This article is sponsored by Unightie


Sleep is Not Just a Rest Stop

Did you know that sleep is one of the most important factors of any camping trip, overnight hike or multi-day outdoor adventure? Waking up after a good night's sleep does more than provide energy for a great day in the outdoors. Sleep can affect your health in several ways, both positive and negative.

Jackie Bourgaize, designer of Unightie, understands that sleep is a sacred time of rejuvenation, not just a rest stop. It’s important to have as short and as few interruptions as possible. That's why she created the Unightie, a wearable sleeping bag liner that transitions to a cover-up, changing room and bathroom-break cloak.

With input from Jackie, here are three ways lack of sleep can negatively affect you and five tips for a better sleep outside.


3 Negative Effects of Sleep Deprivation:


Your motor function is impaired. You can’t walk or hike as far, as long or as hard. Your body could struggle to deal with temperature variations. Muscles become tense and you may experience tremors.

Your cognitive ability is crippled. You’ll have difficulty solving problems, be more likely to make poor decisions and take unnecessary risks. It’s easier to get off track. You may not know where you are going but think you’re ‘making good time.’ This is serious stuff in the backcountry!

Your mood will be affected. You can become inflexible, irritable, anxious and even depressed. You might argue with your hiking buddies when a collaborative discussion is required. You don’t know why you ‘signed up’ in the first place.


5 Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep in the Great Outdoors:

photoMason T. Lindquist

Freshen Up! Wash your face and hands. It’s part of preparing your body and your mind for bed (plus, it’ll keep your pillow fresher). Slide into your dedicated garment for sleeping.

Dim the distractions! If just closing your eyes doesn’t work for you, pull a toque or hood down over your eyes. Some backpackers bring an eye mask or ear plugs.

Warm up your den! Fill a water bottle with hot water and throw it in your bag before you get in (bonus: you can drink the water in the morning). Even the clothes you take off can provide residual heat to the inside of your bag.

Get your head in the clouds! Give your pillow special thought and attention. Some say they just wad up their extra clothes, but you’ll sleep more soundly if you take the time to cradle your head in your own special way to the firmness you desire.

Minimize Awake Time! When you have to pee, get out and get back quickly. You can even keep a little toilet tissue in the utility pocket of the Unightie.


How Do You Sleep in the Outdoors?

photoMason T. Lindquist 

Some people choose to wear nothing at all in their un-lined sleeping bag. However, if an un-lined bag gets dirty, it’s difficult to clean.

Other adventurers wear a set of long underwear and snuggle into a sleeping bag liner. However, the fabric can stick to your bag liner, making it very difficult to turn over, get in and get out, prolonging interruptions. Others wear a sleep base layer, like the Unightie.


What is the Unightie?

photoMason T. Lindquist

The Unightie [yoo-nytee] was born in the mountains surrounding Calgary, Alberta. An avid adventurer, Jackie searched in vain for the ultimate sleeping solution for backpacking, so she designed one: a cozy, comfortable, wearable sleeping base layer.

According to Jackie, the best way to wear the Unightie is to be totally naked underneath. Because of the bottom access, the Unightie makes toileting quick and easy. This feature also facilitates washing and maintains warmth when changing.

Jackie says that when you’re ready to fall asleep, you can tuck your feet in the footbox or let them be free—"there are no rules!" Adjust the sleeve, hem or zipper height to cool off. To preserve heat, pull on the hood and zip up over your chin. Layer under or over with thumb loops. Then, drift off to dreamland.


The next time you find yourself out in the woods preparing to sleep, find yourself a comfortable set-up like the Unightie to encourage a good, full night of sleep—and watch how your adventures, mood and overall experience improves.


This article was sponsored by Unightie


Squat, wash, cuddle and dream pretty much covers the reasons I went on a mission to perfect a sleeping solution for backpacking. Now enjoyed by backpackers, campers, cruisers, cabin/lodge/hut dwellers and world trekkers.