Merit Badge is a great source of learning, skill, development, social connection, and networking for young adults and adolescents. This institution has a lot of specifications and requirements when it comes to joining them in a group activity.
It is important for young and adolescence to experience the adventure and advancement the Merit Badge offers. One should not back out due to its over-demanding requirements for their field programs.
Merit Badge usually arranges camping in almost every ranking and stage. A supportive sleeping bag is one of the life-saving items that you want to be with you in those camping.
Here, we have picked out five sleeping bag types that are approved by Merit Badge and are perfect to use in extreme situations. We have also discussed the merits and demerits of all the types and tips for how to buy a sleeping bag.
Types of Sleeping Bags You Can Use in Merit Badge Camping
You can’t show up in your Merit Badge camping with any sleeping bag. The bag has to fall under their requirement. According to the Merit Badge Camping requirement, the following are the approved types of sleeping bags.
1. Rectangular Bag with Down Fill
- Rectangular sleeping bags have their own advantages. You will have more room to have a relaxed sleep after all the exhausting activities of Merit Badge camping. Besides, we all used to wiggle more when we were younger, no?
- However, the rectangular shape leaves a lot of room toward the foot of the bag. So, during winter or in a low-temperature place, the bag may need more time to warm up.
- Now, let’s talk about the down fill. This filling for sleeping bags is made of natural fibers. So, this material is a super insulator but weighs like a feather.
- Upon compressing, the bag will also fold into a small puddle and won’t take much room in your small trolley.
- But down fill is the worst choice for a Merit Badge camping. This material is allowed for Merit Badge camping, but if it gets wet, the bag is useless. It won’t do any heating and will take forever to dry up.
- The best part is, you can unzip the bag and use it as a quilt in summertime camping or at home.
2. Mummy Bag with Down Fill
- Mummy sleeping bags are totally tapered according to standard human body size. So that not the tiniest bit of body heat can escape from the bag.
- The problem with this sleeping bag is, it will fit snugly and move as you move like your own clothing. There is a hood and drawstring around it. So that the bag closes around your face and cold air can’t get in.
- However, in snowy fields, a mummy-shaped camping sleeping bag is the best choice. The zip is also covered to seal up the heat. There is no chance heat will seep through the stitches.
- As the mummy sleeping bag has a smaller surface area than most other types of bags, it is a great choice for minimalist camping. It almost takes up no space in the baggage.
- Being down to fill a mummy bag is another advantage for Merit Badge camping. In terms of beating cold, a mummy bag with down fill is the best choice.
3. Rectangular Bag with Synthetic Fill
- Rectangular sleeping bags are usually bulky. The synthetic filling makes it even fluffy. Be prepared to pack a huge sleeping bag if you consider this one.
- The advantage is, it is best for wet seasons. You can consider it as a three-season sleeping bag at the cheapest rate.
- Synthetic filling is waterproof and dries fast.
- This filing is fluffy and heavier than down fill. But for its water repellent feature, this type of sleeping bag is appropriate for all-year-round Merit Badge camping.
4. Mummy Tent with Synthetic Fill
- Mummy bag with synthetic fill is also approved by the Merit Badge.
- As the mummy bag takes little space, a synthetic fill will make it a little heavy. But it shouldn’t be a problem if you choose it as a mummy bag.
- This fill will keep the bag dry even if there is ice around you that has already started melting and make the bag wet.
- Because this type of bag dries faster than other camping bag types.
5. Summer Bags/QuiltNo products found.
The bags I have discussed above are mostly designed as three-season bags. Meaning, you can survive fall, winter, and spring in those, but not summer. A quilt-type bag is more appropriate for summertime Merit Badge camping.
The advantage of a quilt type bag is, it can be attached to a sleeping pad and can be used as a sleeping bag as well.
Do I need to mention that this unit will not be as insulated as the rectangular or mummy bags? But these will surely keep you warm enough on summer nights if you need them. Or can be used as a regular quilt when not used as a sleeping bag.
Buying Guide for Camping Sleeping Bag
Look for the comfort rating, lowest temperature, and highest temperature rating. The comfort rating will show the inner temperature when the bag is being used. The lowest rating will determine the temperature at which you can survive from hypothermia or frostbite.
The highest rating is the maximum temperature at which the bag will be usable. Before actually buying a sleeping bag, know about your destination, weather, and the ratings of the steeping bags. Otherwise, the sleeping bag you will be taking to the camp will be useless or inappropriate.
The size of the sleeping bag should be according to your height and preference. If you buy camping goods from local stores, then I recommend testing the sleeping bags by getting in. If the bag is roomy enough to move comfortably and snug enough to keep you warm, then get it.
Buying sleeping bags online can be a little bit trickier than that. In this case, you should rely on the size they have given. There is no harm in getting a size bigger, but by no means you should get a sleeping bag smaller than you need.
Insulation of any sleeping bag depends on multiple factors. If the bag has the right kind of fill and has no way to lose heat or suck in cold air, then it must have good insulation. Look for tents with waterproof covers and shells. The zippers should be covered by tubes. So that heat will not be lost through the seams.
Bags with hoods are preferable, but they may compromise your mobility. Wearing a winter outfit under the sleeping bag is a wise solution for those kinds of bags.
We pack light for camps. So, it would be best if the sleeping bag serves various purposes. Bags which can be opened up all the way or can be attached to different bags are multipurpose. You can break it to use as a warm carpet. Or attach it to another bag to share body heat from your friends.
It will determine how much space the bag is going to take in your trunk. The smaller it becomes, the better. But never compromise other features to fit in a thin sleeping bag in your camping luggage.
There are only two types of sleeping bags to use in different seasons. One is a three-season bag and the other one is a single-season bag. I recommend making both handy so that you can always be prepared to go camping in your Merit Badge program all year round.
Now you know which sleeping bag you will need for which season and how to pick one from the stores and online. Before buying, read the manuals or tips to maintain, wash and dry your sleeping bags in the right way. A properly maintained sleeping bag lasts for years.
If you are serious about your Merit Badge programs, then you can buy more than one bag. It will be useful for different kinds of weather situations. Besides, your parents also can make use of those bags when there are guests staying over in your place.