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Well, Amazon Prime Day happened. I told my wife to stay away from Amazon for the day and not to get sucked in. I warned her about it. Unfortunately, nobody warned me and somehow I ended up in the vortex and bought a $35 sleeping pad before the day was over.
I debated it while it sat in my cart and the 15-minute countdown clock was ticking away. I even deleted it out of my cart and re-added it just to restart the clock.
I contemplated this for 29 minutes and 56 seconds before I pulled the trigger and made the purchase.
Then I just stared at my screen and felt guilty. In fact, I felt guilty about it for 2 days after I bought it.
A sleeping pad. $35.
Yes, we can afford it. Yes, it was $35 and not something like $350. Yes, there are a million reasons why I shouldn’t feel guilty about this…
but I did anyway.
Me and the Ground Don’t Mix!
I’ve always been a camper since the high school years with my buddies. I did plenty of camping in the college years as well. Then I met my wife and we’ve continued to go 2-3 times a year by ourselves or with friends. And we’ve taken our daughter since she turned one and she’s loved it ever since.
What I learned, however, is that I’m not as young as I used to be. I’m 42 now and I can’t just throw a sleeping bag on the ground in the tent and call it a day. I wake up hating life!
A handful of years ago, we switched to an air mattress in the tent. Everything else is roughing it when we go, but I just can’t sleep on the ground anymore. Seriously, you saw the picture from my Panama post – I’m an old man who wears a fishing hat and t-shirt in the ocean for Pete’s sake!
The Backpacking Trip
I’m actually doing my first backpacking trip in September. I’ve been excited to get out there a little further in the woods and make things a little bit more primitive. Although our camping trips are awesome, being able to walk to the car and having neighbor tents all over kind of takes a little bit of the roughing aspect out of it.
Doing a backpacking trip has been on my bucket list for years and every year it seems to fall through.
This year though, it’s happening. A buddy and I are going to the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania for a 3-day, 2-night adventure. Just the beauty of the outdoors and whatever we can carry in our packs.
I’ve decided that I probably can’t just walk into the woods and expect to hike all day with 30 pounds on my back like it’s nothing. I’d make it 500 feet before collapsing.
So I’ve been doing a little training. If you’re familiar with my fitness routine, you know I fast-walk about a mile and a half 3-4 days a week. So a couple of months ago, I started wearing the empty backpack (around 5 pounds) on the walk. I also wear it when I’m mowing the backyard (my neighbors must love me!).
Every week, I’ve increased it a little. I’m now up to 28 pounds on my back and I’m a sweaty mess when I finish walking or mowing. Hopefully, I’ll feel like that pack is nothing by the time the trip shows up.
In the meantime, I’m now working on shaving some weight off this pack… less is more, right?
Which brings us back to the sleeping situation. If I was twenty years younger, I’d plan on sleeping directly on the ground… but I’m not. So I need to figure something out.
Enter the Sleeping Pad
I already own a closed-cell camping mat. It’s basically just a foam pad about 0.5 inches thick. I had never used it before, but I can’t imagine it would be that comfortable. Still, it would be better than sleeping right on the cold ground. We already know I hate spending money, so why not use something I already own?
That was the game plan all along during planning… and then I stumbled across this sleeping pad from TNH on Amazon…
I’m no expert on sleeping pads, but the reviews were very good. It’s self-inflating, rolls up pretty small, and weighs around 2 pounds. And it was available on Amazon Prime Day for around $35. That sounds like a good deal!!!
I don’t need it.
But, boy that would be better than the camping mat I have.
I don’t need it.
But, if I can’t sleep for the entire weekend because I’m truly uncomfortable, I’m going to be miserable for the trip and my back will hurt for a week.
I went back and forth in my head like this for a half-hour overthinking everything.
Nevertheless, I finally pulled the trigger.
And I’m glad I did. I tried out the sleeping pad when I got it and it’s going to be exactly what I what I need for this trip.
So Why All the Guilt?
Good question. Like I said, I can definitely use it and will like myself a lot more in the mornings after sleeping on it instead of the ground.
I probably wouldn’t have felt so guilty, but here’s why I was:
- I have a sleeping mat I could have used. Sure, it wouldn’t have been as comfortable, but I could have made it work without it being the end of the world.
- This year we’ve taken more vacations than we’ve ever taken… Panama, Kelleys Island, Tennessee, and then we’re going back to Kelleys Island in a few more months. To top that off, I have my first year at FinCon in October. These costs add up, so I shouldn’t be frivolously spending.
- We’ve been laser-focused on getting me out of the 9-5 job. Every penny counts. Moreover, every dollar that I spend could be growing in an investment elsewhere.
Still, what the #$%^ is wrong with me?! It was $35 and I’m acting like I just went out and bought a new Beamer!
My Feelings Now?
I know I made the right move. Yes, it was an added expense, but one I’ll appreciate on our backpacking trip.
Sometimes splurging and spending a few dollars is Ok… all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!
The important thing is that this isn’t the standard way of spending for us. I guess a little guilt is a good thing since it keeps us in check and continuing down the right financial path.
Now it’s time to get back to focusing on quitting the 9-5 sooner rather than later! 🙂
Ok, maybe you didn’t buy a sleeping pad, but have you ever made a small purchase that made you feel guilty?
Thanks for reading!!