The following is a guest blog from Sport Chalet:
Curling up in warm, comfortable sleeping bag every night is one of the fun parts of camping! To keep your sleeping bag in top condition you must learn the appropriate cleaning and care storage tips. Whether you camp once a month or once a year, a clean sleeping bag is a must for any outdoor adventure.
Washing Your Sleeping Bag
How you clean your sleeping bag will be depend on the size, style, and type of bag you own. Every sleeping bag must be cleaned on a regular basis due to dirt from the camping site and normal dirt and oils from your body. Think of your sleeping bag like the sheets on your bed. To keep your bed and sheets clean you must wash them from time to time and the sleeping bag is no different.
Today, you will find many sleeping bags crafted with down or synthetic materials. Down bags must be treated with care and can often require hand washing depending on the outside materials. To hand wash your sleeping bag place the item in a larger plastic bin or a bathtub. The water should be lukewarm and at a comfortable temperature for your hands. Add an appropriate soap for your type of sleeping bag. The cleaning instructions located on the tag may highlight suggested detergents.
Gently swirl and knead the bag while pushing it in and out of the water. A small soft brush can be used on the exterior to work on any hard to remove stains. Once the bag is cleaned, drain the tub and run clean, warm water all over to remove any remaining dirt or soap. After the sleeping bag is completely clean you can let it air dry or put it in the drying machine. If your standard at-home machine cannot accommodate the item, especially when washing more than one sleeping bag, you can bring take your bag to the nearest Laundromat which will have larger sized washing machines and dryers. Some suggest adding a drying ball or tennis balls along with an anti-static sheet during the drying cycle. Take note of any drying instructions on the bag to avoid damage.
Storing Your Sleeping Bag
Many of the bags available today are sold with bag covers or cases. At home, keep your sleeping bag in a dry and cool area. Many prefer to bundle all their sleeping bags together in one extra-large plastic bin with a cover to avoid any damage from external factors such as temperature or water. The sleeping bag is one piece of camping equipment you will depend on from trip to trip, so ensure its care and storage all year round.