Sleeping Bag Storage

Your sleeping bag’s lifespan is dependent on your sleeping bag storage techniques, both long-term during off-season and while in the tent.

So be sure to bookmark this page and return before a hiking trip or after coming home from one.

You’ve spent enough cash investing in the best sleeping bag for your camping needs.

By adhering to the proper sleeping bag care instructions, your sleeping bag can last you decades, across continents, and through all of Glacier National Park’s wilderness—all the while with properly distributed fluffness, never becoming damp or moldy, and remaining stitched together.

Preparing Your Sleeping Bag For Storage

Personally, I try to avoid cleaning my sleeping bag. I do this by:

  • Never having any food around, as food crumbs can invite rodents (and grizzly bears!)
  • Taking my hiking boots off outside the tent to keep out dirt and debris
  • Shaking out my sleeping bag before unfurling it in the tent
  • Drying my sleeping bag out in the sun once my trip has ended, as dampness welcomes mold

Eventually however, even by following these sleeping bag instructions, enough’s enough. Comes a time when your sleeping bag needs to be cleaned.I’ve taken my sleeping bag to the dry cleaners for these occasions, but it’s possible to hand-clean your sleeping bag, too.

If you choose to clean your sleeping bag, be sure to follow these instructions:

  1. Read the sleeping bag instructions. Simple, right? But so many skip over reading their sleeping bag’s tag
  2. Go to a Laundromat. Their machines are larger and won’t compress your bag like home machines would
  3. Is your sleeping bag down or synthetic? Whichever the case, purchase and use a cleaner designed specially for your sleeping bag’s material
  4. Use the Laundromat’s drier
  5. Follow the below sleeping bag care instructions for long term sleeping bag storage

Long-term Sleeping Bag Storage

There’s no more wholesome way of putting camping season behind than by preparing your sleeping bag for its winter hibernation and storage.

However, improper sleeping bag storage over months (or years) of garage living will haunt you whenever you brush the dust off and unfurl it in the woods again.

Follow these sleeping bag instructions to make sure the off-season doesn’t ruin your sleeping bag:

  1. Dry the sleeping bag before storing. Common sense, right? But it’s so easy to return from a camping trip and never dry your bag out, which would allow mold and bacteria to grow
  2. Hang your sleeping bag. Zip it up and toss it on a hanger, unroll it beneath your bed…. Anything. Proper sleeping bag storage requires getting it out of the sleeping bag stuffsack.
  3. Douse a cotton ball with lavender oil and drop it in the sleeping bag. When the wild flowers are blooming, your sleeping bag won’t reek of last summer’s body odor.

Sometimes it takes weeks after your last trip to get around to storing your sleeping bag properly. Procrastinating storage may allow the memories to linger, but could cause your sleeping bag to lose its fluffiness.

Sleeping Bag Storage Tip: If your sleeping bag has gone flat, drop a handful of tennis balls and your sleeping bag into the drier. Turn the drier on a low-tumble dry cycle and the tennis balls will re-fluff your sleeping bag.

Sleeping Bag Care In The Wilderness

Whether you’re car camping or pitching a tent in the backcountry, there are tricks to making your life easier when it comes time to store your sleeping bag for the winter.

Here are some camping tips to remember for keeping your sleeping bag in perfect shape:

  • Don’t let your sleeping bag get wet. A dry sleeping bag is essential to maintaining good health and spirits while camping. If you have a down sleeping bag, this is even more imperative as they don’t dry well.
  • Dry out the bag. While breakfast is cooking, air your sleeping bag out in the hot sun.
  • Sleep with a bag liner to absorb your perspiration. If you’re an ultralight backpacker, consider purchasing a lightweight sleeping bag liner.
  • Stuff it differently each time. Just stuff your sleeping bag into it’s carrying sack and this will prevent creases from occurring and ruining your sleeping bag’s fluffiness.
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