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Sleeping Bags: Portable Bug Out Shelters

Survival Shelters: Sleeping Bags

So it’s finally happened and doomsday has arrived. It could a super-volcano, or an electromagnetic-pulse, and the roads are completely clogged and impassable. You have to take off with your bug out bag, but are still going to need some sort of portable survival shelter. For bug out situations like this your best option is a good tent or bivouac and light weight sleeping bag combination.


Of your portable survival shelter gear, the sleeping bag is the most important as it most directly responsible for keeping you warm at night. Your sleeping bag may not be 100% waterproof, but it should at least be water resistant. In the absence of a good tent, a tarp or even a rain poncho should go far at protecting your sleeping bag from rain. With some ingenuity blocking rain and snow to keep your sleeping bag (and you) dry.


Good sleeping bags for preppers should be rated for extremely cold temperatures (just in case), and since you’ll be carrying it on your back – lightweight. The sleeping bags below are all lightweight, and rated for sub zero degree temperatures.



U.S. Miltary -50 F Sleeping Bag and Bivouac

A complete survival shelter by itself, this -50 F rated sleeping system was designed for the US military and comes with all the rugged durability that implies. As a sleeping system this item consists of 4 pieces; a warm weather mummy sleeping bag, a cold weather mummy sleeping bag, a water-proof bivouac, and a compression sack to store everything at a reasonable size. Created for backpacking soldiers, this system is great for prepper bug out gear. And this sleeping bag is made in the USA, keeping Americans working.


The idea behind this sleeping bag design is that in warmer weather you sleep in just the +30 F rated sleeping bag. But as the temperature drops below zero degrees you bundle-up in both sleeping bags – one inside the other. Inside you’ll find extra insulation placed strategically in areas where the human body experiences the greatest heat loss (such as near the feet). The included bivouac mini-tent is waterproof and triple Gor-tex lined to effectively blocking rain, snow and wind while allowing the unit to breath. But being realistic, you shouldn’t expect this sleeping system to do all the work of keeping you warm; you will need to properly clothed in extreme cold weather gear.


Amazingly, the entire sleeping system of 2 sleeping bags, bivouac and compression bag weights just 10 pounds, which makes for an ultra light extreme cold weather backpacking sleeping bag system. The versatility in the temperature range covered, and the light weight of this modular sleeping system is an ideal temporary survival shelter us preppers should be adding to our bug out gear. This extreme weather sleeping bag system is also an extreme value - considering you spend as much on a sleeping bag alone.


5 / 5 stars

BlueIce -50F Backpacking Sleeping Bag

Another -50 degree sleeping bag is this mummy from Black Pine called the Backside BlueIce. This mummy-type sleeping bag exemplifies the state-of-the-art in sleeping bag design, with high-tech materials through out to keep you toasty even when the weather drops way below zero.


The sleeping bag’s shell is made from a high thread-count, rip-stop nylon micro-fiber called diamond Tactel which is down-proof, and densely packed to block both wind and rain. To achieve this sleeping bag’s extreme -50 F rating the inside is lined with a blend of both old-world and space-age materials. Goose down at .7 denier is blended with a material called X-Fiber to provide superior insulation properties for this Down-X sleeping bag. To add further insulation Black Pine design extra large draft tubes to prevent cold air from leaking in.


Weighting just 4.7 the BlueIce is one of the lightest backpacking sleeping bags you will find, which will allow you to carry more survival gear in your bug out bag. This sleeping bag also compresses down to a mere 9x15 inches, reducing awkward bulk.


However, the BlueIce is a bit pricey when compared to other sleeping bags. Like most engineered products this sleeping bag follows the 90-10 rule. That is achieving an extra 10% increase in performance often costs as much to design as the first 90%. But if you have the cash, this extreme backpacking mummy sleeping bag is the pinnacle of sleeping bags.


5 / 5 stars

Cascade -40 F ECW Sleeping Bags

One of the top sub zero sleeping bags, the High Peak Cascade will keep you toasty even in -40 degree F weather. Because we’re preppers, we realize that numerous disasters could result in some sort of global winter. We may be required to use extreme cold weather (ECW) sleeping gear, which is also useable in warmer weather. This ECW sleeping bag will have you prepared for the coldest possible weather, while still being comfortable when it’s warm.


The Cascade is water-resistant – not water-proof. That shouldn’t be surprising as below -20F waterproofing tends to break down chemically, so you won’t find a truly waterproof sleeping bag which covers the -40F range. But with a proper tent or bivy to block rain, snow and/or wind you can remain warm and dry in this four season sleeping bag.


At over 7’ long, even the tallest 6+ footers will have plenty of room in this sleeping bag. And at 34” at the shoulder (22” at the foot) this sleeping bag has plenty of room. But if you’d like to make a double-wide sleeping bag, the Cascade was also designed to allow zipping two together. Surprisingly the Cascade weights just 8 lbs and comes with a compression bag – making for a very light weight ECW backpacking sleeping bag.


5 / 5 stars