A sleeping bag is one of the most important items on a hiking gear checklist. A warm, well-fluffed sleeping bag that is in god condition will make for a great night’s sleep. A sleeping bag that is either torn, moldy, damp or has less stuffing will make sleeping in it unpleasant. If you haven’t given a thought about ensuring your sleeping bag remains warm , well-fluffed and in good condition throughout the years of adventure, now is the time.
How Should you Take Care of Your Sleeping Bag During Hiking?
1. It should be clean at all times
Spot cleaning is the best way to take care of a sleeping bag and prevent it from losing insulation. Mix equal amounts of water and non-detergent then use a soft cloth and toothbrush to remove any dirt. Wipe off with a damp cloth. Invest in waterproof outer covers too. This prevents the sleeping bag from soaking any moisture or water from the ground.
2. Hang the sleeping bag to dry
In case you slept in a mushy environment, hang the bag in the sun to dry. Do not try to dry the sleeping bag using campfire. Its material is too delicate, and it might catch fire. However, do not leave it out in the sun for too long or else the high Ultraviolet rays will destroy it.
In case you are hiking in the cold regions remove any ice immediately you wake up. If you wake up early before the dew starts melting, ensure you place the bag in a safe place where it will not get dripped on.
3. Always use bag liners
Use a sleeping bag liner inside your bag. Bag liners are usually made of different material. They can be silk, cotton or woolen. They are useful for absorbing perspiration like sweat and anybody oils. Cleaning the liners is easier than cleaning the sleeping bag. You can purchase two liners and be interchanging them.
4. Avoid eating or drinking on the sleeping bag
The fewer times a sleeping bag is washed, the more it will last. Spilling drinks on the bag means it has to be cleaned. The bag may also acquire permanent stains because of the food and beverages.
Sleeping bags should only be given a full wash when it acquires an odor or develops grime. Make sure you go through the washing details on the bags label. This will enable you to know the dos and don’ts of handling it when cleaning.
5. Store the bag in a safe place
Maintain the sleeping bag during hiking can be quite hectic, but it is mandatory. When you are moving, and it’s raining, ensure the sleeping bag is well covered, and it is advisable to always have a plastic bag with you when you go for hiking.
When you stop to rest or eat, ensure you place the bag in a safe place. Do not put the bag on rocks or thickets as this may puncture the bag. Always place the bag on an open elevated surface where you can see it. The last thing you want is to find a snake or any other harmful creature has crawled into your bag.
Sleeping bags are not cheap. Once you purchase one, you should strive to take good care of it and make sure it does not get torn since repairing is also not easy. A well-maintained bag also sells faster than one with holes, stains, and repairs in case you decide to dispose it.