Chapter 38: How to Stuff Your Sleeping Bag

A high quality down sleeping bag is a great way to lighten your pack. Stuffing it in its sack is quick and easy.

Airing out your bag on each day of your backpacking trip will help keep it lofted and dry. Turn inside out and use the sun and breeze if necessary. Sleeping bags can be stuffed over and over without damage. Not using a compression stuff sack or even the smallest stuff sack possible may help you reduce the stress on your bag when stuffing it. Never roll your sleeping bag. Stuffing it is easier on the down and fabric. When you stuff your bag, start with the foot first to let the air escape more easily. Push the bag firmly into the bottom of the stuff sack and stuff with an even motion. This puts less stress on the stitching. As you stuff, if you press against your thigh or the ground instead of just holding the stuff sack out in front of you, you’ll put less stress on the bag and the stitching of the stuff sack.

As soon as you get to camp each evening, remove the bag from its stuff sack to allow it to air out and loft. Use an even, gentle motion to remove it from its stuff sack. Never yank it and stress its seams.