Choosing a sleeping bag or making a bedroll (swag) is really the main question when you start to putting a camping trip together. Abundance of campers started and continues with a bedroll. You can make your own bedroll by taking sheets and blankets and making up a bed just like home. Add more blankets or a comforter for cooler weather. It will be best if you have some sort of mattress to make your bedroll on, like a Coleman air mattress. If you choose to go the sleeping bag, choosing the right bag is next in significance after your tent. Like your tent, your sleeping bag can be one of many types depending mostly on individual preferences and outside temperature. The shape, spaciousness and fabric feel should be tried just as you would try out a new mattress at home. Sometimes the weather will be warm and dry, so you might not even need a sleeping bag, just a light cover as you would at home. Other times, the cool night air will require a warmer bag. Unless you are backpacking where weight is the main factor, you can choose whatever shape you like. Most manufacturers offer two basic shapes, rectangular and mummy. The most common sleeping bag is the rectangular style. It is roomy and comfortable inside, and can be opened and used as a comforter on warm nights. Many rectangular bags can be opened and zipped together to make a double size sleeping bag. The mummy style sleeping bag is meant to wrap tightly around your body, so it will provide maximum warmth while using less material. If you will be camping in cold weather, say 40 degrees and below, you might want to consider the mummy sleeping bag. This efficiency will also keep the bag’s weight to a minimum, making this style the best choice if you will be backpacking. Not everyone likes the confines of the mummy sleeping bag, so you might want to try one before buying. There are several variations of the mummy sleeping bag, such as the “barrel” shape, which is a mummy with extra space in the middle. This is a good choice if you want a mummy’s warmth but need a little space for comfort. All styles of bags can be purchased in three lengths, junior, standard and extra long. The juniors are for small children. I suggest that you think about the standard length for children, because they grow so fast they may outgrow a junior size soon. The extra long size is usually advertised for those over six feet. However, the extra length might be treasured by shorter campers. It just depends on what makes you most comfortable. Temperature ratings are often advertised by manufacturers – 0 degrees, 20 degrees, 40 degrees, etc. Consider these as guidelines only. You may sleep warmer or cooler than someone else. These guidelines seem to assume that you will be wearing warm clothing too. You can probably use any bag rated for summer temperatures as you start out, since you will most likely be camping during the warmer months.
Making a choice of a sleeping bag or a bedroll is really the main question when you start to putting a camping trip together. Abundance of campers started and continues with a bedroll. You can make your own bedroll by taking sheets and blankets and making up a bed just like home. A air mattress is a great addition to the bedroll.