What to Pack – Part 3, For a Great Night’s Sleep

Welcome to my What to Pack guide. If you’ve jumped in here on this page then I recommend you first read:

What to Pack – Part 1, Introduction

What to Pack – Part 2, My Pack’s, Organising Packing & Security.

In this section I’ll look at what to pack to get the best possible great night’s sleep. It’s all in the kit.

Combined tent mosquito net

I love my SansBug Free-standing Pop-up Mosquito Net Tent, not only is it a great tent, it also meets my requirements of being a simple but innovative product that’s adaptable and it weighs only 1100 grams complete with its own carry case. My travels mean spending a great deal of time in the tropics, living amongst mosquitos, so I need protection against these mites. The real bonus of this is that I don’t have to fiddle around trying to secure a net and make sure its sealed around my bed or bag. I’ll let the video do some of the talking, so you can see for yourself what a amazing item this is:

Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘You use this in the tropics, with open mesh sides? Don’t they have sever rainy seasons there? So what’s to stop you getting drowned when the heavens open in the middle of the night, doesn’t the rain pour in?’ Well help is at hand for I have a solution for that, by utilising another piece of my kit, which I’ll come to shortly.


Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Mattress

Thermarest NeoAir Xlite Mattress

Another item high up on my list of priorities is my Therm-a-Rest Outdoor Mattress.  Providing I have the right mattress that gives me support and is comfortable then I can sleep pretty much anywhere. For this purchase I follow the advice I received when buying my first ever home mattress, ‘you’re spend a long time in bed, so make sure it’s comfortable and buy the best you can afford’. The Thermarest technology, with its cellular structure and self inflation mechanism is in my view the best product on the market for it’s weight (260 grams) and compactness, it compresses down into a small roll – important considerations when packing for travel.

Sleeping Bag

I use a lightweight two season Travelproof Variant III Sleeping Bag, this is despite the fact that I can sometimes be found in colder climes where a three to four season bag would be more appropriate. There are a number of great reasons why I compromise on the cosiness of a heavier bag:

  • Firstly, I can get myself cosy, when needed, by using a silk bag liner, or thermals, or in rare extremes, additional clothing layers,
  • Next, if like me, having your feet confined within a bag drives you mad, then this one has an independent bottom zip that allows your feet to peep out, open to the air.
  • It is lighter in my pack than a three to four season bag, weighing 800 grams.
  • Saving the best bit to last, this is no ordinary sleeping bag. When used with the Travelproof Expedition Poncho, see below and video, this sleeping bag transforms into a waterproof rug, or a cosy shawl – ideal for colder nights around the camp fire.


Strictly speaking my Travelproof Expedition Poncho should appear in the later clothing section of this What to Pack guide, however as it’s already been mentioned and due to its versatility. This 495 gram item is so much more than an item of clothing when used with the Travelproof Variant III Sleeping Bag – I will sing its praises now;

  • It’s a fine waterproof that will keep you dry even in the most torrential monsoon.
  • As mentioned above and demonstrated in the video below, when combined with the Travelproof Variant III Sleeping Bag it transforms into a waterproof rug, or a cosy shawl.
  • It’s so large and versatile that it acts as a waterproof covering for the SansBug Free-standing Pop-up Mosquito Net Tent in the event of an overnight storm.
  • When travelling it will cover your backpack keeping it dry even in the most torrential downpours.
  • Lastly, I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s just so darn attractive, it’s what every debonair nomad needs! But seriously, this Poncho keeps you dry, so that once the rains stop you can transform emerge poncho less looking as though you’ve just been for a stroll in the park and not like the proverbial drowned rat!

Anyway, if you’re interested to find out more you should have a peek at this ably demonstrated video that shows the versatility of combining the sleeping bag with the poncho:


Sleeping Bag Liner

If you haven’t considered using a Silk Sleeping Bag Liner then you should. They provide a couple of benefits: They supplement my two season bag with additional warmth on cold nights, by trapping a layer of air within your bag they act as an insulator.  Using a liner also keeps your bag cleaner, by soaking up body oils, so the bag doesn’t end up musty and smelly. This means your bag needs less time consuming washes, with the bonus that due to its light composition the liner can be washed frequently, as it dries within an hour. Another advantage, for those hot sticky tropical nights, is that you can dispense with the bag and just sleep in the liner, but still have the comfort of a covering and a little weight (140 grams) around your shoulders.


Thermarest Compresible Travel Pillow

Thermarest Compresible Travel Pillow

Finding a decent pillow that isn’t bulky and crowding out your pack, yet gives you a great comfy head rest has been a long quest, but with the Therm-a-Rest Compressible Travel Pillow I think Ive found the perfect accessory.

Weighing in at 255grams, its almost as light as a feather, yet it rolls up to compress into a tiny pack.  Made from lightweight polyurethane foam, it packs smaller and expands larger than other camp pillows.

A couple of tips with this baby, firstly wash and tumble dry it before you depart on your trip and secondly unpack it half an hour before you rest on it to ensure it’s all puffed up and luxuriant!

Baggage allowance watch:

The items mentioned above comprise a combined weight of 1.95 Kilos out of your typical checked airline allowance of 22 Kilos. Please Note: I have not included the SansBug Free-standing Pop-up Mosquito Net Tent within this calculation as it always travels as my second item of cabin luggage.


Read my next instalment  >>>>  What to Pack – Part 4, My Gadget List

One response to “What to Pack – Part 3, For a Great Night’s Sleep

  1. Pingback: What to Pack – Part 1, Introduction | wandering volunteer·

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