Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Another Camping Question

I've never understood this. Enormous (light, but big) sleeping bags come with these teeny weeny stuff sacks that you're supposed to be able to actually get the bag in. It's a stupid thing, but not being able to wrangle my equipment has been part of my dislike (that's too strong a word, really) of camping. Who needs to sign up for feeling stupid? I get plenty of that, thank you very much.

So, this morning I was trying to get my new sleeping bag into its sack. Do you suppose it's an accident that it didn't come in the sack? I'm thinking the manufacturer couldn't get it in there, either. That's what I'm thinking! It probably would have been pretty hilarious to watch me in this doomed endeavor.

Is there a reason I can't just make a pretty drawstring bag that is big enough to be useful?

Hikers and bikers need things to be small. I get that. But I am not that girl. I'm not going camping using only my bicycle. I'm driving to a campsite and sleeping there. The sleeping bag only has to fit in my car, and I'm thinking that even I can make that happen. The stuff sack also helps keep the bag clean, I suppose. But for the love of Mike, I'll be sleeping on the ground. How much sense does it make to be worried about dust??

Of course, if I camp with a non-standard stuff sack I will label myself as terminally un-cool. But I think that ship sailed a while back. Am I missing something else here?


jill said...

The secret to the stuff-sack:

tiny bites.

Seriously - take the bottom corner of your bag, put it in. Continue to stuff minuscule portions of the bag into the sack. Unless your bag manufacturer is truly delusional, it will actually work. It just doesn't work if you try to stuff big, honking wodges in all at once.

At least, it's always worked that way for me...

breadchick said...

Jill is correct. Another solution is a compression sack. It is a little bigger than your stuff sack but then when you tighten down the straps, it compresses all the air out and the sleeping bag is even smaller than if it was in it's stuff sack. I love my compression sack, especially for my kayak camping.

Renee said...

Yeah, they're a PITA. My advice? get yourself a XXL Ziplock bag (no kidding, they really make them, for storing sporting equipment and stuff. *And* they have handles. http://tinyurl.com/3qylzv ) You can just cram in your sleeping bag and probably your pillow and pjs, too and just zip it all up.

Andrea Rusin said...

I got it in the sack, all the time thinking "no honking wodges. Jill says no honking wodges." It worked. But honestly. I think I AM going to use the ginormous ZipLoc. I need some anyway for winter blankets.

Jen said...

Jill's right.

AND Renee's right.

Jill's method takes longer, speaking from long experience, but it does work. Barely.

If you don't have to strap it onto a backpack, those humongous handled ziploc bags are wonderful.

Whatever you need!

Loretta_S said...

I really like those vacuum bags, brandname escapes me right now but I'm supremely tired today. But you put things into them and then either suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner or press it out manually through the one-way valve. I store a large portion of my yarn in them. They come in different sizes and have a nice travel sized one. I think they are called Space bags (maybe?)