Say what now? No, a swag has nothing to do with today’s oh-so-cool youth and their attitudes. One can swagger, but will never be as cool as sleeping in a swag. A swag is a big sleeping bag with a built-in mattress, a zipper along the side and a flap to put over your head in case of rain. A swag is used for camping out in the bush and goes side by side with a fire to cook on.
During my time in Australia I’ve had several opportunities to sleep in a swag. Every time you lay out your swag before bedtime it’s a bit creepy. You are basically sleeping outside, among the spiders, snakes, ants, scorpions and gazillions of bugs that can happily join you in your simple bed. So when looking for a spot you check for major ant highways to avoid, trees that can drop stuff on you and a sort of level piece of ground without to many rocks and bumps.
By nighttime you take out your torch and quickly check if nothing major has taken your bed before you have. You can put your sleeping bag inside the swag for some extra warmth, but during the hotter months I found I just slept on top of my swag altogether, using it more as a normal mattress. Before going to sleep I make a quick wish that nothing will crawl on me in the night, only to wake up realizing the ants have moved their highway to go straight across my swag.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it! Even though it took some courage not to pitch a tent and sneak in there. Imagine being in the middle of nowhere. You crawl into your swag. The fire is still going. Looking up you see the moon and thousands of stars. You don’t need an alarm clock because you live by the sun. In the morning it wakes you up with its bright, hot rays. You get the fire going again. Breakfast is served. It’s 5.30AM, but it’s beautiful. This is the life. Simple. No worries.