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Bedrolls And Swags

Wave Man

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another vid showing how to pack a Hudsonbay bed roll.

[video=youtube;fF2v-b8cKLA]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF2v-b8cKLA[/video]
 
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Corin

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bedrolls and swags

Corin I trolled thru youtube and couldn't find any, there are several on using the Darche swag, but none that I can find about "traditional" type swags, sorry mate.

Thanks for looking mate... Seems like another little bit of our heritage, our original Bushmen and bushcrafters skill is being or has been lost. It is a shame really.
 

auscraft

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Thanks for looking mate... Seems like another little bit of our heritage, our original Bushmen and bushcrafters skill is being or has been lost. It is a shame really.

Don't worry mate. we will soon be calling utes - pick-ups too. Damper- Bannock, we will spell colour without a U we will say lewtenant instead of Lieutenant. and yes how can we not know the difference of a traditional swag to the modern things commonly known as it.
 

Wave Man

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from what I know of the "traditional Aussie swag" it would have composed of a wool blanket and a canvas or oilskin cover /groundsheet, with maybe some other bedding(maybe a cotton sheet or two) Leloup would definitely have a pretty good idea on this subject, hopefully he will jump in here and give his $.02 worth. As Auscraft mentions the modern swag only has a vague resemblance to these bedrolls.
 

Wave Man

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bedrolls and swags

the wool blanket source thread has bought up the subject of bedrolls and swags, here's a few vids I have found on the subject(sorry Corin still can't find anything on the Traditional Aussie Swag, but I will continue to look until I come up with some lore on it)
Cavalry bedroll

[video=youtube;eLDPZtyCiRM]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLDPZtyCiRM&playnext=1&list=PL0404C598F20119F5[/video]

bedroll part1

[video=youtube;Ddd8t8-slGE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ddd8t8-slGE&playnext=1&list=PL0404C598F20119F5[/video]

part2

[video=youtube;pItsLmbaB4w]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pItsLmbaB4w&playnext=1&list=PL0404C598F20119F5[/video]

trail bedroll(for horse back)

[video=youtube;6us75Sm11pg]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6us75Sm11pg&feature=related[/video]

please add more that you have found(and I will post my bedroll set up when complete)....
 
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Moondog55

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I don't think I have ever seen a video on the traditional Aussie swag, might be a good one to do.
First off we'd have to find some real indigo dyed woolen blankets to make it authentic and we may have to make our own sugar bags because they haven't been available for yonks.

But the Australian production of "The Shiralee" with Bryan Brown showed one really well
 

Aussie123

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I've travelled with some folk and their (somewhat) traditional Aussie swags. They were just a canvas sheet and a couple of blankets. Rolled up and secured with a couple of leather belts. The modern updates were a pillow and a stretcher !

A what ? Yes a good old modern camping shop stretcher !

It seems that it was getting too difficult to climb up off the ground in the mornings, so they bought stretchers to make it a bit easier on their old joints !

Part of the secret of the swag was to fold it correctly and to face it so that the wind would not blow it open in the night. I think the swag had a triple fold, so that there were 2 layers of canvas on top, with the folded edge facing the wind.

I didn't see it in the wet, but was told that you could either just hunker down, or rig it as a tarp over you, I guess if you were rich enough you could have a big enough piece of canvas to configure some as a tarp and the rest under you (a sort of “C” shaped arrangement) ?

These folk were car camping, but I think a traditional swag would have a rope or strap so it could be carried over a shoulder and possessions would be rolled up into it to keep safe.

I’d love to hear more from anyone ?
 

auscraft

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Straight from the the ten bushcraft books by Richard Graves
"The Swag

"The swag, proverbial Australian means of carrying a heavy load, is one of the best methods in existence. It is simply made and very easily carried. It has the advantage of being extremely well balanced, two-thirds of the weight being carried behind the body, and about one-third in front. The result is that the carrier walks completely upright. Clothes, tent, bedding and the gear not wanted for the day's walk are carried in the swag at the back, while the food and cooking utensils and day's needs are in the "dilly" bag in front. Because of this the swag is not opened during the day but the dilly bag, attached to the front and right at your hand, is immediately accessible.

The only components for a swag are a swag strap, two binding straps and a dilly bag. The swag strap, preferably of soft leather, should be about 2' 6" [75 cm] long and a couple of inches [5 cm] wide; the two binding straps can be of any strong material such as rope, or a plaited cord, or a narrow leather strap. The dilly bag can be a sugar or flour bag, some 2' [60 cm] long, and 12" to 15" [30 to 38 cm] wide.

Figure 1., below, details the components for a swag. The swag strap should be soft and, if need arises, can be easily woven or plaited from strong grass, vines, bark strips or other material as indicated in Graves' Bushcraft Books: 01. Ropes & Cords. A soft leather strap is ideal.

Half the knack of carrying a swag consists in knowing how to "swing" it. Lay the roll, with the dilly bag extended in front of you, and then put the arm farthest away from the dilly bag through the swag strap. Heave the roll towards your back, and swing the body towards the swag, so that the dilly bag flies up and out. Duck the opposite shoulder, and catch the swinging dilly bag on it. The swag strap will then lie over one shoulder and the dilly bag over the other, with the swag roll carried at an angle across the back.

An alternative method of carrying the swag is to use two straps, one about 3' 6" [105 cm] long and the other about 6' [1.8 m] long. Both straps should be about 1¼" wide and of strong soft material. The roll is made as for the swag, and the long strap is tied securely about 5" [12.5 cm] from one end of the roll. 5" [12.5 cm] from the other end of the roll the other strap is fastened with the dilly bag held in position by the strap.

The swag is lifted to the left shoulder with the dilly bag in front and the roll at the back, the neck of the dilly bag hanging over the left shoulder. The long strap is passed on top of the right shoulder, and then under the armpit and around the back, and tied to a loop at the bottom corner of the dilly bag. This type of swag prevents the dilly bag from swaying, and is preferred by some "bushmen".

To roll the swag, lay your groundsheet or swag cover flat on the ground, and then fold your blankets to a width of about 30" [75 cm] by about 15" to 20" [37.5 to 50 cm]. Spare clothes are laid lengthways on top, with your other gear. The sides of the groundsheet are folded in, and the whole is rolled from the blanket end to the free side, into a tight roll. If a tent is being taken this in turn is rolled in the tent. The two binding straps are laid 6" to 8" [15 to 20 cm] from either end, that is 18" to 24" [45 to 60 cm] apart.

The two binding cords pass through the loops of the swag strap and are tied tightly about 6" to 8" [15 to 20 cm] from either end of the roll. The food, cooking utensils, and daily needs are put in the dilly bag, and the neck of this is tied right at the junction of the binding strap with the swag strap, or alternatively a series of cuts in the neck of the bag can be made and the binding cord passed through these so that the bag is tight to the roll. If this is done it is a good idea to make a cut down the side of the bag for about 12" [30 cm] so that the contents can be taken out without removing the bag itself from the binding straps."
View attachment 701How to make your own bedroll (swag) many variations can be found within Ron Edwards books Traditional Bushcrafts if interested I will find which volumes has this subject in them.
 

Corin

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OK Guys I think I have successfully cleaned up the bedroll thread and moved off topic posts to this new thread... I am new to this let me know if there are any issues.
 

smoke-n-mirrors

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I don't know if this is appropriate in the thread, so delete this at will:

Anyone tried the swags from this mob? http://www.walkaboutbeds.com/

Brisbane company, been thinking about getting one to stash at the office for the next epic bout of surprise overtime.
 

Moondog55

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Well those are probably much closer to the original than the heavy monster I own.
4oz cotton japara is sufficient fabric to keep off the wind and a light shower, but does need something heavier underneath.
I haven't used a blanket bed since I was in the scouts, 40 years ago; a modern sleeping bag is just so much more efficient buy knowing how to get a good nites sleep using a couple of blankets is a skill worth aquiring.

Aussie is on the money, the blanket cover needs to be triple width, its main funtion is to stop the wind from removing the heat; you need to remember that a sleeping blanket is a very loosely woven bit of wool compered to a multi-purpose blanket and is anything but windproof, if you have 2 blankets you put the more tighly woven blanket to the outside.
I think one of the reasons swags were so widely used was perhaps their ability to be strung as a shade in the hot sun, although this is conjecture on my part
 

Wave Man

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OK Guys I think I have successfully cleaned up the bedroll thread and moved off topic posts to this new thread... I am new to this let me know if there are any issues.

Bloody hell Corin moving my thread around, any body would think you are a mod here....LoL thanks mate, didn't know if I should have added this to the wool source thread, so I created another, better this way I am thinking any way.
 

Corin

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No I think you did exactly the right thing starting a new thread. I probably should have done so earlier when I asked about swags, but anyhow... We all got way off topic on the old one. All I did was move the off topic posts to this one, and I think it worked OK. I left all the blanket related ones, but if there is still an issue let me know. I deleted one of yours and one f mine that no longer had relevance in either thread.

Cheers mate!
 

auscraft

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I don't know if this is appropriate in the thread, so delete this at will:

Anyone tried the swags from this mob? http://www.walkaboutbeds.com/

Brisbane company, been thinking about getting one to stash at the office for the next epic bout of surprise overtime.

Smoke-n-mirrors

No I haven't even seen these but I will say I am going to place an order for 1. Very traditional style .

I even like the name walkabout
 

Aussie123

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smoke-n-mirrors, that's a great link. I have see the strees swags once before (a TV article I think), but I hadn't seen those walkabout beds.

The modern swags are just too big and heavy, they are not very practical for me (with a family) and they are only suitable for car camping if you have a big car ! But these seem a great innovation. They look to be small enough to carry, and at 3kg are comprable to a tent and mattress combo (although 2 - 3 kg should be able to get an inexpensive 2 man tent).

A good modern take on a traditional swag.

If anyone gets one, please let us know more about it.
 

Wave Man

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The modern swags are just too big and heavy, they are not very practical for me (with a family) and they are only suitable for car camping if you have a big car ! But these seem a great innovation. They look to be small enough to carry, and at 3kg are comprable to a tent and mattress combo (although 2 - 3 kg should be able to get an inexpensive 2 man tent).
agreed, unless one has a ute or large 4WD multiple modern swags just take up way too much room.
Modern 2 man tents weigh very little, Darche Hybrid(1 man tent) is 1.6Kg's, and a cheapy 2man tent I recently bought weighs 1.9Kg's and packs up to a small cylindrical package 45cm long and 10cm wide. Quite compact. I too think I will be able to make up a 'bedroll"while it will probably weigh 8-10Lbs, it will roll up to a packable sized compact enough to easily wear strapped across one's back.
 

Blake

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those walk about beds look like a really good take on swag but keeping it light.

I have a North Face tent which is great but might be a bit heavy for hiking. So this could be good.

When im out in the 4WD with my better half I use a king size swag. As mentioned they use up a crap load of room but are so comfortable and warm in winter, plus it mostly the two of us in the car and its a large tub so we have to room. In summer I just might wip out the light tent but when its -10 you will be thanking your stars for having the canvas protecting you.

My girlfriend and I have used the Burke and Wills swags which are 15oz canvas and now are about to buy a Southern Cross Canvas King Dome. We spoke with the owner at the 4wd show at eastern creek on sunday and I went over it very carefully and its top notch. 10oz high quality australian canvas, good uv stabalised mesh, strong zips, pvc double stitched base. Its almost more of a tent than a swag but my lady likes having the room to change, etc.

Should last us for years, going to use it on the canning stock route trip in a couple of years.

dome-swag-king.jpg
 
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Aussie123

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Another product (no affiliations), at bit more modern in its approach and a bit heavier (5kg) and more $, and I'm not sure I like the mattress, but it is smaller than Walkabout.

For me, by the time you have a swag and need to add poles I think that the "romance" of Matilda is over and you my as well settle for a tent !

Check out some of the other models which they have too:

http://www.mrswagman.com.au/camping-swags-for-bikers.shtml
 

chutes

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If anyone's looking for a traditional style bedroll/swag, I found something which at least looks the part - http://onlinemilitaria.com/shopexd.asp?id=4766&bc=no
It's a simple design and concept, so there's not much that can go wrong. Made in Pakistan with thick, quality leather and proper proofed cotton canvas. Looks OK to me.

Officer's_Canvas_Bedroll_with_Leather_Straps.jpg
 
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