Mar 16, 2012, 1:01 AM EDT
By Bill Miller
A “wild card” beyond your control in any hunting camp with shared accommodations is how loud your campmates snore! Arriving prepared to sleep well is up to you. Three small items added to your personal kit will help ensure this important element in any hunting camp.
Ear Plugs — Bring your own ear plugs. Any kind will help, but for seriously shutting out sound, nothing works as well as the wax type plugs that completely seal over the openings in your ears. These can be easily custom molded for comfort and maximum performance. I recommend Mack’s Pillow Soft Earplugs. You can get them in packs of a dozen or even more. While you may not need them all, your hunting buddies will offer up a bidding war when they see you enjoying peaceful slumber and they can’t get 5 minutes.
Should you forget ear plugs or run out, improvise. I’ve made it through a few snore-filled nights with wadded up toilet paper stuffed in my ears. Just be sure to leave enough sticking out so you don’t get it stuck in there. It looks goofy, but it works in a pinch.
Pillows — If the transportation allows it, bring your favorite pillow off your bed at home. Nothing makes for good sleep in hunting camp like a familiar pillow that “fits” you. Short of that, there are packable pillows from Thermarest that do a good job. They are light and compact so they don’t take up a lot of space. During the day, it can be used to protect a camera or other delicate gear in your pack. Any “real” pillow is a darn sight better than resting your head on a garbage bag full of damp, dirty laundry for a week!
Sleep Aid — There are times in hunting camp when it’s tough to sleep not because of external conditions, but because of you. You may hurt from over-exertion. You may be tied up in knots because you left a trail at dark, and you’re anxious about what you’ll find in the morning. Sometimes it’s just hard to sleep in an unfamiliar place. For those situations, consider taking along either Benadryl or a nighttime pain reliever like Nighttime Advil. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist for a recommendation, first, but these types of sleep aids can really help you get the rest you need in hunting camp to enjoy the experience.
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