How to pack your sleeping bag and take care of it
Here it is again. You have a sleeping bag laid out in front of you and a significantly smaller sack. How can you get the bag inside? Some of you may fold the bag in various ways and put it inside the sack nicely rolled; others stuff it in thoughtlessly. Are these methods correct, or is there some special trick?
In one of our previous articles, we advised you how to pick the right sleeping bag. Now, let’s discuss how you should take care of your sleeping bag and how to pack it quickly and effectively.
Should you fold your sleeping bag, or stuff it in?
You might be surprised to learn this but a sleeping bag is supposed to be stuffed in. Careful folding may look neater but is in fact harmful to isolation fibres. Folding causes damage and reduces the lifespan of the sleeping bag.
It’s best to just stuff your sleeping bag into the sack haphazardly and then lay it out immediately after you return home.
Once you’re home, hang the bag on a hanger
We buy our sleeping bag carefully packed in a travelling sack which creates the impression that it should remain packed this way even at home. However, sleeping bags should spend as little time inside the sack as possible. If the bag is stuffed inside the sack, the isolation fibres are overly strained and become worn out more quickly.
If you want your sleeping bag to last for a long time, follow these pieces of advice:
Lay out the sleeping bag on the ground or hang it on a hanger. Most sleeping bags have loops which allow the bag to be easily attached so this shouldn’t be a problem. Once the bag is prepared in this way, store it at a dry place. It takes up more space like this but it pays off.
Take care of your sleeping bag even while you’re camping
Your sleeping bag deserves to be properly taken care of even while you’re camping. After you reach your destination, take the bag out of the travelling sack so that it regains its volume. In the morning, always properly air it out and let it dry. If you move from one spot to another and tighten the sleeping bag with compression straps, do it only for as long as absolutely necessary.
Air the sleeping bag out while it’s unzipped.
How to wash a sleeping bag so that it lasts longer
A sleeping bag, especially if it’s frequently used, suffers from dirt stains and bad smell from time to time. You can prevent interior impurities by using sleeping bag liners which not only protect the sleeping bag from getting dirty but also function as another insulation layer. They’re also useful in terms of hygiene.
Outer impurities are hard to avoid. Small stains can be cleaned with a sponge soaked in soapy water. However, larger ones must be washed off in your washing machine.
Before you wash the sleeping bag check if your bag can truly be washed and follow the instructions of the manufacturer. We don’t recommend to wash your sleeping bag too often because it worsens its isolation properties.
Before washing the sleeping bag, zip up all the zippers and fasten all Velcros so that the fabric doesn’t become damaged. Wash the sleeping bag separately. We recommend to use a liquid washing agent, preferably a special one suggested to you in a store with sports equipment. Set a gentle washing cycle and let the bag rinse properly so that all the washing powder washes out. Once the washing machine is done, take the bag out and lay it out horizontally on a clothes horse. Let it gradually dry this way. Don’t hurry and don’t lay the bag on the central heating.
LOAP TIP: If your washing machine is too small, wash the sleeping bag in a tub. Avoid wringing it and don’t forget to rinse it off properly.