...and a sack to sleep in

A silk sleep sack for staying i hostels and making rough, cheap sheets more comfortable
Magellans sells the Dreamsack sleep sack for about $59 (not bad for silk)!
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Most hostels provide you with a pair of sheets and a blanket for your bed, but require that you use your own sleep sack. This is basically a sheet folded in half lengthwise and sewn across the bottom and most of the way up the long side—sort of like an ultra-thin sleeping bag.

However, note that you cannot use your own sleeping bag, sleeping bag liner, or anything else that has any sort of thick pile to it. This is because, from the hostel's point of view, Lord knows where you've been and for all the hostel know your bag is infested with bedbugs, which they'd rather you not introduce into their beds.

Buy a sleep sack before you go, or make one on your own using a basic cotton topsheet; just fold it in half the long way, sew across the bottom and 2/3 of the way up the side. If nothing else, your mom will be so proud you proved you actually figured out how to use the showing machine. Hostels will accept homemade sleep sacks as well as the store-bought kind.

My favorite: the silk sleep sack you can get from some travel and camping outfitters. It is dreamily comfortable and packs into a teensy roll about five inches long and two inches across (fully squisahble for easier packing). I always just toss this into my bag even if I don't plan on using hostels; I use it as a liner for my sleeping bag camping, put it to good use when staying at particularly skeevy hotels, and for crashing on the sofas of friends. Should you arrive without a sleep sack, some hostels will sell you one on the spot.


This article was last updated in March 2008. All information was accurate at the time.

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