You will have to be careful on how you use, clean, and store the sleeping bag to serve you ultimately until you feel it’s the right time to get rid of it. No more fretting because this article provides you with the information you seek on how to care for a sleeping bag.
10+ Tips to Care for Your Sleeping Bag
Your sleeping bag is your responsibility, therefore, the trick to its efficiency and significance depends on the measures you take to make it last longer as you wish.
Below are some of the tips that will help you on how to take care of your sleeping bag, they include:
- Always use a groundsheet and sleeping pad to protect your bag from direct contact with the ground. Keep the outside of your bag clean and free of abrasions.
- If your bag gets wet from rain, dew, frost, condensation, or sweat, make sure you dry it out.
- Sleep in clean clothes when you’re camping to ensure the bag does not absorb the dirt and sweat from the clothes you wore.
- Hang your sleeping bag up by the loops on the bag’s foot in a dry place out of direct sunlight.
- Use a wet sponge and toothbrush to scrub away the grime and wash the area and remove the soap.
- Use the sleeping bag liner to keep your bag cleaner and make it warmer. A liner made of cotton is the best.
- Always unstuff and fluff your bag as soon as you reach camp. Leaving your bag in its confining stuff sack for extended periods will damage the fill due to constant compression.
- When it is hot, do not sleep in your sleeping bag. Sleep on your foam pad and use your sleeping bag as a blanket.
- While camping, you should air out your bag in the sun for a few minutes each day.
- Please keep it away after your trip, but you have to ensure it is scorched and air it out for an hour.
- When washing your sleeping bag in a washing machine, wash at 40 degrees and low spin. Use a mild detergent made specifically for sleeping bags and ensure no residues remain in the fillings.
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How to Stuff and Store a Sleeping Bag?
After you are done with your trip and ensured that your sleeping bag is clean, you should keep it safely in the right way because it also plays a vital role in its durability.
Below are tips to follow when storing your sleeping bag, they include:
- Take your sleeping bag out of its stuff sack and let it expand for about 5-10 minutes. This helps extend the life of your sleeping bag.
- It’s essential to store your bag uncompressed. So the insulation doesn’t get crushed and lose its ability to loft back out.
- If you want to stash your sleeping bag in for extended periods, ensure to keep it inside the breathable storage sack separately to let it expand to its normal state.
- If you’re short on space, lay your bag under your bed, so it stays fully lofted and out of your way.
- Down bags should not be stored in the compression cover, as it will ruin the down is compressed for a long time.
- When storing your sleeping, always keep it in a cool and dry place.
- Store your sleeping bag when scorched to prevent/avoid mildew or mold build-up, so take the time to dry it out.
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How to Repair a Sleeping Bag?
A daily abrasion of your sleeping bag is inevitable, here are some tips on repairing your sleeping bag.
A down leak is a tightly woven fabric that prevents feathers from getting out. These feathers always poke out through the fabric now and then. Instead of pulling the feathers out try to return them inside your sleeping bag by pulling them to fill from inside.
It is not recommendable to pull out the feathers from your sleeping bag to avoid creating larger holes which may cause more feathers from escaping from the bag more easily.
If your bag develops a hole in your sleeping bag, it is the best way to take care of using sticky waterproof tape to fix the holes. Another alternative is by hand stitching the holes or tears with a needle and thread.
In case the tears/holes are severe, and you feel you are not confident to hand-stitch or patch the holes, you can contact the sleeping bag manufacture for professional repair.
Besides, you can prevent your sleeping bag from developing tears and holes by taking it easy and slowly on your zippers and avoiding yanking if your zipper gets stuck.
If your sleeping features a two-way zipper, you should be very careful and proactive because they like snagging and ripping holes in the sleeping bags.
Fixing broken zippers is an easy task at home if you have a zipper repair kit, however, you are discouraged not to use safety pins for temporary fixing.
It leaves holes in the sleeping bag fabric, thereby creating more chances for your bag to tear or develop some holes.
In case you cannot fix the broken or derailing zipper, you may opt to replace the old zipper with a new one.
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Things Should be Avoided When Using Sleeping Bag
Below are precautions to take when using a sleeping bag, they are as follows:
- Never step on your bag with shoes on and also be mindful of dirty boots.
- Do not sleep in your sleeping bag without a sleeping bag liner because it will absorb your sweat and dirt from your body from the clothes you wore all day.
- Do not let your sleeping bag come into contact with the ground directly to keep it clean and free from abrasion.
- When closing or opening the zippers do not pull them with force because they may snag and rip holes or tear your sleeping bag. Instead, take it easy on your zipper.
- Do not expose it directly under sunlight because UV rays are harmful to materials depending on its quality of construction.
- Do not store a sleeping bag compressed instead hang it up on a hook in a dry closet or a large breathable bag in a dry place.
- Avoid machine washing your sleeping bag at higher temperatures because this will shorten their life span.
- Do not store your sleeping bag when it is still wet or when its stuff bag is wet because it encourages spore and mold growth.
- When washing a sleeping bag is wet, do not compress it because it may not loft appropriately when it dries.
- Do not store your sleeping bag in places that are wet and humid.
- Do not sleep naked; instead, wear clothes in a sleeping bag to retain the radiated heat from your body to sleep comfortably.
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Am I Supposed to Wear Clothes in a Sleeping Bag?
Actually, it depends on your preference. But your preference also depends on the weather condition. However, you are supposed to wear clothes in a sleeping bag due to the following reasons, they include:
- To preserve the heat radiated from the body to keep you warm while sleeping in the sleeping bag. You might wake up in the middle of the night and start freezing uncomfortable.
- It helps to avoid direct absorption of sweat and odor from the body. Thus reduce the sleeping bag’s frequent washing, thereby lasting longer.
- Sleeping in your natural bodysuit could make you lose all the heat from your body when you take a trip to the loo. When you wake up in the middle of the night with your clothes, there are minimal chances for your body to lose its radiated heat.
However, sleeping in layers has its downsides because it may be uncomfortable. Especially if you have thermal sensitivity issues. The sleeping bag might retain a lot of heat, making it uncomfortable.
You should wear light and loose outfits. This helps your body lose the radiated heat from your body in such a situation.
While sleeping in the sleeping bag, you should avoid tight-fitting clothes. They may be uncomfortable and suffocate you while sleeping when extreme temperatures.
Furthermore, you should also wear a stocking cap to keep dirty hair from soiling the bag.
A sleeping bag is a piece of essential camping equipment that needs to be carefully handled. This will help us in the future for many occasions that are not only related to camping.
Hope this guide can help you care for your sleeping bag well.