and most always unzip the bag and use it as a quilt/blanket

  13. #13

    Default

    never had a problem with side sleeping even with a RidgeRest and my mummy. I find though that I do need a "tall" pillow to keep my head level and avoid tomorrows neck pain. I usually stuff my mummy stuff sack with clothing and put it on end.

    geek

  14. #14
    1811 miles and counting!
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    After years of trying everything from a Thermarest to two different hammocks, I found the Exped pad, which is like the Big Agnes. I agree with Geek, you have to keep your head level. I found an inflatable pillow which weighs about an ounce on the Backpacking Light sight, I think. The good night's sleep is worth the weight and trouble. It weighs about 1 lb 5 oz plus a few ounces for insulation if needed. I use the 1/4" pad from my hammock experiments. I unzip the mummy about half-way and use like a blanket. If I need to keep my head warm, I wear a hooded fleece jacket.

  15. #15
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    I am so grateful for these suggestions for side sleepers. Generally my mode is to toss and turn all night long, as one side goes dead and aches, and then switch to the other until that goes dead, etc. I will definitely look into the pillow idea, I just have a regular thermarest and it supports my weight okay, but is really not good for side sleeping.

    Jane in CT

  16. #16

    Default

    Jane,
    If you also have trouble with a mummy hood because of side sleeping, try using a very light weight polypro balaclava for sleeping in cool / cold weather. They are usually comfortable, weigh nothing and will keep your head warm without falling off like a hat will.

    geek

  17. #17
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    Thanks for this suggestion also. I have slept in a hat when it got cold enough and have been so impressed at how it works just the way it's supposed to! But I will try the balaclava, we have a bunch around here we use for running in cold temps.

    Jane

  18. #18
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    Default

    I too am a side sleeper when I backpack. At home I'm a stomach sleeper, but can't do it on the trail - too painful.

    When I go to sleep, I start on my back and just turn (usually holding the side of the bag). This helps to keept he bag from getting all cockeyed on me. When I move from side to side, I usually don't have a problem if I do this. In colder seasons, I will use a fleece shirt of socks/clothes for a pillow.

    What usually happens is that I am awoken by my side (shoulder) falling asleep and the pain / numbness wakes me up and I switch sides or go on my back.
    Peace Be With You

  19. #19
    Registered User Chomp09's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Pillow Idea...

    Anybody ever use a kid's inflateable arm band/water floaty thing as a pillow? I haven't tried it yet, but am thinking that there would be a couple really positive benefits:

    little to no weight or space required in your pack
    adjustable to fit your preference

    I tend to fill a stuff sack with clothes, but find that sometimes everything shifts around if the bag is a little too big...

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grayjoe View Post
    Big Agnes Lost Ranger fitted with an AirCore inflatible pad works well for me. I am a side sleeper also. The Lost Ranger (and several other of the Big Agnes bags are cut to be between a rectangular bag and a mummy. Good room. The hood does not work so well on your side however. Big Agnes does make hoodless bags with this semi-rectangular cut but I have not tried one.
    +1
    I have the BA Mystic bag and the integrated pad makes side sleeping great.
    Founder, Royal Order of the Scarlet Nape

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