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Sleeping Bag Storage and Cleaning

Bags are expensive. Check out these tips and techniques to extend the life of your sleeping bag

A quality sleeping bag can be one of the more expensive pieces of gear in your camping arsenal. Extend the life of your bag with these cleaning and storage tips.
 
Cleaning Your Sleeping Bag
You’d never go a year without washing your bed sheets, right? Sleeping bags are a breeding ground for dirt and grime and, just like your sheets at home, require regular cleaning.
To clean your bag, start by filling your bathtub (or a large washing basin) with warm water and a mild camp soap (like Sierra Dawn’s Campsuds). Fully submerge the bag in the tub and hand wash thoroughly. Rinse the bag well (this may take several attempts). If you’ve got a line, you can hang your bag outside to dry. Go out and shake the bag a few times as it dries to avoid clumps of filling. Otherwise allow the wet bag to drip dry, and then place it in dryer on a low setting with a couple of tennis balls. This will help redistribute the filling. Be sure to check the label on your sleeping bag before placing it in the dryer.
 
Storing Your Sleeping Bag
Before storing, make sure your bag is clean and dry. Do not store your bag in its compression sack; store it lying flat under your bed (optimal), hanging in a closet (folded in half over a heavy duty plastic or wood hanger) or loosely in a large cotton storage bag. The key goal is to maintain as much of the sleeping bag’s loft as possible – so give your bag the space it needs!

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