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How to Minimize Sleeping Bag Odor


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.

Back home:

  • “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; or Nikwax Down Wash ($11; For synthetic bags, try a cleaner like Granger’s Performance Wash ($9; 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.

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11 Comments on How to Minimize Sleeping Bag Odor

  1. Air it out after every camping trip.

    Don’t use Febreeze if you ever want to travel in bear country. That makes your sleeping bag a smellable and you have to hoist it in the bear bag at night.


  2. Troop 4 winter guru // March 7, 2018 at 5:09 pm // Reply

    I camp frequently. I have 4 sleeping bags. None of my bags smell. Put on a clean t shirt and clean socks. Carry some wipes, wetones has individually packed wipes. Quick wipe face, neck, arms, legs, etc. Practice good hygiene.

  3. powder with baking soda, let sit, shake it out

  4. Anonymous // June 9, 2017 at 2:07 pm // Reply

    I open my sleeping bag up and allow it to air out after every camp out and then store it in the big mesh storage bag, never store rolled up tight. Ive never had any issues with ofor. Ive camped a lot including multiple trips to Philmont, summer camps etc.

  5. for down sleeping bag.. air dry will be the best choice…and a little bit of sun
    for synthetic sleeping bag, soak into baking soda will do the job

  6. Pyjamas, The best things to sleep in to keep warm and smell nece!!

  7. Perdidochas // March 25, 2017 at 2:38 pm // Reply

    The best single thing to do is to change into clean dry sleeping clothes before bed, ideally after cleaning up a little. Also helps you sleep warmer.

  8. Where the application really shines though is in its ability to display flight schedules and show the status of each flight you want to look up. The websites have statutory obligations to prevent malpractices or even inadvertent mistakes in the conduct of the competitions.

  9. git some freash mint leaves and put some in it

  10. There are thin sleeping bag liners that you can buy that will go between your body and the bag itself. Definately hang it to air pout after a campout. If possible, never store it rolled up over long periods of time. Occasionally you will have to have it cleaned. I take mine to the local dry cleaner that can also clean bed comforters. I do that once a year and my bag is still going strong after 6 years of camping in hot, sweaty Florida!

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