store your bag rolled up tightly in a compression sack.
Bags stored for a long time that are compressed tightly can
loose their loft. Store
your bag in a breathable sack made of canvas rolled up loosely.
Take your bag out every three to six months and fluff it up
to help maintain its loft.
pack your bag wet. If your bag does get wet hang it out to air dry
or fly dry it in a dryer without heat.
your bag out after each trip and allow it to air out.
Washing your bag after each trip is not necessary (unless
each trip is one month in the backcountry).
When your bag needs a bath follow the directions provided by
the manufacturer. Washing
your bag in a large laundry mat style machine (you know, the same
one you wash your bedspread in) is better than using your home
machine. A machine
without an agitator is best (front loading) so drawstrings and
straps donít get wrapped around the machine in the washing process
or worse torn off.
hiking or going into the backcountry, store your bag in a
waterproofed compression sack.
Trust us, you will be glad you did.
The bag will stay dry, even if you take a dump into a river
by accident when traveling the backcountry.
Having a dry bag and the ability to make a fire can greatly
aid you in the event weather conditions sour.
the best secret weapon when in the outdoors, duct tape.
Your six to twelve feet of emergency duct tape can be used to
patch a tear or seal up a broken zipper.
be lazy with your zippers. If your bag has two zippers that meet at a middle point
donít use one end to go all the way around the bag. This puts a lot of strain on the zipper and increases the
chances of a zipper jumping off of its teeth and jamming. Try to have those zippers meeting at a near halfway point to
balance the load and the distance the zipper has to travel.
a sleeping pad. Lying
on the cold ground isnít going to help you stay warm in the middle
of the night and it wonít be comfortable either.
to the bathroom before getting into the sack.
Anything sitting in your bladder will have to be kept at warm
by your body as you sleep.
your hood on your sleeping bag.
If your sleeping bag doesnít have a hood consider wearing a
hat while sleeping. Remember,
50% of your heat loss is through your head.
clothes to bed. If you
are accustomed to sleeping in your underwear (or less) at night try
sleeping in clothes. You
donít have to sleep in the pants and flannel shirt you wore during
the day. Long underwear
or a pair of sweats can help keep you warm while taking up a
relatively small amount of space and adding only a few ounces of
weight to your pack.
your bag dry. Do
everything possible. Donít
climb into your bag wet, especially if you are in an emergency
situation and you think you are getting hypothermic.
A wet sleeping bag cannot keep you warm. Also make sure that your tent is well ventilated so moisture
does not build us as you sleep.
During the night you can expel over a cup of fluid.
sure your bag fits you. If a bag is too small or too large it will create problems in
staying warm. A
sleeping bag should fit you so that the insulation isnít squished
up, but shouldnít have a lot of extra room.
A bag that is too large means you have wasted space to keep
warm. A bag that is too
small simply cannot do its job of keeping you warm.
you wakeup and find yourself cold try adding more clothes.
Eating some high calorie carbohydrates can throw some fuel on
the internal fires. If
all else fails do some exercise to get circulation increased.
If you start shivering watch out for hypothermia and take
increased steps to get warm including building a fire, drinking warm
fluids and exercise.
buying a sleeping bag there are a number of options you need to
consider. However equipped
with this information you are now more educated on the right sleeping
bag to get for your needs. There
really is no right or wrong answer.
If the bag you get keeps you comfortable and dry, is within your
budget, and doesnít take up your entire backpack when out in the
backcountry then you have made a good choice.
you have more questions, you can always contact us and one of our
editors will gladly try to answer your questions.
As we try to remain agnostic, we may not be able to answer
questions on the lines of brand X versus brand Y.
Ready to buy a sleeping bag?
Than visit our GearPro store at the Outdoor eStore.