With the proper care, your sleeping bag will have a long life, provide more comfort and be ready for when you need it. Here’s a few tips to help make it happen.
Don’t store your bag rolled up tightly in a compression sack. Bags stored for a long time that are compressed tightly can loose their loft. If you won’t be using your sleeping bag for an extended period of time, it is best to store it unrolled. And under a bed is a great location. However, if you have pets or children that like to crawl under there, another option is to put it on a heavy hanger in a closet. You can also store your bag in a large breathable sack made of canvas. Your sleeping bag should be rolled up extremely loose. Take your bag out every three to six months and fluff it up to help maintain its loft.
Don’t 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.
Hang your bag out after each trip and allow it to air out. Washing your bag after each trip is not necessary. When your bag needs to be washed, always follow the directions provided by the manufacturer. Washing your bag in a large laundry mat style machine is better than using your home machine. A front loading machine without an agitator is best so drawstrings and straps don’t get wrapped around the machine in the washing process or even worse torn off.
Carry your bag in a waterproofed compression sack. When hiking or going into the backcountry, you should always carry your bag in a waterproof 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. Having a dry bag and the ability to make a fire can greatly aid you in the event weather conditions sour. Also, the compression sack will reduce the amount of space your sleeping bag takes up in your pack by as much as fifty percent.
Remember the best secret weapon, duct tape. Your six to twelve feet of emergency duct tape can be used to patch a tear or seal up a broken zipper.
Don’t be lazy with zippers. If your bag has two zippers that meet at a middle point don’t 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.
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