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Thread: Stretcher or no stretcher?

  1. #1
    Moderator Harps's Avatar
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    Stretcher or no stretcher?

    When I went 4wding 20+ years ago, the back of the 4wd would be rather empty. Bare essentials only. These days, things are out of control with all these "necessities".

    Therefore, ponder this. Is a stretcher for a swag really worth it? Sure you can get in and out easier. The benefit I can see is when it rains. Been a few instances where I have been digging trenches, etc. I find my current swag super comfy on the ground.

    Hit me with your thoughts.
    The only thing better than fishing... is catching a fish...

  2. #2
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    Your not wrong Dave, the amount of gear you "need' to take these days is getting out of hand. Try camping with the cook & 3 girls, that will scary ya off going !!!
    As for the stretcher bit, well, I think a few factors come into play. As mentioned, getting in & out is easier ( age / mobility comes into play here), wet weather is a plus for the stretcher, as is bad ground ( think rough, stoney, etc). Negatives are cost if you don't already have & more weight /space to carry it. Some debate if it's colder being up on a stretcher or on the ground. I see a stretcher as another option depending on what /where the planned camp is. For me, most of my camping these days are short trips with a mate or 2 chasing a fish, mostly in warmer weather. What I have been using is a Oztrail stretcher tent & a light sleeping bag. Compact, easy, all in one. Set up under the Foxwing with an extension or 2 & I'm set for the duration.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Traveller's Avatar
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    I use a stretcher with my swag, as said above is easier to get in and out due to height. My swag only has a skinny mattress, thermorest I think, so the comfort of the stretcher is wonderful. They can be colder, so I also have a closed cell foam matt under the thermorest and this helps, for really cold weather(-5 etc) I fold up a woollen blanket underneath as well and generally have to open the sleeping bag a bit. I set up under the awning so no rain issues, however the swag hangs over the edges of the stretcher a little so water would just run off, not pool underneath.

  4. #4
    Leading Hand Touring Rich's Avatar
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    I use a Darche XL stretcher under my Crashpad swag now. It’s awesome, the last few trips and my recent SA trip I didn’t use it though. It after 30 years of sleeping in a swag I find it a welcome addition to my camp set up. I have had water flowing underneath it in the VHC and rolled up a dry swag. Even rolling up the swag is easier then on the ground. It’s the small things you’ll notice that you hadn’t thought of that make the difference.

    Only con is perhaps the weight. 10kg from memory.

    Set up is easy with the newer Darche design too.

    Cheers
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  5. #5
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    Oops, should have added. When I do use the stretcher / swag set up the stretcher is a Oztent King Goanna. Had it for a few years now, still as good as ever.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 2Lost's Avatar
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    Mate i am hearing you.

    The first time myself and Gail went camping. We had a K MART tent, an axe, two chairs and two casks of wine and one ESKY. At the time it was in the GRAMPIANS.

    Had to call her brother down, who lived in the area, so that he could shine his headlights on so that we could set up camp. Alas no torch.

    These days i neeed a bloody tandem trailer to go away with her. She still likes camping.

    Back to subject.

    I purchased a KINGS large stretcher to suit my swag a while back.

    Positives- Yes makes for a more comfortable sleep. Yes keeps you off the ground re rain. Find easy to enter and exit. If it is cold and you have had a fire going, you can put some coals beneath the legs. Radiant heat.

    Negatives-The weight for this one 16 kls and the packed length, plus something else to pack up and fit in the car.

    Personally if i could find an Aluminium stretcher that suits the size. Yes it would be a lot better

  7. #7
    Forum Enthusiast stew70's Avatar
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    I use a darche dusk to dawn swag on a darche XL stretcher and would never go back to a swag on the ground again.
    Easier to get in and out of, never had an issue with it being cold, doesn’t matter how much water flows around you. Easier to roll up and it’s always clean. I also find it more like a bed to sleep in as the base has a bit of give and movement unlike the hard ground. The stretcher is probably about 10kg , if anyone is worried about that little bit of extra extra weight your probably taking to many “ neecessites” already. As a single traveller in a dual cab hilux also, the weight isn’t that big a deal. Try it you won’t regret it.
    Why fish for bream ,when i can camp and chase cod!!:

  8. #8
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    Davey me boy, think of it like this, you're gettin' older not younger, gravity is a bitch . Half way up is way better than half way down, Viagra meets camping you might say......

  9. #9
    The Boss Smokey2.8's Avatar
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    I have to say, I resisted for years and years the idea of a stretcher let alone buying one.
    I ended up stumbling across a hot deal for a XL OzTent brand gotta say for the extra 1 min of set up time - itís awesome (eg-Grouse lol)
    So donít know how I did without it.

    To answer the questions of possible coldness issue. Nah. Nothing noticeable - and let me tell you Lithgow is a cold place even in Summer.
    Everything else is a bonus as mentioned. Easier entry exit. Clean dry swag pack up / set up.
    Everythingís a bonus. Just finding another spot to pack it in the Patrol.

    Did a quick trip recently without it - and regretted not taking it almost immediately
    :-(
    Cheers
    Adam aka Smokey

    2.8's Sound great, but a worked 3.0L goes better

  10. #10
    ive got one of the kings i find it easy to get out of swag during the night brother in law use to laugh at me saying softie .funny that hes got 1 now regards john

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