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Sunset over the fields at OSV.

They’re so worth doing.

What, you want photos? Well, wait till September, when I hope we’ll be deploying them at Saratoga. Have a sunset instead.

They were simple to make, and I ran two up on the machine last Thursday afternoon. Ticking fabric, stitched up like a market wallet, using the selvedge as the “finished” edge of the center slit: what could be simpler? I made one two 36″ widths across and 74″ long, and the other one 60″ width folded in half lengthwise, and longer–perhaps 78″. (The second sack was from a 2 1/2 yard remnant that needed trimming.) Both were stuffed with hay and crickets and dragged into the tents.

It’s not like sleeping on your squishy, puffy mattress at home and yes, some campers laughed at us, but in the end, our camp goes up and comes down faster, takes up less room in the car, and we have less to hide. The bed sacks vastly increased how warm we felt, and with several wool blankets we were pretty comfortable. The most uncomfortable thing was the slope: gravity’s a bitch and she wins every time.

The other thing we use are canvas drop cloths from Home Depot for ground cloths. They’re cotton canvas on one side, and treated on the back to be wet-resistant. From 10 feet, they look fine if a corner escapes from a tent, though once you drop a bale of hay on them they really don’t move.