Survival sleeping bag
There are many factors to consider when selecting a good survival sleeping bag. And these factors go way beyond simply weight and temperature rating. Short recap. Instead of a single survival sleeping bag, you’ll want a full-blown camping kit consisting of a tent, a ground tarp, a sleeping pad, and at least one additional item. If you’re a beginner, you’ll need all of these as separate items of equipment.
A full kit usually includes a survival sleeping bag and at least one additional item that serves both as a heater and blanket. The blanket can be used for keeping warm and as a backdrop when sleeping. The heater can be used on lower altitudes and cold nights to keep warm. The blankets, too, work wonders. They can provide warmth under the ground or on rocky or steep surfaces. And they can serve as a backdrop to a cooler cover.
If your kit does not include the above, or if it doesn’t include enough bivies for you and another person, then consider using an emergency blanket. They’re like big fluffy dog sweaters. Most are rated for temperatures down to -20 degrees Fahrenheit. And some are even lined with fleece for extra warmth. When mixed with a bivy, the blanket is a great source of warmth for the time you might need it.
Some people use fire starters for their emergency sleeping bags. These are small lighters that you stuff into your sleeping bags. You’ll want to mix a few dry herbs and some cotton balls in there. This way, should your lighter run out of oxygen, your fire can continue burning.
A final option to help keep you warm in the event of low temperatures is a body heat bivy. These bibs are similar to a survival sleeping bag but include a layer of Mylar insulation between the bag and your body. Heat from the bag is trapped inside the insulation, which is similar to the material that makes up a comfortable sleeping quilt. A bib will trap body heat back at about body temperature, which can keep you warm for several days after you’re exposed to cold temperatures.
Many people also use sleeping pads. They’re just like survival sleeping bags but they come with a zipper to close the pad in place. A sleeping pad works best when layered with another item, such as a bib. Other options include a wool pullover, a heavy wool sock, or thick cotton batting.
There are other ways to trap heat inside of a sleeping bag as well. You can do things like take a shower and then lay the bedside up on an absorbent mat to absorb the water. Another idea is to take an old bathrobe and cover the bottom of the robe with the absorbent pad so that it stays in place. If your bag does not have any insulation, these options will work as well.
To save even more money, check prices online and in stores. Be sure to check prices for things like a sealed waterproof bag. It’s best to buy synthetic materials if you can. Also, if you need to buy a bag with a lower limit, buy one in bulk. You’ll pay less in the long run by doing so.
Some synthetic materials such as cotton can be sprayed with different color dyes. These colors usually won’t last as long as materials that were made naturally. Natural fibers, on the other hand, can fade if they are exposed to the sun for too long. This doesn’t usually apply to synthetics since these are usually coated inside and out with a protective chemical that slows down the color fading process.
The most important protection for your sleeping bags during cold weather is double stitching. Double stitching is better because it provides a firmer, more secure fit against the bag. There are some synthetic materials that are already made with double stitching, but others require that you purchase them specially. The good news is that most synthetic sleeping bags come with the proper double stitching instructions anyway. Taking time to double stitch a synthetic bag is well worth the extra cost.
Be sure to check prices at many different outdoor sporting goods stores before buying your sleeping bag. You might find a great deal on a popular brand at a discount price, but you might not get the durability that you need. Be sure to also check prices at popular online vendors such as BackPacker. Many of these online vendors have a better selection, less-restrictive prices, and customer service than many retail stores.