Camping and Sleeping Bags
Sleeping on the ground is a new experience to many. There are two basic sleeping bags designs, the rectangular bag and mummy bag. Polyfil used in most bags today is inexpensive and hypoalergenic. It will retain up to 80 percent of its loft when wet and will tend to dry faster.
Duck or Goose down is still considered by many to be the better insulator compared to artificial fibers. Warm and light weight, goose down is generally only found in some of the more expensive bags. Its main draw back other than its cost is that it loses most of its insulation properties when wet. Mummy bag - has hood , more restrictive but generally warmer.
Keep your sleeping bag dry. How ? Use an air mattress or a close cell pad. Vent your tent properly to prevent the build up of condensation.
In cold weather it is particularly important to have a foam pad or air mattress under your sleeping bag since the fill in the sleeping bag will be compressed by your body weight losing much of its insulating quality.
Military Surplus Sleeping Bags
Use caution when considering if considering using a military surplus bag. Generally they are too heavy for backpacking. Some bags are designed for sleeping in fox holes. Many people may find them cramped and confining. Much of the loft of the fill material may be lost.
U.S. Army M-1949 Sleeping Bag
The U.S. Army Mountain Sleeping Bag is a well made heavy duty down filled sleeping bag. I have used one for a number of years. It is a heavy bag which is too warm for summer use but is great in below freezing temperatures. Be sure to examine it carefully for an rips, tears or stains. Make sure also that the zipper works properly.
To clean it, requires handwashing with a mild soap.