viking sleeping bags

Viking, Saxon, and Early Christian Irish cultures

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viking sleeping bags

Postby nathan on Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:14 pm

ok i know this sounds odd but i have heard many references to it and didnt think much on it yet thought it was an interesting idea.
im currently reading the sworn brothers saga and it clearly mentions how one guy gets his sleeping bag before boarding a boat.
my question is there any references for this i know many sagas can be questionable at the best of times and it could easily be a mis translation or a different thing all together so any ideas folks?
for here starts war carrion birds sing, and grey wolves howl
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Re: viking sleeping bags

Postby brendan on Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:03 pm

You probably need someone who can read old Norse to read the pertinent passage and tell you the actual words and what they mean literally.

In terms of construction is there any sense of how it is made? A number of animal skins stitched together would work, though a lot of the water proofing would be lost in tanning (I think).
Something woven from lanolin rich wool would work.
I think one of the problems associated with them is that if the person gets washed overboard they will certainly drown.
Any other ideas?
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Re: viking sleeping bags

Postby nathan on Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:49 pm

i have heard of them made of a walrus or whale skin. in the passage i have not quoting directly here it just says he grabbed his sleeping bag and equipment before boarding the ship. if your on a ship you would most likely be sleeping sitting in between rowing benches. the edition i have was translated by princeton uni in 1949 so it seems pretty good and any bits they were unsure on they clearly highlight so who knows.
would be a lovely piece of kit for shows though and to show folks what a travelling person might have.
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Re: viking sleeping bags

Postby oleg on Mon Mar 01, 2010 8:13 pm

I haven't seen anything similar among finds or references.
If we speak about how it might had been made, I've seen a movie "Man vs Wild. Ireland". Poor chap used fresh sheep's skin as a sleeping bag and enjoyed sleeping at night during a heavy Irish shower.
Again, no finds, just an idea.
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