A dry sleeping bag is akin to a bed of roses!

As the end of the year draws nigh, people get busy with various kinds of preparations… and outdoors people are wont to plan quiet getaways to spend happy times in nature’s lap. No matter how 2020 has been, winter can be a cheerful time with Christmas gifts, cool climes and snowscapes, the inevitable “31st” and a hopeful welcome to 2021. This is the time when sleeping outdoors even in the Sahyadri (Western Ghats) can involve using a sleeping bag! Here is a post that has a few tips on this wonderful piece of outdoor gear. Happy camping!

I believe that every hiker should ensure a good night’s rest of excellent quality – that will help recover from any challenges that one has faced during a day.

Hence, a sleeping bag is best kept dry come what may, including a dunking received by one’s rucksack while crossing a river! Here’s something that I strongly recommend you do to ensure exactly that…

Most manufacturers recommend that their sleeping bags have to be ‘stuffed in’ instead of rolling or folding them up before packing them into stuff sacks.

If you expect wet weather on your hike, then it is important to ensure that your sleeping bag remains dry come what may. The following will help yo achieve that.

  • Before stuffing your sleeping bag in, line the stuff sack with a plastic bag. Have an exclusive ‘plastic liner bag’ for your sleeping bag.
  • Stuff the sleeping bag inside the plastic bag taking care that its rim stays above the rim of the nylon stuff sack.

The following illustrations show a sleeping bag being packed when wet weather is not expected (for clarity about packing detail).

  • Start with the foot of the sleeping bag and use force to gradually push the rest in as you lay it out inside evenly. This will enable the air to escape as you compress the bag.
  • If the outer layer is a particularly good windproof then it can trap air as you try to push the sleeping bag in – you may then want to turn your sleeping bag inside out.
  • Once the bag is in, cinch the stuff sack shut with its draw-cord (if there is a plastic bag liner you have put in then fold over the opening of the plastic bag before drawing the cord tight).
  • Use compression straps to minimise the size of the packed bag.
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