Last night I found myself in the middle of nowhere, on a paper thin foam pad inside a sleeping bag that, although huge in size, is too small for me, and staring up at the stars wondering "What the heck am I doing here." That's right. I was taking part in the great American past time known as "Sleeping under the stars." I suppose it's a right of passage that all young men must go through at least once, but now that I'm nearly 39, I just don't have it in me anymore.
Since my mandate from the editors is to "Spice things up a bit" here at Review-spew.com I was originally going to call this review "Sleeping with the Bosses Wife Review" but that is a little too spicy, and once you read the review you would find yourself greatly disappointed. Besides, although we seek more readers, we don't want the ones that sort of title would have attracted.
My Boss, who is also a close friend of mine goes on an annual rafting trip. I've gone with him once and white-water rafting was fun once. Once. That bucket list item now firmly checked off I see no reason to risk life or limb in that endeavor ever again. However, I do enjoy long drives so I've shuttled for him on this trip a couple of times over the years. This year was the first time he took his whole family, including his wife and that was the explanation for the original title. See, I told you it would be boring. Their family was way over there while I was way over here, in incredible discomfort, staring up at the stars. Which brings me back to my review.
Here are the problems I have with sleeping under the stars.
The mosquitoes can get to you and buddy, pickings were good for them last night, what with all 300 pounds of me sprawled out like some all-you-can eat buffet. To avoid them you bury yourself in your bag which is already too small, but you manage to squeeze your melon in there anyway, and then you start sweating so you pull your head out of the bag for air. Sweat to mosquitoes is like gravy on roast for us. 2nd course same as the first.
It's also too bright. There are at least a bagillion stars out there and all shining down at you at once without the benefit of smog to protect you from their annoying glare and I was squinting like in my profile picture, but it was 2AM. So you duck into the bag to get away from the glare and then you get too hot so you come back out of the bag and...3rd course for the mosquitoes.
You feel even the slightest breeze and with that comes pollen and with that, at least for me, comes sneezing, coughing, itching eyes, etc, etc. This actually was a turn off for the mosquitoes so I guess it wasn't all bad, and I was eventually able to drift off.
This leads to the other thing I don't like about sleeping under the star. I like to call it The Horror Movie Effect. This is where you've seen so many horror movies that you just know that if you open your eyes there will be something or someone right there staring at you. This doesn't happen for me in a tent only when I'm sleeping under the stars.
I guess I'm off camping altogether. That ground gets harder and harder every year. Some would think that being as big as I am I would be okay, what with all that built in padding, but that just isn't the case. If someone were to sleep on top of me, they would be comfortable (as long as they didn't mind all the body-hair and sweat) but the padding I might provide for another just doesn't pad me.
If you've never done it, then I strongly suggest sleeping out under the stars at least once. Pick a cloudless night, because that's kind of the point, and enjoy it, cross it off your bucket list and then invest in a good tent. Tents have this stuff called mosquito netting. It is the single greatest invention ever, except maybe camp-trailers and motels. As for sleeping under the stars more than once, I can only give it, well 1 star, because it sucks big time.
Monday, September 14, 2009 JustJim