Camp Gear FAIL!

June 3, 2009 at 1:02 pm

Ever find that awesome new toy or must-have piece of gear, then get it out in the field and it not only doesn’t make your life more awesome, but, in many ways, sucks parrot caca? Well, Mark and I recently discovered that this happens to us far more than the average camper and climber. We seem to gather useless pieces of crap gear like pirates collect parrots… or something.

Anyway, I’d like to put together a short series of posts on what NOT to buy right now. Save yourself the pain and money, and don’t make the same mistakes we did.

Therm-a-Rest Compressible Pillow

ThermaRest Compressible Pillow - Advertised

A few years ago, I made camp pillows. I bought some heavy canvas and stuffed it with pillow filling. They were the right size, and I could throw them in the washing machine. But we need the BEST gear, and lumpy, old, homemade pillows just don’t fit in with our hi-tech, light-weight, uber-svelt climbing-gear persona.

I thought these Therm-a-Rest pillows were pretty great when we played with them at the store. They were filled with some kind of soft memory-foam-like substance that compresses when you roll the pillow, but slowly expands when left open. You don’t blow or pump them up, you don’t have to stuff them full of anything, and they were comfy when we laid on them in the store.

ThermaRest Compressible Pillow - Actual

We took them camping for three nights in Fruita, CO and three nights in New Mexico and I can officially say, these are a camp gear FAIL.

What happens to compressible foam when you lay your head on it all night long? That’s right, it compresses! It seems to take these pillows a full 24 hours to reach their full fluffyness, and a mere 2 hours of laying our fat heads on them to go right back to lumpy-pancake-state.

If you’re going camping, save yourself $30 and take the pillow off your bed. The Therm-a-Rest compressible pillows shown here: DEFINITELY not worth the money. FAIL!