Swags

Submitted: Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 at 21:45
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Hi guys
I'm in the market for a swag.
A simple but quality one.
Anybody got a recommendation ?

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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 at 22:18

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2012 at 22:18
Hi Tone and Hev

We have just updated our very liable and faithful Australian Made double swag for a new Southern Cross Double Dome. I have not put it to the test yet, but being made by them and 100% Australian and made for Australian conditions by Australians, it should be great.


What ever you buy, make sure that it is made here in Australia and not made overseas with someone's Major name on it, eg ARB have a very similar swag, but not made in Australia and cheaper to attract price conscious buyers.

Support Australian business that employ Australians and make their product 100% in Australia.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:55

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:55
I have a SC King Dome excellent product.
Had it for several years now, beats the Chinese cheap crap hands down every time.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:14

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:14
Hi John

Thanks for that, they looked a very impressive swag and it was the main reason why we paid a lot more for an Australian made product.


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Follow Up By: 421 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:03

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 13:03
I too have both a single and double SC dome swag,the double being use many times,no problems. You can't go pass the S/C canvas range,i have had a centre pole tent for 19years that is still as good as the day we purchased it ,except just a bit dirty.
Also i should state that both my swags are ARB badged swags but made by Southern Cross, made in the red/grey ARBcolours but identical in ever other way ,had these for 7years now but i don't think that S/C make these anymore for ARB and the new ARB may well be source from overseas.
cheers
Russ
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 14:49

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 14:49
Hi Russ

Thanks for that. You are correct that Southern Cross do not make the swags for ARB any more, a real pity. There branded swags are now made in China, which is strange, as they are a Melbourne based company that claims they only sell the best, yet have steered away from SCC.


Cheers


Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:23

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:23
I should have added that I upgraded from a SC Double Swag to the King Dome.
Also have a SC Ultimate Tent which is for sale in the classified on EO as I'm down sizing to a 3 x 3 single pole as the kids don't travel with me anymore.

The SC stuff whilst a bit dearer is top of the range stuff totally Aussie made in Melbourne by the same family business for more than 30 years now.

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Reply By: craigandej - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 04:52

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 04:52
Hi
Ive had a DB Swag for almost 20 years. Google it for info. Been the best Ive owned by far. All weather and very strong.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: desray (WA - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 07:42

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 07:42
I googled DB Swag nothing ???
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:02

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:02
Hi Desray and Craig

I am not sure if they re still available, but the idea came from a friend of mine and King of the Simpson Desert, Denis Bartell, hence the name "DB" Swags.

I know Denis checks the forum out regularly, so he may be able to shed a little more light on the subject.



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Follow Up By: craigandej - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:25

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:25
Yes thats right, the one designed by Denis Bartell. Only maintenance Ive ever done is wash the mattress cover. Been through snow & rain while pig hunting most weekends for a few years. Then it spent over a year on my roof rack while working in the NT on communities. Glad to have the screen to keep those deserty snakes out!
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 19:30

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 19:30
Hi Craig

I have just received this email from Denis, so you should find it very interesting.

Cheers


Stephen



“The big choice was deciding what type of bedding I would carry — a lightweight backpacker’s tent, or a heavy, bulky swag. I arranged my gear in the canoe and came to the conclusion that I could accommodate my DB Swag. I preferred it anyhow, as after years of use I considered that I had designed a very practical unit.

For those who don’t know, a conventional swag consists of a flat piece of canvas. You place your bedding down the middle then pull one side over the top of you, then the other over on top of that. Very waterproof and allowing a quick exit if necessary. It also leaves ample room at the top and bottom for all sorts of creepy crawlies to wander through at will. Rolled and buckled with a couple of leather straps, it also doubles as a seat or back rest around the campfire. That was back in the days when swags were for ringers and bushies and unchanged in design since early settlement.

However, in my lifetime a new type of swag had been born – it all started in front of the reeds surrounding Purni Bore on the western edge of the Simpson Desert

I was up early and having a wash in the hot pool when I noticed this very large King Brown snake, at least six feet long, coming across the flat towards my campsite. He didn’t detour, and when he got to my swag and food boxes he gave them a thorough going-over: looking in my bed and checking everything out in minute detail before finally continuing on his way, disappearing into the reeds. I’d been lying there only moments earlier; the thought of waking up and stretching or eyeballing him just as he arrived alongside me didn’t bear thinking about. I hate snakes anyhow.

So I designed a modern swag with zips and mesh to defeat the early morning flies, mosquitoes, bugs, creepy crawlies and the likes of the Purni Bore King Brown. I also wanted the canvas cover to stay clear of my face. It needed to be tough, waterproof, green, and suitable for future gold fossicking ventures in the hot tropical north, or exploration in the cold of the desert interior. Above all, it must look like a conventional swag when rolled and on the back of a truck.

The DB swag is ready for use after tying one end up to the bullbar or a tree, and then it only needs a kick in the middle to unroll it. No pegs, no poles, no hassles – and there were no comparisons at that time. After designing and spending months at a time in this ‘home away from home’, it is flattering to note that my new concept created so long ago is now available in a range of great new swag designs and look-alikes and even a few blatant copies of the original DB Swag. First marketed by a company in Adelaide about 1979, demand has steadily increased amongst the 4x4 fraternity, who could see the benefits of ‘swagging it’, and acceptance has continued to grow with station people and exploration groups. I was glad to be able to use mine for this trip.”

Now for the interesting bit – the person who stitched the original DB Swag for me back 30 odd years ago is still sewing them for an Adelaide company. Members who are interested can go to www.cowdenblinds.com.au and click DB Swag for photos and contact details – ask for Scott and tell him DB himself sent you !!!

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Follow Up By: craigandej - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 19:50

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 19:50
Great read thanks Stephen.
I remember reading a small ad in Australasian Post mag. about 1990 for the DB Swag. I knew then I had to have one. I think I paid nearly $300 back then, seemed a fortune at the time, but what a great purchase it was.

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Reply By: Rip64 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 07:15

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 07:15
TUSKER Canvas in perth - fantastic swags had my new king single for about 2 years $149 at the time excellent delivery across the country - Cannot fault them
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Reply By: Member - nick b - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:28

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:28
My swag in alice springs june 2011 very cold but i was warm & dry in side ( that's ice on top ) . lite weight canvas . IMO buy on price .

Cheers Nick b
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:56

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 08:56
There is a nice Southern Cross swag for sale in the classifieds of this site.
Great unit.

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Reply By: mean4b - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:19

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 09:19
Hi Tone And Hev
Checkout The Burke And Wills Web Site I Have The Coolabah Had It For About 15 Years And Love It. Been With Me Around Australia With No Probs
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:58

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 10:58
G'day,

I sleep in a swag between 70 to 90 nights a year and I have a few types. I also have 40 years of sleeping in swags so perhaps I've had a chance to nut it all out..............but of course these are only my experiences and opinions!

All my swags now have 2 long, strong steel pegs rolled up in them. They are to tension the swag at head & foot ends. These pegs are essential to get the mozzie net and/or top cover taught enough to not be on your body and to shed rain. Need the pegs to be tough - should you be in stony country you'll probably need to belt them in with a hammer - and long, to get purchase if in sandy country.

Rolled up with the swag is an 8' x 10' blue poly tarp to be used as an A frame cover/ hootchie for rainy nights. A brief shower will be OK of course, but for wet weather you need to be prepared. The poly tarp gets strung over light rope/cord between two objects - e.g. two bushes, tree and a bush, roo bar & anchored down past your feet,+ 6 light tent pegs to pin the tarp down with. Get ~ 300mm clearance between the swag & the hootchie, if you can. This extra width & length gives you somewhere to store your boots/personal bag etc and makes it easier to get in & out of. And it sheds rain well off your swag. Do not use this tarp to stand on, or underneath your swag, as it will get tiny punctures and lose its waterproof properties.

Also rolled up in the swag is a foot mat. I use anything I can for this - old tarp pieces, bits of PVC, car floor mats; whatever as long as they don't collect seeds and burrs - cut to approx 750 x 600 as a minimum.

Remember to face your swag foot end into any inclement weather.

Depending on how & where I am going, I use different styles/makes of swags.
I still have my have home made original from 1974 - a 10'xx12' tarp with 3 blankets.
Also have OzTrail Mitchell, Candy Canvas, Brumby XL by Downunder and a Jolly Sag "Stockman" - a crappy swag with press studs (it does roll up into a small roll, however).

The main determining factor in choosing a swag is : are you expecting mosquitoes??
Second determinant: how hot is it likely to be during the night?
Third determining factor: are you likely to get rained upon?

I work hard not to camp near a mozzie spot, but sometimes there are not any alternatives.

Best all rounder swag, IMHO, is OzTrail Mitchell. It's a few minutes work to erect as it has 3 poles. But it's worth it because it gets all the mozzie net and/or top canvas well up & off your body. So if you sleep on your side an exposed hip won't get bitten by mozzies. Similarly this also provides good ventilation if it's hot. In a rain event you can zip everything securely up over your head. Down side is that at 900 mm wide it's a bit longer and thus harder to pack/stow. The lighter weight canvas seems to hack the wear & tear quite well. Other great feature is the value - at ~ $ 200 they are up to half the price of some other swags.

If I had no economic restraints I'd buy DB swags, every time. I always try to get the tarp/swag off my head, and these swags do that well, have good quality components and are insect/bug/snake proof.

Inside the swag I have a fitted sheet on the mattress, then a flat sheet, over which is a doona in a doona cover. I choose a winter weight doona in winter (hard to believe, eh?) and a much lighter summer weight doona in summer. I also have a woolen blanket for either those hot nights & the period just before dawn when it sometimes gets chilly, or as a warmth supplement in winter.
The temperature regulation is therefore much easier Vs a sleeping bag, and the whole deal is much easier cleaned - something that counts after a few weeks in the scrub. The thought of properly cleaning a sleeping bag after every trip is awful - as is the thought of being trussed up like a mummy every night. Any mug can be uncomfortable in the bush!

Of course, a stretcher underneath a swag - if you can carry it - alters the whole experience by many magnitudes.

Cheers
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Reply By: River Swaggie - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:03

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 16:03
You really need to nut out how many times you are going to use it really.Is it going to be single or double...

If a women is going to sleep in one they dont like the feeling of the netting and swag on them...Instead of pegs ive been using for a few years now an extendable pole between the top of the hope and the feet end of the hoop to keep the swag off me and the missus.I have a double burke n will redgum...

I would probably go something like this next time,room to change clothes etc etc

BOAB-Dome


oh and goodluck..



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Reply By: Travis22 - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 18:12

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 18:12
Ive had the Burke and Wills Redgum swag for a few years and its a nicely made swag. Good value if you can purchase it while places like Anaconda have a 'members sale' on. Very comparable price wise to 'Ebay' etc. then.

Burke and Wills swags start out locally, materials are shipped OS and cut to size and shape, then the products are returned to Aus - Dandenong Vic. and they are stitched and completed.

It is a bulky swag, but if im out in the rain the only swag id like to be in.

I also have a smaller, more traditional swag which is my favorite of the two. Its made by Candy Canvas in South Australia. Much smaller to roll up and transport, and also no hoops to mess around with and setup. Aussie made, YKK Zips and Bradmill canvas... say no more!

.................................

The new ARB swags (swents - more like a tent then a swag!) :) are pretty good. Very good value for money but as others have already mentioned they are now made overseas.

The Southern Cross Canvas swags are very nice but a little to expensive IMO, I dont blame ARB for producing a similar swag for a cheaper price. I think quite a few ARB stores still have the older SSC manufactured swags for sale in their stores, but once they are sold they wont get them in again.

................................

Darchie (originally from WA) would be the only one id avoid, only because they WERE a really good locally made product like Candy Canvas, but have been bought out and the products redesigned and manufactured overseas using much much cheaper materials. Wouldnt be surprised if they have something to do with EMG now lol. If you find an older Aussie made Darchie id buy that in a heartbeat.
AnswerID: 496479

Reply By: Grizzle - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 20:56

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 20:56
I agree with most of the above comments, my advice though is DO NOT buy on price!!!
Buy on quality. I have a Bourke & Wills Redgum and a Southern Cross single. Both not cheap but both really good quality. Both have their good points over the other but again, good quality canvas, zips, poles etc.

The cheaper swags are made of lighter material and you will feel it more in the cold. Rain is bad for ALL swags. Also the poles can tend to be more brittle.

Just my 2 bob but I have done the cheap buy thing before and regretted it. Remember if you look after it it will really last longer than you!

(By the way hello Stephen, great trip a couple of months ago and look forward to catching up again. Say hello to Fiona for me)

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 22:03

Thursday, Oct 11, 2012 at 22:03
Hi Grizzle

Like the screen name....LOL

I hope Leigh has told you about the next one planned, even better and Robin will be with us for most of the trip....come on August.....



Best Regards


Stephen and Fiona


ps

Fiona says G'Day
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