Oh hi there, Connor here with another little lesson we’ve learned while out with our guests. Oftentimes, if someone comes to us with a piece of equipment they already own, it’s a sleeping bag. However, most of these same people aren’t aware that there are different types for different weather. While this may seem like a small difference, the devil is in the details. The right bag could mean the difference between a good night’s sleep and a restless one. As a result, let’s take a look at how to know if you have the right bag for your adventure.
First off, there are typically a few different grades of sleeping bags based on temperature. Depending where you got your sleeping bag, they are usually broken down into summer, winter, and multi-season usage. To find out which yours is, usually just look at your packaging or give it a Google; however, if both of these fail check the little white tag on the bag and look for “EN 13537” which is followed by a temperature range. The number (or range) listed is the minimum you should use this bag in (for newer purchases go by the “comfort” range).
Given that most of our campers will be out in the Smoky Mountains National Park, the relatively mild temperatures give you a pretty flexible range of options. We recommend most of our campers, with the majority coming in the summer, to have a multi-season bag with a temperature rating of at least 20°. If you have a summer bag, that’s usually fine, but it’s best to keep in mind that you can vent heat easier than you can keep it in.
Other than that, when you camp with us, you automatically get a sleeping pad or air mattress to prevent heat loss and provide a more comfortable experience. And before I leave you, it’s always best to have a water-resistant bag. Small bursts of rain will happen infrequently up here, and though you have a nice snuggly tent, due to humidity or condensation, you’ll end up with a thin layer of water on you that wakes you up at 4 am. Not that I’m speaking from personal experience, of course.
If you’re concerned about the sleeping bag you have or need any advice on any similar topic, feel free to give us a call or email! Our contact information is in the footer. And if you don’t have a sleeping bag at all, check out the add-ons section of our shop page. There you’ll find the sleeping bag that is best for whatever type of trip you’re taking.