Sleeping Bag Hints, From Dusk Until Dawn


  1. Unstuff your sleeping bag well before bedtime, letting it fully regain its loft and warmth.
  2. If it’s chilly out, place a chemical heat warmer or hot water bottle in your sleeping bag about an hour before bedtime to kickstart warmth.
  3. Eating a dinner high in fat on cold nights generates longer-lasting heat than a carb-heavy meal.
  4. Wearing a liner balaclava while you sleep provides head and neck coverage. Bonus: It doesn’t shift around or fall off when you toss and turn.
  5. Don’t breathe into your hood. The moisture will collect in the insulation and slowly compromise warmth, especially in down sleeping bags.
  6. In the morning, stuff your sleeping bag tail-first to prevent the footbox from ballooning. Turn the bag inside out if it has a wind-resistant shell.
  7. Invest in a compression stuff sack. This will reduce the size of your stuffed bag by a third or more.
  8. At home, never store your sleeping bag compressed in its stuff sack. Doing so will permanently crush the insulation and reduce the bag’s warmth.
This story originally appeared in the May/June issue of AMC Outdoors, alongside the column "Choosing the Right Three-Season Sleeping Bag."

Photo by Baciu/Shutterstock

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