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MADE IN BRITAIN

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by Erbswurst, Feb 2, 2019.

  1. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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  2. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    I think, if we regret the lost old quality stuff, we should look for home made artisanal stuff.
    This guys do, what had been done before:
    It is HAND MADE.

    For Trekking Equipment, made in the traditional way, that is the secret of quality!

    A shoemaker has to see the leather, if he wants to deliver quality, for example.

    He will hire a few others, when the orders become more than he can produce himself.

    Every manufacturer started like this.

    The client is able to force the production to produce quality stuff, if he buys the small brand, that delivers the quality he wants to.

    And without any question in the long time that's the better deal for him and his country.
    Tradition and Innovation are supported like this. The big brads usually don't care about both, the machines have to run, that's all.
     
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  3. oldtimer

    oldtimer Full Member

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    All my sweaters are Made in Britain: hand-knitted by my wife. She doesn't knit when we are in France.
     
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  4. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    @Laurentius

    I am far away from being a british nationalist.

    (Impossible, because I am German.)

    I asked the question, because I know very well the good quality stuff from Scandinavia, France, Switzerland, Austria and Germany, but do not know well made British stuff.

    I own the British made Snugpack Special Forces sleeping bag system and I think, that this is the best sleeping system for bushcraft in temperate climate that exists on the world market.

    So I asked myself what other good quality stuff you guys hide from us on your island.

    I have the impression, that British outdoor products aren't very well offered on the continent.

    Barbour and Land Rover I can see.
    But that's it!

    There are only THREE shops who offer Snugpack products in Germany for example. Swedish stuff we can get every corner.
     
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  5. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    What is the age of the company that make Snugpack?

    The reason can be that bushcrafting is quite young, and practiced by relatively few, in UK.
    Before Ray Mears not many did it, correct?
    In Scandinavia it has been national past times and hobby for well over 100-140 years.
    Companies that supplied the need for equipment are old.
    Primus, Optimus.
    Most of other came into being post WW2, when demand started for light equipment, and quality synthetics brcsme available.
     
    #105 Janne, Feb 4, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  6. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    Yes, but the British Boy Scout movement is more than 100 years old too.

    The Austrians and Germans are strong in that business, because Farmers in the mountains needed always stuff like this, but on top of it Wandervogel and German Scout movement had been a hobby for millions of people since 1896.

    And a strong army devellops stuff like this and supports the producers who develop it. The German triangular tent sheet for example had been a civil idea, sold at first to the boy scouts. Later the military was convinced about it and bought millions of it in Germany, and other countries copied them well, as you know Sweden for example and France too.

    The Snugpack Special Forces sleeping bag system has a NATO stock number.
    It is very well visible that it wasn't designed for civil summer camping.

    They tried to make the best plastic filled sleeping bag that is possible, because they thought the army would buy it.
    (Don't know if they did.)
     
  7. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Jaeger did quality stuffthat many British expeditions used.

    I am not sure what the early Scouts used, I need to have a read in my British published Scouting For Boys, I have one that is published very early on

    Spending time in the wild has not been easy in the UK. A huge portion has lived in the cities for generations and were more interested in the sea side.
    Also you can not use the wilder land, as you are not allowed on it.
    No Allemansrätten.

    Not easy to be a budding bushcrafter in UK!
     
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  8. sunndog

    sunndog Full Member

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    Have admit I've never heard of the Hudson's bay fur trading company.

    Yeah that's what I mean about the blankets. The colours just aren't synonymous over here or many places outside of kanukistan
    It's like our jcb being yellow.....it never occurs to anyone to notice it, jcb's are yellow
     
  9. sunndog

    sunndog Full Member

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    Snugpak started in the 70's


    The word bushcraft is quite young. Before ray mears we just called it camping or being outside....it was especially bushcrafty if you were poor lol
    The only difference now is that it has far more of a consumer based element

    As a boy my kit was what could be scrounged and run off with before my mum noticed I'd stolen it!
     
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  10. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    That's an importent point, I guess.

    We have Allemansrätten in Germany, Switzerland, larger parts of Austria and in France too.
    Everybody's right to use the free country isn't so wide as in Scandinavia in the theory of the law, but in reality it's almost the same.
     
  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    We make a difference between camping - staying in organized places and what you call today bushcrafting - staying in wild nature.

    They laid out many trails in the Swedish.Norwegian mountain chain well over 100 years ago.

    Many farms used to send the cows with a couple of youngsters away into the 'outback' so the fields around the farms were not eaten, but hay could be harvested.
    Google 'Fabod" but NOT 'Fabodjantan" please!

    The Scandi population was very much rural until recently, and the move from rural areas into the larger towns is still going on.
    We were around 100 years behind UK in the Industrialisation. Our mentality is still in nature.

    Scandinavia are also losing manufacture of bushcraft stuff.
    Just look on Fjallraven!
     
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  12. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    They became an international brand and the target became city use.

    It's like the change from real 4x4 to SUV.

    They sell the citizens a flavour of adventure. Even the old Vikings slowly become comfortable.

    But if you look at brands like Norrøna, you see, that a few Vikings stay how they are.

    And in Iceland you can get very well made copies of Erik's and Leif's woolen jumpers every corner.
    The good old stuff is still available!
     
  13. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Norrona is great, we have some ourselves, not sure where it is made though.
    Woolen stuff? Everywhere. That is what you take on when you go and want to look good.
    The HH stuff is more outdoorsy.

    Erik and Leif did not need woolen jumpers, they had hot blood and a woman on each side to warm them!
    Outside bed too.
    :)
     
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  14. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Shetland is classified as UK and they must make those fantastic Shetland sheeps wool jumpers there.
    Right?
     
  15. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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    Historians are nearly sure:

    Erik used exclusively whet jumpers, his son only frozen ones.

    But the Idea is good:
    They should be made and sold at the Shetlands too.
     
  16. Broch

    Broch Full Member

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    No, no, no, no, no - that is far from correct!!!! Plenty of people in the UK backpacked, rough camped, used campfires to cook on carved camp utensils ……
    Before Ray Mears decided it was a commercial venture it wasn't called bushcraft (but it wasn't in Europe, the USA or Canada either)
     
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  17. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Native

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  18. Nomad64

    Nomad64 Full Member

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    Janne, don’t forget that while the young men of Sweden may have spent the last 100-140 years sitting around campfires, admiring each other’s feather-sticks, their counterparts in Britain spent much of that time building and running an Empire and at the sharp end of just about every military conflict that occurred.

    The definition of “bushcraft” is open to interpretation (and is certainly not as Scandicentric as many of the posts on this forum would suggest), but I’d hazard a guess that at least a few of the British explorers, soldiers, sailors, surveyors, traders, engineers, builders, hunters, trappers, farmers, clerics, medics etc. etc. who lived, worked, fought and died in some of the hottest, coldest, wettest, driest, jungliest and generally most inhospitable corners of the largest Empire the world has seen would have been familiar with skills which would look a lot like those in books written by RM, MK, LW etc.

    Many of the tools and skills that are currently regarded as “bushcrafty” were just part of rural life in the UK, as in most countries - up until the agricultural sector became mechanised after WW2.

    The large number of small tool makers around Sheffield and West Midlands making axes, billhooks, machetes etc.(FWIW while machetes/parangs on some Caribbean islands may be called cutlasses, on others, they are called Gilpins after the company that made them), were not supplying a British bushcraft movement but a domestic and Empire agricultural market. This was not artisan manufacturing, just mass production (albeit on a small scale) of functional tools. With the decline of the overseas market and mechanisation of agriculture in the UK, after WW2, the sector contracted and eventually as the chart Broch posted shows, most companies were subsumed into S&J.

    There are plenty of decent quality old British made axes (Brades, Parkes, Gilpin, Whitehouse, Elwell etc.), knocking around at carboots and in barns and sheds and I’d far rather see people taking a bit of effort to find and restore these as part of their ‘“bushcraft” kit rather than just buying the obligatory GB SFA because that’s what Ray uses.

    If you think that bushcrafting in the UK, started with RM, the activities of Kibbo Kift and the Woodcraft Folk which started in the 1920s as an alternative to the Scouting movement, might come as a surprise - though I suggest that you sit down and take something for your blood pressure before g00gling them, I’m not sure their politics would be to your taste! ;)

    Sweden may have given the world the Billy bookcase made from sawdust in third world sweatshops but I prefer the works and philosophy of William Morris and the Arts & Crafts movement! ;)

    Personally I find all this obsession with kit a bit depressing, IMHO bushcraft (whatever it is) should be about doing things not about kit. Decent, functional kit (where ever it comes from), should be a means of doing something and (unless you are making it yourself), not an aim itself. For me, the finest artisan made knife only become a “bushcraft” knife when someone uses it to cut something useful (the hairs on your arm do not count! :)) and a kid using a knife borrowed from his mum’s kitchen to carve a tent peg is more of a bushcrafter than a guy with a drawer full of fancy knives which will never be used.

    Just my 2d. :)
     
  19. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Scouting runs deep in our family. It is a civilized way to introduce Nature to urban boys and girls.
     
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  20. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Nomad I agree with you on some points. The rural population largely 'live' what we call bushcraft. Even today to some extent.

    I hope Erbsworst does not mind you (and me) going Off Topic!

    Please do not confuse IKEA products with the Artisan made products still crafted by many smaller furniture companies in Sweden.
    You had your W. Morris, we had our Bruno Mattson. Heard about Swedish Grace? Google it.
    The furniture crafts are (thankfully) still very much alive both in UK as in Sweden. Much of our house is furnished by furniture crafted by companies like Ercol, and some Swedish artisanal companies. Plus furniture crafter during the Swedish Grace period, and also German Art Deco.

    Swedish furniture does not equal IKEA, far from it. Swedish knife making does not equal Morakniv either!

    BTW, Billy is made either in Poland or one of the Baltic republics, most of the furniture is.
    Most of the furniture made for the N. American market is made in the USA.
    Kitchen hinges, other hinges Made in Germany or Austria.
    Not much is done in the UK sweatshops either. Or Swedish. Too expensive for the business model.

    I hope you know that IKEA is not Swedish since years?

    We see IKEA stuff as a 'starter home' furniture, and decent stuff for the childrens rooms.
    Then we buy something better.

    To imply that Swedish furniture is IKEA is not nice, it is like writing British furniture is the stuff you buy at Homebase or B&Q.

    The British way to enjoy nature differs, as I wrote earlier, because the possibilities to do so differ.

    I think most people would agree that RM introduced ( reintroduced?) bushcraft to a wide audience.
    NONE of my son's friends and families, both in and outside of school, had ever done anything resembling what you guys do. None were even in the Scout organization.
    And we did live in the rural part of E. Sussex.

    I introduced some b-crafting to several of his friends, by taking them first on the 'family' weekend RM course, then onto our woodland camp we created.
    Daddies did not have time.

    I am not going even to comment on your Empire building and wars. That is your history, your problem. Swedish empire building and wars are our history and problem. I do not do politics here.
     
    #120 Janne, Feb 4, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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