storing a sleeping bag

How to Store Sleeping Bags

A quality sleeping bag may be one of the most significant camping gear investments you ever make. The sleeping bag costs a hundred dollars, but if you take good care of it, it will last longer. If you neglect it, its quality ruins and all the money invested goes into the drain. In this article, we’ll show you several tips on storing your sleeping bag for long-term and short-term periods, preparing it before storage, and cleaning it. Reserving your bag well is a critical way of preserving lifespan and ensuring it serves you well.

How to Store a Sleeping Bag While on the Move

Storing your bag while on the go should be simple and fast. Chances are it will only be away for the day and rolled out again at night when you set up camp. Storing your bag involves cleaning, drying, and then folding it right before putting it into the carry bag.

Keeping Your Bag Clean

Exposing your bag to body oils, dirt, and sweat reduce its insulation power. Be keen to put on clean pajamas when sleeping or using an inner sheet to protect it from dust.

Air Drying

Take your sleeping bag outside and air it in the sun to make it dry and fresh. You may be sweating, and this accumulated dampness and dirt makes it have an awful smell.  The smell can distract the sleep that you need, especially in the wild.

 Flapping Your Bag to Remove Dust

It’s necessary, especially if you don’t have a bag liner or an underneath sheet. Fluffing will aid get rid of all dust particles your bag may have gathered while on the ground.

Folding it Properly

Folding helps to protect your bag from losing its loft. It’s better for temporary storage than stuffing into a compression bag. The procedure is as follows;

  • Zip up your bag
  • Fold your sleeping bag to the length of the cover
  • Squeeze it out to remove any trapped air
  • Using your fingertips roll it bottom-up and push it into the cover
  • Tighten the strings and make a loop, put the flap and zip it

Long-term Sleeping Bag Storage Tips

Proper sleeping bag storage is very crucial in prolonging your bag’s lifespan. Storage also ensures the bedroll keeps warm and cozy for a long time. While considering long-term storage, you should make sure your bag is clean and dry to prevent mold buildup. Again, don’t compress your bag so that it doesn’t get damaged over time.

Preparing the Bag for Storage

You should prepare your sleeping sack through the following; cleaning, drying and repair.

Cleaning

Even if you use a bag liner or sheets, eventually, your sleeping will get dirty and need cleaning. Therefore,  you should learn different ways of cleaning your bag before storage.

Spot Cleaning

You do spot cleaning using a soft-bristle toothbrush and a mild detergent like a downwash. Rub the affected area and rinse it thoroughly using a sponge to remove any soap. Then dry your bag.

Hand Washing

It’s the best method of washing your bag if concerned about its safety. Plan your washing on a sunny day as your bag may take several days to dry.

  • Fill your bathtub with warm water, add soap, and mix it well.
  • Zip up your bag, turn it inside out, and soak it for an hour or two hours, as you frequently turn it.
  • Empty all the dirty water and fill the vessel with clean water.
  • Rinse your bag several times until the water is clean.
  • Empty your tub and roll your bag into a cylinder as you press the water out, don’t twist or wring the bag.
  • Transfer the bag into a netted hammock to dry under the sun. Keep turning the bag as you break up any clumps.

Use a Washing Machine

It’s advisable to wash your bag using a sizeable front-loading machine. Alternatively, you can use a top-loading device without an agitator to prevent tearing your bag’s baffles.

  • Use a mild soap like downwash for your bag, which can work for either synthetic or down bag like the granger downwash.
  • Use warm water and set on a gentle cycle, rinse and spin twice.
  • Place the bag in the dryer and set it at the lowest heat setting. Throw in some heavy cotton towel and tennis balls to assist in breaking up clumps.

Drying

Another way to prepare your bag for storage is through drying. Your sleeping bag requires drying, whether it’s washed or not. It’s wise to airdry your bag before using it at least for 15 minutes in the morning while camping. Failure to airdry creates mold and mildew, which gives a bad smell and stains that are hard to remove through washing.

Check this too: Best Camping Pillow

Dry your sleeping bag on a clothesline, over a chair, and leave it for at least a day. Avoid direct sunlight as the ultra-violet rays can damage its fabric. Remember also to turn it inside out to dry as well.

Repairs

Your bag may experience tears that you can fix using various tools. You need to have a tenacious tape or duct tape in repairing holes and zipper kit for zippers.

Fabric Holes or Tear

Use a tenacious tape to patch up the fabric. If you have duct tape too, it can work though, temporarily as the adhesiveness quickly wears out. You can also do hand stitch, and if unable to fix, consult your manufacturer for professional repair.

Broken Zippers

You need a zipper kit if your zipper gets broken to fix it. Be careful not to make any holes on your fabric as you repair.

Storing the Sleeping Bag

It’s best to store your sleeping bag loosely in a dry place to increase its lifespan. Some of the sleeping storage options include;

Hanging from Hooks

Hang your bag in a hook using its loop in a dry room. The method helps your sleeping bag to get enough airflow that removes any bad smell. The pack also is well preserved without any compression. Buy some hooks and fix them on the walls in a storage room for hanging your sleeping bag.

On a Shelf

Fold your bag loosely and store it on a shelf. Your closet should have enough space for the sleeping bag to fit.

In a Cotton Sack

Buy a large cotton sack or use the large mesh bag that you bought with the sleeping bag.  Store the sleeping bag in a dry location and not a musty basement.

Store it in Plastic Bin or Tub

It’s another storage method that you can consider. Buy a large plastic bin to store your bag well without any compression. Make sure the container is thoroughly dry and your sleeping sack too before storage.

how to store a sleeping bag

Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Your Bag

  • Avoid storing your sleeping bag in the stuff sack; the more compressed it gets, the more it loses its loft.
  • Do not store a wet bag.
  • Always zip your bag to the top before storing it.
  • Avoid storing your bag in its sack for a more extended period except on a trip.
  • Don’t roll your bag if it has any hard objects inside.
  • Don’t store your bag in unnecessary small sack or bin.

How Do You Store Sleeping Bags in a Garage?

Ensure your garage is neat, free from dust, rodents, and dampness before storing your sleeping bag. Use ceiling hooks to hang your sleeping bag while its inside the storage bag. The storage bag prevents dirt and dust from forming on the sleeping bag.

Should You Roll or Stuff a Sleeping Bag?

Most sleeping bag manufactures recommend stuffing rather than rolling. Stuffing is safe for the bag and assists in maintaining the bag’s fluffiness longer. It also puts less stress on fabric fibers. On the other hand, rolling creates tension on the fabric and avoid it for long trips. The strain on fabric fibers damages your sleeping bag lowering its quality.

Can You Use a Machine to Wash a Sleeping Bag?

A washing machine can wash a sleeping bag but with great caution. Its recommended to use a front-loading machine or top-loading machine but without an agitator. Make sure you wash it with warm or cold water, mild detergent to prevent any damage on the fabric on other materials on your sleeping bag.

Check this too: Cold Weather Backpacking 101: The Beginner’s Guide

Can I Put A Sleeping Bag in the Dryer?

You can put the sleeping bag in the dryer and use the lowest heat setting. If your dryer is still hot, open the door to let out some heat. When the dryer stops, check your bag and don’t let it settle against the heated drum.

Conclusion

Storing your bag well will make it last longer and give the best service. Always ensure you prepare your bag properly before storage through cleaning, repair, and more. Use the best storage method that fits you like, hanging it, using a shelf, using a bin or cotton sack. A well-stored bag will keep you warm and cozy and remain fluff.

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