When backpackers pack up and head out on a backpacking trip, they often overlook the importance of their sleeping bag. This is especially true when it comes to brands like Mountain Laurel Designs (MLD), Marmot, and REI. These are some of the best companies in the industry, and they each manufacture some of the most comfortable and well made sleeping bags available.
However, these popular brands often skimp on quality in other areas. Take the MLD Sierra Designs Scout, for example. While this bag has a few worthwhile features, it is lacking on one critical attribute – protection from the elements.
Hiking is not easy on a camping or backpacking gear list. By that, we mean that it requires you to take into account things like your equipment, your equipment’s storage, and your gear’s placement. That being said, these components are highly important for all of your gear to be effective.
Without them, your sleeping bag will be your greatest enemy on any backpacking trip. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to ensure that your bag stays in top condition while you are out hiking or camping.
In the past, a sleeping bag’s protection from the elements was a very simple thing to accomplish. A bag had padding and was sealed inside a nylon sack. To add more protection from wind, water, and general wear and tear, a couple of pads were placed inside.
In the side view, this was easy to do. In the front view, it could get very messy. To make sure that a sleeping bag would remain waterproof, both sides of the sack needed to be sealed, making things a bit harder than they might have been.
This practice carried on even further as companies discovered that they could use buckles and hooks to secure items using pull cords. They found that they could use plastic hooks to secure things as well. Not only did this take up more room, but it also allowed for a greater amount of movement while the bag was being filled. The result was more durability and protection from the elements.
Over the years, many companies added some sort of padding to the outside of a sleeping bag. Instead of using every inch of fabric that they could find, they decided to rely on synthetic materials such as fillers and shells. These can be just as waterproof as the best outdoor gear.
A sleeping bag with a removable liner is another option for maximizing protection from the elements. If you end up in the wrong place during a trip, this sleeping bag is easy to clean. After all, you can just throw the liner in the wash machine and let it dry completely.
Camping, even in the most remote areas, can take on a whole new meaning if you never have to be worried about your sleeping bag. Many backpackers carry two bags at a time, one for the base of the tent and one for their top surface. So they will not have to spend a lot of time worrying about where they are going to lay down, and they are safer too.
The best hiking poles are a must when you are out backpacking. You cannot go hiking without a pair, and even if you are in good shape, they can still get very hot in extreme heat. Having some sort of alternative that does not cause discomfort is vital.
Good backpacking gear is a must have for any hiking trip. They are not only necessary for your comfort, but they are also critical to your safety. When you pack up and head out, always make sure you take time to consider the different types of backpacking gear you might need.