How To Attach A Sleeping Bag Outside Your Pack

Written by misty s. bledsoe
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Attaching your sleeping bag to your pack can be done either by using the outer pouch provided by some hiking bags or by lashing the sleeping bag directly to the outside pack itself or to any available external frame. You can secure the bag with tie down straps that come with buckles, bungee cords or “D” rings. The type and method you will use will widely depend on the length of your hike and personal preferences.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Stuff sack, waterproof
  • Straps, tie-downs with buckles
  • 2 “D” Rings
  • Bungee cords (optional)
  • Garbage bag (optional)

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  1. 1

    Roll your sleeping bag into a tight roll and secure it with any attached straps it comes with. Stuff the sleeping bag into a waterproof stuff sack.

  2. 2

    Locate the attached compartment on the outside of the hiking bag and stuff the sleeping bag into it. Cinch it up and secure any buckles.

  3. 3

    Wrap two tie-down straps around the sleeping bag about two inches from each end, for packs without a built-in compartment. Tighten the straps by pulling the excess strap through the buckles. Thread the other end of the tie down strap through slats in the lower end of the pack frame. Wrap the tie down strap around the pack frame and pull the sleeping bag close to the frame. Tie the straps back to the first length threaded through or around the frame.

  4. 4

    Wrap tie down straps around both ends of the sleeping bag pulling tight to help secure it in place, as an alternative method. Locate any additional buckles, clasps or loops located on the outside of your pack. Thread a “D” ring between the tie down strap and sleeping bag and attach the “D” ring to one of the located enclosures on your bag. Repeat this for the other end.

Tips and warnings

  • If you cannot get a waterproof stuff sack, then wrap the sleeping bag in a sturdy garbage bag first and then stuff the sleeping bag into a regular stuff sack. Keeping your sleeping bag covered will protect it from moisture, dirt and abrasions from rocks or trees during your hike, potentially extending the life of your sleeping bag.
  • If you are in doubt about the exact size of stuff stack you will need, purchase a larger one. It is better to use a larger one than to find difficulty on a cold wet morning trying to stuff your sleeping bag back into a tiny stuff sack. If you choose to use bungee cords instead of tie downs to secure your sleeping bag, make sure that the metal ends do not rub against or otherwise poke into your sleeping bag after it is secured to reduce the risk of damage to the sleeping bag.

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