I’ve been reading through Dave Canterbury’s book called Bushcraft 101 and have made it to the section on how to roll a wool blanket up so you can keep all your stuff inside of it as well as carry it on your back. I’ve never actually thought of anyone doing this, but the idea definitely has merit. If you’re sleeping outdoors without a tent or if you don’t have a rucksack, you can easily roll all of your belongings inside of the wool blanket and then use some paracord to tie the blanket up and then loop it over your shoulders.
Okay, so there are a few different ways that you can do this and each has its own benefit. I’ll talk about some of them here. If you’re using a tarp, Dave advises that you place the tarp down on the ground and fold it into thirds, lengthwise. Place your first wool blanket on top of the tarp and fold that so it’s the same width as the tarp. Then, if you’re using a second wool blanket, do the same thing. At the end of all this, you’ll have a group of blankets and a tarp that measures somewhere about two foot by eight foot.
Sometimes people include the tarp on top of the blankets and roll it so it’s inside the wool. I’ve read that experienced bushcrafters advise always keeping the tarp on the outside in case it rains or things get wet somehow. The tarp will shield the wool and the contents within. If you’re not using a tarp, you don’t have much choice here, but keep this in mind.
Once you have the tarp and blankets laid out like this, place the items that you won’t be using while you’re hiking (dry socks, pants, fire kit, water bottle, hatchet, first aid kit, fatwood, rope, stakes, candles, etc…) right on top of the top blanket, towards the side you’ll begin rolling. Also, fold a 12 foot piece of rope in half and place that across the top portion of the blanket, so that can be rolled up as well. The folded side will create a loop that’s sticking out and the other side will be the two ends of the rope. Then, roll the tarp and blanket combination up so it squeezes all of the contained contents.
Once you have your bedroll, slide the to loose ends of the rope through the loop and tie them off. That will keep the roll tight, so it doesn’t come undone. Then, you can use some cordage to tie down the rest of the roll and to create sort of like back pack straps. I’ll include a video of a great way to tie this bedroll up so you can easily carry it down below.
An alternative method for rolling your gear up inside of this bedroll is to fold your largest blanket in thirds, but before you fold the last third in, place your gear down on the two layers you’ve already got. Then, fold the final third in so it lays on top of your gear. Then, roll everything up.
I think this is a fairly creative method for carrying not only your tarp and blankets, but your gear as well, right on your back. It’s as efficient as all heck and I’m going to have to give this a shot my next time out in the woods.
Here’s that video. Be sure to let me know what you think of this method as well as your own. Thanks!