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How to pack a sleeping bag


Camping out is a popular activity among a lot of people. Millions go out into the wilderness each year to experience being at one with nature. This means they’ve got to pack the right gear and take the proper care in doing so. One such apparatus is your sleeping bag. Whether one is going hiking or just taking a vehicle to an accessible camp site, transporting sleeping bags takes a little basic know how.

Packing your chosen sleeping bag isn’t simply a matter of tucking the bag under your arm and taking it to the campsite. A good sleeping bag should have a compression stuff sack. It should also be waterproof, as some bags such as those with down filling, do not do well when wet. There are two ways to stuff your bag. One way is following the instructions that came with your product. Normally, this entails properly rolling up your sleeping bag.

To roll your bag, you should fold it in half lengthwise, and roll it up tightly starting at the feet. Make sure straps and excess fabric are all tucked in. Also, push out all the air as you roll the bag. When the bag is rolled tight enough, stuff it into the sack. Depending on the sleeping bag, this method might be difficult for some people. As such, the other procedure is to compress the sleeping bag. Without rolling the bag, just stuff a handful into the sack as deep as you can little by little. Rotate the sack a bit as you go to evenly distribute the bag. When the sleeping bag is in the sack, follow instructions on using the straps to compress the bag. Some bags can be compressed to the size of a football. Compressing the bag should only be done during trips however, as compressing it while it is in storage will damage the insulation.

After a bag is rolled or compressed, it’s time to properly pack the sack. If your sleeping bag is tightly compressed however, it would not be wise to put it under all your gear. As mentioned, too much compression can damage the filling. Some backpacks come with a sleeping bag compartment at the bottom that divides it from the rest of your items, to keep the extra weight from crushing the insulation. If your backpack doesn’t have this feature, you would do well to strap the bag outside. This is not necessary if a vehicle is involved. Just make sure the sleeping bags are not covered by all the other equipment that you have decided to take with you.

In spite of the additional pressure that seems to be placed on the bag by stuffing it instead of rolling it, advocates of stuffing a bag state that it actually works better in both the short-term and the long-term. Stuffing a sleeping bag wastes less space in the compartment, backpack or sack that you use, it saves more time if the weather is uncooperative, and rolling or folding the bag eventually causes creases in the fabric that may eventually turn into full-sized rips and tears.


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