De scenting sleeping gear

Submitted: Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 23:03
ThreadID: 69931 Views:3450 Replies:13 FollowUps:10
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No easy way to put this but i do most of my camping out bush by myself and not neccessarily just when the weathwer suits.

as a result my swag and sleeping bag somewhat smell like a foxhole
- yea i air it out some but that doesnt seem to do alot.

i was wondering something like those foot deoderiser powders or sprays ? i could see if the sleeping bag can be washed but I dont think its easy as it is one of the lightweight hiking types that puff out after compression

- Ideas?
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 23:16

Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 at 23:16
Deodorisers, etc. will only disguise the odour I think and not eliminate it.

Sleeping Bags should be dry cleanable however and this would be the best solution IMO.

The swag and matress could be "squirtable" with a hose if necessary.


Bill.
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AnswerID: 370597

Follow Up By: blue one - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:40

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:40
What ever you do don't dry clean a sleeping bag. The chemicals will wake you up struggling for air.

Fill the bath with warm soapy water (eg Wool wash etc) and gently wash without crushing the bag.

Rinse gently in the bath 3 - 4 time and then place on a flat surface to dry.

Once dry break up the down by throwing the bag until you get the air amongst the down.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 10:49

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 10:49
I do not agree,

We have had our sleeping bags dry cleaned dozens of times and continued use has not resulted in any "breathing difficulties" for us.
Dry cleaning will not affect the filling inside the bag. That's why we clean them this way.

Our bags are over 20 years old now and still look new. They can be zipped together and used as a double, or simply used flat like a doona. This is how we use them inside our swags.

Perhaps you suffer from some kind of alergic reaction Blue.

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Follow Up By: blue one - Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 11:08

Saturday, Jun 20, 2009 at 11:08
Dunno,
What it was though I woke up struggling to breath. Used it again a couple of nights later same result. Washed the bag in the bath and all was good.

Bloody scary I can tell you.

Cheers
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FollowupID: 638324

Follow Up By: Member - Mike DID - Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:17

Sunday, Jun 21, 2009 at 13:17
There have been fatalities from sleeping bags being used immediately after drycleaning.

It's essential that a sleepingbag be aired for several days after drycleaning.
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FollowupID: 638445

Reply By: BenDiD - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 00:34

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 00:34
Hi get outmore

I have the same problem with my swag.

I use a whole can of "Glen 20" spray on my swag and mattress every 6 - 12 months or whenever it gets smelly. Just spray all the canvas inside and out and both sides of the mattress and spread out to air for 30 - 60 minutes. The bad smell should then be completely gone. The spray does have a slight sir freshener smell but that quickly fades and the longer you air the swag for after spraying the less strong the air freshener smell will be.

You could use another brand of spray - just make sure its a disinfectant type spray that says it will kill odour causing germs and not just a deodoriser or air freshener.

Sleeping bags - sorry I don't have any experience to share but I would have thought / hoped a similar approach would work. Happy to be corrected.

Good Luck

Ben
AnswerID: 370603

Reply By: a convict - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 01:19

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 01:19
..surprisingly, (to some), most human body fats and general grot is soluble in hot water.

I have not used soap for years, and no 'complaints' so far.

I reckon you've got two choices;

.. plenty of hot waters under a shower,

.. or burn the lot.

Makes sense, you know it does

(great post by the way, thanks)
AnswerID: 370607

Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 06:32

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 06:32
Hi there. The difference of opinion about washing versus dry cleaning of sleeping bags started about three centuries before the Engel vs Waeco debate, and even pre-dates the feud about Toyota vs Nissan. I have a top quality down bag that is literally over 30 years old, and it gets a dry clean whenever it needs it (about once every 5 years). But I have made a serious habit of using a liner, so that a proportion of the grot is absorbed by that. I'd rather smell like a fox that like a public dunny, so aerosol disinfectant don't appeal much to me.
Problem is, dry cleaning a down bag is a $30 plus operation.
People could make rude observations about how and why your sleeping gear gets so rank, but I certainly will not feed such a scandalous exercise.
Surely a wash of the swag and swag mattress on a warm, dry day would fix those items?
Does this help?
AnswerID: 370609

Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:22

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 07:22
yea ill get some glen 20, check out the washing instructions for the sleeping bag and try and give the swag and mattress a hose out maybe with some mild soap
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FollowupID: 637928

Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:44

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 08:44
Glen 20 does nothing.

It is designed for housewives with obsessive compulsive disorder and a germ phobia.

It is ineffective at what you want, depletes the ozone layer, and, as said above, will make your swag smell like the dunny at Central Station.

Don't waste your money.
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FollowupID: 637937

Follow Up By: get outmore - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:59

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 15:59
you jogged my memory. As a tafe student our coursen ended with a major project and one guy did his on diinfectant deoderisers. his outcome was as a bacteriocide they were abalutuly inneffective tothe point they did nothing
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FollowupID: 637996

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 09:05

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 09:05
We wash out our sleeping bags then hang to dry on a sunny day for the full day which airs them and gives them a fresh air sunny odour.
And yes it is not an easy job but ours are machine washable, one at a time.
We have had them for 15 years and they are still in fair condition.
You can after washing spray with glen 20 then hang out. We have never tried the spraying as the act of washing and sunlight drying does the job.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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AnswerID: 370630

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:46

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:46
ditto.
Mine are acrylic fill (yeh, I know, not as good as the feather down ones) and are able to be hand washed or machine wash on gentle cycle. Solves all the problems.
I have SB liners, but with the way I sleep, they get all twisted and tangled - feel like I'm in a strait-jacket, so I gave up on them. Just wash the SB from time to time - no dog-kennel smell.
Gerry
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Reply By: sweetwill - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:10

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 10:10
g/day get out more.
dry clean the down bag its worth the $30 bucks.wash the swag and mattress with a light solution of sunlight soap yousing a soft brush, rinse well dry in sunlight it will be a pleasure to hop into cheers bill.
AnswerID: 370643

Reply By: johannagoanna - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:21
What about that product available called 'Fabreeze'? I have used it on many, many things and it works wonders.

I have washed out all our sleeping bags in the big bath, with a bit of woolwash, then hung on the line flat to drip dry, with no ill effects.

Jo
AnswerID: 370652

Reply By: ExplorOz - David & Michelle - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:44

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 11:44
It's probably a bit late for this advice, but we completely strip our swag bedding out after every use, turn the canvas inside out, sweep etc and air the matress out for a day - we then don't repack the bedding into the swag but store the swag without any bedding and put it all back in the linen cupboard. It might seem like a bit of extra fuss, but no one likes a smelly bed and prevention is usually the best cure for smells. Unfortunately, when we sleep little bits of skin flake off - bacteria is the source of the smell so that's what you have to remove.

MM
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AnswerID: 370657

Reply By: ob - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:31

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:31
Or you could try sleeping with your feet in the SB and your nose out. Unless your nose runs and your feet smell then your built upside down.

Sorry couldn't help myself (;-0))))

ob
AnswerID: 370663

Follow Up By: tim_c - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:40

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:40
Ha ha, I love that one! English is a 2nd language for my bro-in-law and he couldn't understand what I meant when I said my nose was running! :)
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FollowupID: 637966

Follow Up By: ob - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:48

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:48
You could confuse him further if you tell him a horse race was won by a nose
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FollowupID: 637967

Reply By: tim_c - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:38

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 12:38
The two best things for removing unwanted scents are direct sunlight and frost, but sunlight also is a good disinfectant (kills germs). Leave your gear out during a warm sunny day or overnight during a clear crisp cold night and the smells should go...

As soon as I get home from a trip, the tents and sleeping bags get hung out in the sun (sleeping bags just for a half-hour or so, tents until they are thoroughly dry). Hang the swag up so it can dry on all sides (including underneath) and leave all windows/doors/flaps open so the air can go through (works best if there is a bit of a breeze).

Make sure everything is bone-dry before you pack it away, otherwise it will REALLY smell!

I've done this with my all camping gear for as long as I've had it (~15 years?) and never had any unwanted scents.
AnswerID: 370664

Reply By: Toadkeeper Jo aka Qlder Jo - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:33

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 18:33
See thread 69944 with reference to how I cleaned my swag. Maybe another thing worth a try for you and to basicly smoother it in bi carb soda. Bi carb _Affordable_Storage_Drawers.aspx out smells.. worth a shot.
AnswerID: 370733

Reply By: get outmore - Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:31

Thursday, Jun 18, 2009 at 20:31
plenty of good ideas - alot revolve around cleaning and more regular airing

I seem to remember cleaning the swag wasnt recomended as it would require waterproofing afterwards which stops its breathing ability

will check out how to clean the sleeping bag.
might look into a new bag actually as its a mummy style hiking bag - pretty good but i wouldnt mind something bigger and less mummy shaped as it would be more appropriate
AnswerID: 370759

Reply By: Member - Sigmund (VIC) - Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:40

Friday, Jun 19, 2009 at 15:40
+1 to using a bag liner. You can get them in cotton or silk from a bushwalking place. Lot easier to wash one of these than a bag.

If you do have to wash the bag and it's down, the advice above is good but get two people to lift it out of the bath, and use downwash for the cleaning. It's easy to rupture internal baffles with wads of wet down, and if you wash the oils out of the feathers they'll get brittle, break and not loft as well.

And hang the bad in the sun in the morning while you're packing up. This will help dry out any retained body vapour and improve the loft.
AnswerID: 370920

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