Discussion in 'Sleep Systems' started by DirtmanDave, Aug 2, 2019.
Saw this on YouTube, thought if was pretty good info.
Don't know if it was previously posted.
cowboy gear evolved to include one item that allowed the cowboy to carry his entire kit(all his personal possessions) in his roll
the ability to wrap 2 layers over the top and a head cover(similar to early sleeping bags that had the tent flap on them) were included
at the foot of the opened roll was(still is) a provision for his clothes which was sometimes a simple fold to keep stuff from falling out and sometimes a type of duffle w/ closures (seen below)
either way the cowboys extra pair of pants shirt n clean union suit would be turned up n over to rest on his feet on cold nights ;-)
as mentioned above some were belted w/ canvass or leather belts butt most were simply tied w/ rope(they didn't have para-cord)
some were made of treated canvass butt most were untreated
once the fibers were exposed to water(rain) they swelled and the covering became virtually waterproof
here is a pic of butt one design that evolved
the folded up model
a good quality painter's drop cloth can used for the simple tarp version or as a base for making an improved bedroll
some cowboys used leather thongs to keep the wind from blowing the top layers off during a blow in the night
some had snaps(now again available @ Tandy Leather)
GREAT PROJECT SUGGESTION
These are supposedly period photos of such things as were used back then. Understand that the roll also included a honest to goodness mattress of some kind.. I want to say they used chopped wool and cotton batting/stuffing in the mattress itself to give loft and warmth?
The Hollywood/modern concept of a 2 blanket wool and canvas roll on a horseback came about, because it was more romantic and simpler than the reality of needing a couple wagons to carry the actual bedrolls and equipment..
The smaller rolls seem to be more of the soldier's/infantry kit as depicted in Civil War illustrations and equipment lists.. to be worn with haversacks...
good pic of Reagan ;-)
wool blankets in the 1800's were very expensive and a luxury, not a common item among cowboys and frontiersmen,
most made do with cheaper stuffings
The illustration shows an M-1935 bedroll. This was issued to both Army and Navy personnel.
(from an earlier thread) (https://bushcraftusa.com/forum/threads/bed-rolls-popular-or-not.179725/)
'Real' cowboy bedrolls are both large and heavy. Cowboy bedrolls were carried on the chuck wagon.
circa 1912 note the driver (waggoneer) is standing on bedrolls.
photo from True West magazine - this shows how large the bedrolls were in real life. Forget what you saw on TeeVee as a kid.
a more modern take on the bedroll.
Most 'modern' bedrolls have a 2 to 4 in foam mattress (too thick to call it an insulating pad) plus a quilt or two and a wool blanket.
My bedroll has a foam pad and I use 2 wool blankets with a fleece 'liner' - but just for summer use. Too cold here (Alaska) in the winter for one.
The bedroll, M-1935, was a decent compromise.
(as packed) with blankets -
Lots of blankets
Soldier's Sleeping Gear Before World War II
Prior to World War II American soldiers were issued blanket rolls. This consisted of several wool blankets and a ground sheet to roll it up in. The Blanket, Wool, OD, M-1934 was the basic "Army Blanket" and each soldier had at least one issued. In cold climates as many as five blankets were issued to each man.
These were combined with the Roll, Bedding, M-1935 or a Shelter Half which could also be used as a ground cloth or, with another soldier, make a tent. The blankets and items such as socks and underwear all were folded into the roll, following a carefully defined procedure drilled into the soldiers in Basic Training. For sleeping, it was unrolled and made into the best arrangement for the conditions.
There is a reason why we evolved to down and synthetic insulated bags. Weight, size, and comfort. When it comes to where, how, and in what I sleep, you can keep the nostalgia.
while I agree we have much better choices available today,
but good to know alternatives for various reasons,
many of us already have a tarp and fleece blanket in the household, which can be used as such
there are sometimes I don't feel like setting up a camp, just last week, I was 6 hrs from home, it was after sunset, just used a primitive campsite for a few hours, had a fire, had a meal, even though I had a tent in my car I used a jungle blanket and a wool blanket for a couple hours sleep before heading home
would I use such a set up as main sleep system? heck no, but good option to have
personally for hiking size/weight would not choose waxed canvas and wool, would prefer to go lighter,
One thing many overlook - the bedroll was a coyboy "home" - for weeks, if not months, at a time.
I spent a summer working at the local Scout camp up on My Lemmon, took my sleeping bag. Sleeping in it every night for a couple of months completely ruined it. AS in thrown away.
For long term sleeping arrangements a good wool blanket (or two) is really hard to beat. And as I noted about, the bedrolls were carried by the chuck wagon - so the weight is not an issue.
I now use fleece blankets but have the wool kind in the RV when out. The fleece is lighter weight, certainly as warm and a faction of the weight.
They wear out quickly however, unlike a wool blanket.
I suspect that if you'd put a liner in your sleeping bag, it would have lasted much longer. While wool certainly has some positive attributes, it' not my goto for sleeping when I am camping. I have merino wool long underwear, that I love, and I am currently waiting for a merino sleeping bag liner to come up for sale through an online retailer. that's as close as I'll get to sleeping with wool when I'm camping.
In cold weather, like minus 20/25*F for a couple weeks straight and staying in a small box on wheels/shack/bunkhouse, that’s what some loggers/lumberjacks lived in during the winter months - you either had a good down sleeping bag or you stayed home for the winter months.
Back in the early 1950’s and probably a lot earlier the Wood’s Arctic Sleeping Robe was the bag to have - either the 3-Star or 4-Star. They square out 90”X90” and weigh about 22 pounds. They have a heavy wool lining and a canvas cover. The Minnesota Game Warden’s were issued the 3-Star to carry in their vehicles back in the 50’s, as they were few in number, so their meager budget could afford the “State Pricing” back then, so when on winter patrol, they would survive when they became stuck in remote areas in harsh conditions.
When visiting a logging camp as a youngster, I can still remember the sights and smells in a bunk house - seeing those big down sleeping bags and smelling whiskey and urine - all within a couple steps inside the door. No nonsense men who lived a hard life compared to the city slicker wearing shined shoes.
I doubt any cowboys living in similar conditions did so with that TV Western movie bedroll, they were holed up in a shack with a huge sleeping bag of sorts. You can’t function very well if you don’t get at least 5/6 hours of good sleep and a little more is even better - you don’t sleep when you’re cold.