3 Quick tips to comfy your swag

The swag has come a long way since it’s humble beginnings. In the late 1800’s, the great depression and the post war years the swag was the only home many men had. A horse was out of the budget for most, and so they scoured the land on foot looking for work. Their swag was a simple canvas square, which was used to carry their entire worldly belongings by day, and by night would be folded over the top of the owner to protect from cold, wind and rain to an extent.

I’m sure you have a newer swag than that. If not I have a fourth tip for you. Buy a new swag! But if you are thinking about ditching your current swag for a flash new one, consider these three tips to give your old faithful bedroll a new lease on life.

1: Waterproofing

Swag’s don’t generally come waterproofed from the shop. Upon purchasing a swag it needs to be soaked and dried out a few times Canvas Waterprooferto seal up the seams, although if you’ve had a bit of use out of it I’m going to assume you’ve had a few drops of rain on it already.

Still waking up a bit soggy in the mornings? You need to get yourself down to your local camping store and get yourself some waterproofing gear. There are essentially 3 types; wash in, aerosol and brush on. Wash in is more intended for clothing, so go for either an aerosol or a brush on. The brush on beeswax one’s are the bees-knees (pun anyone?) and I have also used spray on ones. They will cost you from $20 to $40, and if you are using an aerosol don’t go too light on with it, use up the whole can and get that canvas soaked!

2: Mattress Upgrade

Self Inflating MatAfter a number of years of sleeping like a champion, the mattress in your swag is probably going to be a bit lumpy or flat in the middle and probably smell like years of campfires. There are plenty of options for a new mattress in your swag. A company like Clark Rubber can sort you out with a sized up mattress with loads of different options from eggshell foam, to high density foam or mattresses in two different thicknesses to help roll the swag up smaller, yet not compromise on comfort.

Personally, my money would be with a self inflating mattress. A bit pricier than just a piece of foam, but spend as much as you can afford and you will get a mattress that is arguably as comfortable as home, which when rolled up can be even more compact than a foam mattress.

3: Off The Ground

This extra luxury could have made the hard life of an old swaggie quite enjoyable! The probably reason that it didn’t was due to it’s bulk. I’m talking about camp stretchers, and these days I don’t use my swag without one. I purchased a stretcher after a few flooded out camping trips, just to keep me off the ground out of the water.

Since then I have discovered more than just this benefit. Less sand when beach camping, no more getting comfortable and THEN finding a rock under your back and of course you can worry less about finding a snake in your sleeping bag! The only drawback, as the swaggie’s would have known is the extra space the stretcher takes up. But hey, some luxuries you just gotta make space for!

Wellington Dam Swags

 Get out there and swag it up!


Alex Garner

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  1. I haven't ever slept in a swag ..... yet! Its on my list of things to give a go.....I think I would need to add a self inflating mattress too. Not sure about the foam as a base.
    • Alex Garner
      April 22, 13:48 Reply
      Yeah I have slept in a few with foam mattresses, some of them are far better than others!
  2. Bray
    May 14, 17:13 Reply
    does a canvas canopy on my hilux with a matress in the back still count as a swag? Haha

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