Ariel Skelley/DigitalVision/GettyImages

How to Pack a United States Army Sleeping Bag

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The U.S. Army issues a four-component sleeping bag system to each soldier. The components include a stuff sack designed to hold the other three components; a bivy cover to waterproof the inner components when the sleeping bag is in use; a lightweight sleeping bag liner for use during warm weather conditions or as a supplement to the cold weather sleeping bag; and a heavyweight sleeping bag for use during cold weather. The cold and warm weather sleeping bags can be used together or separately; the warm weather sleeping bag is designed to fit inside the cold weather bag. If you know how to prepare each component they will properly fit into the stuff sack when the sleeping bags need to be packed up.

Open the nylon stuff sack and ensure it is free of dirt, debris or other foreign objects.

Zip your sleeping bag liner. Set it aside in a clean, dry location.

Place your cold weather sleeping bag on a clean, flat surface and unzip it.

Insert the bottom of your sleeping bag liner into the bottom of your unzipped cold weather sleeping bag. Place the entire liner inside the cold weather sleeping bag and smooth lumps and wrinkles with your hand. Zip the cold weather sleeping bag when the liner is in place.

Unzip your bivy cover and place it on a clean, dry surface. Insert the bottom of the cold weather sleeping bag inside the bivy cover. Place the entire sleeping bag inside the bivy cover using the same method you used to insert the liner in the cold weather sleeping bag. Zip the bivy cover.

Grasp the bottom of the bivy cover when it contains both the sleeping bag liner and the sleeping bag itself. Roll the bottom edge over the top of the bivy cover. Hold the roll firmly to ensure it is as tight as possible. Continue to roll the sleeping bag over itself until you create a short, fat cylinder.

Hold the rolled sleeping bag system tightly to ensure it does not unroll itself; Army sleeping bag systems are made of nylon, which can be slippery. Place the sleeping bag system into the stuff sack horizontally. Check that the rings of the roll are visible from the top when you place the sleeping bag system into the stuff sack.

Pull the drawstring on the stuff sack to close it.

Sit on top of the stuff sack after you have closed the drawstring to compress the sleeping bag system. Pull each of the six adjustable straps up and toward your body to tighten the stuff sack around the sleeping bag. Tuck excess strap material behind the security straps to prevent them from catching on anything.


Sitting on the stuff sack is the most efficient way to compress it; however, you may use your foot or a heavy object to compress the sleeping bag if you are unable to sit on it.


Shake out your sleeping bag components before packing them to ensure no insects, dirt or debris get rolled up inside.