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Non expensive kit

Discussion in 'Kit Chatter' started by rik_uk3, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Realbark

    Realbark Aimless Wanderer

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    Gotta agree with John on this one. I have one 10cm zebra but my regularly used billy is a quid charity shop one. its a steel one with an allen bolt fitted and a pull/lift ring inserted. bail handle is fencing wire - cheaper than chips
     
  2. tent peg

    tent peg Nomad

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    Hultafors craftsmen knives, can be picked up for less than £3
     
  3. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    Once you get out of the 'ooh shiny - branded' mindset you start discovering cheap & highly useful kit all over the place.

    Poundland/ 99p stores [UK] My find of the month has to be the packs of twenty party glo-sticks. Very handy as tent,trail & latrine markers for groups or if like me have the dog with you.

    All things 'camo' Why splash out on camo gear when you can splash fence stain on any old suitable clothing. Lots of colours to choose from and I'll bet a few of you reading this have some leftover in the garden shed.
     
  4. FKeate

    FKeate Forager

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    I know I'm a bit late to this, but the Swedish army M90 thermal undershirt things are great. They keep you cool in hot weather, warm in cold and let sweat straight out. Normally no more than a fiver on surplus sites. Had mine for years and it's never let me down.
     
  5. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain New Member

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    Enamel cookware? That's what we started out with in the kitchen when we got married. And "traditionally," when you went camping when you were young, you borrowed things from the kitchen. But I'd guess that most of us who are at all interested in doing these sorts of things, hiking, camping and so on, started out when we were teenagers and had nothing at all in the way of gear or specialized clothing. We managed for years with nothing at all, at least of our own. We went to the woods in our everyday clothes and shoes. Even the grown-ups that we sometimes went with had little more than a canvas wall tent with no floor and their fishing rods. That was absolutely all they had in the way of specialized stuff. Everything else was everyday stuff. It's surprising how little you can get by with.

    But the less time you have to go out, they more interest you develop in the equipment. Or so it seems to me. Even the old writers like Nessmuk mentioned it; you spend your winters going over your equipment. That was half the fun.

    Most, however, seem to start out with second-hand or army surplus gear, which will do nicely. I imagine it all depends on what you're out for. My usual purpose for going out is to cover miles on the trail, not simply to rack up the miles but to see more of the woods. Sort of like going for a Sunday drive. I rarely ever build a fire, though I have. So I don't need an axe or a saw but they get used at home all the time. Likewise, I don't seem to require a knife either and could probably get by with a single-edge razor blade. But most of the other knick-knacks get used with some frequency and I probably even carry along and use things that no one else would trouble themselves with. One such things is an old five-liter French Army boiler (Marmite de campement 'Bouthéon'), which I had a sudden urge to buy. It has turned out to be quite useful and it even replaced two other items on my equipment list. I don't know how I ever managed without one. Yet other things, which seem like they'd be equally useful, never get touched. Like most of my knives, they're for "display purposes." That includes my three-piece WWII US Army mountain mess kit. Some of the stuff I have is really too good to take out into the woods. Most of the stuff I actually use is at least 30 years old. In other words, it's obsolete by expert standards and I shouldn't be allowed into the woods with it.

    But just because I have a lot of things, doesn't mean I don't use them all. I actually have eight packs and one pack board. The pack board I bought for 75 cents at a yard sale across the street. It was worth it for the historical value. One pack I bought around 1968 and by now it has historical value, too, though only to me.

    I guess it could be said that I'm interested in the equipment as a hobby separately from the outing aspect, which can be enjoyed with little more than a pair of shoes, at least in nice weather.
     
    #145 BlueTrain, Oct 28, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
  6. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    B&M stores [UK] have a 'Jumbo Pet Throw' for just £3.99 that's almost identical to the polyester fleece trail blanket that the likes of Cotswold Outdoor, Tresspass, Tesco and a slew of other camping outlets were punting at anywhere between £9-12 all summer. I say almost identical as the pet throw is slightly larger at 140 x 200cm (55"x78") and of course you have to live with the dog bone & paw print pattern.
     
  7. James Higgins

    James Higgins Member

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    Extremely enlightening post from (i assume) a voice of experience. I would say for many people the interest in gear (tools on the workbench) is as much the hobby than actually using them, if not more so!

    The cream of the post for me though was the total negation of the knife and fire, especially on this forum. Liberating stuff. Forget the gear, just pack a bag with some general stuff and get out there. With all the best laid plans there will always be something you didn't bring, and that will disturb you more than if you didn't plan to have everything. Instead you can just enjoy the experience of 'being out' without worrying about what you have or don't have.
     
  8. demographic

    demographic Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    That^ in spades.
    Its a feedback loop as well. The more someone works the less time they have to do their hobby but the more money they have to spend buying kit for the hobby that they don't do.

    So they work more to buy kit for the hobby they don't have time to do because they are so busy working to buying kit for it.
    Happens with cyclists, fishermen and pretty much any hobby.

    Eventually there's a massive advert thread with pushbikes/fishing rods/knives/motorbikes/Landrovers and Dutch ovens (delete as applicable) as that person gets sick and moves onto another hobby they won't have time to do.
     
  9. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain New Member

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    Well, now, let me just take a minute to elaborate on a few points here. First, yeah, I have some experience, though I've not been mountain climbing in the Alps, hill walking in the Peak District (got lost there, however, on the road), or been to Nepal. But I've been to Oklahoma. The point is, my experiences are probably irrelevant to anyone else. They're probably unrepeatable even by me, too.

    I'm not against having a campfire. I have built campfires in a few places but most of the places I've been on overnight trips do not allow fires. Kephart and others really believed the campfire was virtually the life of the camp and the trip and I understand that completely. A week long camp with the boy scouts several years ago, which I attended as an adult leader, began and ended with a bonfire and a campfire was built in camp each and every night. One evening was even spent preparing our own dinner there with the campfire. It is time-consuming, however, and that was only done one evening. The scouts did many, many activities, by the way, so lots of things, like campfire cooking, only had one evening devoted to it.

    I think I said I have a bunch of knives but only use them infrequently. Some are so suitable for certain purposes that if I happen to be doing that particular think, that particular knife is the only one I'll even think of using. Small, cheap folding knives are good enough for most purposes, which is just as well, because I keep loosing the little ones. They'll all turn up when we move, no doubt.

    Same with all the pots and pans, mess kits and gamelles, too. Just like in your own kitchen, you can never have too many. Which one gets used depends on what's on the menu. I think the days are gone when campers baked bread or even spent the day tending a pot hanging over the fire, though it depends on your interests. You don't do things like that if you object is to cover ten or fifteen miles between the trail head and the campsite or between two campsites. If you were going by canoe, you might do things a little differently, though. Much of my outdoor activities deviate considerably from plans and if I were intelligent, which I am not particularly, I'd take such deviations into account. For instance, when I think about it, I am surprised that I tend to eat instant soup on every trip. It's surprising because the soup isn't very good, although it's better than instant coffee. I think the reason I go to the trouble is for an excuse to stop and do something while sitting down. Nothing I do outside and off the property, if you follow me, is really necessary, so everything needs an excuse and a weak excuse is entirely sufficient. It's already difficult to logically justify driving 150 miles there and back and walking twenty miles up and down (it feels like it's all up) with fifteen or twenty miles on what passes for a trail. I could stay and home and see more wild animals if I sit and look out my dining room window. But the idea is not to see anything in particular but rather to do anything but sit and look out my dining room window.

    Never owned a Dutch oven (we have a Maytag) but I got the wish to own a Land-Rover out of the way early on. I had a 1965 short-wheelbase Land-Rover "estate car." It would blow the valve cover gasket at almost anything over 55-mph but off-road, it would go anywhere I dared (almost, anyway). I will admit to getting stuck up a few times but I'd prefer to keep the details to myself. Land-Rovers were rare then, although I knew two others who owned one while I was in college, but around here these days, Range Rovers are fairly uncommon but oh, so dear. In fact, the company I work for owned two but one just got traded for a--wait for it--a Jeep.
     
  10. John Fenna

    John Fenna Lifetime Member & Maker

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    I still -often - bake bread or bannock on camp ... my days of long hikes are over so it is static camps for me and cooking is fun and cheap :) and tasty!
     
  11. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    I really find it difficult to imagine being out for more than a day without doing bannock of one sort or another; I'll often bake one even when out for the day. Great camp food, very quick and easy, you can make them as healthy as you like all the way up to luxuriously decadent............................And they fill you up very nicely :)
     
  12. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain New Member

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    I will make a bannock at home maybe once a month to go with my brown beans but I've never attempted any "trail bread." The recipe I do use (for bannock), however, presumes that it will be used on the trail or in camp, it being a "quick bread." I don't think anyone where I'm from (southern West Virginia) has ever heard of bannock bread. There they made biscuits, cornbread, and for the rare person with time on their hands, wheat bread (white bread). I don't know what the English would call an American biscuit but they are neither cookies or cracker. Some are light; some are heavy and a little greasy. The last I ate (yesterday morning) were served with sausage gravy. A peculiar Southern American way to have them is as "ham biscuits," which is a sort of little sandwich. We have had no equivalent to cucumber sandwiches since the revolution.

    On that point, I will mention that somewhere I've stated that as far as historical periods go, I've been interested in the gold rush period in the Yukon and Alaska. The old-timers, who undoubtedly were likely to be pretty young, became known as sourdoughs because of the bread they made. But I don't know if they made it as trail bread.

    To make a good bannock when camping, you need a proper skillet. Cast iron is naturally way too heavy but I am convinced that a pressed steel skillet is not only a good choice but historically accurate. Incredibly enough, they're still made.
     
  13. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Not really. Lots of people on this forum and on BCUSA make it in canteen cups, on flat rocks, etc. Back in the Boy Scouts we even were taught to wrap the dough around a stick http://youtu.be/o_xC9ymx0nk
     
  14. Whittler Kev

    Whittler Kev Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    We call them Scones (at least the biscuits I had in Florida are the same)
     
  15. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain New Member

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    Don't need a skillet to make a bannock? Next you be telling me you don't need a copper cauldron to make apple butter! Or you don't need a pot to boil water.

    I realize those things can be done but why do it the hard way?

    Now, has anyone ever boiled water without putting a pot of water on the fire? There is a way. No, I don't do it that way.
     
  16. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Do you remember where you got them Kev? I know you said Florida, but more specifically I'm asking the name of the restaurant? Or did somebody there make them home made?
     
  17. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Well; I guess cause that's kinda the point of doing bannock at all; to do it in camp. The way they used to do it. Otherwise I'd just make cornbread at home.

    At least that'd be my reasoning. TBH I probably won't ever make bannock though as my daughter's a celiac now. So I guess we're back to tortillas and hoe cakes.
     
    #157 santaman2000, Nov 10, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  18. Whittler Kev

    Whittler Kev Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    KFC and Ponderosa restaurants among others ;)
     
  19. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    I've been making mine for years in a closed stainless steel home-made "oven" with a circle of silicone baking sheet in the bottom, with great success; I'm Irish born and bred and we always made Soda Bread, i.e. no
    yeast involved and no kneading; in fact the quicker it goes to the fire after mixing the better it rises. Like all such breads, it rises through the reaction of the milkpowder in the mix and the sodium bicarbonate.

    But best of all is on a hot stone :)
     
  20. Macaroon

    Macaroon A bemused & bewildered

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    Oh and yes, I've boiled water in a paper bag; it was one of the rights of passage in the Scouts when I was an anklebiter :)
     

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