Swag camping provides the perfect mix of comfort and flexibility. Swags are super easy to set up and pack down, provide great insulation and are truly rugged. What’s more, they’re quintessentially Australian and are the perfect way to experience the Australian bush.


The traditional Australian swag originated back in the 1800s when workers like shearers and miners would move from place to place for work. They’d sleep outside, where they’d lay out a piece of canvas and a blanket to keep warm. When it was time to move on, they’d roll it all up and head off. Swags have come a long way since those early days, but they do still provide the ruggedness and sense of freedom of their early days.

Perfect for off-road adventurers and tourers, modern swags are made of hardy materials such as Ripstop canvas and PVC. They come complete with a mattress, and often have a simple pole set up to provide more space when sleeping.

What’s more, they are easily packed and are quick and easy to set up just about anywhere — after a long day on the road, the ability to set up camp in under five minutes is more than just a nice-to-have. There’s a lot to be said for simple solutions, and if you’re the type who enjoys solo or intimate adventures from dusk to dawn under starry Australian skies, Anaconda swags are definitely worth a look.


Anaconda is Australia's favourite camping, hiking and outdoor specialist for all the right reasons, and our camping swag range is second to none. It includes single swag options for solo travellers, double dome swags, king single swags and more.

But when it comes to getting the right swag set up for you, you don’t have to stop there. Check out our range of camping accessories and get your swag decked out the way you like it.


Nearly all swags come with a mattress as standard, but that’s not to say you can’t take your comfort levels up a notch by swapping it out with a premium sleeping mat. Not only will this provide better cushioning and support, because these mats are often made up of a high-density foam layer, a PVC layer and a layer of air (when inflated) they will help to keep you insulated against the cold ground, upping the comfort levels significantly.

Sleeping bags

A good sleeping bag is worth its weight in gold when you’re out in the elements and swag camping is no exception. The best sleeping bag for you will depend on what part of the country you’ll be using it in and what time of year you’ll be camping. For an in-depth look at how to choose a sleeping bag check out our sleeping bag guide.


Adding a tarp shelter to your swag camping setup will not only give you peace of mind if you get caught in a downpour, but it also enables you to create an extended undercover area for cooking, storing your belongings and just taking it easy.


A good stretcher setup can seriously elevate your comfort levels. It raises the swag off the ground completely, which will significantly improve your chances of staying dry in even the heaviest downpours. A stretcher can also significantly reduce the amount of condensation that forms in your swag because it allows the air to circulate below you.


The swags vs tents argument really comes down to how you camp. If you’re looking for standing room or you have young kids that need changing etc. you might be better off with a tent. But if you can make do with less room and like the idea of being able to set up in a snap, there are plenty of benefits to going with a swag. 

For one, swags provide much better insulation than tents (because of the hardy materials they’re made from) which will keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Also, the foam mattress included with most swags forms an effective barrier against the cold ground, helping to retain your body heat while you sleep.

Swags are also:

  • Easier to erect and pack away
  • Better ventilated
  • Durably constructed in accord with traditional hard-wearing swag use
  • The flexible solution for tight and tricky camping situations with limited space and little even ground


Most modern swags are sturdily constructed for heavy duty use and designed to be stowed in a car rather than carried on your back. If you expect to be doing a lot of hiking or bushwalking, it's worth checking out the Anaconda range of lightweight hiking tents, or smaller swags such as the Dune Tracker Swag, which weighs in at only 6kg. A quality swag will be easy to carry, set up, and pack away. Here are a few tips for hassle-free swag use.

Seasoning your swag

Before using your swag for the first time, it’s important to season it to ensure it’s waterproof. This really just means wetting and drying the swag a few times to make sure the stitching seals properly. To do this, just lay your swag out in the yard and hose it down. Let it dry (properly) and repeat. Make sure you give it a good soaking all over and pay particular attention to the seams—you want them to swell so as they dry, they shrink and seal any pinholes around the stitching.

Setting up your swag for the first time

Setting up a swag is incredibly quick and easy but, like anything, it’s good to have a clear idea of what to do the first time around. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Make a note of how your swag is packed before you unroll it. This will help you roll it when packing the swag away
  • Roll your swag out on the ground
  • Make sure the poles are connected to sleeves, sockets or pins as per manufacturer's instructions
  • Attach the guy ropes or tie downs securely to the ground
  • Unzip the canvas flaps for air circulation
  • Enjoy your own private space in the great outdoors

Swag care tips

As we’ve mentioned, swags are extremely hardy and don’t require much maintenance at all. Still, here are a few simple tips that can extend the life of your swag even further.

  • Remove dirt from canvas using a soft brush and cold water
  • Don't clean with strong soaps, detergents, solvents or oils
  • Whenever possible, ensure your swag is completely dry for storage
  • Use recommended canvas reproofing products to extend the lifetime of your swag
  • Keep zips running smoothly by using a toothbrush to remove grit
  • Don't store canvas where humidity and moisture can cause damage
  • Fabric appreciates a little room to breathe while in storage. Airing your swag out occasionally (or using it more often) can also extend its lifetime


Camping swags and accessories are Anaconda specialties, and our huge range has something to suit just about any camping style. If you’re not sure which swag is best for you, check out our Swag Buying Guide or article on How to Choose a Swag, for all the info you need.

If you’d like to check out the range in person, or chat to one of our friendly team members, take a look at our store finder to find a store near you.



Get Club discounts, attend exclusive events and more