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How to Fold a Sleeping Bag
It’s the last day of your camp and it’s time to pack everything up. Yet you’re left staring at a large sleeping bag and a tiny container to put it into. Sound familiar? Your sleeping bag will fit, you just need to make sure that you are folding it properly. Here are some tips to help you do this.
Clean the Sleeping Bag
The first thing that you need to do is clean the sleeping bag out. In most cases, this means shaking it. If it got wet, hang it up and wait for it to dry. You don’t want the damp bag to start growing mold.
Lay it Flat
Next, you need to pick a flat surface and lay the sleeping bag out. You can use your hands to make sure that it is flat, you don’t want to have any wrinkles on the bag. As you are doing this, make sure that you are getting rid of any air that has become trapped inside the bag.
You’ll need to zip up the bag. Keep smoothing it out as you are doing this, forcing out any remaining air pockets.
Fold the Sleeping Bag in Half
Next, you will need to fold the bag in half. As you are doing this, it’s important to be as precise as possible. Ideally, the two ends of the bag will be perfectly aligned. If there are any mistakes during this step, they will be amplified in the future, making it harder to repack the sleeping bag.
Roll the Bag Tightly
This is the most important step. You need to roll the bag as tightly as possible. There are a few tips to do this correctly. First, it’s a good idea to start at the open end, this will force any remaining air out of the bag.
Another good idea is to use something thin and straight to roll the bag around. A straight stick might do the job. It’s also a good idea to use a tent pole. You will be able to pull this out of the bag once it has been rolled. Make sure that you avoid twisting the bag, this can damage the insulation.
Finally, you might want to use your knees to apply extra pressure between rolls. This will help compact the bag even further. By the time you have finished this step, the sleeping bag should be tightly balled.
Use Straps to Hold it in Position
The tight ball of your sleeping bag will be hard to maintain. If you release the pressure, it will start to stretch out. The good news is most sleeping bag manufacturers know this. That’s why they include straps. Put them into place and tighten them up. As you are doing this, you can use your knees to hold them in place.
If the bag didn’t come with straps you don’t need to worry. All you need is an elastic strap. Then, you can tie it down. Once it has been tied down, you can remove the tent pole or stick you used to roll it up, it should slide out easily.
Putting the Sleeping Bag into the Cover
This is the final part of the process, but it’s the part that most people will come unstuck on. There are a few ways you can do this.
First, you can place the corners of the sleeping bag into the cover. Then, you will be able to stuff it in. Treat it in the same way as a pillow, which you are putting into the pillowcase. This is best if your sleeping bag comes with straps to stop it from coming apart.
The other option is to turn the cover inside out. Then, place the bottom of the cover at the base of the sleeping bag. You can then pull the end of the sleeping bag up, turning it the right way up while putting the sleeping bag inside.
Once the sleeping bag is inside the cover, all you need to do is tighten the drawstrings. It will now be ready to transport.
When you get it back home, it can be a good idea to wash the sleeping bag. This is best after a long camping trip, where you have been sweating a lot. If you don’t camp too often, you might only need to wash the bag once every few years. If you sleep out more regularly, you might need to wash it at the start of the hiking season. You’ll need to check the label on the bag, to see how you can do this. In most cases, you will need to handwash. This post has more details on how to clean your sleeping bag.
Finally, you need to make sure that you are storing it properly. This can mean removing it from the sleeping bag cover and putting it into a looser, breathable sack. Too much pressure on the insulation can damage the bag. This article has other storage tips that you can explore.
Will This Method Work on All Sleeping Bags?
While there are multiple types of sleeping bags on the market, this method will work for all of them. If you have a mummy-type bag, you might need to start at the base and roll towards the open end, helping to remove oxygen.
You will also need to roll from the base when folding a double sleeping bag. This is one of the best options on the market if you intend on sleeping with a partner. Plus, it can save you some weight, as you will only need to take one sleeping bag on your next camping trip. If this sounds like it would suit you, check out this rectangular double sleeping bag list to get a better idea of how you can find a quality bag.
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