Where to put sleeping bag and roll mat???

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Where to put sleeping bag and roll mat???

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Joined 2008-02-02

Hiya, just wondering if any one had any tried and tested ways of doing this? I might be able to squeeze my sleeping bag inside my main bag, but it’ll only make my bag oober bulky and heavy, and i’m not too keen on the whole attaching things to the outside business… wont things fall off/get pinched!?

I had an idea to just check my roll mat and sleeping bag in seperatly in some sort of spare bag, would that be rediculous?? Then again that might be a pain to carry round… Ahh!! Help needed please!!  :oops:  Katie x x

     
Avatar for Charlescharles
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id pack my sleeping bag in my bag (my sleepin bag packs up pretty small)and leave the roll mat at home, just pick one up out there if i was planning on camping for more than a few nights. i cannt imagine they’d be very expensive… though it depends on your trip? by roll mat i assumed just a standard foam type that you can pick up under a £5er ?

     
Avatar for vleckey
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Hey!

I just attached my sleeping bag to the outside of my backpack. At the bottom there is usually an area to safely keep your sleeping bag and no decent backpacker is going to steal it. Most are pretty honest. I carried mine round the world like that for 5 months and it was fine smile

     
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I’m overlanding in Africa for a couple of months so the roll mat is deffo gonna be important LOL  But I know what you mean, if I wasnt doing that I deffo wouldnt be taking it, and i’ll most likely dump it right after. I guess attaching them won’t be too bad. Good to know other travelers wont pinch them but what about loaders they’re my main worry! Lol.  Not that they’d want these items, but its more that they just dont give a sh*t so if it falls out they’ll just leave it. Guess its a risk you take as with anything when you travel. Strapping to the bag it is!! Thanks for your help x x

     
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I strap my roll mat to the top of my bag as it’s so bulky, but I compress my sleeping bag as much as possible with compression straps then put it inside my bag because it’s really important to keep it dry. If you pack your bag well you should have space - and it’s nice to know that a really important piece of kit isn’t going to fall off or get damaged…

     
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i put my sleeping bag in the main compartment….kneel on it and all the other tricks to make sure its as small as possible.
Try putting it at the bottom of the bag as it stops it from straining your back more, some bags have a zip at the bottom so its easy to take out.

i then strap my roll mat to the outside of my bag at the bottom, its probably my cheapest piece of equipment so if somebody decides to halfinch it, its not a big problem.

     
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I’m overlanding in Africa for a couple of months so the roll mat is deffo gonna be important LOL  But I know what you mean, if I wasnt doing that I deffo wouldnt be taking it, and i’ll most likely dump it right after.

Are you sure you even need to take a roll mat with you? Most overland companies I came across in Africa supplied them - they’re generally stored in the roof rack of the truck.

     
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I agree, and would check with the company, - a roll matt/mattress will usually be provided, and you can usually hire a sleeping bag (though make sure you take a liner - preferebly a silk one).

If not -then rather than taking a roll mat, take a 3/4 length thermorest. They can be bought at all good outdoor shops, are lightweight, comfy and roll up very small,  much smaller than a roll mat.

Have a good trip!

     
Avatar for Pamarmstrong
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Im doing my overland trip with Absolute Africa and they dont supply them.

Glad to know someone else is having this problem!  I’ve been travelling in SE Asia for 3 months and so haven’t needed a sleeping bag or roll mat and am just going to pick them up in South Africa.  Then I realised that my bag is packed full already so there is no more room for them so they are getting tied on to my rucksack and then hope for the best.

To be honest I personally will only be taking mine on the flight out there, will be fine when overlanding as will be using them everyday and then storing them in the truck.  After that they are getting ditched!

     
Avatar for Aefaef
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Brain-puke:

What level of sleeping bag will you need? (e.g. +10degC, +5, 0, -5, -10…wink?

How much will you be camping/using it and the mat?

Can you just get away with a silk or fleece liner and clothes?

If you do need a sleeping bag, the smallest/lightest for the warmth you need will be a down bag, which will be relatively expensive and really needs to be kept dry. Whatever you get, make sure you get a decent compression sack for it to keep the bulk down. Don’t roll or fold the bag before stowing in the sack, just shove it in bit by bit (it’s better for the bag and easier).

Mats…

Don’t be tempted to leave the mat - it’s critical for warmth. If you need a sleeping bag, then you need a mat (or something else that insulates to sleep on).

Thermarest-style mats are great for comfort, if you’ll be camping a lot. But a closed-cell foam mat will be cheaper, lighter and will do for keeping you warm. Some Thermarest mats fold length-ways, which can make them easier to pack.

If you go for a foam mat, consider getting one which folds rather than rolls. They can be easier to pack and don’t try to curl up as you’re trying to lie on them. Some people convert rollers to folders with a Stanley knife and some duct tape, but I haven’t tried it.  Folding mats fold into different-shaped cuboids, which affects how you can pack them.

How long a mat do you need? If it’s not going to be really cold you can probably get away with one that goes from the top of your head to your mid-thighs. Put your pack or some clothes under your legs if you need to. Thermarest-style mats are available in different lengths (and widths, and thicknesses). You can trim a foam mat to the desired length (and width), hence reducing weight and bulk.

Don’t be afraid to try out bags and mats in a camping store (though you will look a bit silly).

As a general rule, it’s always better to carry stuff inside your pack, if possible. Certainly try to keep the bag inside, and protected from water. Mats can be strapped to the outside but best covered in something (eg black bin bag) to help stop them catching on stuff. Probably best strapped to the side for transport and on top for hiking, but preference varies.

HTH,

Anthony

     
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Brain-puke:

What level of sleeping bag will you need? (e.g. +10degC, +5, 0, -5, -10…wink?

You will find the answer to this question by researching night time temperatures in each location you are travelling to. Ignore the maximum daily temperature, because that means nothing at night.

If the temperatures will vary between 5 and 15 degrees each night, look for a bag with a comfort range of 5-15 degrees, or something that encompasses these temperatures (e.g. 4-17 or 0-15).
If the comfort level does not encompass the temperatures you are expecting to experience, the sleeping bag will not be warm enough, or will be too hot.

If you can’t find one with the right temperature range, you need to have a think about how comfortable you are at night temperature wise.

If you tend to get cold at night, and the nearest bag to the comfort range you’re after is for slightly colder weather, consider that one.

However, if you get hot at night and the nearest one to the comfort range you’re after is for slightly hotter weather, then go for that one. Or, get this one and add a thermal liner, which adds about 5 degrees of comfort onto the sleeping bag.

Oh, and back to your original question of how to pack everything, I really wouldn’t suggest strapping things to the outside of your bag before checking them in. I know for a fact that Kenya Airways make you take off anything that’s strapped on the outside and put it in the bag. I don’t know about other airlines, but it’s unlikely they would let you check in luggage with things attached.

If you’re going to attach anything to the outside of the rucksack, make sure you wrap it up well with bin bags or the plastic cellophane wrapping stuff. Or purchase a SakBag Air. smile

     
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Okay, I got bored so I decided to be more helpful.

All of the following temperatures are based on stuff I’ve googled. Every temperature will vary depending on place, and most importantly, depending upon altitude. The higher the altitude, the colder it will be at night. As a general guide, coastal regions are going to be hotter at night than hilly/mountainous regions.

Nairobi for example, can be about 10C cooler at night than it is in Mombasa on the coast because of the altitude difference.

Kenya - Nairobi average night temperature = 11C.

Tanzania - Dar Es Salaam average night temperature = 12C.

Malawi - Temperatures can drop down to 0C. Temperatures near Lake Malawi’s shore are slightly higher.

Zambia - Lusaka average night time temperature = 7C

I doubt you’re sleeping in Zimbabwe, so I’ve missed that out.

Botswana - Chobe average night time temperature =  25C

Namibia - Windhoek average night time temperature = 17C

South Africa - Cape Town average night temperature = 13C

Based on the above, (and you may want to do more research to be sure), I would recommend the Vango Nitestar 250 sleeping bag, which has a comfort range of 4-20C.

You will need a liner (I would go for silk for a bit of extra warmth) for the colder nights in Malawi, and you can use the same liner for the hot nights in Botswana.

This seems to be the one sleeping bag that incorporates most of the temperatures you should expect.

I’ve linked you to the Nomad site because you get a 10% discount from them as you booked with Absolute Africa.

Have a great trip - take me with you? :D

     
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If you’re going to attach anything to the outside of the rucksack, make sure you wrap it up well with bin bags or the plastic cellophane wrapping stuff. Or purchase a SakBag Air. smile

Or, if available, get one of those stalls at the airport to shrink-wrap your entire bag.

Anthony

     
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Wow!! Thanx for all your help!! Was quite shocked to see all these responses, it’s brilliant thank you so much. You know your stuff you two!  LOL 

Unfortunatly as Pam said I will need to have my own roll mat and sleeping bag, hence the dilema, but i’m with u Pam- will be getting rid straight after most likely.

I just ordered ye old silk liner off Ebay (you know the one lol) the other day so hopefully that’ll be coming through soon! I can keep that to use in hostels which is fab, 2 birds 1 stone!

As for the strapping things on melarchy… I guess the best plan would be just to cover every eventuality… Think I will try and pack it all first of all (heh, and I mean try) and failing that, i’ll strap things on as securly as poss and take a large plastic bag (can pinch one of the buggy/wheelchair bags that the airline that I work for use for these type situations :wink: ) and lots of tape to rap the hell out of it, if the airlines not happy. And if they even dont like that, or if I have the luggage allowance, I might just pop them into the large bag seperatly and check it in. Each airlines different and it really depends on what the agent wants to let u get away with at the time I guess! (I should know being one LOL )

So yiiis, it’s a pain in the arse anyways, tis a shame there’s no magical answer like I was secretly hoping for but at least i have a much better idea of what to do now so thanks v.v.much!! Katie x x

p.s. Sure ting Alexandra tag along! You seem like the kinda girl would be useful to have along :D hehe