Today I would like to take a look at camping quilts and show you how easy they are to make at home. Many hikers and campers have made the switch to quilts.
Hiking and camping is one of my favorite activities however sticker shock can be daunting and frankly intimidating. Simply searching online you will realize that costs can quickly add up and destroy a budget but there are alternatives to high priced gear.
Sleeping bags and camping quilts can cost hundreds of dollars here I hope to help you save some money and show you how to make your own high quality gear for as low as $25, seem too good to be true? Read on friends you may be amazed.
The following patterns and styles all use the same type of blanket that can be purchased online at Amazon. They are also available at local retail outlets like Costco or Bed Bath and Beyond. Look for a down quilt with a nylon shell and minimum 700 fill power. Brand name is not important but the material style is no cotton. Click here to find one on Amazon.
A sewing machine or basic sewing kit (thin needle and thread) and sewing pins are the only other materials you will need for this project. The sewing machine is optional but it will speed up the process.
Mummy Style quilt
Our first style of quilt will be the Mummy type of leg closure which will hug your legs and still allow for freedom of movement.
Unfold your blanket and then pin the bottom corner edges together. Next step fold the blanket in half and pin the corners to the center point. Pin the center of each side to the center point of the blanket.
This will make a + sign style on the bottom of the blanket begin securing the pinned areas with stitches I recommend lock stitches in the event a stitch breaks loose at least the rest are locked in place.
After the center point has been sewn and is secure sew each center of the + sign to the previously sewn center point. This step completes the foot box next sew the side panel of the blanket together (you may just sew at seam divisions or full stitch the side) 3 squares up from the bottom 4 for taller people.
At this point your mummy quilt is finished unless you decide to fully sew the foot area.
Traditional Style quilt; flat sleeping bag
Unfold the blanket and pin each corner to the center of the blanket bottom, then pin the bottom edge together. Pin the side from the bottom 3 or 4 squares up.
Next secure all areas that are pinned once again you can sew only at the square divisions or fully close the edges. That will complete the quilt.
Bonus Tip; Seam edges only works great for warmer weather while for cold weather outings it’s best to seal the entire edge to prevent drafts.
Hammock camping presents a different set of issues in cold weather you will need an under quilt to stop drafts. To make an under quilt simply purchase some Velcro strips sew them along the hammock edge and on the blanket as well.
The use of an under quilt will trap air beneath you and stop the wind and cold from affecting you as much.
For your top quilt either style of foot box will work and between both you will be cozy and snug. I am not a hammock camper so I can’t say for sure what temperatures this can go to comfortably.
Camping quilts are quite cozy and easy to use simply place your feet in the foot box and you’re ready to sleep. They are excellent for restless sleepers because the foot box keeps the quilt in place.
A quilt acts more like a blanket than a sleeping bag and has no zipper to deal with. There is also no confining or restrictive space and they allow freedom of movement that bags will not.
Simply put if you toss and turn or are claustrophobic a quilt will help your outing in the back country tremendously. They are less bulky and lighter than some sleeping bags, I use a 3 quilt system and vary the usage by the weather.
Very lightweight, these do it yourself quilts weigh 15 oz with the stuff sack which is included with some brands. That puts your homemade quilt or two into the ultralight area. They are also easy to care for as they are machine washable.
Bonus Tips; When drying it helps to dry sneakers trail runners or tennis balls with them to help the down separate from the clumping of washing.
Remember to Spray the stuff sack with water repellent to give your quilt an extra layer of protection in bad weather.