Why "Swags" are not for me.

by Mike (TheCampingDetective)

Swags, mostly used in Australia are like bedrolls. It’s made of oil-soaked canvas or cloth. It’s a combination of tent, sleeping bag and pad all rolled up into one. Generally they even have a flap which you can pull over your head to protect you from the rain. I was genuinely excited about my purchase. No tent to set up, just roll it out on the ground and crawl in!

After the first few weeks I discovered some drawbacks to this setup. First, it was difficult to keep the biting bugs out. Second, it didn’t offer much protection from the herd of spooked kangaroos bolting through the camp one night. I guess I was lucky none of them bounced off my forehead that night.

However, one morning I experienced something particularly disturbing. I had awoken to feel a bit of pressure on my chest. The feeling was similar to waking up finding your cat had curled up on your chest to sleep. Unfortunately, this was no cat but a large Australian Black Snake! He was probably looking for a warm spot....and he found it.

As I peered up I saw its head looking right in my direction, I thought, "why me, why now." The Australian nights are cold so I figured once the sun came out and warm up the snake it would leave on its own. It was 9 am and the sun was already roasting my forehead and still the snake was still there.

Not able to stand the Australian heat any longer I slid my hand under the snake from inside the swag. Once there I made the snake slide off to the side.

I was going to take my swag back home to the states with me as my souvenir, but rather I decided to leave it with an Australian fellow who said he’d take good care of it for me.

I’ll stick to tent...thanks!

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