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Survival Sleeping bags

Survival Sleeping Bags: What Do You Really Need?

Heading out for a weekend hiking adventure or if you have to “bug out” due to an emergency, you are going to need a few select items to keep you as safe as possible. One such item you will need to survive is a high quality sleeping bag. It will help keep you warm and protected from the elements. There are different types of bags for a variety of conditions which I have covered below.

There are 4 Sleeping Bag Comfort Ratings:

• Summer – +40f degree
• 3 Season – +15f to +40f (25f is a good median)
• Winter – -10f to +15f
• Polar/Extreme Cold- -10F and below



Survival Sleeping Bags – Sleeping Bag Styles:

Mummy Style Bags – Although this style is extremely lightweight, it is one of the best choices for cold weather. It offers maximum warmth with less dead air space. The design is much narrower than the traditional bag which can make it a bit difficult for a big guy to move around in. A hood, insulated of course, is always offered to provide the maximum coverage while sleeping.

Rectangular Sleeping Bag – This is your typical sleeping bag. It is great for warmer weather, becomes a makeshift comforter when unzipped and is inexpensive. The rectangular shape allows a lot of room for the big guys. On the downside, they’re not the best option to take backpacking.
Hybrid Sleeping Bags- This style gives you the best of both the Mummy and Rectangular style sleeping bags. This version is typically wider at the hips and shoulders, but they still taper at the head and feet. It is heavier than the Mummy version but it’s roomier and lighter than the Rectangular but is more restrictive.

Bivy and Bivy Style Sleeping Systems – A Bivy is a minimalist sack which completely envelops your sleeping bag to keep you warm and dry while still allowing you to breathe.

The Bivy sleeping systems are a unique system which was designed originally for extreme survival situations. Available in a triple or quadruple layering/interlocking bag system, each one protects you at different temperatures when used individually or in conjunction with each other. It’s like a super mini-tent.

Sleeping Bags By Season:

Summer- 1 Season Sleeping Bags
Mil-Tec Flecktarn Camo Commando Sleeping Bag – 2.31lb
Texsport Base Camp 40 Degree Sleeping Bag – 3lb
Coleman 4 in 1 Adult Big & Tall Sleeping Bag 40 to 60 Degrees– 5.5lb

3 Season Sleeping Bags –
Sleeping Bag: COMFORT LITE Over-Sized 3-Season Rectangular Sleeping Bag with Hood – 4.1lb
Wenzel Conquest 25-Degree Sleeping Bag (Olive) – 5lb
Slumberjack Esplanade Oversized 20 Degree Hooded Sleeping Bag Regular – 5lb 2oz

Winter- 4 Season Sleeping Bags –
Black Pine Comfort Tour Sleeping Bag – 8lb
Slumberjack Esplanade 0 Degree Sleeping Bag – 6lb 7oz
TETON Sports Deer Hunter -35 Degree F Flannel Lined Sleeping Bag (90″x 39″) – 10.14 lb
Grizzly -25 Degree Canvas Sleeping Bag (Blue) – 10.7lb

Bivy Kits- Great 3 Season Units.
3 – in – 1 Military – style Sleeping System – 11lb
4 Piece Modular Sleep System with Sleeping Pad – 18lb

Bivy Only- Bivy is a cover or sleeve for your sleeping bag.
Trail Bivy by Kelty
Classic Bivy by Kelty

Fills: Fill is the insulation inside the sleeping bag. There are three main types of fill, they consists of down, synthetic, and cotton.
• Synthetic – A lot of people prefer synthetic bags for camping, because they are water resistant, and they dry rather quickly. You need more synthetic material to heat you than you do with down, making them bulkier than a down filled sleeping bag. Synthetic sleeping bags are usually cheaper than down filled ones, making them ideal for children or newbie campers.
• Down – Usually down filled bags are made from goose or duck. Down bags pack down to a more compact size than synthetic bag do. Down filled bags are usually rated from 400 to 900 power, the higher the power the warmer the sleeping bag is. You will see more experienced hikers use these bags. One drawback to down is that it loses its insulating properties when it gets wet; a good solution for this is to purchase a bivy for it. You can also purchase a dry store sack for the bag to keep it from getting wet.

Linings: There are many different types of linings available on the market today.
1. Poly cotton – Has the lightness and coolness of cotton but has the durability, strength and resistance to wrinkles that polyester provides.
2. Nylon – lightweight, easy to wash and dries quickly.
3. Cotton and/or Flannel – Natural materials which are typically found in Rectangular bags which provide durability, breathability and are lightweight. Cleaning and repairs are easily accomplished; however, these materials tend to hold in unwanted moisture so they are best for dryer environments.
4. Polyester – inexpensive, dries quickly but not as wrinkle resistant or breathable as other materials like nylon.
5. Fleece- Soft to the touch; keeps in the body heat and is generally found in Rectangular bags.
6. Silk- Generally found in the more expensive Mummy bags, this material has a tendency to rip but is very soft and provides sufficient body warmth without overheating.

Shells: The sell is the outer part of the sleeping bag, and as you can imagine they come in many different materials.
1. Canvas – Rugged, heavy duty material perfect for outdoor use.
2. Nylon – Durable and lightweight; perfect for moderate temperatures but do require water proofing for moist conditions.
3. Polyester – Very similar to Nylon and will dry quickly.
4. Poly cotton – A unique material that is more durable than polyester but lightweight like your typical cotton.
5. Cotton- A natural material that offers a feeling and a comfort that other material can’t offer.
6. Ripstop – A special formulated material created from either polyester or nylon in which heavier threads have been woven into. These special, heavier threads help to create a stronger, more breathable material in which moisture and tears are less likely to be a concern.
7. DryLoft – Breathable, comfortable and water-resistant are benefits of this particular material which make it one of the best to choose from for anytime of the year.

Size: When size really does matter
Choosing the right sized sleeping bag will depend upon how well you will be kept warm and comfortable. A smaller body will not be able to heat a XXL sleeping bag so a Small or Medium bag would be a wiser choice. On the other hand, a 6 foot 240 pound male probably won’t be able to get any worthwhile sleep and will probably be cold in a bag that is too small for him as the material will be compressed thus reducing the warmth benefits.
The best fit is when an individual is able to turn inside the sleeping bag without the bag turning with him. Manufacturers of sleeping bags typically have 2 sizes in regards to the user’s height. This is beneficial since none of us are of an “average” height and weight.

In conclusion, a sleeping bag is meant to provide comfort and warmth while sleeping. Choosing the most appropriate materials and size will benefit the user for their specific needs. When it comes to the unexpected and survival, one can never be prepared enough but having a sleeping bag that can possibly meet all your needs is a must.

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