How to Sleep in a Mummy Bag: A Comprehensive Guide

If you’re planning to go camping in the winter or in colder weather, a mummy bag is an essential piece of gear to help you stay warm and comfortable. However, sleeping in a mummy bag can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re used to traditional rectangular sleeping bags. In this article, we’ll guide you on how to sleep in a mummy bag and make the most of your camping experience.

What is a Mummy Bag?

A mummy bag is a type of sleeping bag that is designed to fit snugly around your body. It is shaped like an Egyptian mummy, with a tapered design that is narrower at the feet and wider at the shoulders. This design helps to minimize the amount of air inside the bag, which helps to retain your body heat and keep you warm in cold weather.

Choosing the Right Mummy Bag

Before we dive into the specifics of how to sleep in a mummy bag, it’s important to choose the right one. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a mummy bag:

Temperature Rating

Mummy bags come with temperature ratings that indicate the lowest temperature at which the bag can keep you warm. When choosing a mummy bag, make sure to select one that is appropriate for the conditions you will be camping in.

Insulation Type

Mummy bags can be filled with either down or synthetic insulation. Down insulation is lightweight and compressible but loses its insulating properties when wet. Synthetic insulation, on the other hand, is bulkier and heavier but retains its insulating properties even when wet.


Make sure to choose a mummy bag that fits you comfortably. If the bag is too small, it will be uncomfortable and restrict your movement. If it is too large, it will not retain heat effectively.

How to Sleep in a Mummy Bag

Now that you have chosen the right mummy bag, let’s dive into how to sleep in it:

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Before getting into your mummy bag, change into comfortable, dry clothing. Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing, as this will make it difficult to move around in the bag.

Adjust the Hood

The hood of your mummy bag is designed to keep your head warm. Adjust it properly so that it fits snugly around your head without being too tight.

Use a Pillow

Mummy bags don’t come with built-in pillows, so bring a comfortable pillow from home. Alternatively, you can use a stuff sack filled with clothing as a makeshift pillow.

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important when camping, especially in cold weather. Drink plenty of water before getting into your mummy bag, as this will help to regulate your body temperature.

Use a Sleeping Pad

Sleeping directly on the ground can be uncomfortable and cold. Use a sleeping pad to provide insulation and cushioning between you and the ground.

Get into the Bag Feet First

When getting into your mummy bag, enter feet first. This will prevent the bag from twisting and bunching up, which can be uncomfortable and restrict your movement.

Zip Up the Bag

Once you’re inside the bag, zip it up all the way. Close the zipper carefully to avoid snagging the fabric.

Ventilate the Bag

Mummy bags can get stuffy and humid, especially if you’re a warm sleeper. To prevent this, ventilate the bag periodically by unzipping it slightly at the foot end.

Use a Hot Water Bottle

If you’re camping in extremely cold conditions, you can use a hot water bottle to provide extra warmth. Fill a bottle with hot water and place it inside your mummy bag, but make sure it’s not too hot to avoid burns. This will help to keep you warm throughout the night.

Try Different Sleeping Positions

When sleeping in a mummy bag, you may find it difficult to move around. However, it’s important to try different sleeping positions to find one that’s comfortable for you. Some people prefer to sleep on their backs with their arms at their sides, while others prefer to sleep on their sides with their knees bent.


Sleeping in a mummy bag may take some getting used to, but with the right techniques and equipment, you can stay warm and comfortable even in the coldest of temperatures. Remember to choose the right mummy bag, wear comfortable clothing, adjust the hood, use a pillow, stay hydrated, use a sleeping pad, get into the bag feet first, zip up the bag, ventilate the bag, try different sleeping positions, and use a hot water bottle if necessary.



Can I wash my mummy bag?

Yes, you can wash your mummy bag. However, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a mild detergent. Never use fabric softener, bleach, or a dryer, as this can damage the insulation.

How do I store my mummy bag?

To store your mummy bag, make sure to clean it first and let it air out. Then, store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Do not compress the bag too tightly, as this can damage the insulation.

Can I use a mummy bag in warm weather?

Yes, you can use a mummy bag in warm weather, but make sure to choose one with a lower temperature rating. You can also ventilate the bag by unzipping it or using the hood as a pillow.

How do I dry my mummy bag if it gets wet?

If your mummy bag gets wet, hang it up to dry in a cool, dry place. Do not use a dryer, as this can damage the insulation. Make sure to dry it thoroughly before storing it.

How do I know if my mummy bag is too small or too large?

Your mummy bag should fit you snugly without being too tight or too loose. Make sure to try it on before buying it and check the manufacturer’s size chart to ensure a proper fit.

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