How to Attach a Blanket to a Backpack?

The weather in general, and the nights in particular can be cold in the wild requiring you to use a blanket. But blankets are heavy and take up a lot of space. Wool blankets, in particular, are fluffy and enormous.

Having huge mass, blankets can be hard to stuff in a backpack. Some backpacks aren’t even large enough to allow a blanket in. Instead of putting the blanket inside, you can attach it to your backpack.

A backpack has several points of attachment for various things. These things include tents, sleeping bags, and other small stuff – compass, etc. Attaching a blanket to an already full backpack is somewhat confusing. Options are limited. But there are options nevertheless. Let’s see what we have.

Fold the Blanket

An obvious first step is to fold the blanket first. You have to fold as tight as you can so that it takes up the least amount of space.

  • Put the blanket flat on the ground.
  • Fold it so it is 42-48 inches.
  • Roll it up as tight as you can.
  • Use tie chords to tighten and secure the roll.

After folding – or rather rolling – the blanket to take as little space as possible, you are now ready to consider the various options that your backpack allows for the attachment of your blanket.

Attach it to the Top

Attaching the blanket to the top of your backpack is the first option you will consider when backpacking. Being so intuitive, it is the most popular and common option among campers. You will see this a lot if you camp in groups. Attaching the blanket to the top of the backpack also doesn’t disrupt the balance.

There are many different ways to tie the blanket on the top of the backpack. Some people roll the blanket longitudinally and tie it on the top of the backpack like a loop. The ends can then be tied to the shoulder straps on both sides.

Many hiking backpacks have webbing at the top that can be used to attach the blanket. Webbing also makes the process easier. The ends of the roll can then be tied to the shoulder straps on both sides preventing it from slipping.

The only downside of attaching the blanket to the top is that you won’t be able to access your backpack easily. You may have to detach and reattach the blanket every time you have to use it.

Straps and Loops

Hiking packs have many straps and loops to tie up things on the side of the backpack. You can use these loops and straps to attach the blanket to the side of the backpack. Almost all backpacks have webbing on both sides which can be useful for storing your blanket. But you would have to fold the blanket really compact for that to work.

Attach it to the Bottom

Attaching the blanket to the bottom can be done as many backpacks come with lower straps. But just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it. Attaching the blanket to the bottom of the backpack can make it unsafe for the blanket.

The blanket can get dirty from the mud on the ground or it can get wet if you are jumping over a lot of streams and ponds along the way. It is fine for flat ground. But it is a bad idea for uphill climbing and bushwhacking. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid it completely. If you think it is safe, it is a good option to consider.

Pack it Inside

I know…I know! You are reading this article because you can’t put the blanket inside your backpack. It is too big. But I assure you, I am not making fun of you. You see, some backpacks, especially, internal frame backpacks have a lot of internal space.

If your backpack has enough space on the inside, you are lucky. Put your blanket roll inside your backpack vertically. You can’t put it horizontally because it will take up too much space. The space to put your blanket inside the backpack will save you the trouble altogether.

External Frame Backpacks

External frame backpacks are specially made to attach things to the outside of the backpack. The idea is to have those things easily accessible while you are walking on the path. You don’t have to stop and get in your backpack for everything. But they have less internal space.

These backpacks have specific space at the bottom for the attachment of the tent. The frame is designed such that the tent can easily be attached at the bottom, outside. If you have an external frame backpack and a bulky tent, you can use that space. But you might have to deal with your tent then. You may have plenty of side straps available as well.

What about Getting Wet? (not what you think)

Apologies for the heading. It fits well with the topic and I think I am writing for grown-ups. But anyway, that’s a good question. When you are attaching the blanket outside of the backpack; you will be concerned about the rain. A wool blanket getting wet can take a lot of time to get dry. So yes, that is a legitimate concern. But it’s nothing to worry about.

You can take a few easy steps to secure your blanket that would keep it from getting wet in case of rain.

Roll the blanket inside the sleeping bag

Sleeping bags themselves are bulky. They are usually attached outside of the backpack to save space inside, but you can put a big sleeping bag in a backpack easily. Rolling a blanket in your sleeping bag becomes an efficient option then. The blanket only comes out when the sleeping bag needs to be used which makes sense.

The blanket rolled inside the sleeping bag can be put in a sleeping bag cover. Usually, both, the sleeping bag and the sleeping bag cover are waterproof or water-resistant. So, your blanket should be quite safe from the rain.

But rolling the blanket inside the sleeping bag would make the sleeping bag even bulkier. The bulky roll can then be attached to the bottom of the backpack. This is better managed in an external frame backpack.

Put the blanket inside the vestibule

Putting the blanket inside the vestibule – that comes with your tent – is another great option. Vestibules, themselves, take up space. Wrapping them around the blanket is an effective way to use them. Vestibules are also waterproof or water-resistant.

So, you can keep your blanket from getting wet this way if you attach it to the outside. Putting the blanket inside your tent’s bag is also a good idea. Tent bags are also water-resistant and are designed to keep the tent dry.

Use plastic bags

Large plastic bags – like garbage bags – can be used to cover the blanket. These bags have good water resistance and can keep the blanket dry. Use two if you are not satisfied. They are lightweight and don’t take up space.