Explore America's Campgrounds
Cowboy bedrolls traditionally enabled cowboys to enjoy protection from the elements on long cattle drives. The bedrolls fit easily behind the saddle, and usually contained a wool blanket and a pad wrapped up in a large canvas. Today, a bedroll is a convenient way to sleep under the stars on a camping trip, providing padding between you and the ground, as well as a weather-resistant shell. You can make a cowboy bedroll by using a large canvas tarp, sleeping bag and foam pad.
Roll Your Own
Select a canvas tarp a little more than twice as wide and twice as long as your mattress. For a twin-sized bedroll, an 8-foot by 16-foot canvas works well. Spread the canvas out flat and center the twin-sized foam camping mattress about 3 feet from the top. Lay your sleeping bag on top of the foam. Fold the top three feet of canvas down over the mattress. Fold the bottom of the canvas up over the foam mattress. Fold each side inward toward the middle of the mattress. Your mattress and sleeping bag will be entirely enclosed in the canvas. Starting at the bottom, roll up the bedroll, compressing it as you roll. When the bedroll is rolled up, secure using tie-down straps or belts.
Indulging her passion for wide open spaces and outdoor fitness through the written word on a full-time basis since 2010, author Jodi Thornton-O'Connell takes the mystery out of outdoor skills and guides readers to discover fun ways to physically connect to natural surroundings.