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How to take care of your sleeping bag: do’s and don’ts

A sleeping bag can be a big investment, but it’s definitely an important part of your outdoor gear. It’s one of your best friends at night when you go camping or trekking. It keeps you warm and sometimes it even keeps you alive. So how do you make sure it lasts as long as possible? Here are some tips and tricks!

Open it up

When you go camping you want to put your sleeping bag open when you get up. That way, all the moisture that you lost at night can vaporize. In really good weather you can even hang it over your tent. Beware, only do that when your tent is for dry for 100 %!

How to store your sleeping bag

It’s not good for your sleeping bag to be crammed in that little bag all year long. That little bag is called a compression bag. It squeezes your sleeping bagit’s smallest possible form. That also means that the filling is compressed all the time. Because of that compression, the filling will lose it’s volume and with that (part of) it’s technical qualities. Which means it will become less soft and less warm.

Ventilate, ventilate, ventilate

You should try to wash your sleeping bag as little as possible. After using it for one night or several nights, you just hang it (outside) to ventilate. Open it up as much as you can and let it hang for a couple of hours.

(don’t) wash your sleeping bag

Is your sleeping bag stained with mud, you might want to wash it. Be sure to check the washing label. Soon a blog post will follow with tips and tricks on how to wash it.

Let me state one thing very clearly: DO NOT TAKE IT TO THE DRY CLEANER’S! The products used in at the dry cleaner’s are very corrosive and will harm the water repellency and damage the filling.

LINER

Regular users wash their sleeping bag once a year, when it starts to smell a little iffy or when it’s dirty. The less you wash it, the better; but you also don’t want to sleep in a dirty sleeping bag. A great solution is using a liner to put in your sleeping bag as an extra. It’s sort of an extra, very thin sleeping bag to put into your sleeping bag. They exist in a wide variation such as cotton, bamboo, or silk. After using it for a couple of nights, you just wash your liner in stead of your sleeping bag, which is a lot easier – I can tell you that!

Did you learn something new? Which tips will you start using? 

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Camping in The Netherlands, Rehab from Urban Life

When I was young, I would listen to a certain song quite often: ‘Niet Ver Weg’ by Samson en Gert. Literally translated it means ‘Not Far Away’, about going on vacation close by. We went on a mini vacation in The Netherlands. We went camping at camping Batenstein in Woerden.
Continue reading Camping in The Netherlands, Rehab from Urban Life

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Hydro Flask for Outdoor Tea Time

As you could read in my blog post on reusable water bottles, I’m the happy owner of a Hydro Flask bottle. Hip hip hooray, because Santa brought me a Hydro Flask for Christmas. It is a beautiful blue one of 32 oz (1 litre).

At first, PJ didn’t understand why I wanted yet another water bottle. My answer: “to go skiing“, because I really don’t like cold water that much. And in a non-isolating bottle, e.g. my Klean Kanteen classic, water would become really cold while skiing. His reaction: “water doesn’t freeze when you’re skiing, though?!” That’s true, but PJ likes to drink water with ice cubes all year long. I prefer my water at room temperature or twice as warm.

It means that right now I can take delicious hot tea with me on the slopes of Alpe D’Huez – and in the rare case when I finish it, I can refill it with any kind of water I like. This way I can drink water all day long in the freezing cold, without getting brain freeze!

The first test was on the slopes of Ovifat: in the morning I made some tea and we drove all the way to Ovifat, once on the slopes I could sip nice hot tea and even during the drive home I could heat up my frozen body with deliciously warm tea. Hydro FLask FTW!

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The ultimate snow test of my Hydro Flask on the slopes of Ovifat (BE)

The second test: as we speak, yours truely is coughing and sniffling in bed because of a nasty virus in my body. The situation is as follows: tea softens the pain in my throat, the kitchen is on the ground floor, and the bed room is on the second floor. Thanks to my new Hydro Flask I don’t have to stumble downstairs every hour for warm water. All day long I can sip warm ginger tea without moving a foot.

Hydro Flask in bed
Hydro Flask, a day in bed with me

And now I’m in the Alpes. Oh, those beautiful mountains! Every morning I put on the water boiler and choose my flavor of preference of the day, I throw the tea bag in the bottle and I poor in the damping hot water until the bottle is filled to the rim. It’s almost a poetic ritual in my mourning routine. And so it happens that I can sip hot tea to hydrate and warm myself. Even the rest of my group starts to ask if they can have a sip of my tea – I don’t mind sharing – and then admire the ability of my Hydro Flask.

HydroFlask Alpes
Never been happier with a bottle in the Alpes

In short, I really like the latest addition in my bottle collection, but I will put the pros and cons in a little list for you:

HYDRO FLASK PROS

Visibility because of the color – I lose absolutely everything (temporarily)
Big volume
Light bottle
Thee stays hot for 6 hours and warm for 12 hours – when the bottle is full all the way to the rim
Easy to clean because of the wide mouth

HYDRO FLASK CONS

The wide mouth is difficult to drink from in a vehicle (car/bus), but that can be fixed with a so called ‘flip cap
The rim of the wide mouth can get a little warm as well. This can be solved by a ‘flip cap‘ or a ‘straw lid‘. Bringing a cup or just drinking carefully are also good options.

In Belgium you can purchase a Hydro Flask at A.S. Adventure. The prices lie between €25,95 for a 12oz isolating Coffee Cup to €45,95 for the 32oz isolating bottle.

I’m absolutely in love with my Hydro Flask. Would you like one too or do you already own one?