By: Blonde Two

Bed rolls are, I imagine, a thing of the past; but those of you who, like me, were Guides (then Girl Guides) and Scouts in the 1970s will remember that sleeping bags were not what they are now and that the recommended camp bedding system was the bed roll.

Wrapped in an ancient ground sheet and tied with rope, my bedroll was so capacious that it was a bit of an embarrassment; an embarrassment that is until bedtime when I was the warmest and comfiest of all of my patrol.

Mum constructed the bedroll and it was a design that had been crafted by her own Guiding experiences. First a large, thick cream blanket, folded in such a way as to provide two layers underneath and one above. Inside that went my sleeping bag (nylon and a toenail catcher) and this outer package was fastened together with some huge blanket pins (like large safety pins, I wonder if they still have a use today).

This sounds pretty cosy doesn’t it! It was certainly a weight to heft around, and not yet complete. La couverture de la resistance was a purple airtex blanket (twin sister pictured still alive at Dad’s house) sewn into a bag and placed inside the sleeping bag.

We think that we have got camp sleeping sussed these days with our goose down and our silk liners, but we really are just reinventing the wheel. I would love to introduce Big Orange (sleeping bag) to his cumbersome predecessor. Interestingly, I used the pictured pink blanket under a duvet on a chilly night at Dad’s last week. It was very cosy and I am seriously considering revisiting that element of my childhood camp bedroll.