Every camper or hiker knows how easy it is to overpack your backpack. Bringing a sleeping bag with you is very important, but sometimes it can be a problem. These bags use a lot of space in your backpack, and you might not have room for some other essential things.
Most backpacks these days are equipped with everything that you need to attach your sleeping bag, so you do not waste your backpack space.
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Ways To Attach A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack
Here are our top 5 ways how you can store your sleeping bag on your backpack without putting the bag inside.
1. Using Backpack Loops And Straps
Backpacks today generally come with loops on their backside. However, not all sleeping bags come with straps. Just skip this step if your sleeping bag does not have straps.
If it does have straps, the process of securing your sleeping bag to your backpack is pretty simple. Slide the straps on the backpack through that loop and make sure to tighten them up, otherwise, your bag could be dangling.
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2. Using Compression Buckles
If you do not want the sleeping bag to swing around, compression buckles are a great way to solve this problem. Compression buckles can be placed on a lot of backpacks and one more advantage is that if you overpack, they can be used as backpack fasteners as well, preventing the items inside from breaking out. Keep in mind that you don’t want to over-pack your bag because this can lead to strain and fatigue.
The Compression buckles are easy to use. The only thing to watch out for is ensuring your backpack is not overpacked. As most backpacks already come with compression buckles, you will probably use this method.
Just open the buckles, place it in and close the buckles. It is important that your grip is tight. If the bag is fastened how it should be, it is not going to swing around and that is one more benefit of using this method!
3. Build Your Own Support
There is always a do-it-yourself method. If you have a backpack with loops and your sleeping bag does not have straps, why not make your own straps on the bag? All you will need is four pieces of twine or some elastic rope and buckles. Wrap the first two pieces of twine around the sleeping bag and be sure they are compact.
The other two pieces of the cord will be attached from the backpack loops to your sleeping bag. If you have done everything right, you should be able to carry your sleeping bag under the backpack. The problem, like with the method above, if you did not fasten it well enough, you might end up losing your sleeping bag.
4. Use The Tie Points on Your Backpack At The Bottom
This method is very similar to compression buckles. Some backpacks come with tie points. For external frame backpacks, be sure that the sleeping bag slides in the tie points, which are placed at the bottom of your bag, and make sure you tighten the fasteners well, just like you would in your previous methods.
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5. Use a Lid Tie to Compress The Sleeping Bag
If you are attaching your sleeping bag to an internal frame backpack, it is best to secure it with the bottom tightening strip. It keeps your sleeping bag tight and compressed.
The downside of this method is that the top of the bag is not covered, and water could get inside. If you are using this method, make sure to have some coverage on the top of the bag.
If you want this to work properly, pack the backpack just like you normally would and then put the sleeping bag on top. The compression strap, which would be used for the lid is tied around the backpack, keeping it all in place and secured.
It is a simple method, but then again, the flaw is that nothing is holding the top side of the bag down.
Should You Store Sleeping Bag On Top Of Backpack Or Below It?
Yes, you should store a sleeping bag on top or below a backpack. If your sleeping bag is secured to the bottom of your backpack, it could swing around. Therefore, it could get in contact with the moist and wet ground, and that way get dirty.
Then again, securing the sleeping bag to the top of your backpack or its sides is much better, in my honest opinion. The chances for a sleeping bag to get wet are much lower. Also, when the bag is on the top, it doesn’t strain your back as much as it would when packed on the bottom!
Best Way To Attach A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack
In my opinion, the best method is to attach the sleeping bag to the top of the backpack, although attaching it to the side of the backpack is also a great option if you are using compression buckles.
The sleeping bag is nicely secured on the sides. Also, when you are packing, remember to distribute the weight equally. That way, if you are attaching your sleeping bag to the side, it can cause you to lose balance if it’s heavy.
What Is The Proper Way to Store Sleeping Bag?
By now, you have learned all the ways you can pack and tie your sleeping bag. But we are not done yet; you don’t only need to take care of your sleeping bag while camping, you need to take care of it when the camping is over as well!
The carrying bags are great for attaching your sleeping bag to the backpack, but the sleeping bags aren’t meant to be carried around like that for a prolonged amount of time.
When you carry your sleeping bag for a long time, the stuffing inside your sleeping bag tends to get ruined and lumpy.
When storing your sleeping bag, we advise you to store it inside a meshed sack or to fold it loosely with no cover at all. When picking a place to store your sleeping bag, avoid spaces like basements or attics, as those are usually moist and wet places.
Related article: 14 Romantic Camping Ideas for Couples.
Can You Store Sleeping Bag Inside a Backpack?
If you are not satisfied with how you packed and tightened your sleeping bag to your backpack, be it top, bottom, or side, try packing your sleeping bag inside your backpack.
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However, doing this usually means that you will only bring the essentials with you, as you won’t have any extra space inside your backpack. If you plan to go to a campground with drinking water, you won’t need the filter pump to remove bacteria and microbes from the water. Some essentials that come to our mind are a compass, food, bottled water, a tent, maps if you are using them, and that’s it!
If you want to learn more, be sure to read How to Use a Compass Without a Map?
However, be sure to do your homework before you go on a camping trip. It is always better to pack lightly than to overpack! Also, be sure to practice packing your backpack at home a few times.
How To Avoid Backpack For Getting Wet?
If you pack and tighten your sleeping bag to the outside of the backpack, you know that it can get wet, debris can fall on it, and that way damage your sleeping bag. However, we have a solution for this! The first step of keeping your sleeping bag safe is to buy a waterproof one.
The second thing you can do is double-pack your sleeping bag. Even though when bought, your sleeping bag comes with a little carrying bag, no matter how tight you close the carrying bag, it still has a little hole, and you can still see your sleeping bag, which means debris and water can get inside!
To overcome this, I recommend packing it in one more bag, just like the carrying bag. Find a waterproof rubbish bag and place your sleeping bag in it.
Once done, put your sleeping bag, which is now packed in a rubbish bag, inside its carrying bag. When doing so, make sure the opening of the rubbish bag is facing the inside of your carrying bag, and not out.
Securing your sleeping bag to the top of your backpack is just like the double-pack method. If you are one of those people, make sure the straps around the bag areas are secured and as tight as feasible!
Benefits of Attaching A Sleeping Bag To A Backpack
Why attach the sleeping bag to the backpack if you can just put it inside? If it is packed outside, it can get moist, and nothing is worse than sleeping in a cold and wet sleeping bag. However, attaching the sleeping bag to your backpack saves you a lot of space.
Sleeping bags are not that small compared to backpacks, and if you can pack a bit more essentials with you, while your sleeping bag is secured outside your backpack, that’s great!
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I mentioned this before, weight distribution is also important! Attaching your sleeping bag to the outside can help you manage the weight and balance of the backpack. Having too much weight on one side of your backpack can cause sore and strained back.
A lot of experienced campers and hikers attach their sleeping bags outside of their backpacks so they can have more space, and if they are doing it, you should do it as well!
Also, for those who want to know more, be sure to read 7 Safe Tent Heating Ideas That Work.
If you want your sleeping bag dry and ready for us, pack it inside your backpack, but if you want more space in your backpack, pack the sleeping bag on top, on the side, or on the bottom of your backpack. All of the methods that I mentioned here today are fast and simple. Remember that all of this can be done within a few minutes.
Just like packing your backpack, enjoying camping is a personal experience. When going outside, you should be prepared for anything, but not at the cost of making your backpack too heavy for your back. As I say in all of my articles, do your homework before going anywhere. It is important to know how long you will be camping, how much gear you actually need, etc. Consider all of that before packing.