Hi everyone, I have a thought, sparked by another thread, which I'd like to take to the masses. The short summary is that we are almost resigned to buying new sleeping bags for the second year of our tour, since ours are worn out from 200 nights or so of use. Or at least they are no longer 3-season bags, the down fill just doesn't insulate like it used to. Discussing this on the LP forum, someone suggested that this was not because of the actual nights we used them but more because they were constantly compressed in stuff sacks, damaging the down. He suggested we just stuff them in our panniers and pack other stuff around the bags, which would compress them but not as much as putting the bags in their tiny sacks. He also suggested the same could be done with Thermarest type pads: "Try squeezing the air out of your pad, close up the air valve, then simply fold it a few times to conform (more or less) to the size of your pannier -- and slip the pad in either flat to the bottom -- or flat against one side. Next, to go in will be your sleeping bag -- followed by everything else. Stuff small items (clothing, socks, breakfast cereal packets, etc.) firmly and deeply into the sides and corners. You may be surprised how much more stuff you can pack this way!" What do you think? My initial thought is "hmmmm..... intriguing" but also I wonder if the bags/pads might not get dirtier more quickly this way.