Planning a trip out to the outback? If so, you are most likely going to encounter a swag. But what actually is a swag?
Sleeping beneath the stars is a dream for many people, but in the Red Centre of Australia, this experience is readily available in one of the most exceptional ways. When you sleep under the stars – that is, with no tent or curtains – you essentially become a part of the natural landscape and can feel at one with the exceptional surroundings.
The scenery around Uluru and the nearby collection of monuments dates back millions and millions of years, creating a timeless backdrop to settle down against.
Sleeping in a swag under the night sky is an incredible experience on Uluru tours and it really is one of the best ways you can feel at one with the scenery and immerse yourself in the incredible history and indigenous culture of the region.
Exploring the region is a feast for the eyes. After experiencing the millennia-old natural monuments like the soaring peaks of Kings Canyon, the jutting turrets of Kata Tjuta, and of course the impressive silhouette of Uluru itself, you can kick back and relax with a traditional open-air Aussie barbecue and soak up the incredible sunset that changes the landscape from a vibrant orange to an inky black in moments.
When the sun has dipped below the horizon, you can settle down in your swag and catch some shut eye underneath the stars.
What Exactly Does Sleeping in a Swag Mean?
Swags have long been used in Australia as a safe and comfortable way of sleeping underneath the stars whilst out trekking. Swags are essentially a man-size tent, being open sleeping bags made from canvas. They have a sponge-like mattress attached to the bottom to create an even more comfortable experience.
You then place your own sleeping bag within that to create heat and an extra layer of security. In this part of Australia, swags are a go-to piece of sleeping equipment because they’re basically small beds that you can set up underneath the stars with as little hassle as possible.
What is it?
A swag is a traditional Australian canvas bad roll with a mattress inside. Basically, it is a large sleeping bag with a built-in mattress. Essentially looking like a small one person tent, these swags zip up the entire way, covering your whole body including your head. Perfect for every season, being waterproof from rain, warm for winter, and bug proof for the hotter months.
Why use it?
The swag is the most common way of camping in the Australian outback and is the best way to immerse yourself in its picturesque backdrop. The majority of our outback tours offer swags for accommodation, including Uluru, Kakadu and Kimberley Tours.
Set up your swag for the night, a much easier job done compared to a full-size tent, and get ready for a comfy sleep. The most used size in tours are the single size swags, making each member have their own private space. Sleep under the stars and enjoy becoming a part of the natural landscape. Be at one with the incredible surroundings, and to soak up the timeless scenery is like nowhere else in the world.
Is Sleeping in a Swag Safe?
The thought of sleeping out in the open under the stars in one of the remotest parts of Australia might seem like a daunting prospect. What about all the wild animals? What about all the insects? But the outback is actually one of the safest places to sleep under the stars because the dry air means there are very few insects, while the barren landscape means that there are hardly any animals that wander through it at night.
Perhaps the best bit about sleeping in a swag though is the connection you feel with nature. It’s an amazing first time camping experience, or a new experience for those who are well-versed in the camping world.
Tips for using a swag
Before you unwind with an open-air barbecue and marvel at the way the land changes colour as the sun begins to set, make sure you know a few key tips for your swag. You must bring your own sleeping bag to tuck into the swag, as especially in colder months, you can get a bit chilly at night. When in a group, the swags are positioned around the campfire; we suggest taking a spot way from the fire.
Although it may seem like a good idea, parking closer to the fire will risk the chance of spark blows on your swag, which can catch alight. Make sure to zip up or roll up the swag once you are up and about. Outback animals may crawl in without you realising which may give you a shock when you get to bed! And lastly, rolled up swags can also opt as a camping seat for around the campfire (just in case!)
When you receive your new swag
There are some things to think about when receiving your new swag via the post. They are done simply to ensure that your new swag is of a good quality and hasn’t incurred any damage in transit.
Be sure to check these six things about your new swag, taking special notice of its canvas and accessories:
- Check that the box your new swag came in hasn’t incurred any damage throughout delivery.
- Check that the swag’s canvas is in good condition and hasn’t been damaged in transit.
- Check that the swag has all of its accessories, including pegs, mattress poles, guide ropes etc.
- Prepare your new swag in the way the design indicates.
- Now that it’s set, inspect the swag once again to ensure there are no holes or rips across the swag.
- Season the swag: this means dousing it in water three or four times to ensure any pinholes that may have occurred during manufacturing swell up and seal the swag.
By sealing the swag, you will ensure that it is prepared to protect you from its first rainy night before that rainy night actually happens!
Best places to take your swag
Australian camping tours are scattered throughout the country but are most popular within Kakadu National Park as well as Uluru and Surrounds. This being said, swags are the typical Aussie adventure bed, and can be used on any hiking tour from the Great Ocean Road up to the Daintree and across to WA.
Journey to these incredible areas and join our camping tours offering the fabulous swag experience!
Explore Our Uluru Tours
Destination: Alice Springs
Duration: 4 Days
Tour type: Short Break Tour