March 17, 2016

For most of us a lot of thought and hard earned cash goes towards purchasing a swag. It can be a significant investment for some, so it pays to look after your swag so that it will do the job it was intended for for many years.

So with that in mind here is some guidance on caring for your swag.


Before your first night together 

When you first purchase your swag you will need to precondition the seam stitching. To do this, set it up, remove the mattress and thoroughly soak the exterior canvas, particularly the seams with water, this allows the thread and canvas to swell thus taking up any potential leaks in the stitching. Allow to dry, particularly the seams. It is the drying that seals the seams. Repeat this process twice to completely ensure the seams are waterproof.


Cleaning and General Care of your Swag

To keep you swag clean and to ensure that your camp bed lasts the test of time follow this simple guidelines:

  • To clean the canvas and PVC base of your swag use cold water and a soft brush or sponge. 

  • Over time the zippers may become stiffer due to dust and dirt ingress. Don’t forece the zippers open if this happens. Clean the zippers on a regular basis by using a soft brush and also wiping with a damp cloth. 
A good quality zipper lubricant can also be used once cleaned if the zips get a little stiff due to dust etc. Ensure that you don’t get any lubricant on the canvas.
  • It may seem like an obvious point but where going to mention it nonetheless. Don’t use or expose the swag to any of the following which may lead to damage of the swag materials; soap or detergents, insect or pesticide aerosol sprays, petrols, oils, solvents or similar such products, incompatible water repellents.
  • Ensure your swag is thoroughly dry before storing, this will prevent mildew forming. Store it in a dry place off the floor and out of direct sunlight. In the event that you must pack your swag while still wet, as soon as you get to your next camp or arrive back home, erect the swag and let it thoroughly dry out before storing it away until your next adventure.


Set-up Location

Keep in mind the following points when setting up your swag.

  • Select a suitable clear and flat site for your swag. 
Have a look at the site you have selected to make sure that there are no sharp rocks or sticks that could cut the bottom of your swag.
  • Keep clear of hazards such as falling branches, open flames from campfires, rising water beds 
and water pooling areas.



On cold nights Minimise the chance of condensation by slightly opening 
the windows at each end of your swag to create some airflow to let the internal heat generated by your body escape the swag.


If you have been using swags for years then this is most likely second nature to you, however if you are new to camping with a swag then hopefully there is some handy and helpful hints in here. Happy swagging.

Seek adventure.