How to roll a sleeping bag
Learning how to roll a sleeping bag can prove to be a very useful piece of camping skill that can come in handy in many different situations. Knowing how to roll a sleeping bag correctly can also be beneficial because you will know what type of extra insulation to get, what kind of inner lining to have, etc. Some bags can be easier to roll up than others simply because of their size, shape, and construction. A person can also determine how to roll a sleeping bag by simply rolling it up in the first place, then tearing the top off and doing a side-by-side comparison. Here are some simple instructions that anyone can follow.
The first step is to unzip the front of the sleeping bag. Next, take the zipper down and out of its way. This is important because when you are rolling the bag, the zipper may be blocking your free arm or leg movement. Pull the zipper off and allow it to hang freely, then unfold it back into its original position. Doing this procedure properly will help you avoid your shoulder, neck, or free hand from getting hurt during the folding process.
Next, you will need to make sure that all air bubbles are popped, if they are not already. To do this, place the bag flat on the ground and roll it forward, allowing the air bubbles to pop out and release as you roll the bag along the ground. It may take several rolls for all the air to be removed, so be patient. Once the bag has released all the air, you will be able to get a better idea of how to roll a sleeping bag with heavier objects.
There are two different ways to roll a bag with heavier objects such as an air mattress. The first way is to use a handle or lever attached to the side or bottom of the bag; this is done by turning the handle in a clockwise direction, just like you would to unroll a bag on your front porch. This lever can be helpful if you have a heavy object to pull against while rolling. Another similar method to rolling up a sleeping bag is using a flat strap on top of the bag and lifting the straps so that they are now hanging over either end of the bag, like a belt. This can work if the bag is light enough (as it will be if you are rolling a large air mattress), but it can also pose a potential problem if the straps get tangled up.
A safer option to rolling up a bag is to use a stuff sack instead of a handle. Stuff sacks are available in several sizes and you should be able to find one that is the right size for the objects you are going to be putting inside. If you choose to use a stuff sack, you will also need to add some tape to keep the stuff sack in place. Start by taping the sides of the stuff sack closed and then continue along the edges so that it covers the entire bag. To complete the task of rolling out your sleeping bag down, you simply have to secure the straps around the inside and tie a knot (either tie a heavy knot or use a decorative knot) to seal the bag closed.
Another answer to how to roll a sleeping bag that does not require a handle or strap is to use two items: a pillow and some tape. The easiest way to do this task is to use a rectangular pillow that is half the size of the sleeping bag (this is usually enough to provide a comfortable sleeping surface), and two pieces of thin, water-resistant material that are taped along the sides of the pillow. These items should be placed under the sleeping person’s feet, just below their navel. Since the tape will protect the sides of the pillow from getting messed up, you can easily flip the pillow over when it gets to the point where it is hard to maneuver, which is probably at the point when the person is asleep and starting to snore heavily.
Of course, this solution does require that the sleeper remove their hands from their face and foreheads, although this is easily accomplished if the person is still breathing. If they are not, they can wrap one arm behind them over the pillow, or if they are lying prone, they can prop up their elbows up on a pillow and tape their forehead against the back of the pillow, which works just as well. When they are asleep, they will be stiff and in obvious need of a good night’s rest, so they may very well appreciate being able to roll over without having to deal with a lot of physical labor. This solution works best when the sleeping bag is not attached to the ceiling, since it makes it much easier for rolling to take place in an upright position without doing too much physical work (since the sleeper is resting in a straight position underneath the stuff sack). However, it works just as well if the sleeping bag is attached to the ceiling because there is no way to know when the bag has started to compress while you are sleeping.
Rolling your own sleeping bags is a solution that everyone should consider, but since it is not an easy task, most people find it more convenient to just purchase a pre-packaged one. These are usually fairly cheap and come with all the parts needed to roll one. It may take a little longer to fully assemble them, but it is a small price to pay for peace of mind. There is also nothing stopping someone from purchasing all the necessary materials to make their own stuff sack, since most sleeping bags are already small enough to be stuffed into a stuff sack. The only other thing they will have to do is put it on their back, making it easy to get around wherever they might go.