Sleeping outdoors can be a pleasant or miserable experience. It all depends how well a person prepares ahead of time. There is a difference between car camping and backpacking-type camping, and what you should bring on your trip for sleepwear.
Fall is here. The tree leaves have turned the fiery colors of yellow, red, and orange. There is a clean, cool, crispness to the morning air outside. Fall is hunting season, and most hunters will car camp (really it should be called truck camping). The beauty with car camping is that you can take a lot of stuff on your trip, to make camping comfortable and relaxing. A favorite pajama for outdoors men are one-piece pajamas with feet. When you are sleeping in a camp trailer or tent without central air heat, it gets pretty darn cold at night. Since the early 1800s, hunters, fishermen, and woodsmen have chosen the union-suit as the pajama of choice. The one-piece pajama keeps your whole body toasty warm, when it is so cold that you can see your breath in the air.
Probably the best one-piece pajama for men is from a company called Big Feet PJs. They are a small company that started business in 2005 up in the Pacific Northwest. They make fleece, flannel, and cotton knit one-piece pajamas that come in variety of colors. The woodland green camouflage, fleece, footed pajamas are a favorite with outdoors men. They are made with a plush polar fleece that is sure to keep a camper warm on those cool nights outside. They button down the front and come in forest green, red and blue colors as well. These Big Feet brand one-piece footed pajamas also come in 100% cotton knit flannel. The cotton knit pajamas even have the classic drop seat built into them. Anyone who has needed to go to the bathroom outside in the middle of the night, will know just how handy a drop-seat is. Imagine trying to take care of business out in the woods with snow on the ground and dressed only in pajamas. The drop-seat helps keep you warm in these situations. These cotton knit pajamas come in traditional plaid colors, like hunters mackinaw red plaid, forester green plaid, and fisherman gray and black plaid.
Some outdoors men like wearing a thick fleece pajama pants once they get back into camp and are settling in for the evening. If you have been post-holing through the snow all day, tracking a big bull elk, nothing feels better than getting those wet clothes and boots off, and putting on dry fleece pajama pants and a pair of warm camp slippers. Fun Boxers make a couple of different colors of camouflage fleece pants that are popular with outdoors men. The pants come in a green camo print and a gray camo print, they have a button up fly, elastic waistband with adjustable drawstring, and handy side pockets. Fun Boxers brand also make humorous outdoor pants as well. For deer hunters there are the pants that say, I Like Big Bucks! For fishermen, they make pants that say, Shut Up And Fish!
A comfortable camp slipper is the moccasin-style slipper. Realtree brand makes a camouflage moccasin slipper that is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Northern Trail makes a similar moccasin style slipper with a different camouflage print and outer fabric. If you are backpack camping, then you might check out the Gertex camouflage slipper. This slipper is thicker than a slipper sock, but can still be rolled up into a tight ball, and packed down deep inside your backpack.
Some backpackers are tired of paying too much money for the latest high tech fabric camping pants. These fancy high tech fabric pants usually have a popular big name brand displayed prominently on them. It makes a person wonder if they are paying for the brand name or for the astronaut-like fabric. Some backpackers are now just packing a pair of polyester fleece pajama pants and using them for sleeping, and for layering. These budget backpackers carry fleece PJ pants for slipping on over their hiking shorts when it is cold in the morning, then slipping them off once the day begins to warm up. Its a cheap way to stay warm, but have that flexibility of layering. The great thing with fleece is that it keeps you warm even when it gets wet. Fleece costs just a few dollars and works great for camping.
Next time you go hunting, fishing, or camping outdoors think about all the different options you have for sleepwear. Remember that you dont have to buy the latest and greatest high tech fabric, but can pay a few dollars and still purchase warm and comfortable sleepwear.
About the author:
Dirk Murphy spent 20+ years with the National Park Service before retiring in the summer of 2014. He now works full-time on his family pajama business.