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Pillow talk

Completing a long trek of a couple of weeks or more can be a challenging experience, especially if you’re planning to camp along the way. You need a nutritionally balanced diet, equipment that will last, scrupulous personal hygiene…..and a good nights sleep!

For many people a good nights sleep depends on having a decent pillow, an often neglected item. Whether you are sleeping in a tent, or going from hut to hut a pillow can make a world of difference to how you sleep and for how long.

Choosing a pillow for your trek starts at home, with what you sleep with now - if it's high or low, hard or soft, this should inform your choice for a trek. Look for the product that most closely matches what you use now.

Next is your bed, a much larger pillow is needed if you are sleeping on thick mattress (such as an airbed) as opposed to a thinner self inflating or foam mattress.
If a large pillow is needed then ‘inflatable’ is often the way to go such as the Exped Air Pillow, which is light to carry and blows up quite large. A softer option is a fibre filled model or ‘self inflating’ but these are generally smaller than an inflatable – the Exped Comfort Pillow is a good example.


Finally there is the stuffsack option – simply stuff with your spare clothing – this method is fine if you like quite a hard pillow. There are stuffsacks specifically designed for this purpose such as the Granite Gear Pillowsack, with a soft brushed nylon cover to add warmth and softness.

The Canadian company Integral Designs do a very light combination of pillow stuffsack and fleece cover.

Granite Gear also produce a range of rectangular stuffsacks that make ideal pillows when stuffed with clothing, they weigh just a few grams each and come in four sizes, the beauty of using one of these is that it’s the right shape to start with – Air Zippsacks.


Sleep well...

Find all this and much more at Ultralight Outdoor Gear.

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