Camping Tips

How Do I keep My Sleeping Bag Clean While Camping?

Camping trips take you to beautiful landscapes and create wonderful memories, but the hiking and other outdoor activities attract dirt, grime, and cause you to sweat. This dirt, grime, and sweat can quickly dirty your sleeping bag and lead to an uncomfortable sleep. What can you do to keep your sleeping bag clean during your next camping trip?

To easily keep your sleeping bag clean you can use a sleeping bag liner to protect the inside, place a sleeping pad beneath your sleeping bag to keep it off the ground, and change into fresh clothes.

These three things will make a huge difference in keeping the inside of your sleeping bag very clean. Doing these things also means you don’t even need to wash your sleeping bag if you care careful enough. Washing your sleeping bag less with extend its life due to not having to add wear and tear from the washing and drying machines. There are a few things you should consider before grabbing just any sleeping bag liner and a few details to think about with your sleeping pad and sleeping clothes which we will cover in the next section.

Ways To Keep Your Sleeping Bag Clean

person airing out sleeping bag

Sleeping Pad

The first way to keep your sleeping bag clean is to keep it off the ground. You want to make sure your sleeping bag is long enough and wide enough so that your sleeping bag isn’t hanging off. This also helps with staying warmer in your sleeping bag as your feet won’t be touching the ground. Any dirt or debris that is accidentally dragged into the tent will be on the tent floor, but your sleeping bag will be elevated by your sleeping bag which will help keep it clean.

Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleeping Pad on Amazon


The next way to keep your sleeping bag clean is to have a change of clothes for sleeping. You want to change your clothes for two reasons. The first reason is you will feel more refreshed and clean which can help you fall asleep much easier. The next benefit of changing your clothes is that any dirt, grime, and body oils that got on your clothes from the day will not come in contact with your sleeping bag.

If you don’t want to bring a change of clothes then you can wipe down your pants and shirt to get rid of any excess dirt or mud before you lay down on your sleeping bag. Also another thing you can do is to take off your hiking boots of hiking shoes before you enter your tent. Your hiking shoes are likely covered in dirt, mud, and have gravel stuck on the bottoms. This is an easy way to keep more debris away from your sleeping bag.

Body Wipes

Another way to help keep your sleeping bag clean is to use body wipes. Body wipes will help you clean off any excess sweat and body oils that surfaced during your hike or outdoor activities. This is where a majority of how your sleeping bag ends up dirty. Laying down with your face and the sweat on your arms and legs are generally just rubbing on the inside of your sleeping bag, so wiping yourself down or washing yourself off will go a long way.

When using body wipes make sure you have somewhere to pack out your body wipes. Even if the wipes are rated as biodegradable it can take a long time for them to degrade so its better to make them out.

Epic Body Wipes on Amazon

Sleeping Bag Liner

sleeping bags inside of car

Once your sleeping bag is off the ground, you are in a fresh set of clothes, and you have wiped yourself down then the last way to keep your sleeping bag clean is to use a sleeping bag liner. A sleeping bag liner is like a mini sleeping bag that goes inside of your sleeping bag. This prevents your body from coming in direct contact with your sleeping bag.

Pros of a Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping bag liners provide a few benefits. The first benefit is that you will likely only have to wash your sleeping bag liner after each camping trip. Any missed dirt, grime, sweat, or body oils will only come into contact with your sleeping bag so you won’t have the need to wash your sleeping bag. This will help extend the life of your sleeping bag as it won’t be impacted from the wear and tear from a washer and dryer.

Another added benefit of sleeping bag liners is that in colder seasons they help add warmth. Sleeping bag liners can add between five to eight extra degrees of warmth. If you are a cold sleeper then this is a great way to help you feel more warm.

Cons of a sleeping bag liner

There are only a few minor cons of a sleeping bag liner. The first con is that you have something extra to pack in your bag, however most liners are extremely lightweight and pack down well. Another con of sleeping bag liners is that sometimes they do not contour well with your sleeping bag. The third con of sleeping bag liners if you need to find liners where the zipper aligns with your sleeping bag.

For example you would not want to buy a sleeping bag with a zipper on the left side and a sleeping bag liner with a zipper on the right side as it will make it very difficult to get out. These cons are just minor inconveniences and the benefits of a sleeping bag liner make it a no-brainer to pack.

Our Favorite Sleeping Bag Liner

Our favorite sleeping bag liner is the Vumos Sleeping Bag Liner. This line has a nice silk like material for a nice cozy and comfortable feeling. It also has a full length zipper to make it easy to get in and out. One of my favorite things about this liner is how small it packs down into a small stuff sack which making it easy to pack. Its also very lightweight.

I wish I had bought this years ago. Now when I go on trips I just line my sleeping bag with the liner and not have to worry about getting my sleeping bag dirty. When I am back home I just toss this in the wash and hang my sleeping bag.

Vumos Sleeping Bag Liner on Amazon

Our Favorite Body Wipes

Going outdoors lets you experience new sights and sounds, but it also allows you to experience sweating and being smelly in the outdoors. No need to pack a camp shower when you can use these easily packable body wipes. Our go to body wipes for years have been Epic Wipes. These wipes are large enough for you to comfortably wipe your entire body. You will be able to wipe away all the sweat and body oils from your daily adventures. After using a wipe I feel fresh, smell good, as if I had just taken shower.

Epic Body Wipes on Amazon

Final Thoughts

Heading out to a camping trip to enjoy the outdoors and relax in nature is always a good time, but thinking about cleaning your sleeping bag once you’re back can be no fun. Now you know things you can do before you use your sleeping bag such as keeping it off the ground with a large enough sleeping pad, changing into fresh clothes and wiping your body down will make a huge difference. Once you’ve done those things the last line of defense to keep your sleeping bag pristine is using a sleeping bag liner.

Now all you have to do once you get home is to wash your liner and hang your sleeping bag. The small things make a huge difference in your clean up and lifespan of your sleeping bag. Enjoy your next camping trip without having to worry about keeping your sleeping bag clean and be able to focus on the sights and sounds of nature!

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