If you are one of those adventurous kinds, you might already know the importance of a sleeping bag. Your sleeping bag is your best companion when you are backpacking.
As such, you must take care of your best companion the best way. Storing your sleeping bag well is the most important aspect of its upkeep, and in this piece, we will walk you through everything you need to know about how to store a sleeping bag.
But before you get into those vital steps of storing your sleeping bag, we will look at certain other things that you should or should not do with your sleeping bags.
These things are important to keep them in good condition that will make them last several years. Let us look at these things in detail.
Do not Compress the Sleeping Bag Too Much While in Use
Your sleeping bags have an insulation loft or sleeping pad towards the bottom that is made up of synthetics.
These insulation lofts fluff up when you lie down into the bags that make them create small spaces between your body and the bottom of the bag. This ensures that your body heat is trapped inside the sleeping bag, thereby keeping you warm.
If, however, you are sleeping without a sleeping bag, then the bottom of the sleeping bag will feel colder. That is because the bag is compressed with the weight of your body, and such won’t be able to lift up easily.
Both the synthetic fills and the down sleeping bag versions provide a good amount of fluffing up after being compressed fully. However, there can be compressed to a limit.
If the bag is left in the same compressed state for a long time, for months together, the sleeping bag will lose all its resilience and resistance. Hence, it is important to ensure that the bags are not compressed to their maximum capacity to keep them long-lasting.
Make Sure You Dry Out the Sleeping Bag
As soon as you come back from a trip or between trips, the first thing you must do is to ensure that your bag is dried out well. Not doing that will lead to mildew and mold growth on the inside and the bag’s surface. That may damage the bag and render it useless for all your future trips.
To dry out the bag, you can begin by first unzipping the bag completely. You can then hang the bag using a large hanger or on a line in an outdoor space that is covered. Let it dry for about 6 or 8 hours.
You should never lose your bag to dry in sunlight as the UV rays from the sun may harm the fabric of your bag. You can make the drying process more effective by overturning the bag, taking the insides outwards, and putting it back on the line or the hanger.
This would ensure any trapped moisture towards the inside of your bag is dried away. This is especially important if you have a waterproof bag as such fabric blocks the drying away of moisture naturally.
If you do not have a covered outdoor space, you can simply hang the bag indoors in a dry and temperature-controlled area. If you can set up a dehumidifier or a fan, it will speed up the process.
You may also choose to use a commercial dryer that is large in size that will be good enough for a washed sleeping bag. Dry out your bag in a heat setting that does not burn or damage the sleeping bag fabric.
Clean or Wash the Sleeping Bag Whenever Required
Even if you do not see mold and mildew growing in your sleeping bag, it is still a great idea to wash your sleeping bag once in a while and periodically if possible.
That is because the bag will be full of body oils, dirt, sweat, and so on, which may spoil the bag’s insulation. If you are going backpacking every year, washing it once after every trip is absolutely recommended.
Steps to Take to Store Your Sleeping Bag
Now that we are through the drying and the washing aspects, let us look at how you can go about storing your sleeping bag. To store your sleeping bag, you will have to look for a suitable place.
By suitable place, we mean a place that is both temperature and humidity-controlled. Extremities of both moisture and temperatures, either too cold or too hot, can harm the bag.
Ensure that you are not storing your sleeping bag in places such as damp basements, unheated or uncooled spaces such as attics or garages. Finding a nice place in the corner of one of your closets is the best idea.
So the ideal place – a good nice corner in the closet with lots of room for your bag.
Before placing it in that corner, ensure that you place the sleeping bag into a good storage sack. Most of the branded sleeping bags are nowadays sold with a jumbo storage bag made of cotton.
This bag is made to keep the sleeping bag well stacked and compact without compressing the bag’s fill too much. These cotton bags also ensure that the air circulation is also good enough inside the closet or space you are keeping the bag.
However, if your sleeping bag did not come with one of such bags, you can make use of one of those king-size pillowcases. The pillowcase may feel small, and it is therefore recommended to either use those jumbo cotton storage bags or buy mesh or cotton sacks (recommended size – 90L).
Final Thoughts on How to Store a Sleeping Bag
To conclude and to summarize, we can say that if you are an avid backpacker or an occasional adventurist and have a sleeping bag, you need to take proper care of it.
Make sure you follow the right process – dry it after every trip – wash it if needed – store it in a temperature-controlled dry space, preferably in a storage sack or bag.
Use this piece for knowing how to store a sleeping bag and more. For further reading, we recommend taking a look at our guide on how to choose a sleeping bag.
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