All the camping gear

We’ve won the battle, but not the war

What is it with sleeping bags? I get that you want them to be the smallest they can be for purposes of packing. We’ve been there and done that on the how-to-use-every-single-crevice of the car when packing up camping stuff. But seriously, you’d think they’d come up with some easier way of putting them back into the ridiculously small sleeves they come in.

Actually, the children’s sleeping bags went away relatively easily. They have a cuboid case (as Mimi would say – they’re doing 3D shapes at school at the moment) and you just fold them in half, fold over a few times and they slip easily into the case.

But our double sleeping bag is an entirely different kettle of fish. Five attempts it took us this time – two of us wrestled with it for nigh on 15 minutes before we finally got it into the sleeve, more by brute force, it has to be said, than because we’d discovered the knack for this particular breed. The built in pillows seem to be the problem. I reckon we could make it fit without, but as pillows are so bloomin’ big, I’m loathe to leave the handy ones that are zipped on to the sleeping bag and pack bigger ones instead.

I now remember wrestling with my sleeping bag as a child. All of a sudden there are plenty of memories coming back from our camping holidays. When it comes to sleeping bags I remember hating the feel of the cold zip against my legs in the middle of the night and feeling very restricted while I tried to sleep. It was probably this that led me to demand to take my duvet and simply use the sleeping bag as a bottom sheet. But my parents had a caravan, so space wasn’t as much of an issue as it is with a tent and averaged-sized family car.

We will persevere with our sleeping bag out of necessity. If anyone has any words of wisdom to offer I’d be really grateful. So far we’ve tried folding it in half and in thirds. We’ve sat on it, squidged it, cajoled it and swore at it, but the darn thing remained both indifferent and defiant. Like a petulant child it refused to go where it needed to. So the mantel has been thrown down and my challenge is to figure out a way to make it submit. I will be master of the sleeping bag.


5 thoughts on “We’ve won the battle, but not the war

  1. shropshirelass1

    just stuff it into the bag, don’t fold, roll or anything, just keep pushing it in until its all in. That’s what I do and presumably why it’s called a stuff bag??

  2. Rob Baker

    As shropshirelass1 has said the answer is to just stuff the sleeping bag back into its stuff sack. Rolling or folding sleeping bags will shorten their lifespan considerably.

    1. allthegear Post author

      I’ll have to get them out and re-stuff them if we don’t get to camp soon!
      (BTW Rob, v jealous of your Triumph. We have an Austin Healey Sprite, think Husband wants a TR next).

  3. Rob Baker

    Thanks! Im quite jealous of your sprite, one of my favourite non-Triumphs :)

    One other point on sleeping bags, its important to air them out regularly too. If i know ours wont be used for a while i tend to lay them out on the spare bed

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