Waking up on the morning of my first camping trip was not a very pleasant experience. I and my friends were up well after midnight philosophizing and consequently wound up sleeping well past sunrise. The heat of the morning sun and the sound of buzzing flies soon rousted us from our outdoor slumber.
Stiff from having slept on the hard ground, we laughed at each other as we stumbled out of our sleeping bags and tried to stand up. We eventually rolled up our bags, found our shoes, gathered up trash, said our see yas later and dragged ourselves home.
I remember that overnight camping trip like it was yesterday. Why? Because it was a painful experience; that ground was hard! However, I had learned my first basic camping lesson - don't sleep on the hard ground.
Whether you are tent camping or sleeping out under the stars, using a sleeping bag or some other form of bedding, you need to put something between your torso and the cold hard ground. One solution is a sleeping pad. I acquired one some years ago when I got into backpacking. I use a Therm-a-Rest, made by Cascade Designs, and it has served me quite well for over 20 years. I've used it on numerous trips into the Grand Canyon and in the redwood forests of Sequoia National Park, and it still goes with me whenever I tent camp.
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