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Keeping warm & comfy at night, 2 people, minimalist style? 
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Joined: Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:50 pm
Posts: 27
Location: New Orleans
Corabantic -- I think I have the same bed frame (made of telescoping metal slats?) and I've wondered the same thing. Maybe cardboard from recycling (of course brought back to recycling at end of fest) would do the trick. Although my experiments with smaller boxes didn't work out too well. There would have to be enough layers to overlap it so the joints don't dip.

Sun Jul 17, 2011 9:28 am

Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:47 am
Posts: 14
Location: vermont
Thanks for the help, everyone!
We slept in the tent in the backyard the other night, as a test run.
Our plan is to bring a set of fleece sheets, a set of cotton sheets, a sleeping bag, and a lightweight down comforter. Once again, not exactly minimalist... but I think it's necessary. We also bought an emergency blanket in case we need it.

Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:40 pm

Joined: Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:41 pm
Posts: 77
Location: WA
At home I love cotton and down, but at Fest I no longer use them. In a humid year, they can be clammy. And down can be too warm, if it's not really cold. Next to your skin, I vote fleece for sure. Those $10 zip-up fleece "bags" can be zipped out flat and or paired. My solution is fleece plus wool. I have several thin wool blankets, including a small airline one. Wool will keep you warm even if it gets wet. Layers gives you options. I use a sarong as a bedspread - it looks and feels nice (and can be worn to the shower too).

I also bring SmartWool merino wool (non-itchy, washable) long underwear, top and bottom. If it gets really cold, I can wear those (and a cap) to supplement the bedding. The SmartWool is pricey- but useful all year in the NW. If you can afford them, at least get the leggings; a thrift shop wool sweater (or cashmere!) will work in bed, and at night stage.

Wed Jul 20, 2011 7:36 pm

Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:43 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Mich
This is not minimalist..but doesn't sound like that is what you are going for really.
The backpackers can tell you minimalist version.

]I wonder if any of you have used the aerobed instead of an air mattress. Bed Bath and Beyond carries them
and you can use their coupons toward the price. They have versions that do not require
electricity. They are easy to carry, come in their own bag and I usually keep one at home with the pad and sheets
already on it. I have not used one with a manual pump. You might carry a portable jump pack ... =firefox-a and an inverter ... =firefox-a to use
to pump it up with power. Just make sure to buy both, esp the inverter, with the right specs for what you plan to power.

Not a fluffy purchase either...both products are handy things to have in your car all the time. Just make sure to keep the
jump pack charged.

I find the aerobed is more stable than air mattresses. I also have noted that the 2 " memory foam on top of air mattresses
tends to make them feel a lot more even and stable-for me anyway. (even the thermorest is cold in the winter so I prefer solid foam mattress pads instead of air then, they roll up nice and are CHEAP.)

All air beds get cold in my experience. I have found that a pure wool blanket on the top cures this. Wool also wicks
moisture away from the body so you will be drier and warmer. This is also a good bottom layer if you sleep in an rv.
I put the wool under even my mattress pad when I am using them.

In really hot weather I love having a huge two person terrie towel instead of a bottom sheet.

So, in my RV I like wool as base layer (under the bottom sleeping bag) , bottom "sheet" is actually open sleeping bag. In summer next is huge towel (in winter is fleece blanket) then fleece blanket, then second sleeping bag. If I am winter camping sans heat (only way I have done it so far) I found that the wool blanket way outwarms the fleece and the weight may also be appreciated by some folks as well.

if get cold putting your rain poncho or emergency blanket over the whole bunch works too.

I have tried the emergency blanket under the bed, on the bed and on top of the whole thing. Have also used more than one.
I prefer soft and not crunchy bedding though so most likely to use it instead of a tarp under my bed as another moisture barrier as well as a heat layer.....and keeps the bed cleaner too.

Oh, if you have yet to buy your tent...I recommend staying away from ones where you cannot close the roof vents if you wish.
When it gets cold it is really helpful to be able to close your windows and vents. (learned this the hard way.)

Minimalist two people. Two rectangular sleeping bags zipped together as has been suggested, and I would invite a wool blanket for an insulation layer. I believe you can still get those at the army surplus store reasonable. Also where I get my rain ponchos.

One thing you might find helpful is a fleece cap you can sleep in. (if getting your hair flattened is not an issue) it makes a huge difference in heat retention, esp if you are the sort that also enjoys fresh air when you sleep.

Seems you found your answer so just leaving this here in case anyone else might find it helpful.

Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:31 pm

Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 11:11 pm
Posts: 869
Location: Cambridge, MA
I second the "memory foam" layer. I gave up trying to do the air mattress thing; no matter what I did, I was cold. So now I sleep on a 2" Thermarest with a 1.5" memory foam topper. Very, very comfy.

Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:37 pm

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 27
Location: Michigan
Lunasea....I have an extra down comforter I could bring for me at

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:53 pm
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 7:49 pm
Posts: 526
i need to find my thermarest... air mattress could be cold if we get a cold one.

☮ Bb

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:18 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 07, 2012 11:43 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Mich
Chappy 3030

RE: Down comforter.

How do those do when it gets humid? Do they stay dry, light and fluffy or
do they pull in some of the moisture? (figure they would stay warm either way, right?)


Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:03 am

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 27
Location: Michigan
I always put my down in a plastic garbage bag inside and put that in my stuff bag...for loading it rains. While I'm there....before night stage I always cover with a tarp or plastic. Is perfectly dry when I jump in bed at night. For best results...when it is sunny out during the day, I take it outside and shake it to fluff it up. It is wonderful when its cold out...and when its hot I just put it under me for extra padding and just cover with a sheet.

Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:24 am

Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:23 am
Posts: 27
Location: Michigan
another thought....the thing I like about down is that it really traps your body heat....I've gotten up to go to the porta janes in the middle of the night...and when I got back and crawled was still an electric blanket had been on or something. Just remember when you get out...flip the covers back over your keep the heat in....btw...I've been to over 30 festivals...have tried

Sat Jun 30, 2012 8:29 am

Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:14 am
Posts: 110
if down gets wet it really really really sucks and takes a long time to dry, esp if its humid. just be careful.

Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:25 pm

Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:48 pm
Posts: 82
Location: iowa
Corabantic1 wrote:
We were just talking about this on fb (lunasea and I), but I thought I would post here... I am obsessing about this exact issue too.... First time at Fest with a girlfriend... She went once as a performer with her partner at the time and said that the air mattress was so hellish, they ended up sleeping on the foam pad..

Fast foward 10 years and add on some fibromyalsia and autoimmune diagnoses and I am pretty concerned about the sleeping...

I already have a larger tent, so that's not an issue. I bought large but cheap and very light pieces of fleece from the fabric store before my first fest, and have a down-alternative comforter that generally keeps me warm at Fest.... They are also so light and compactable that I am not toooo concerned about the airplane restrictions (first time flying). Plus, my g/f is an oven which is GREAT!

My big concern: our ailing bodies! will we be able to sleep on an air mattress???? we can't afford the fancy dream sleep pads... trying desperately to come up with an alternative. We are flying to chicago and driving from there, so we could buy stuff cheap...


one last thing: we got this air mattress frame that is only 20 lbs and has a case (very easy). I got a convoluted idea that I could use my 2" memory foam topper on it if I could come up with something study to rest on it.... thoughts? I think it's not going to work, but there are some creative womyn on these boards so I thought i'd put it out there.

ok, enough rambling. I need to go to the store...

i have mild to moderate arthritis as well as fibro and i do fine on the taller queen airbeds or singles when i am alone. not the near to ground ones but the thicker ones.
have had to use them as my main bed a time or 2 as well.

Thu Jul 05, 2012 6:17 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:18 pm
Posts: 13
Warmth with minimalist packing-- for an additional layer between you and the air mattress, or layer on ground, can use dry towel(s) or clothes, empty duffel bag(s), etc. I bring a really thick, giant terrycloth bath/beach towel for top bed layer, and don't feel the minor wrinkles in the clothes underneath.

I had to bivouac once with no bedding, 30 degrees out, slept inside a big plastic garbage bag. (This was in the desert so moisture buildup was not an issue.)

Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:20 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 5:18 pm
Posts: 13
Larger tents are colder--but you can section them off to create a smaller space to hold your body heat.

Thu Aug 02, 2012 5:40 pm
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