For many people, camping feeds the soul. Spending time in nature can help relax one’s mind and the physical aspect of hiking and setting up camp can rejuvenate one’s body. Seasoned campers know that the right gear is everything, from your tent to push and pull wagons. It takes a lot of research to get the right products for your camping trip and we recommend starting with the all-important sleeping bag. When you’re out in the elements, you need a sleeping bag that is going to be easy to carry, comfortable, and warm enough for your environment. Here are our best tips for choosing a sleeping bag for your next outdoor adventure.
When you’re looking into sleeping bags, you should be aware that there are two distinct styles: camping bags and backpacking bags. Typically, camping bags are heftier, making them thick and roomy. Backpacking bags, on the other hand, tend to be lighter and more compact. You can use either of them for camping but you should understand this distinction before you go into the specifics.
It is always better to have a sleeping bag that is too warm rather than not warm enough. If you start to feel toasty in your sleeping bag, you can always unzip it and let the air come through. It’s much worse (and much more dangerous) to be freezing in a tent at night. Experts say you should research the camping spot and see what the average nighttime temperatures are for the time of year. Once you have the average low, you can pick a sleeping bag that has a temperature rating that will match that. Just to be safe, you should give yourself a buffer of 10-20 degrees lower than the predicted temperature, in case of unforeseen weather conditions.
When you start to look at sleeping bags on the market, you will see that they come in a variety of shapes as well as sizes. Campers who like having enough room to roll over and stretch might prefer the classic rectangular design. However, others who like a more snug fit might like the mummy or barrel shape. If you are a more restless sleeper in these tighter bags, then you will simply move with the sleeping bag rather than inside it. Compact shapes might be ideal for backpacking enthusiasts and those who are camping in lower temperatures. There are also double bags, which are made for two adults or an adult and a child to sleep together. The market also offers kid-sized sleeping bags which are smaller and shorter.
Sleeping bags are typically insulated with synthetic fill or down. Synthetic is known to be affordable, hypoallergenic, and fast-drying while down is lightweight, easy to compress, and better in dry weather. So, while both materials have been successful for campers, there might be one that fits your camping experience better. Consider your environmental conditions and your own personal preferences.
Finding the right sleeping bag can take some time, but it is worth the effort! Ultimately, the right gear will make your camping trip more enjoyable for you and your camping buddies. If you are unsure of what else you need for your trip, then start a list of common camping tools like flashlights, water basins, and foldable wagons. You can find a general list on several campground sites and on camping forums.