One of the questions we get asked quite regularly is: What is a swag? Well, this is a swag.
It is basically a canvas with a mattress inside. This is what you sleep in when you go on the camping tours to Uluru and King’s Canyon. They’re quite warm and they’re also waterproof. It zips all the way up so it covers your head, and you have this for a rain cover.
We also get asked whether it is necessary to have a sleeping bag when they’ve got the swag to sleep in. We do still recommend a sleeping bag. In winter, you will want to use it for warmth as the nights get quite cold. The Australian Swag, as defined in the past, is a portable sleeping unit. It is normally a bundle of belongings rolled in a traditional fashion to be carried by a foot traveler in the bush. Before motor transport was common, foot travel over long distances was essential to agriculture in the Australian bush. It is sometimes referred to as a “backpack bed”. Swags have been carried by shearers, miners, the unemployed, and many others, some of whom would have been happy to have been called swagmen.
Today, the term swag is still widely used to refer to a tent or other portable shelter used for camping or outdoor sleeping – a waterproof canvas sleeping compartment that is sometimes insect-proof. When rolled up the swag is relatively lightweight and compact, making it ideal for storage and transport.