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In a swag: on readjusting to my new home

Ben kicking back with a movie in his swag.


Written by Ben Hall

When I first accepted the invitation to travel around Australia camping for 3 months, my first thoughts was I need a swag. The reasons for this I cannot really explain, except for the fact that I considered it the real Aussie thing to do. Just the same as I like saying “pass me a can brother,” I enjoyed saying “I’m getting me a swag.” And I knew this would soon change to, “where is my swag,” “getting in my swag,” “setting up my swag” and “check out my swag.”

Now, I didn’t know much about swags at all, so when I heard about a sale at Anaconda, I rocked up feeling more Australian then ever and grabbed the first swag I saw. It was called Dune 4wd. Who wouldn’t buy that??

My first experience with the swag was quite good. I could fall asleep to the stars, there was enough room to move. I even watched a movie on my laptop in the swag the first night before I realized how wrong this was. But as time moved on I discovered the problems with my dune 4wd. Initially, there was no room for my possessions at all, causing me to leave all my things spooled in the car, giving me the nickname from my newly found Norwegian sister dida, gnome. Then came the rain. The cover was designed in a certain way, so that ii would not zip shut. So even though the material was waterproof, the rain still managed to pour in. Then there was the heat. The hot canvas would engulf me up to my waste as the design only encounters for the cover to come off half way.

In Port Hedland the pole that would raise the front of the swag broke and I was in dire straits not knowing what to do, knowing that I needed to go elsewhere – but how?

As I was considering my options, I happened to look over my shoulder and, to my delight, I saw my Norwegian brother Eirik looking at my swag. The delight came from the way he was looking at it. I had seen this look before: a curious eyebrow-raise and, I knew his MacGuyver-type brain was thinking of ways to improve my home. And I was not mistaken. Within minutes he had constructed a new invention – chair swag. Using a chair to hoist up the top end. The chair could still be used. And, the next words out of Eirik’s breath sent goose bumps down my body.

“Lets design a chair swag man, one that fit on your backpack and unfolds to have a chair at the end.” Then the ideas started flowing. We needed a swag that was raised off the ground, with an area underneath to store your things in, a cover that came totally off in hot weather, made out of titanium alloy, so it was light, yet effective. A built-in sleeping bag that is made out of the finest material, one that would be warm in the cold and cool in the hot. Magnetic sensors, so no electronic equipment could be used in the swag, but a solar panel device that would run a bed light to read survival material exclusively.

This swag will not be cheap, but IT WILL BE THE BEST.

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