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Washing Your Sleeping Bag on Camino?

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
 
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Geodoc

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2018 (across Pyrenees, then Sarria to SdC), CF 2019 (SJPdP to Finisterra & Muxia), CI 2019
I used a silk sleep sack with mine.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
First off, is it likely you will be using it for 55 days? It seems more likely that you will stay 50% time in private accommodation. (The albergue thing doesn't have to be all or nothing.) Also, if you are wearing clothes to bed, the bag shouldn't get too dirty. So realistically, maybe you can make it through the camino without washing. I expect that most people do not wash their bags on the Camino.

There are risks associated with washing your down bag and it's likely another one of those things where you won't know until you try it! What are the washing instructions? But remember that the manufacturer will always make a very cautious recommendation. How much do you care about keeping the bag in perfect conditions for generations?

I have a cheap down blanket turned into sleeping bag and I've washed it by hand, rinsed it well, spun it in the spinner, and dried it in the dryer. It will lose some effectiveness after a number of washes, but it was cheap enough that I don't mind. I have a silk liner that I may take - but to use on the outside for bedbug protection or for extra insulation since my bag is not very warm.
 
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Walkerooni

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Took only a sleep liner. As I showered every day before getting into it, did not wash til I got home. If needed, all albergues I stayed in offered blankies if it was cooler.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
A liner can be washed and dried en route. Outside of Galicia, most albergues provide blankets, and I can manage with just a liner unless we're talking about November to March. If I do use my sleeping bag, I put the liner inside. have never seen a need to wash my sleeping bag when on the camino.
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
@Robo - I think that the best plan is to sleep in the silk liner with the sleeping bag opened up as a quilt on top. Easy enough to hand wash the liner and hang it up to dry.

That's the current plan ;)
Just trying to trim some weight from my gear.

I'm just under 7kgs excl food and water.... (15 lbs)
 
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Robo, what make of sleeping bag did you get. That weight is amazing, considering it has a zip. Any links available?
 
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nathanael

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
never have in my 11 Caminos, I tend not to sleep in a sleeping bag because it hampers me from turning. Rater I have fitted sheet which I bring with me and sleep on that and my light warm sleeping I open up which gives me a blanket to cover me.
 

rucsack

New Member
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
A down sleeping bag takes a long time to dry . Mine takes 2 days . I take s synthetic sleeping bag on Camino's . If you took a lightweight liner with your down bag that helps a lot ,protecting your down bag from soiling . You also have the option of just using the liner on warmer nights, I recommend silk. Just washing that should suffice . Again a silk liner shouldn't be machine dried but they do dry quickly when hung out in an airy position .
 

Sherpa47

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
Hi, personally I wouldn’t worry about the down bag.... just wash your liner regularly.
Was his down bag ‘on the move’ is something I would never recommend. You need to wash down items with a specialist down wash at 30 degrees. After washing it MUST be tumble dried at low heat with loads of drier balls. The balls ‘bash’ the down and distribute the down evenly. I use loads of my dogs rubber toys when I dry my down jacket.
Now be warned...... if you dry a down sleeping bag etc without tumble drying the down just ends up in clumps and renders the product useless.
Hope this helps.
Sherpakev
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I brought light weight sleeping bags and silk liners on our first two camino frances. We used stuff sacks, so they did not take up much space. We hiked mid-Sept to late October, and were glad we brought the bags and liners, since it can get quite cold in some albergues. On warmer nights, I slept on top of my sleeping bag, and used the liner as a light cover sheet. After each camino, we took our sleeping bags to a dry cleaner to have them professionally cleaned at a reasonable cost. Bob
 
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Sheila Kenny

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
C. Frances (2002), (2012), (2013) C. Portuguese (2015)
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
Just take a silk liner and leave your sleeping bag at home. You'll find that some albergues won't allow you to use a bag anyway.
 

Meggins

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - One complete St.J.P.P to Santiago plus twice more for 500km each time.
I always just bring a silk liner and sleep in that. For reference (important I think) I walk from early Sept through early October. Only once did I use one of the blankets available.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I start walking in mid April and sometimes added my long sleeve fleece layer to sleep in. I still needed a blanket on occasion in the early weeks.
 

nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
@Robo Take both, use the bag as a duvet on warmer nights and only the liner in hot rooms full of pilgrims. 530g for a combo that covers hot to cold is pretty good! If you need to shave off grams I'd look elsewhere, but 7 kg is a decent pack weight.
(Oh and if you get a nice silk liner it not only dries quickly, it can also double as a scarf in the evening!)
 
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nidarosa

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Inglés 2009+2017, Francés 2012+2018, Astorga-Santiago repeatedly
You'll find that some albergues won't allow you to use a bag anyway.
Out of interest, where have you experienced this? I never have and don't understand why they wouldn't allow you to use your sleeping bag? I always bring my bag, for warmth and to avoid using the blankets.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Depending on when you are walking, you can save even more weight by leaving the bag at home than leaving the liner. :)

I just took a silk liner with me when walking the Frances in the summer and the Portugues in October and generally didn't have a problem. But I generally sleep in my clean clothes, which add another layer of warmth and am not averse to using albergue-supplied blankets if I feel they are warranted.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
A down sleeping bag takes a long time to dry . Mine takes 2 days
As @Sherpa47 says you need to use the dryer to dry it.
After washing it MUST be tumble dried at low heat with loads of drier balls.

Just take a silk liner and leave your sleeping bag at home. You'll find that some albergues won't allow you to use a bag anyway.
I agree with @nidarosa. I've never heard of an albergue that didn't allow sleeping bags. That doesn't make sense!
Out of interest, where have you experienced this? I never have and don't understand why they wouldn't allow you to use your sleeping bag?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I took a lightweight synthetic sleeping bag on my spring/summer CFs.

Love to snuggle, even in warm weather.

You will be showering at the end of each day's walk and changing into clean clothes every day so you will be relatively clean (as opposed to when you use your sleeping bag when you backpack) when you turn in.

I laid my bag out as soon as possible upon arriving at an albergue and being assigned a bed. That way my bag could air out as much as possible.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (14), Portuguese (15), Le Puy (17), Ingles (17), VDLP (18), Lana (18), Madrid (19) + more
I think I have heard of this at some places in France, as a bedbug management thing. But I agree that it does not make much sense, unless all clothes are also prohibited.

I can confirm!

Frequently on the Le Puy and Vezelay camino sleeping bags (and backpacks!) were not permitted inside the albergue dorm. Linens and blankets were always provided in this case. This was the norm at private albergues.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
@Robo Take both, use the bag as a duvet on warmer nights and only the liner in hot rooms full of pilgrims. 530g for a combo that covers hot to cold is pretty good! If you need to shave off grams I'd look elsewhere, but 7 kg is a decent pack weight.
(Oh and if you get a nice silk liner it not only dries quickly, it can also double as a scarf in the evening!)

I like your thinking! It can make a fairly decent sarong too!
Must make another pass through my list looking for dual purpose items......
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I would hate to sleep in an inside liner in a mummy bag. I think it would twist all around me. You could bring a silk tee-shirt and long pants instead.

Sara's and trecile's post appealed to me most.

As for washing down, be very careful moving the bag or jacket when wet. The weight COULD tear stitching in the baffles. I lay out the bag horizontally in the sun to get rid of most of the water before tumbling in the dryer with tennis balls or other static producing objects. I don't want the weight and tumbling to cause damage and, as someone wrote above, the static unclumps the down and helps distribute it evenly.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I would hate to sleep in an inside liner in a mummy bag. I think it would twist all around me. You could bring a silk tee-shirt and long pants instead.

Sara's and trecile's post appealed to me most.

As for washing down, be very careful moving the bag or jacket when wet. The weight COULD tear stitching in the baffles. I lay out the bag horizontally in the sun to get rid of most of the water before tumbling in the dryer with tennis balls or other static producing objects. I don't want the weight and tumbling to cause damage and, as someone wrote above, the static unclumps the down and helps distribute it evenly.
Too worrisome fussy...on Camino give me a lightweight cheap synthetic bag...absolutely no worries! I paid US $30 and it has served me well every time.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF St Jean - Santiago (2015)
St Jean - Ronsenvalles (2016)
St Jean - Santiago (aug 2018)
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
I carry both similar zip open quilt - only ever needed to wash liner and washed it easily with my clothes - sea to summit traveller and stretch side silk liner - have tried a few liners and found silk with stretch sides best for me
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
I also have a down sleeping bag and I have never washed it whilst on Camino, and once I was walking for six months 😁 I use a silk liner with it and I do wash that.
I did wash my down sleeping bag once I had arrived from one Camino, in a ‘laundromat’, not my own machine. And it did survive not only the washing but also two turns in the dryer. (I had encountered the dreaded bedbugs and I was taking no chances!).
My advice is... take a silk liner, wash it as often as needed. If it’s really hot, you won’t use the sleeping bag anyway. Honestly, you won’t need to wash it, fret not! 😉
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I have just had two glasses of vino and want to say that I hope we all get to use our sleeping liners and/or bags in 2021, whether they be synthetic or down...no matter...we all on this forum just wanna go!
And I want to add that this discussion of sleeping bags and laundry is very enjoyable - such a break from certain other topics. And I haven't even had any wine today!
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
And I want to add that this discussion of sleeping bags and laundry is very enjoyable - such a break from certain other topics. And I haven't even had any wine today!
Well, @C clearly, you are two hours behind me...just sayin'. 😉
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
I would not take a down bag on camino unless I were walking in winter. Lightweight down might seem like a good idea, but if your sleeping bag and gear are infested with bed bugs you will have to get everything disinfested, and the process is likely to damage a down bag. And if you take a very light-weight down bag with a liner to keep it clean, you have increased the weight to the point where a washable light-weight fabric bag might be the more reasonable option. If you decide to take a down bag with silk liner and risk the bed bugs, try sleeping in whatever combination you choose, to see if it is comfortable for you. Light-weight night clothes might be more comfortable and just as good to keep the inside of your bag clean at night. And you will need something on you when you get up at night. The other advantage to this option is that you can put on as much clothing as you need to keep you warm inside your sleeping bag, in case the temperature falls during your walk. Make sure your sleeping bag is loose enough to have space for anything that you may need to have inside it. I am delighted to hear that you are going to try out the albergues. But you don't have to stay if the albergues don't work out for you. "Buen camino."
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
if your sleeping bag and gear are infested with bed bugs you will have to get everything disinfested, and the process is likely to damage a down bag
Not necessarily. For bedbugs, only the heat treatment is needed (20 minutes in a hottish drier). No need to wash, which is much more damaging.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Not necessarily. For bedbugs, only the heat treatment is needed (20 minutes in a hottish drier). No need to wash, which is much more damaging.
I agree. I have done this more than once with my down blanket. It's not necessary to wash it first, and probably not advisable. I wouldn't put a wet down blanket or sleeping bag into a hot dryer, but putting it in dry did no harm to mine.
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I agree about the bedbug treatment - no need to wash it - it is heat that kills the bedbugs, not water, so putting it dry into a dryer will get it hot faster, and kill the bugs. Plus heat alone does not seem to affect the down (whereas water does). I do the same with my silk liner.

@Robo I am also a fan of a down sleeping doona and a silk liner. Now, as a bedbug preventative, I put the silk liner on the outside, the down sleeping doona inside. If hot, I use the silk liner by itself. I like the Sea to Summit silk liners with a stretchy gusset down the side, allowing for a bit of movement.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
@Robo I am also a fan of a down sleeping doona and a silk liner. Now, as a bedbug preventative, I put the silk liner on the outside, the down sleeping doona inside. If hot, I use the silk liner by itself. I like the Sea to Summit silk liners with a stretchy gusset down the side, allowing for a bit of movement.
That's how I do it. On hot nights with those vinyl covered mattresses I put my down blanket between my silk sleep sack and the mattress as a layer of insulation against hot sticky vinyl.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I agree about the bedbug treatment - no need to wash it - it is heat that kills the bedbugs, not water, so putting it dry into a dryer will get it hot faster, and kill the bugs. Plus heat alone does not seem to affect the down (whereas water does). I do the same with my silk liner.

@Robo I am also a fan of a down sleeping doona and a silk liner. Now, as a bedbug preventative, I put the silk liner on the outside, the down sleeping doona inside. If hot, I use the silk liner by itself. I like the Sea to Summit silk liners with a stretchy gusset down the side, allowing for a bit of movement.

Starting to sound like a Plan! :)

Might just need to translate 'Doona' for the Northern Hemisphere.
Doona = Quilt.
In Australia it is a brand of Quilt.
A bit like saying Hoover, when referring to a Vacuum Cleaner ;)

Do Hoover still makes Vacuum Cleaners? :rolleyes:
 
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Don Camillo

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 04-16
Norte/Primitivo 09-16
VdlP/ Sanabres 02/3-17
Levante 09/17,
Ruta de la Lana 09/18
I took a lightweight (1 klg) down sleeping bag on my first camino (CF , early April) and had to use it as a duvet as it was too warm in Albergues. I later used it with my bivvi outside and it was not warm enough. After my second camino I ruined it by trying to wash it in a washing machine. Since that time I have stayed clear of down bags as being too much hassle sticking to generic lightweight synthetic bags - cheap enough and easily replaceable. The only thing is to make sure they have a full length zip so can be used as a duvet as some only have zips that go half way down. I used one such on VdlP (Feb/March) and this was ok most of time in albergues. I also sometimes take a 400g down jacket as a "what if" so can add warmth if necessary for using with a bivvi.
Washing a sleeping bag mid camino sounds like a time consuming hassle and just something else to have to cater for.
Don.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I took a lightweight (1 klg) down sleeping bag on my first camino (CF , early April) and had to use it as a duvet as it was too warm in Albergues. I later used it with my bivvi outside and it was not warm enough. After my second camino I ruined it by trying to wash it in a washing machine. Since that time I have stayed clear of down bags as being too much hassle sticking to generic lightweight synthetic bags - cheap enough and easily replaceable. The only thing is to make sure they have a full length zip so can be used as a duvet as some only have zips that go half way down. I used one such on VdlP (Feb/March) and this was ok most of time in albergues. I also sometimes take a 400g down jacket as a "what if" so can add warmth if necessary for using with a bivvi.
Washing a sleeping bag mid camino sounds like a time consuming hassle and just something else to have to cater for.
Don.

Ah. They can't be washed in a washing machine.......
But can be dried in a dryer.

I think I'll take my chances with it.
It's very light, 400 gms, and won't be too hot.
And has a full length zip.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
They can't be washed in a washing machine.......
But can be dried in a dryer.

I think I'll take my chances with it.

You might be able to improve your chances by keeping a couple of things in mind...

This might be one of the (few?) advantages of a North American style top-loading washing machine. I can "manually control" the machine - fill the washer, add my sleeping bag, let it soak and swirl it around occasionally (mainly by hand) and then spin it - all without bathtubs, transferring a sodden mess from container to container, etc. - i.e. without drama.

Going into personal speculation, maybe front-loaders are less destructive in the washing process because the motion is different. It "plops" the contents over, but there is still some twisting of fibres.

The centrifugal force of spinning is not so destructive as the twisting and agitation of a top-loading washing machine. (This goes for washing wool, as well.)

For this reason, I'd recommend washing by hand, say in a large tub, squeezing out by hand, and then putting it through only the spin cycle of the washer. If your machine has variable spin speed, I would try it not at the highest speed.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I thought all sleeping bags, whether down or synthetic come with a sewn in tag with washing instructions...is it just me or am I missing something here?🤔

They do. Hand wash is a large sink. squeeze out water. then tumble dry. ;)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
They do. Hand wash is a large sink. squeeze out water. then tumble dry. ;)
After squeezing out as much water as you can, put the sleeping bag on a large towel or towels, and roll it up squeezing as you go. You can then twist and wring the whole thing before putting it in the dryer or hanging to dry.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
After squeezing out as much water as you can, put the sleeping bag on a large towel or towels, and roll it up squeezing as you go. You can then twist and wring the whole thing before putting it in the dryer or hanging to dry.
Good idea. I hope I'd only need to do it though after returning home.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
Hi Robo

I have never taken a sleeping bag on the Camino only a sleeping bag liner. The alberques are all warm enough and there is a plentiful supply of blankets if you do get cold. You can wash and dry a liner very quickly in the washer/dryers in most alberques. Also they take up very little space in your backpack unlike a full sleeping bag.
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
Hi Robo

I have never taken a sleeping bag on the Camino only a sleeping bag liner. The alberques are all warm enough and there is a plentiful supply of blankets if you do get cold.
This very much depends on the time of year you walk, I walked in April/May, it was cold and wet for a lot of the time and many of the albergues had no heat, the sleeping bags were in regular use.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
This very much depends on the time of year you walk, I walked in April/May, it was cold and wet for a lot of the time and many of the albergues had no heat, the sleeping bags were in regular use.
I walked Camino da Costa in April and while I agree it was cold and wet at times with some alberques a little cold using the blankets proved adequate for me but I appreciate it might not suit everyone.
 

backpack45

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
I have not needed to tote a sleeping bag with me on Camino before, as I tend to stay in CRs and private rooms if in an Albergue.

But I'm taking the plunge and will be throwing myself into the whole Albergue thing next time around. Sorry folks. :oops:

So yet another of my dumb questions...

I like to travel as light as I can without being silly about it.
So I have a great new down sleeping bag, that only weighs 389 grams.
Can zip open to use as a quilt too.

I'm thinking of taking a light liner with me. 140 gms.
It will add a bit more warmth if required, but mainly so my sleeping bag stays cleaner.
I have never tried to wash a down sleeping bag!
It sounds like a real drama. Hand wash, can't hang etc.

Does anyone have experience of washing a down bag on Camino?
Is it worth using a liner to avoid washing it altogether?

I don't fancy using a sleeping bag for 55 days, without a liner, without washing it!
I'll probably stick to it! :eek:
Those who thru-hike long-distance trails--like the PCT and AT in the US--or from farther away from Santiago than St. Jean, can take months to do so. Most do not carry a liner because of the weight, but if you decide to, silk is probably the lightest (about the 140 gms. you mention) and it would add about 5 degrees Celsius. Otherwise, only wear clean clothes to bed and air the bag out, preferably outside, when possible. If you wash a down bag, you need to follow manufacturers directions, but generally you need to use a larger than normal washing machine (or do it in the bathtub, but lift it out with care) using special soap (never detergent), and gentle cycle. To dry. I dry mine outside on a flat surface until almost completely dry and then put in the dryer, air only, with a tennis ball to fluff up the down. As you can tell, this takes a while! Synthetic bags are easier, but heavier. Bottom line, I do not recommend trying to wash your sleeping bag while on the Camino.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The alberques are all warm enough and there is a plentiful supply of blankets if you do get cold.
The municipal albergues in the whole of Galicia do not have blankets.

When I asked the hospitalero for a blanket in one albergue, he said sorry, he had none, but the heating would come on at 6pm, which it did.

It then went off at midnight.

I woke up at about 3am, in a full dorm, so lots of body heat, but I was shivering.

Definitely have a Plan B :p.
 

Richard Smith

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
55 nights - no need to wash your sleeping bag at all.
"Air" it out when you get the chance, not needed every day with a new bag and some time spent spread open in the sun every few days will be more than enough.
Bushwalkers "wash" their sleeping bags after years of use, the bags are quite hard to dry and need care if you try, but bushwalkers "air" their bags at the end of every multi-day walk, and after short hikes if the bag gets wet.
 
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linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I would not think of washing my down quilt on the Camino unless I forgot to cork my bottle of wine before falling asleep.

I put my EE down quilt inside my silk liner to keep it from falling off the bed in the middle of the night. My quilt is very light and the material is very slick. I just push it to the side on a warm night, or can easily cover up on a cold night. I also think having my quilt inside the liner is a little deterrent in the event that someone really wanted or needed to borrow one.
 

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I have a lightweight Sea to Summit down sleeping bag and a heavyweight Western Mountaineer down sleeping bag. A much better investment than synthetic..

When I wash them at the end of a Camino, I use non-enzyme, non whitener, unscented, liquid washing detergent, definitely no fabric conditioner, and run a cool gentle, fast wash. Drying is OUTSIDE, in the sun on a line.

On caminos, when I arrive, I often air the Dona/sleeping bag, unzipped, in the sunshine. This is my ‘nest’. So far, so good!
 

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