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Collapsible, Transportable, Beds

Sandy Toscano writes:

>	I need assistance/advice.  My husband and I are seeking to not sleep 
>on the ground at Pennsic this year.  To this end, I would like any and 
>all information anybody has on constructing a collapsible, easily 
>transported, bed.  We plan to use either an air matress or get haybales 
>and make a straw tick mattress once we get there, if this makes a 

I've tried two varieties of off the ground bed: Rope Bed and Slat Bed. I 
would recommend the latter.

The problem I had with the rope bed is stretch. You weave the rope 
through the frame to create a net. As you sleep on this net, the rope 
stretches. At the end of each night, you are sleeping in a hammock 
rather than a flat bed. Each morning you need to take up the slack that 
you've created, until the rope is all stretched out. This took me just 
about a week. This meant that the last night I was at Pennsic that year, 
I had the bed just the way I wanted it. I trashed the bed thereafter. So 
I don't know if a different rope would have worked better, or if the 
stretch problem is only for new sisal rope. But based on my one trial, 
rope beds seem to be better for permanent installations.  

Slat or platform beds require more lumber, with the increased volume and 
mass. In return, you get a firmer base to sleep on. One concern is 
construction. In use, rope beds tend to pull themselves together. Slat/
Platform beds tend to push themselves apart. So you need to arrange for 
the stiles and rails to be collapsable enough for transport, but hold 
together well enough to keep from collapsing in the middle of the 
knight.  If you can catch Earl Daffyd at a camping event before Pennsic, 
have him show you his four-poster slat bed. (Assuming he hasn't gone on 
to something bizarre/baroque...) Or just ask him about it. He is a 
Laurel. He is by definition anxious to spend hours regaling you with his 
expertise. <g> He can tell you how he solved the collapsation problem.

If you come up with any specific questions that I can help with over the 
net, do let me know...