Bed Rolls On The Go

Bed Roll Layers

Bed rolls are a necessity for keeping bedding dry and clean, but oh so extremely cumbersome. Before every fall camp, we ask the girls to bring their bed roll items and at the end of the unit meeting the girls with their parent build their bed roll.  Not only does this provide practice, but it allows us ensure the girls pack suitable sleeping bags and gear. Often those parents who may be carpool drivers will take the bed rolls that night allowing them to organize their cars ahead of time.

The layers of the bed roll are:

  • tarp (I got mine at Dollarama)
  • camp mattress
    • I love my eggshell Thermarest Z-lite from MEC (seen below)
    • My second choice would be the white eggshell spongy foam mattresses at Canadian Tire ($11.99, the week Sept 2016)
    • There are other options out there that you may prefer.
  • sleeping bag (no indoor sleeping bags for tent camping)
  • warm camp blanket.
    • Many use a polar fleece blanket
    • The Scout shop by Downsview has affordable felted polyester blend camp blankets (I believe under $20).
  • small to medium pillow
  • small stuffy (optional)
  • 12 cotton cover rope (not slippery or rough nylon rope)
  • tarp bag from Ikea (optional – see end of post)

Factors to keep in mind when choosing camp gear, into particular order: cost, amount of use, warmth, comfort, weight, practicality.


Bed roll layers 1
Bed roll layers 2
Bed roll layers 3


How to tie your bed roll video

How to fold and tie a bed roll page 7:


End of Camp

Inevitably, at the end of camp there is some bed roll chaos. You’ve got 20 Brownies or Guides who are tired from the weekend. Somehow ropes and tarps have migrated to different corners of the bunk room, or tent, along with that random sock that went missing 2 days earlier.  The girls are expected to tightly wrap and tie a bed roll that is almost the same size of themselves. Even when the girls help each other the roll has blankets and foamies sticking out or it is twice the size of their arrival bed roll.

As a Guider, and parent who drives two girls to and from camp with our gear and camp stuff in a little hatchback, size and containment matter.

In 2015, while at OAL Tent training I met a Guider from Community 17 who introduced me to the $3.99 IKEA tarp bag.  I love this. For those traditionalist, you can still fit your bed roll, plus a little bit more into the tarp bag. What you gain is a uniform size, nicer on the hands handles and you can even wear it like a backpack.  The best part is, if something causes the need to pack and go in a hurry or the girls are struggling at the end of camp you can just stuff everything in it lickity split.IMG_1282

Lights Out,



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