American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Folding a Bedroll

In preparation for the trip I'm packing all of my gear to get it loaded up and ready to roll. My shelter component will consist of the Tom Claytor Jungle Hammock, a black closed cell foam pad, my Wiggy's poncho liner, and a space blanket. I'll use my fleece for a pillow and should be plenty warm even when the temperature drops in the evening.

I carry the foam pad, poncho liner, and space blanket in a bedroll strapped to the bottom of my pack. The seam on the roll should be toward the ground to prevent rain, should it fall on me, from leaking into the liner. The space blanket provides a waterproof barrier for the contents.

Here is how I create my bedroll:

The space blanket is laid on the floor reflective side up. On top of that goes the Wiggy's poncho liner. Notice how close in size they are. In an emergency I can make an expedient waterproof sleeping bag with just these two components.
Here you can see I've chosen a bright red space blanket. This choice aids in discovery should I require rescue. It also happens to be the blanket I could most easily locate. (Nalgene bottle for scale.)
Get the foam pad as close to center as possible. Eyeballing is fine for this project. I believe this to be the 3/4 length pad from the local outdoor store.
Fold the ends up to the length of the pad.
Fold the sides in to the width of the pad. You now have a water resistant "burrito" which you simply roll up.
I like to kneel on one end of the "burrito" while rolling toward myself. This prevents the roll from skewing one way or the other. It also allows me to get some pressure on the roll to squeeze out air that gets trapped inside. When I'm finished I like to wrap the bedroll with a loop of paracord just to keep things tight.

And that's that. Easy.

This roll will get strapped to the bottom of my pack and the hammock will be stuffed inside. I can have my shelter pitched and ready to go in just minutes with this easy setup.

Thanks for reading,



At 3:09 PM, Blogger Pablo said...

Just posted my version of a bedroll without seeing your write up here. Are you sure we're not telepathically related in some way?


At 8:15 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Too funny.

Mine's just an update of materials from the old days.

Often the longhunters would wear theirs much like I wear mine on the bottom of a haversack (mine's a rucksack) and they'd store some dry tinder, maybe a pair of extra shoes, and other bits and bobs.

I usually take along a couple hundred feet of cordage inside the bedroll so I can turn the space blanket into a lean-to if needed.

Great minds think alike right? :)

Thanks for your note,


At 11:35 AM, Blogger mgb_tracker said...

I've never been a big fan of sleeping bags and I liked this idea so much i picked up a liner myself as I already had the foam and space blanket. Just curious, what's the coldest you'd use a setup like this? I'm planning a trip to the Rockies in September around 9k'. I'll be on the ground. So deciding if i should bring a wool blanket as well. Also, do you use the space blanket for additional warmth?

At 12:53 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


I'd bring along a wool blanket with this setup too. The Rockies can be unpredictable most of the year and I've been there in late May when a blizzard closed the tunnel between Vail and Denver.

I'm a warm sleeper (lots of insulation due to too much food and not enough exercise) and would be comfortable in this setup into the 40s. I recently used the space blanket and liner on a night when it dropped into the low 50s and was more than comfortable. I was in a hammock with a foam pad underneath however.

I do use the space blanket for additional warmth and find the crinkle of it a bit reassuring during the night.

Let us know how it goes for you in September.

Thanks for stopping in,


At 7:00 PM, Blogger mgb_tracker said...

A question in regards to the hammock. I'm very close to purchasing one, but wanted some feedback from you prior to doing so.



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