When purchasing outdoor gear, your sleeping bag will be one of your most important purchases. While there are options across all budgets, no matter what you spend, some sleeping bag tips and tricks will help you get the most out of your sleeping bag.
The following tips on how to properly care, store, and use your sleeping bag will help you get max value out of any sleeping bag you buy–and keep you comfortably camping longer!
Keep Your Sleeping Bag Clean With a Sleeping Bag Liner
Keeping your sleeping bag as clean as possible is a great way to extend the life of it. An easy way to do this is to use a sleeping bag liner. All you have to do is put the liner inside of your bag and then sleep inside of the liner.
The sleeping bag liner keeps your sleeping bag clean by protecting it from, well, you! Your hair and skin let off oils. The truth is, you might be a bit grimy from having hit the trail all day. Sweat, oils, and moisture are all things you want to protect your bag from.
When choosing a sleeping liner, you’ll find different fabric options, like silk, and different warmth ratings. At Gander Outdoors Sea to Summit has a full line of solid sleeping bag liners. Whether you need more warmth, a cooler option, or a stretchier liner, there’s an option for you.
It’s much easier to wash your liner than to wash your sleeping bag!
Loosely Roll Your Sleeping Bag to Store It
It seems counterintuitive not to store your sleeping bag in the small stuff sack it brings, but trust us, it’s much better to store your bag in a large sack.
The small stuff sack your sleeping bag comes with is meant to compress it and keep it as small as possible for packing away. This is especially true in the case of mummy bags which are geared towards backpacking.
Just like with your down or synthetic puffy jacket, being tightly rolled up and compressed for a long time will damage the fill and lessen its effectiveness.
Air out your bag after a camping trip to let any moisture completely dry up.
Let your bag breathe by loosely rolling it up and putting it in a much larger mesh or linen sack. This will greatly extend the life of your bag and preserve the fill’s power. Many sleeping bags actually come with this second, larger sack.
After your bag is in its larger sack, store your sleeping bag in a cool, dry closet. It may be tempting to store it in the garage, but your garage may be too damp or humid. A temperature-controlled inner closet is best.
Taking these easy steps will keep your bag fluffy, dry, and free of mildew. All things that’ll definitely help you get the most out of your sleeping bag.
Tips for Staying Warm Inside Your Sleeping Bag
A sleeping bag’s main job is to keep you warm and cozy at night when the temps dip. Although you need to be sure you buy a bag that’s rated for the weather you want to camp in, there are quite a few things you can do to help your sleeping bag do its best keeping you warm.
First things first, make sure you’re using a sleeping pad. Normally, you place the sleeping bag on top of the sleeping pad, but for a little bit of extra warmth, try putting the sleeping bag inside of your sleeping bag. Many campers find they lose some of the warmth their sleeping pad provides when they slide off the pad in the middle of the night.
We talked about sleeping bag liners above. Not only do they help keep your bag clean, but they also help your bag keep you warmer too. Grabbing a sleeping bag with a high warmth rating can extend your sleeping bag’s ability to keep you toasty.
Another thing you might want to stuff into your sleeping bag is your clothes. The less empty space there is to keep warm, the warmer your bag will keep you. You can fill any empty space with your clothing. This is especially helpful if you’re shorter since you might fall on the lower end of the height range your sleeping bag has. If you are shorter, try stuffing the clothes into the sleeping bag’s foot box. As an added bonus, you’ll discover your clothes are a bit warmer the next morning when you go to get dressed!
Sleeping in some wool thermals and cozy wool socks will also help you stay warmer in your sleeping bag.
Not only is your sleeping bag a significant investment, but it’s also absolutely key to having an enjoyable experience outdoors. Showing your bag a little love when it’s not out in the wild will keep it in tip-top shape. And, armed with a few tried and true tips and tricks, you’re ready for some outdoor fun.
What are some of your favorite sleeping bag tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments below!