What to do with it?
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M B
(livingontheroad) - M
What to do with it? on 04/19/2011 20:47:04 MDT Print View

I have an old military down cold weather mountain bag. Doesnt loft much, has spent most of its life rolled up. I bought it used from army surplus store around 1982 or so, (that was the only place to get hunting/camping gear back then where I lived) , and it was old then. Likely from WWII or korean war period.

I slept many nights in this bag when I was young. Its heavy, but actually pretty warm still. I slept in it a few times last couple yrs for fun. Kept me toasty in sub freezing temps on concrete camping for concert tickets, etc in college.

The fabric is basically rotten now, very weak. It has probably a dozen duct tape patches covering small spontaneous rips. Everytime I look at it I find more. It leaks pretty bad.

Any suggestions for what I could make with the down? Not great loft, lots of feathers too. I have never tried to run it thru a dryer to fluff it up, I dont think the shell would hold up to that now.

Carl Holt
(Sundown) - F
Re: What to do with it? on 04/19/2011 20:59:48 MDT Print View

Can you recycle the down from it and make a simple quilt or something?

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
down on 04/19/2011 21:09:07 MDT Print View

Im not sure I would want a quilt from it, its not real high loft stuff (anymore). And maybe beyond wifes capabilities. No idea if it could fluff up better by drying though either.

Maybe there is a way to separate the higher lofting from rest? besides hand picking

I was really thinking smaller, ideas of useful things, like booties, beanies, cozy, maybe a pillow, etc.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: down on 04/19/2011 21:18:43 MDT Print View

Make something for home use, like a comforter.

Or if you're into car camping or non-lightweight backpacking you could make a quilt, a number of recent threads how to do it.

Carl Holt
(Sundown) - F
Re: down on 04/20/2011 04:55:51 MDT Print View

Down booties are certainly a smaller project but I suggest something like scraps from an old ensolite pad or blue foam pad for the soles. I am on my second set of down booties and the sole is definitely the weak spot.

Or a nice pair of overmitts...


The down will fluff up surprisingly in a dryer with a tennis ball (to punch at it). Just use a nice down wash. I use the Nikwax brand products although I've moved mostly to synthetics now due to the climate I live in now. Good luck with your project.

John Canfield
(jcanfield) - F

Locale: Cascadia
old down on 04/20/2011 08:17:40 MDT Print View

Make a pillow or bed topper? Likely not appropriate for backpacking.

You can also pattern it, and rebuild it. Keep the bag alive in a new body!