Sleeping Through the Grand Canyon? - Mountain Buzz

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Old 05-14-2013   #1
AirEms's Avatar
GF, Montana
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Sleeping Through the Grand Canyon?

Dearest Buzzards and otherwise unsavory river folk,
I need some info and experience on sleeping strategy while on the Grand. I am on a private trip launching mid August. There in lies the rub... It will be hotter than three shades of hell during the day. I'm hoping for some cool down at night but am not counting on it. The end of the monsoon season brings another wetness factor. What have other folks done to have the best nights of their days on the mid summer Grand? Side info... I am rowing my own Jag with some group gear/food, alcohol, no passenger. I have paco pad, warm weather sleeping gear, 4 season tent, cot, all the chit I may need (I think). I've done many extended trips over the years just never the Grand. Group is 16 ppl w/ rafts, cats, and yaks. Several have had trips down the ditch but only during the cooler seasons.

What worked for you and what didn't? And yes I've 'searched', but the info I've gotten isn't what I'm looking for. Is there anything better than bring sleep aids?

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Old 05-15-2013   #2
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Some people wet down the sand in their sleeping area, or wet down a sheet to get the evaporative effect, which doesn't last all night, but apparently does help. Sleeping on a cot helps, because it gets you off direct contact with the heated ground, and lets air circulate under you. It also has the benefit of letting blowing sand go under you. Some folks set their cot up at shoreline, which can be OK, but also can be problematic if the tide comes in.

Best solution I've found is sleeping on my boat, to get the benefit of the water's cooling effect on the ambient air. Depending on how their boats are configured and sized, some folks find rigging a cot on board is a simple way to get the horizontal surface they need.


Rich Phillips
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Old 05-15-2013   #3
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Westminster, Colorado
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A wet flannel sheet will stay cool all night.
"If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are."
Zen verse
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Old 05-15-2013   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 320
Sleep on your boat if possible, two cotton sheets dipped in the river and wrung
out. One for the bottom sheet one for the top sheet. You'll soon become an expert on exactly how much ringing out is best for a comfortable sleep.
We launch sept 1. Have fun
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Old 05-15-2013   #5
Evergreen, Colorado
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 178
Nipple Beers before bed!

Everyone grabs a beverage, wades into the water up to their nipples and enjoys one last beer before bed. No Chugging, just a nice relaxing end to the day. By the time you get out, you'll be cold enough to fall a sleep easily.
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Old 05-15-2013   #6
Waverly, Alabama
Paddling Since: 1999
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Jack Daniels works for me...
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Old 05-15-2013   #7
Conejos Canyon & Houston, CO & TX
Paddling Since: 1979
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X2 on the wet sand

set up cot / paco near river if you can

avoid sleeping near cliffs that get afternoon sun as they will radiate heat all night like an oven
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Old 05-15-2013   #8
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1999
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I'll second the nipple beer tactic. I resisted this the first few nights while others did it and slept like crap because it was so hot. Then I finally soaked in the river for about 5 minutes before bed, would air dry for another minute, and then fall asleep on top of my dry cotton sheet within minutes. Usually slept through the night, but a few times I woke up hot again. But since you have your own boat I would create a set up to sleep on that. There were a few in our group who swore it was the coolest way to sleep on a hot night.
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Old 05-15-2013   #9
Renaissance Redneck
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Huson, Montana
Paddling Since: 1988
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,214
I slept through mexico once. Nevermind how. But the dirty bastards I was with wrote GRINGO on my back in sunscreen and then told me about it a year later.
"You're gonna be doin a lot of doobie rolling when youre LIVIN IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER"
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Old 05-15-2013   #10
Old Guy in a PFD
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1967
Join Date: Feb 2013
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Can't say I noticed the heat on my August trip.
Course, I ended up sleeping on the boat a lot of nights.........OK, passed out on the boat..........and the rest I slept (OK! Passed out) on the beach.

The tide issue never occurred to me as a problem, but would explain the mornings I woke up with shoes. I kept thinking I'd gone to the beach to pee before sleeping, and just had an issue with aim.

Anyway, have a good trip; I mean, it's the Grand Canyon, the hell does your sleeping comfort have to do with enjoying yourself?
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