Backpacks, no matter how they are advertised as super durable; the daily wear and tear would eventually take a toll on them. Regularly wiping them down with a non-abrasive cleaning cloth could minimize dirt accumulation, and add up to its longevity, but if your backpack starts to smell or appear really dirty, it’s time to give them a good old spin in the washer or wash them by hand.
Down soaps are cleaning agents specifically manufactured for items with down filling. These specially formulated cleaning chemicals will help to preserve and maintain the natural oils and fiber in the down while still getting your item clean and restoring the loft of your sleeping bag.
Properly storing your sleeping bag is an essential skill to make sure that your bag is always in tip top condition and that you get the most bang for your buck. Here are four simple steps to store your sleeping bag:
Take it out of the sleeping bag sack
Make sure that the bag is completely and thoroughly dry
Loosely put it inside a mesh sack or a breathable cotton bag
It is advisable to wash and clean your tent after a long backpacking trip, especially if it has been exposed to sand, dirt, tree saps, and/or bird droppings. However, if you only use it for short trips, it could go on with a cleaning once every season.
Sleeping bag liners are one of the most undervalued gears in the camping world. It provides a string of benefits to both the camper and the sleeping bag:
Sleeping bag liners provide a layer of defense against grime, debris, small pebbles, and sand from settling within the insulation of the bag. Furthermore, they also absorb skin oils, sweat, and odor from the body before they reach the shell and surface of the sleeping bag. Therefore, using bag liners keep your sleeping bag cleaner for longer so you do not have to wash it as often. For this reason, it also helps maintain the quality and the loft of your bag.
Yes, wearing long underwear and clothes keeps you warmer inside a sleeping bag. Your clothes are another layer of insulation that keeps your natural heat close to your boy and prevents it from escaping.
Contrary to popular belief, down is not made from fowl feathers, but rather from duck plumage. It is the soft, fluffy, and lofty stuff under the feathers. Down is found beneath this protective covering – usually on the belly of a bird - and is light and fluffy. It provides the insulation birds need to keep themselves warm. Instead of quills, a cluster of down has a round center called a plumule. Soft, fluffy, and airy, it has thousands of tiny fibers that radiate from its core. Considered as nature’s insulator, it is effective in trapping air and body heat, while still being breathable. Hence, it wicks unwanted moisture away from your body.
After washing the bag, yes, you could put it through a dryer; most sleeping bags are designed to withstand industrial dryers. Dry in a front load industrial dryer at the Laundromat, since a lot of home dryers are too small for your sleeping bag.
Yes, fortunately, a lot of sleeping bags in the market could take a few spins in the washing machine. However, it is best to use a front-loading washer (or top-loading machine without an agitator) instead of a regular top-loading washing machine. Please be advised, though, that some home front-loader machines are usually small and would not give your sleeping bag enough space to tumble and clean properly.
Like the temperature rating, sleeping bags are also labeled by seasons to help you choose which bags would suit for your needs. A 3-season sleeping bag has a temperature of +10° to +35° and would be best suited to use during the seasons spring, summer, and fall. Winters require a sleeping bag that’s designed withstand much colder temperatures, though.
Some of the features to look for in a quality 3-season bags are the following: cinch-able hoods, draft collars, and zipper draft tubes.