My mom is taking bets that I’m going to sleep fewer than eight hours per night during my trek. Her reasoning is that sleeping outside on the ground will not be comfortable. Keep in mind that my mom’s never camped a night in her life. I keep trying to convince her that I’m going to be physically exhausted at the end of each day and will collapse consistently into a deep slumber.
Besides, I explain, there’s something about camping that lets me experience the best night’s sleep. If I try to break it down, I find that the explanation is not all that intuitive. I think that part of it is that a sleeping pad provides enough give to allow for ease of shifting and movement without having to argue with the cold, hard ground; yet, it’s not so fluffy such that one’s body would sink into it unsupported.
Even so, it doesn’t feel like that is the only reason I sleep well while camping. I’d been thinking about it for a while when it suddenly hit me.
I mentioned yesterday that one of my girlfriends is pregnant. With this in mind, it was inevitable that “baby talk” would come up during our Girlie Weekend. At one point, someone said something about a product meant to aid a parent in swaddling her child, at which point I intelligently articulated, “D’what?”
I’m guessing most of you out there know this, but I was completely clueless. I’d heard of swaddling before but didn’t know its purpose. Swaddling, as my girlfriends discussed, is when an adult wraps a baby like a burrito in order to restrict movement of the limbs. Apparently this mimics the tight living quarters experienced in mommy’s belly and comforts the baby.
Well, wouldn’t you know it; I talked to my mom, and she confirmed that she swaddled me as a child. And now that I think of it, I spent my childhood sleeping in a relatively small daybed. When I moved up to the D.C. area and for the first time in my life had purchased a queen sized bed (or even consistently slept in a bed larger than a twin), I started having trouble sleeping. The problem didn’t abate until I began crowding myself into a small space by piling pillows on the other side of the bed.
Now it makes sense. No wonder I’m so excited about camping outside. Every night, after a long day of hard hiking, I’m going to shimmy into my form-fitting mummy sleeping bag, protected by the confines of my synthetic shell. Here I am preparing for this grand adventure and thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?” But when it comes down to it, I have little to worry about; after all, I plan to spend every night sleeping like a baby.