By: Blonde Two

We Blondes are off on our Winter Wild Camping weekend course this weekend and we will be sharing our top wild camping tips with our lucky course attendees (place still available for Saturday night if you are brave enough). One of the most important items in your wild camping kit has to be your sleeping bag. For this week’s Tuesday’s Ten I thought I would share a few important things you need to know about these camping best friends.

  1. Down sleeping bags give more warmth for weight and pack down smaller than synthetic ones (check out the Responsible Down Standard and quiz your retailer if you have ethical concerns)
  2. Down sleeping bags only do the above when they are dry so should always be packed in their own dry bag
  3. Sleeping bag comfort and extreme ratings are only numbers, add a few degrees to your expected night time temperature and you are more likely to be comfortable and less likely to feel extreme
  4. The underneath of a sleeping bag squashes when you lie on it and will not be as warm as you think, always pack a sleeping mat with a high r-value (or an under-quilt if you are sleeping in a hammock)
  5. Sleeping bags can be made warmer by adding a sleeping bag liner. Silk liners are good and small but expensive, fleece (bulky) and synthetic (not so warm) liners are also available
  6. Sleeping bags with ‘mummy’ shaped feet spaces are warmer on the toes and pack smaller than those with closed ends
  7. Make sure you choose a sleeping bag with good zip baffles (the filled fabric that covers the zip) zips are not friendly bed-fellows and let the cold in
  8. You can dry (and warm) a damp bra at the bottom of your sleeping bag but not a wet pair of trousers (trust me I have tried)
  9. It is possible to clean a down sleeping bag but we would recommend using a specialist sleeping bag cleaning service
  10. Sleeping bags perform far better if you give them a name