When you are hunting or camping in cold climate, one piece of gear that you really, really don’t want to get wet is your sleeping bag. If you’ve ever had to dry your bag around a backcountry fire for hours on end, then you know what I’m talking about. But if you’re backpacking in the mountains, all it takes to soak your sleeping bag is a full day of rain (or a misstep when you’re fording a creek). And if that happens, the threat of hypothermia becomes very real. So, before you head into the backcountry, it’s essential to take the time to waterproof your bag. Here are the steps you’ll want to follow to ensure that you have a warm, dry bag—and a comfortable night’s sleep.
Start by waterproofing your compression sack
Stuff your sleeping bag into a dry compression sack that you lined with a plastic trash bag. Dry compression sacks have waterproofing on the inside of them, but repetitive stuffing and unpacking will eventually destroy that waterproofing. The trash bag lessens the abrasion on the dry compression sack and extends its life. It also acts as a secondary line of defense if your dry compression sack does leak after extended submersion. As you stuff the bag into the sack, use your body weight to get the bag as compact as possible and to push out any air in the sack.
At this point, as long as you’re certain that your dry compression sack doesn’t have any leaks, you’re good to go.