An unexpected night might be rare but it is something to be prepared for. Fortunately there are a lot of inexpensive options out there that can get you through a dire situation. Not all survival bags are for every situation though. Your climate is a big factor in what you need to have.
When it comes to emergency sleeping bags there are some factors that you should look at when deciding which one to buy for you and members of your family.
We are not all built the same way. If you are a larger, taller person, or both you may want to double check those sleeping bag measurements. A little snug is one thing but you need to have enough room in general. On the other hand if you are smaller you may be able to get a child or teen sized emergency sleeping bag and save some weight and money.
Cheaper bags are often heavy and bulky so you definitely do not want them for a bug out or get home bag. Down and synthetic fills can offer a lot of warmth by weight. Although they are going to cost more, it is well worth the expense.
3. Cold or Temperature Rating
Average temperatures where you live should be a major factor in your decision as to what type of emergency sleeping bag you have. You don’t want to pay for the bag that is good to 20 below zero if you live where the average winter low is 10 degrees.
Those that live in areas where temperatures go from one extreme to another during the course of the year have other considerations because a bag rated to withstand below zero temps is going to be miserable to use during the summer.
The latest and greatest state of the art materials and technology can up the price of any quality outdoor gear. You don’t need this but if you find a good deal I won’t say it shouldn’t be considered. At the same time don’t expect to get high quality materials for Wal-Mart prices.
Shopping clearance and out of season can mean big savings. Camping season ends and then there are closeouts. What is left in the middle of winter can be the biggest savings.
Are you looking for a solution if you have to bug out unexpectedly or do you just need something to get by if you get stuck somewhere in your car? More rugged conditions means you need something that can deal with them.
Some of the better quality bags have feature such as bottoms that unzip for ventilation. This can be a good solution when you have a bag where you need more versatility.
7. Have a backup emergency mylar blanket
If you have a bag that doesn’t quite hold up to the coldest conditions you expect or you want something to help out if you are wet and drying to warm up quicker, then a $2 mylar blanket can help out a lot. Use the mylar blanket over your sleeping bag. Voila you have a much warmer bag for next to nothing.
8. Do you want something that is suitable for using multiple times or just a true emergency bag?
There are bags that can address any need out there but you will pay more for those that are made to last for long term use. A lot of inexpensive solutions will save your life but they are not what you want to take on your next backpacking trip or staying overnight at your relatives.