Selection of a sleeping bag for your survival kit
By Joseph Parish
Most of the active survivalists which I know have some sort of sleeping bag in their “Box of Goodies” in the event that they would need to rough it on a possible bug out event. As a rule, it would be wise to selection a sleeping bag which is effective to at least zero degrees, but you should keep in mind that there are additional requirements which need to be considered as well. As a consumer you are presented with a host of materials such as goose down, quallofil or hollofil as a fill material in your sleeping bag. Therefore, in order to make a wise choice you should be aware of what the pros and cons are for each of these insulation types.
Goose down fill is the most common of the fillings and is generally an efficient material for use as insulation. It is the material of choice for many of the modern sleeping bags being sold today. It is great when dry however, it does tend to lose some of its rated insulating ability whenever it becomes wet. On the other hand, we have the newer synthetic materials such as quallofil or hollofil which provide the same qualities as the goose down fill but are more reliable as an insulator when they become wet and damp. These products which are made by different manufacturers may pound by pound be less effective as an insulator then would be the more familiar down but as we have shown they are better for use when wet environments are concerned. This means you must keep in mind where you will be bugging out to as well as how wet it can possibly be when you bed down.
Usually a sleeping bag filled with 3 pounds of synthetic insulation will effectively be sufficient for temperatures ranging from 25 degrees to 35 degrees. If you require one that will go as low as zero degrees you will need to find an “Expedition sleeping bag” that has 4 to 5 pound of insulation. These may come with a sort of insert of thin cotton material which acts as an inner sleeve. Naturally, you will need a waterproof shell to shield you from the open elements.
You should check the size of the sleeping pad as well and try to get a good quality product that will go the length of your body and not just the torso size. Many a night I would merely have my nose sticking out of my mummy bag as I tried to keep warm. I highly recommend wearing socks, possibly pajamas and one of the warm knit cap to bed as well. In my opinion its better to be warmer then expected then cold, after all you can always unzip the sleeping bag slightly to cool off.
Copyright @ 2009 Joseph Parish
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