The sad story of the neglected sleeping bag
The last time you wadded up your backpacking sleeping bag into its little stuff sack for storage was probably the last, considering you most likely took it out on your next trip to find it shriveled and sad. Things got worse, too, when you climbed in and found it couldn’t even keep you warm anymore, didn’t they?
Such was the story of 2006, when I was a wee freshman in Colorado majoring in snowboarding and Estes Park camping. My dad had given me his down sleeping bag – along with a new hiking backpack full of his aged but great camping gear – and I was set. It worked great for a few uses, and when the snow fell permanently, it stayed stuffed tight under my bed until April.
Somewhere between the months of storage and its occasional use as a guest blanket in a freshman dorm, the once-great bag lost its zipper, and its insulation had clumped together and was about as effective as a Bounty paper towel.
When I bought my own down bag, I made sure to keep it loose in its storage sack, and to this day, it’s still keeping me warm at campsites from the Green Mountains to the Rockies.