In Guiding, for many years we have used traditional canvas tents such as the Stormhaven or Icelandic. These canvas tents, which sleep up to 6 Guides side-by-side, are a large open space, which have a sod cloth rather than a built-in groundsheet. Guides transport their bedding to camp in a 'bedding roll' - wrapped in their groundsheet, and tied into a parcel with rope. It ensures the bedding is waterproof during the journey and while setting up the campsite. And at night, the groundsheets each Guide has brought form the floor of the tent onto which the bedding can be laid.
To create a bedding roll you need:
* a plastic groundsheet, at least 6 metres x 4 metres.
* approx. 4 metres of rope (or 'bungy' elasticated cords can be used)
* sleeping bag
* 2 blankets, or if not available wool travel rugs, or if not available, fleece blankets
* pillow or small cushion, or pillowcase to stuff with spare clothes.
* roll mat or self-inflating mat (if used)
* pyjamas, outer sweatshirt and joggers, socks and hat can be included if wished, otherwise these would be packed with the other clothing.
To start, lay out the groundsheet flat. Place any rollmat down in the middle of the groundsheet.
Place one blanket on the mat, so the left side of the blanket just covers the left edge of the mat.
Then place the other blanket on the mat so the right side of the blanket is in line with the right side of the mat.
Then place the sleeping bag on top of the two blankets, and put the pillow, and any night clothes, in position.
Fold each blanket in turn into position over the sleeping bag. If you wish, you can use blanket pins (old kilt pins or nappy pins) to pin the blankets in position around the sleeping bag, as otherwise they can tend to slip off the nylon sleeping bag fabric.
At this point, tie a slip knot in the rope, or gather together the bungy cords.
Then get a second person to help make the bedding roll (then you can help her fasten up hers!)
Then, starting at the foot end of the sleeping bag, roll up all of the bedding as tightly as you can, then pull it to the middle of the groundsheet, and rotate it around 90 degrees.
Lift up the two long edges of the groundsheet, and both standing at the same side, roll down the edges of the groundsheet tightly, creating a long, thin, groundsheet wrapped bundle.
Slip the loop of rope round the waist, and tighten it. Or put a bungy cord tightly around the middle.
Fold over the tip of the first end, and then draw it over towards the middle. Then draw the long end of the rope round it, and loop it round the middle rope.
Then repeat at the other end, and draw the rope tightly, so both ends are wrapped in. Then fasten off the rope.
Traditionally, a bedding roll would be tested by throwing it from hand to hand, then into a stream. If properly made, it should survive intact, and be waterproof.