Tent and sleeping pad on uneven ground

kilroy

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Jun 21, 2021
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Vancouver
What kind of shelter set up are you using for kayak camping in the PNW? It is not uncommon on the coast to run into sites that have few flat areas and even the decent sites might only have a narrow sweet spot to sleep in with a limited pitch area.

I have a Tarptent Notch that isn't free standing and I've found it to be a bit of a pain to pitch on beaches with narrow and/or sloped spots as well as next to any barriers since it requires pretty firm pegging to hold its form. I also have an MSR double hubba that is freestanding and fares a bit better, but it's also heavier and requires more surface area.

That's the tent half, the other part is the sleeping pad. For spots that are slightly sloped, slippery, inflatable pads like the Thermarest XLite can cause you to slide down to the edge of your tent during the night. I like the plush thickness of an inflatable pad, but I'm thinking about going back to a closed cell or self-inflating pad so it contours to the ground better.

Anyways, I'm looking for the perfect setup that probably doesn't exist. What has worked better or worse for you?
 

mick_allen

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May 15, 2005
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3,481
not perfect, but hammock alternative along? Been at some awkward sites with that.

another possible idea is a light frame cot that could have variable legs to account for variable terrain. Or multiple small bags that each/all could be blown up and attached/pinned to the variable terrain to provide an even surface with variable inflating.
 
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AM

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Jan 30, 2006
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Vancouver
I’m a fan of 1-person tents because they have minimal real estate requirements. I use an MSR Elixir 1 and have almost never had an issue.

Re: sloping ground. I use my clothes bags as a guardrail.

Cheers,
Andrew
 

JKA

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Jul 25, 2016
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Location
Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
For spots that are slightly sloped, slippery, inflatable pads like the Thermarest XLite can cause you to slide down to the edge of your tent during the night.

Try using spare clothes etc under your pad to level your sleeping spot. It makes a world of difference to the comfort of your sleeping.

It took me many, many years to learn this simple trick!
 

CPS

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Oct 27, 2020
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Location
BC
I too am in search of a perfect set up for myself. I have lately been sleeping under a tarp, having run out of patience for packing up tents. But the space it takes up is basically the same as a tent and doesn't solve the sloping ground issue.

I've been very intrigued by hammocks lately. Obviously in an environment without sturdy trees I'd be back to just sleeping on the ground.
 

mick_allen

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May 15, 2005
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Oh yeah, to add: the variable volume of a pneumatic paddlefloat could also be mixed in any veg matter and clothing, drybags, sprayskirt, etc to fill in terrain depressions or sloping areas and of course pfds opened up. Woodchips, axe-chips, flexible branches, gravel [love it], small twigs and sticks . . . .

for the future, it might be worth thinking about Mariner's functionality or similar with removable seat and flexible or non-existent front bulkhead for wedged tight spot or anchor sleeping.
 

cougarmeat

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Sep 17, 2012
Messages
995
Location
Bend OR USA
Kilroy, I am posting a No Trees, No Problem tread in the Gear forum where you can find my Tarpology thread. I made a mistake a while back posting hammock info in General instead of here.

Moderator, if you want to move my Hammockology tread from General to Gear it would be a better fit here.
 
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