Camping gear: sleeping mats and pillows

I have been investing in good camping gear over the past few years, since camping is one of my favorite activities.

My sleeping mat is made by Therm-a-Rest and was made in the USA. Mine is a few years old, but I believe many are still made in the USA while some of their products are made in Ireland.

I also invested in Therm-a-Rest pillows that are made in the USA. These fold down into small sacks but poof out to make decent pillows. These two items do the trick for backpacking but also getting a good night’s sleep.

I got both my mat and the pillow from the wonderful folks at Epic Sports in Bangor, my favorite outdoor gear story. Brad Ryder and his crew at Epic Sports are knowledgeable and helpful and they have a huge selection of outdoor gear for all sports and activities.

Andy’s sleeping mat had a hole in it, so he was looking for one a few months ago when we stopped at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) in Portland.   It turns out EMS makes their own brand of sleeping mats that are made in the USA. It’s the “Siesta” sleeping pad.  He is a handful of camping trips in with it so far and he likes it.

Made in the USA sleeping mats and pillows for this camping crew

Made in the USA sleeping mats and pillows for this camping crew





My old snowshoes broke last winter and I can’t imagine winter in Maine without a pair. After doing some research online I drove up to Bingham today to try out a pair of Maine Guide Snowshoes.

They are made by Bob right there behind Pine Lodge on Pleasant Ridge just outside of Bingham. The sales also support the program there to get disabled veterans out fishing and hunting, so it’s a great pair of shoes and a great cause.

They have lots of styles, all the traditional wooden frames with modern material lacing and bindings.

I love them so far. You can get studs put on the bottom to help in icy conditions.

Here is my new pair of “modified bear paw” snowshoes after my first hike around Hallowell in them.