Bedroll History: The Australian Swag

Australian Swags are quite unique to Down Under – a thick canvas ‘bivvi’ bag with waterproof floor which rolls up as a bedroll to go in the back of the ‘Ute’ (Aussie pick-up truck) or carried by horseback, canoe or motorbike.

From Wikipedia: “In Australian historical terms, a swag is a waterproof bedroll … In the 1800’s and first half of the 20th century a swag-man was an itinerant rural worker – usually but not always sheep shearers – who carried their bedroll ’swag’ with their belongings wrapped in them on their back.

The beauty of them is the simple roll-and-go nature – stop where you want, unroll it and you’re ready for the night – sleeping bags or blankets can stay rolled up inside during the day: they aren’t small or light when packed up, but there’s nothing better for a night under the stars.

See “The History & Romance Of The Australian Swag” on for more history and background.

See our page about what our bedrolls are being used for

Ray Mears & Bushcraft

Ray Mears has featured Australian swag bedrolls in several of his TV series. Here’s Ray in the Australian desert:

Ray Mears camping in the Australian desert in a canvas bedroll – the Australian Swag

Beautiful Desert Camp for Ray Mears in a Canvas Swag bedroll

Our Wynnchester Canvas Bedroll (swag) is based firmly on the traditional heavy duty Australian swag:

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