Written by: WA Adventurer

Camping in a Swag: Everything to know

Camping in a swag is becoming one of the most popular ways to see Australia. But there are still many people who are totally new to the swags and are therefore unsure of how to make the most of them during your camping trip. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about camping with a swag, answering your frequently asked questions. We’ll also provide some tips for making your camping trip as comfortable as possible. So, if you’re considering camping with a swag, keep reading!

What is a swag?

A swag is a small and compact shelter for sleeping in. It is made from a durable, heavy-duty canvas material that is designed to keep you warm, dry and protected from the harsh Australian elements. Swags are simple sleeping shelters that usually only fit one or two people in. They’re much smaller than tents and far more basic, making them perfect for road trips. Unsure whether a swag or a tent is for you? Check out our swags vs tents debate.

How to set up a swag?

If you’ve only ever experienced setting up a tent, you may be pleasantly surprised at just how simple it is to set up a swag. Though each swag is slightly different, it’s usually a case of roll and pole. Simply roll out the swag on a flat surface, unfold either side, slip in your poles, et voila! Sometimes guy ropes and pegs are required to keep your swag from sagging.

Are swags comfortable to sleep in?

Yes! Swags are just as comfortable to sleep in as a tent, as long as you follow a few simple steps. Firstly, ensure you set your swag up on flat ground. Secondly, ensure the swag’s mattress has adequate thickness. Thirdly, invest in a decent sleeping bag that is made for both hot weather camping and cold weather camping. Remember: it can get pretty cold at night in Australia, even in the Summer. 

It’s also recommended to season your swag to avoid waking up in any unwelcome puddles!

Do you need a sleeping bag with a swag?

Yes. Though a swag is basically a large sleeping bag, it is still recommended to use a separate sleeping bag with your swag. If it’s too warm to sleep inside your sleeping bag at night, you can sleep on top of it and add a little extra padding from the ground. It’s always better to have the option for extra warmth and during the winter months a sleeping bag should be non-negotiable. 

Does a swag keep you warm?

Yes. A swag certainly protects you from the elements and therefore keeps you far warmer than if you were to sleep without any shelter. The small, compact space also warms up quickly from body heat, especially if sharing with another person. As mentioned above, it is still recommeded to use a sleeping bag with your swag for extra warmth and comfort. 

Are swags good for winter?

Yes. Swags are good for camping in winter in Australia as long as you have a decent mattress and sleeping bag. It’s always recommended to check the weather beforehand to ensure you are prepared for any drastic weather conditions. Ensure your swag is correctly seasoned before camping during winter.

Are swags waterproof?

If your swag is seasoned when new and correctly maintained then yes, swags are waterproof.

How to tie a swag down to roof racks?

Some swags can be large and bulky and take up valuable space in your vehicle. Tying your swag to the roof rack for transportation is super easy. Simply role the swag up as tightly as possible and place it its bag if it has one. Lift the swag onto the roof rack ensuring it is lay across both bars. Thread one or two ratchet tie-down straps under the roof rack,around the top of the swag and back under the opposite side of the rack. Repeat this and tightly secure the straps. It’s worth investing in some decent ratchet straps that will not break to avoid a freeway disaster.

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