Q. Whenever I go on a camping trip my sleeping bag gets all smelly from me sweating all day. How do I make it smell better — besides taking it into the cleaners?
— Conrad Stank, Dellrose, Tenn.
A. Ever hear of soap and a washcloth? Just kidding, well, sort of. There are a few things you can do to minimize the odor of your sleeping bag.
On the trail:
- bring along an extra pair of clean clothes to sleep in
- before going to bed each night, wash your feet, face and underarms
- no water? No problem. Bring along a pack of baby wipes or WetOnes.
- let your sleeping bag “air out” every morning before breaking camp for the day
- “air out” your sleeping bag again
- if it’s really stinky, wash it. Use a front-load washer and avoid regular detergent. Instead, for down sleeping bags use something like ReviveX Down Cleaner ($9; mcnett.com) or Nikwax Down Wash ($9; nikwax.com). For synthetic bags, try a cleaner like Granger’s Performance Wash ($9; grangers-usa.com). Be sure to run it through the rinse cycle twice. Air drying your bag is safest, but if you’re in a hurry, check the bag’s care tag and tumble dry it on low heat.