Has your fondness for trekking and mountaineering taken you out in the wilderness, but you’re struggling to keep your sleeping bag dry and yourself warm? You have come to the right place, as we will tell you what you’re doing wrong. Sleeping bags are designed specifically for activities such as mountaineering, camping, and trekking, but that does not mean that all types of sleeping bags do the job perfectly. The material it is made of matters a lot.
You have to weigh the pros and cons. See which ones are economical, would keep you warm under freezing temperatures, and of course, would remain the driest during wet weather conditions. Your sleeping bag is sure to accumulate some water droplets due to morning dew and condensation, but that does not pose any serious risk to your body temperature.
However, getting your sleeping bag soaking wet could be dangerous to maintaining your body temperature in cold and uncertain weather conditions, especially if you are alone. So, it is best if you take the best sleeping bag along, take preventive measures so that your bag does not get wet, and know what to do in case that happens. Continue reading to find great tips to keep your sleeping bag safe from getting wet, along with a lot more information!
Choose The Right Sleeping Bag
Typically, you are presented with two options—a synthetic bag or a down bag. Down sleeping bags are usually made of geese plumage and are therefore warmer and heavier on the pocket. If you are going to a place where it will undoubtedly rain, these bags will not be the intelligent choice. Once the plumage gets wet, it takes a really long time to dry it. Practically speaking, you will not have that much time to spend in one place.
Moreover, these bags do more harm than good if they get wet. The moisture fills the plumage spaces, making you feel colder instead of keeping you warm and protected from the chill. Therefore, synthetic bags are the best bet for you.
However, it does not mean that synthetic bags do not get wet. Water droplets can form on the surface of the bag at the specific “dew point.” When you get inside the sleeping bag, these water droplets evaporate by themselves due to your body’s heat, drying the inside of your sleeping bag and keeping you warm.
Now that you know which type of sleeping bag to get, it is time to discuss how you can keep your sleeping bag from becoming wet.
Ways To Protect Your Sleeping Bag From Getting Wet
1. Use a bag cover: A bag for your bag? That’s right! Get a bag cover or a bivy sack to protect your sleeping bag from getting wet when you’re moving while it is raining or snowing. Cover your bag with either of the two, and you don’t have to worry about having a wet sleeping bag at night.
One thing to make sure of is to get a breathable cover to reduce the chances of internal condensation. In case you don’t have a sack or a cover, you can also use a raincoat to keep your sleeping bag dry.
2. Line your bag for added protection: It is better to be safe than sorry. So, even if you have covered your sleeping bag with a cover, you can also line it with plastic or trash compactor bags. This will ensure that even if water trickles down, it does not reach your sleeping bag.
3. Dry your sleeping bag when you wake up in the morning: You wake up and see that water has condensed on the surface of your sleeping bag. Instead of folding your bag to make sure no more condensation occurs, you should hang your bag to dry. If you have a synthetic bag, it will only take around 20 minutes to dry thoroughly.
4. Don’t wipe down the condensation on your sleeping bag: You may think it is better and faster to simply take a cloth and wipe down the water droplets formed on the sleeping bag. However, that will only damage your sleeping bag’s protective barrier by forcing water into it. If you let the bag hang in the open air, the water droplets will evaporate without damaging your bag.
5. Ventilate your tent: At night, the cold may make you want to shut the tent tightly, but this creates the ideal microclimate for condensation. If there is no fresh air coming from outside, the warmer air inside the tent will condense, forming droplets on your sleeping bag. So, it would be best if you let a small opening of the tent remain open.
What To Do If Your Sleeping Bag Gets Soaking Wet
Your nightmare has turned real, and you are stuck with a soaking wet bag. What do you do now? You can do two things: sit under a shelter or get back on the trail and keep moving. You need to make the call for yourself.
Getting back on track will make you physically active and likely keep you warm. Psychologically, it will help you regain calm and control of the situation. However, if you don’t find yourself in the position to continue moving, turn to survival mode.
Sit under a shelter and do whatever you can to keep yourself warm until your bag dries. Eat whatever fat-rich food you have on hand so that it keeps your body warm. When you feel too cold, push yourself into doing some exercise—jog on the spot or do some jumping jacks to get some heat.
You never know when you may find yourself in such a situation despite taking all the preventive measures. Therefore, pack extra clothes so that you have dry, warm clothes if you are caught in such unforeseen circumstances.
While trekking and camping are fun, some unexpected accidents may happen. It is always best to take some precautions beforehand in order to avoid these accidents to the maximum. Ensure that you follow all the tips and tricks we have shared so that a wet sleeping bag is not one of them!