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Making an airbed more comfortable?



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old July 25th 03, 12:32 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

Hi,

The girlfriend and I have just started camping and in an attempt to
provide sufficient comfort the pickier of us (guess who?! ;-) ) I
bought a Gelert flock-top double airbed.

It's only been tested the once (err.. sleeping) and with a sheet on
it, and duvet, it was pretty comfy... ..obviously not bed-at-home
comfort but certainly sufficient and better than we expected.

However, the one complaint I do have is that we always felt a slight
dampness between our skin and the bed (sheet)... is this due to the
fact that the mattress obviously does not allow any evaporation like a
normal mattress would? Or is it the cold ground beneath creating a
sufficient temperature differential thus cause condensation? I'm not
talking profuse sweating here.. ..more just I/we could tell we were
sleeping on something rubber/plastic (even though it was covered by
the flock and sheet) by the feeling of our skin. It wasn't really
noticeable whilst actually lying down, only when we moved/sat up etc.

I appreciate that the feeling of dampness goes hand-in-hand with
camping however I do feel that I can do something about this
particular situation given I suspect that it's due to perspiration
more than anything else.

Can anyone relate to this problem?! Any solutions? I thought perhaps
putting a blanket (or similar) underneath the sheet made alleviate it
somewhat?

Cheers,

Mathew

P.S. I can't believe I'm allowing my name to be associated with a
posting about sweating on airbeds to be stored in the Usenet archives
for the rest of time...!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old July 25th 03, 01:19 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
Paul McGuinness
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

In message , Mathew J.
Newton E-Mail Address Not Used writes
Hi,

The girlfriend and I have just started camping and in an attempt to
provide sufficient comfort the pickier of us (guess who?! ;-) ) I
bought a Gelert flock-top double airbed.

It's only been tested the once (err.. sleeping) and with a sheet on
it, and duvet, it was pretty comfy... ..obviously not bed-at-home
comfort but certainly sufficient and better than we expected.

However, the one complaint I do have is that we always felt a slight
dampness between our skin and the bed (sheet)... iCheers,

snip
Mathew

I'd give the blanket a try, or better a cotton blanket - more absorbent
and easier to wash. Should make a difference.

Paul.

--
Paul reply-to is valid
  #3 (permalink)  
Old July 25th 03, 02:22 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

(Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used)
wrote in om:

snip

I appreciate that the feeling of dampness goes hand-in-hand with
camping however I do feel that I can do something about this
particular situation given I suspect that it's due to perspiration
more than anything else.


Don't start to think that camping always feels damp. That's only if you
are doing it wrong! :-)

Can anyone relate to this problem?! Any solutions? I thought perhaps
putting a blanket (or similar) underneath the sheet made alleviate it
somewhat?


Ah... air-bed syndrome...

These are not the good thermal insulators that you might expect, and
always start to feel cold after a while. The air within them tends to
remain at ground temperature so you get condensation forming on the top
surface, next to your body. Closed cell mattresses like the Thermarest
don't have this problem as the trapped air cannot circulate.

Try a layer of insulation between the air-bed and the ground, instead of
on top of it. That will allow the trapped air to rise to body
temperature, moving the condensation to the bottom of the mattress. A
folded blanket or even some polystyrene tiles should help - but you still
won't get as good a result as a closed-cell mattress and the end result
will always be more bulky.

--
Mick
http://www.nascom.info for Nascom & Gemini info.
Also at http://www.mixtel.co.uk
Return email address is munged.
  #5 (permalink)  
Old July 26th 03, 06:22 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

"[email protected]" mickATmixtel.co.uk wrote in message 13.46...
(Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used)
wrote in om:

snip

I appreciate that the feeling of dampness goes hand-in-hand with
camping however I do feel that I can do something about this
particular situation given I suspect that it's due to perspiration
more than anything else.


Don't start to think that camping always feels damp. That's only if you
are doing it wrong! :-)


Could I get you (and/or others) to elaborate on this and perhaps
suggest ways to alleviate it? I confess to being a complete novice in
this area so any/all advice gratefully received!

Ah... air-bed syndrome...


snip


Try a layer of insulation between the air-bed and the ground, instead of
on top of it. That will allow the trapped air to rise to body
temperature, moving the condensation to the bottom of the mattress. A
folded blanket or even some polystyrene tiles should help - but you still
won't get as good a result as a closed-cell mattress and the end result
will always be more bulky.


I'll bear this in mind and look to try out some forms of insulation on
our next trip... I particularly like Howard9's suggestion of radiator
reflector foil!

Thanks again everone,

Mathew
  #6 (permalink)  
Old July 26th 03, 07:39 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 14
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

(Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used)
wrote in om:

snip

I appreciate that the feeling of dampness goes hand-in-hand with
camping however I do feel that I can do something about this
particular situation given I suspect that it's due to perspiration
more than anything else.


Don't start to think that camping always feels damp. That's only if
you are doing it wrong! :-)


Could I get you (and/or others) to elaborate on this and perhaps
suggest ways to alleviate it? I confess to being a complete novice in
this area so any/all advice gratefully received!

snip

Well, basically you only have 2 sources of dampness, direct and
condensation. The trick is to minimise both to the point where they don't
matter! Direct moisture is easy to fix using modern materials so we don't
really need to consider that. Condensation is a very real problem. You
really need to go back to your physics lessons, consider exactly why the
problem occurs and that should help lead you find the cure.

Tents:
Relatively easy to stop rain but condensation occurs underneath the fly -
often in quite large quantities. Make sure that there is air circulation
at that point. The inner must never be allowed to physically touch the
fly otherwise that condensation will pass through it and fall on you like
rain - you get cold & damp.

Sleeping:
Keep an insulating layer between your sleeping bag & the ground.
Obviously there needs to be a moisture barrier too, otherwise the bag
will get damp and lose its insulating properties - you get cold & damp
again. Damp insulation is worse than none at all.

Cooking:
....should *never* take place within the fly area. Apart from the obvious
fire hazard, all fuels release some water vapour as they burn. This will
condense on the interior of the fly making the problem worse.

Clothing:
Try reasonable exercise while wearing a plastic mac. That should convince
you that continuous vapour barriers are no use as outer clothing! The
resulting condensation just soaks everything so thin, light, ventilated
outer layers are what you want. Just enough to protect your insulating
layer(s) from getting damp and losing their effectiveness.

Insulation is usually best formed by a layer of still air. Moving air
isn't as efficient as the air movement will transfer heat across the gap.
Thus, air mattresses are relatively poor insulators while closed-cell
mats are much better.

Following on from this, a large amount of air movement between the inner
and fly is undesirable as you lose heat, but some movement is necessary
to help control the condensation. Thus a relatively large gap, with the
fly almost down to the ground on all sides, is probably the best
compromise. Too much gap gives too much air movement and a cold tent,
insufficient gap gives the condensation opportunity to build up to the
point where it drips onto the inner.

The foil layer under an air bed will help to some extent by reflecting
body heat back into the air space. I suspect that the material mentioned
by Howard9 will gain most of its effect from the small air bubbles
trapped in it. This will give the desired layer of still air. A layer of
tinfoil would probably not help much at all!

The plastic "silvered" "space blankets" also combine a reasonable
insulator (polythene or similar) with a metalised layer to reflect heat
back to the body. These also form a vapour barrier of course.

Phew... the physics of camping! :-)

--
Mick
http://www.nascom.info for Nascom & Gemini info.
Also at http://www.mixtel.co.uk
Return email address is munged.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old July 26th 03, 11:10 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
Richard Gosney
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 2
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

In Article
,
(Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used) wrote:

Can anyone relate to this problem?! Any solutions? I thought perhaps
putting a blanket (or similar) underneath the sheet made alleviate it
somewhat?


Mathew,

Definitely not something you have to put up with. The problem comes from the
air in the mattress cooling and condensation in your breath. I expect the
dampness was most pronounced at head level?

Best solution I have found is to put a fleece blanket on top of the
mattress, makes a huge difference and stops you feeling cold from being too
close to the cold mattress too. I got a couple of large blankets from
Primark for about 6 quid each.

Regards,
Richard G.

  #9 (permalink)  
Old July 26th 03, 11:45 PM posted to uk.rec.camping
Mathew J. Newton \(E-Mail address not valid\)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 5
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?

"Richard Gosney" wrote in message
...
In Article

,
(Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used) wrote:

Can anyone relate to this problem?! Any solutions? I thought perhaps
putting a blanket (or similar) underneath the sheet made alleviate it
somewhat?


Mathew,

Definitely not something you have to put up with. The problem comes from

the
air in the mattress cooling and condensation in your breath. I expect the
dampness was most pronounced at head level?

Best solution I have found is to put a fleece blanket on top of the
mattress, makes a huge difference and stops you feeling cold from being

too
close to the cold mattress too. I got a couple of large blankets from
Primark for about 6 quid each.


Thanks for the suggestions Richard. It's clear there's a few things I can
try so I'll give them a go!

Cheers,

Mathew


  #10 (permalink)  
Old July 27th 03, 10:47 AM posted to uk.rec.camping
Jim[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default Making an airbed more comfortable?


"Mathew J. Newton E-Mail Address Not Used"
wrote in message om...
Hi,

The girlfriend and I have just started camping and in an attempt to
provide sufficient comfort the pickier of us (guess who?! ;-) ) I
bought a Gelert flock-top double airbed.

It's only been tested the once (err.. sleeping) and with a sheet on
it, and duvet, it was pretty comfy... ..obviously not bed-at-home
comfort but certainly sufficient and better than we expected.

However, the one complaint I do have is that we always felt a slight
dampness between our skin and the bed (sheet)... is this due to the
fact that the mattress obviously does not allow any evaporation like a
normal mattress would? Or is it the cold ground beneath creating a
sufficient temperature differential thus cause condensation? I'm not
talking profuse sweating here.. ..more just I/we could tell we were
sleeping on something rubber/plastic (even though it was covered by
the flock and sheet) by the feeling of our skin. It wasn't really
noticeable whilst actually lying down, only when we moved/sat up etc.

I appreciate that the feeling of dampness goes hand-in-hand with
camping however I do feel that I can do something about this
particular situation given I suspect that it's due to perspiration
more than anything else.

Can anyone relate to this problem?! Any solutions? I thought perhaps
putting a blanket (or similar) underneath the sheet made alleviate it
somewhat?

Cheers,

Mathew

P.S. I can't believe I'm allowing my name to be associated with a
posting about sweating on airbeds to be stored in the Usenet archives
for the rest of time...!


You might want to try Thermarest mattresses. Light and supportive
with none of the problems inherent in airbeds.



 



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