There’s a lot of adversity when you are hiking or camping in the rough. And while that does turn off many people, the truth is, others find the experience to be highly invigorating. That is what makes the challenge, and obstacles overcome means that you have succeeded.
Think about climbers on Mount Everest. They don’t let the cold, the height, and the loss of air stop them from trying. They have a goal and they need to achieve it.
I like to seek out treks that are a little more difficult than the last one. But, one thing that really does get on my nerves to distraction is bugs. I become completely consumed and they really do alter my mood. Mind you, I still love to go backpacking despite the problem, but seriously if I can find a way to defeat these teeny torturists, I will take it.
The insect that hounds me the most is the mosquito. Invariably, it finds its way to my skin no matter how I prepare or what I do. And the worst part for me is that buzzing in my ears all night long. How really does one little mosquito live long enough to plague me out of my sleep and enjoyment?
Well, I have fixed them now, because I decided that the best way to handle these pesky bugs was to invest in a lightweight sleeping bag with mosquito net.
Some people believe that you should suck it up and live amongst the animals and bugs alike when sleeping outdoors. But, I have other reasons for wanting protection than just the insects bugging me.
- First, of all, we know they cause disease in some instances.
- Second, they really mess up your skin. When you’re completely covered in bites, it is not only itchy, but leaves you miserable all day from the pain and swelling.
- Third, for some people, it is downright dangerous. Think of a baby being bitten alive like that.
There’s no doubt in my mind that using netting while sleeping is more than an acceptable activity.
When I looked at the selection available, there were a few features that I knew were utmost in making the decision to purchase the right bug shelter.
- Obviously, weight was the greatest consideration. I am not going to carry some bulky thing full of pounds of stuffing and material.
- Next, it had to be compact, so that it could roll small enough to be attached to my knapsack or fit inside if space allowed.
- Another factor was the rating for weather, specifically was it warm enough for my purposes?
- And finally, I didn’t want to spend a lot money, but I still wanted something of half decent quality.
So here is what I came up with. Actually my brother helped do the research, so we both decided to get a bivy system to keep those nasty bugs out.
Materials To Consider when Choosing Your Lightweight Sleeping Bag with Mosquito Net
Since the stuffing and outer fabric are what make sleeping bags functional and useful, it is important to understand the different ways they are made. Some materials are clearly too thick and heavy for backpacking.
An excellent example would be a canvas tent. It is completely fine if you are camping and carrying it in the trunk of your car or the back of a pickup truck, but who in their right mind would drag that along while hiking? We may as well put rocks in our backpack to traverse the wilds.
Getting back to serious stuff, though. In addition to quality, your bag needs to be quite light and maybe even rollable. This way, you might have a spot in your knapsack, or you could put it in the carrying case and then attach the straps to something on your pack for transporting.
Down is usually the lightest stuffing. It does triple duty because it is also quite warm and toasty, as well as comfy to sleep in. I guess you would have to expect that since it is the protective covering of a bird. One thing I would like to mention here when buying any down type coat, hood, duvet, bag or anything else, please make sure the down is certified. That means it comes from a humane source such as the food industry. The birds are already dead and not plucked solely for their feathers.
Like in the fur industry, there are now synthetic materials that mimic the excellent qualities of down, so you can also most likely find a sleeping bag that meets the lightweight requirement for hiking, walking or backpacking. And to be honest, even if you are camping and want to keep the load to a minimum, the same bag will do.
Regardless of whether you choose down or synthetic stuffing, make sure to find out about the compressibility and the durability of fluffiness. All that means is it needs to roll up or pack up real small, as well being able to fluff up when needed. You know how you fluff a flattened pillow or couch cushion?
You want to be able to do the same every time you use your bag. With continual use, the inside starts to go funny and the pieces are not uniform throughout, plus, they stay flat. In fact, it is a bit of a dilemma with poorly made bags because as the material compresses, it can’t fluff up anymore.
If you choose a bag with a draft collar, make sure that it is insulated especially if the temperature drops at night. Straps are better when they are stretchy so they can be attached to many different things and just hang. Remember that some bags come with pillows. These should be air inflated so that they can be packed down tight and small. But also think about how much you want to carry before choosing features that seem like a great idea. Specifically, you don’t want added baggage.
Liners are another example of something that might do well in cooler temperatures, but again, you need fabrics that are not overbearing. This is something else you have to carry along. One last thing about the materials used to make liners. Don’t choose those that are satiny and slippery. You will find them hard to sleep in plus they tend to be hotter to the skin. Look for breathable fabrics such as silk or cotton.
Actually, here’s a video that can help you pick out a liner for different situations.
Well I can’t wait to try out my new sleeping bag. Of course, we have to wait for some warmer weather since the mosquitoes don’t live in the winter, but the minute I get out on the trails, I am looking forward to a completely peaceful night sleep!