Sleeping Bags, Mats & Liners
Sleeping Bags, Mats & Liners
Sleeping Bags, Mats, & Liners
Sleeping is important in any situation but may be even more important in s survival situation. Without a good rest you’ll find it hard to make your way through day after day of survival tasks and stressful living. We all like to go home at night to a comfy, warm bed and while this may not be a reality in most disaster or survival situations, having the right sleeping gear can help you to get the best and most comfortable rest possible no matter where your survival plan takes you.
For most people a sleeping bag will become your ‘bed’ in a survival situation and not all sleeping bags are created equal. When choosing a sleeping bag for a bug out or survival situation you’ll need to consider the conditions you anticipate living in. There are two basic types of sleeping bags, backpacking sleeping bags, which are designed to minimize space and weight and family or car camping sleeping bags, which are designed mainly for comfort.
Sleeping bags work by trapping a layer of air around the body, the body heats the air, which then remains insulated from the ground below and the surrounding air by the sleeping bag itself. Backpacking bags tend to fit smaller, leaving less air to be warmed and improving the efficiency with which the air is heated and trapping it more effectively. Camping sleeping bags tend to be larger and more comfortable, but with this comes a decreased ability to maintain the warmth your body is generating.
The first consideration is temperature rating. A sleeping bag temperature rating let’s you know the lowest temperature that sleeping bag will be effective in keeping you warm. Temperature ratings assume that the user is wearing a full layer of clothing and using a sleeping pad under the bag.
Sleeping bags shell, lining, and insulation material also impact the performance of the sleeping bag. The outer shell of most sleeping bags is a ripstop nylon or polyester for durability. The shell may or may not be treated with a water-repelling coating. Sleeping bags are available with either a synthetic filler or a goose-feather filler. Most people prefer synthetic filler because it is quick-drying, insulates even when wet, is non-allergenic, and is a bit more durable and less pricey than goose down.
Sleeping bags are also available in more than one size and shape. Most women prefer their sleeping bag be a bit warmer than men and there are specialized women’s bags that offer a shape designed to contour a woman’s body as well as increased filler in certain areas. Men’s bags tend to be wider in the shoulders and less contoured – a more rectangular shape.
If you’ll be sleeping in cooler temperatures as mummy style sleeping bag or at least one with a hood is a good investment. We lose a lot of heat through our heads and a sleeping bag with a cinchable hood will help to improve heat retention.
A sleeping pad can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep in a sleeping bag. A sleeping pad (also called a sleeping mat) provides insulation, an extra layer of moisture protection, as well as increased comfort. Many people forget to include a sleeping bag pad in their preparations, not realizing the importance of this simple piece of gear. Sleeping pads are lightweight and easy to carry strapped to the outside of a pack. Most sleeping pads are made from highly durable and resistant EPA foam and some sleeping pads offer a reflective lining on one side that helps to redirect heat back up toward the sleeping bag. Sleeping bag pads should include straps and buckles or Velcro to keep the pad secured in the rolled position. These straps can also be used to secure the sleeping pad to your pack.
Sleeping Bag Liners
Sleeping bag liners are another accessory item that you may choose to include in your survival gear depending on the climate and situation you foresee yourself in. These soft sleeping bag liners can be easily slipped inside the sleeping bag to increase the temperature by 8°F - 15°F. Sleeping bag liners also help to protect the lining of your sleeping bag, minimizing wear and tear on the bag. If you find yourself in a very warm climate you can choose to sleep on top of your sleeping bag using just the sleeping bag liner.