The sad story of the neglected sleeping bag

Outdoor Adventure (Unique lifestyle/travel/personal experience)
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.

Chris Davis


Although Christopher Dodge Davis grew up wrangling the copperheads of the East Texas woods, he's now made Boston his new home, and is determined to conquer the peaks of the East. Since moving, he's enjoyed hiking any trail within a weekend's drive, bouldering in the New Hampshire woods and backpacking sections of the AT, the Long Trail and other must-do hikes. Armed with a degree in English, you'll often find him sitting atop a peak, pencil in hand, unabashedly trying to channel the likes of Thoreau and other long-winded New Englanders.

1 Comment

  1. January 22, 2013, 6:06 am

    I have a storage unit in my condo and I added a nail to the side of it for my sleeping bag so it can stay unrolled when I’m not using it. Great article as I’m sure many people keep there’s in the stuff sack.

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