Help a newbie out

  • Hey Guest, For sale we have Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteel PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information or use the Pay Now button in the sidebar

KentishAdam

New Member
Nov 15, 2020
2
1
26
Lordswood
Good evening all.
I apologise as I guess this has been asked many many times before.

I am basically a newbie to bushcraft. I have done one wild camp weekend (3 nights) on Dartmoor but that was with mostly borrowed kit.

I am looking at getting my first rucksack I dedicate to bushcraft and wild camping.

to start with I am looking at a 35/40L pack. I’ve seen a Northen Ireland patrol pack that looks something like I would want/would suit my needs (I think)


It would be used mainly for day trips to begin with moving onto overnighters with either a hammock and tarp or tarp and Bivvi.

would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Ta
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
Welcome to the forum!

That is in my opinion too small for you.

I use a 34 litres rucksack myself.

I am very experienced and have developed an incredibly light and compact equipment which is relatively expensive.
Would you copy it 100 % you could get all the stuff you need into it. But would you take different equipment it wouldn't fit.

If you want to use this rucksack which has no hip belt, you need an extremely lightweight equipment to carry it comfortably.

I recommend to check out the prices of the following equipment and to think about if you can afford it.

If not, we can think about larger rucksack options for you.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
During the last couple of years I developed and tested a universal usable lightweight 3 seasons equipment which I would like to show you here.

The base weight of the full rucksack (without water and food) is round about 6 to 7 kg and so that pretty tough stuff doesn't disturb me if hiking and traveling around.

The following stuff can be used very well in most circumstances.

In my experience it's the best to keep the packing list as short and streamlined as possible. That keeps the rucksack light and one finds his stuff easier.

I recommend to buy all bigger stuff in olive green, brown, dark grey or sand colour to blend well in the surrounding area.
Very small things should be orange or red or bright blue that they don't get lost.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
Rucksack
German Army mountain troops, Cordura, 34 litres made by HEIM
or Essl Kaderrucksack 40 litres

Sleeping mat
German army folding mat
additional perhaps
Klymit inertia O-zone recon sand

Fleece jacket in Ortlieb 7 litres dry bag PS10 as pillow. (All my dry bags are that model in 1,5 or 3 or 7 litres version, available in olive green, grey or black. I store most stuff in sensible groups in those dry bags in different colours absolutely water proof, but for the beginning in summertimes a bin bag as rucksack liner is an option too.)
I usually let the jacket in the rucksack and use the rucksack itself as my pillow.
(The Solognac hunting fleece jacket 300 brown is a cheap and good quality option.
I recommend to buy Decathlon hunting clothing and to invest the here saved money in other mainly European or US made quality equipment.)

Sleeping bag
Snugpak Special Forces 1

Bivvy bag
Snugpak Special Forces

(Both together fit in an Ortlieb 7 litres dry bag and can be pulled out in one rush if the sleeping bag is always kept in the bivvy bag.)

Mosquito head net
Sea to Summit Nano

US army poncho
(I use the lighter but a bit shorter Defcon5)
in a Belt pouch with
Cordage
Edelrid Multicord 2,5 mm orange
and
Perhaps 4 very little aluminium
tent pegs, usefull especially in stony areas.

Canteen with nesting mug and belt pouch
US Army or similar
Depending on the area a second 1 litre bottle

Pot
750ml Toaks /Tomshoo Titan with bail handle and folding side handles

(Sometimes a very little gas stove or titanium spiritus stove with fuel.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TLM and Madriverrob

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
Spoon
A usual stainless steel spoon from mum's kitchen drawer, no fork! (With an expensive titanium spoon would be saved only a few grams. Often they are weak and to small. A fork is pretty useless in the woods and could destroy equipment!)

Cotton Handkerchief
Several times folded usable as pot holder.

Pocket knife
The Victorinox Compact has everything attached what is needed for trekking and traveling and nothing more, so it is light and Compact. It's the best way to carry nail scissors, because like that they can't destroy other equipment. Blister needle integrated, and that hook isn't only a beer bottle opener, it's usable as a tin /can opener too!

Full Tang knife
Mora Garberg stainless in leather sheath.

Sharpening tool
Fällkniven DC4

Lighter
Bic Mini 2X

Candle
as fire starter. A few drips of wax on the twigs help a lot!

Ferrocerium rod
Swedish army version

Toilet paper
Also for cleaning the pot a bit.

Wash kit
with folding tooth brush, tooth paste, shower gel and razor (orange Wilkinson's don't break so fast), very small microfibre towel (for example Nabaji size S, black).
I recommend to use the Sea to Summit biodegradable body wash soap for all and everything including the pot. The bottle is watertight and refillable.
I store my wash kit in the Solognac X Access organizer, size S.

Topographical map
1:50 000

Compass
Silva Ranger SL

Head torch
Petzl e-lite

Spare underwear 1X
Grey breefs and T-shirt in coyote brown or beige.
The relatively bright colour is better than a dark T-shirt in the sun of a hot summer day.
If it's colder, it's covered by the olive green long sleeve shirt. That usually blends into the seasonal landscape too.

Woolen spare socks 1X
Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 100 warm merino wool hiking socks, dark grey

Swimming shorts 1X
as spare shorts (in civilisation needed if washing the others)

Food
For example hard cheese, salami, bread, dried fruit with nuts mix, chocolate if not too hot. Tee bags, instant coffee in a small plastic bottle.
Little noodles and dehydrated tomato sauce.
In an olive green drybag you can hang it invisible over night animal secure and water proof in a tree.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
On the man:

Mountain boots
All leather double stiched handmade quality (like Schladminger Art. 100 Zwiegenäht or Meindl Ortler)

Woolen Socks
Decathlon Quechua Arpenaz 100 warm merino wool hiking socks, dark grey

Underwear
Grey breefs.

Zipp Off Trousers
in a polyester cotton mix fabric
Decathlon Forclaz Travel 100, khakibrown

Belt
good quality leather belt for stropping the knife, or polyester cotton mix webbing belt in US Army stile, especially for canoeing.

Purse / wallet
Lowe Alpine Belt Flip wallet
I carry it in the right pocket of my shirt.

House keys
Attached with cordage to the belt like ferro rod and swiss army knife and every other small item should be attached somehow.

T-shirt
cotton, coyote brown

Buttoned Long sleeve shirt
with 2 pockets and buttoned flaps over it.
(Large enough to fit over the fleece jacket as wind and spark protection.)
oliv, cotton or better polyester cotton mix.
I use the olive green original German army field shirt, still produced by A.Bloechel in Neuhaus am Inn.

_________________________________

Perhaps a light rain suit and waterproof cap like Solognac 100 waterproof jacket khaki and the fitting over trousers and Solognac waterproof foldable cap green.
Because we carry here additional a US Army poncho we don't need here a heavy army quality Goretex three layer rain suit.

Perhaps Smartphone with downloaded maps, cable and charger for emergencies, usually switched off. (Currently water protected Samsung Galaxy X Cover 4 with additional shock proofing case and screen protection)
 
  • Like
Reactions: TLM

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
The stuff I recommended here is well tested by myself. It is long lasting and offers a good value for the money.

The real survival essentials are chosen pretty bomb proof. It is as good as impossible to break them by intended use.
In the list they are underlined.
In this system the survival essentials can be carried on the person in the pockets of the clothing or attached to the belt in extra pouches.

It is a sensible idea to carry the stuff like that if we leave the other stuff in our camp even for only a few minutes in the deep forest. Of course one should avoid it to seperate oneself from the equipment.
The whole stuff is light enough to carry it usually on the back.

More luxury items are chosen as light as possible. If they would break wouldn't directly follow a complete disaster, so a bug net, second pot, head torch or air mat can be chosen as light as possible. This stuff could as well stay at home, but it's nice to have it.

With bivvy bag, in cold or very whet or windy conditions additional light rainsuit and military poncho we have here an overlapping redundancy as well as with the full tang and additional pocket knife and the recommended clothing with the sleeping bag, ferro rod and lighters. One can replace the other if something should get lost or break.

The result is that we have here a pretty luxury collection to choose in normal use, but we would be able to help a second person in a case of emergency or wouldn't get in stress if larger parts of our equipment would break, what isn't expected, because it's quality stuff.

What really shouldn't break is chosen as strong as necessary, nearly as strong as possible.

What doesn't belong to an inner line of protection , the real survival essentials, is chosen here in good quality but as light as possible to keep the total weight in a comfortable frame.
That isn't a warrior equipment. It's a holiday equipment. But the real survival essentials are several thousand times well tested NATO stuff and similar made civil high quality products.

The Decathlon Solognac hunting clothing is offered in most countries and here you get an outstanding good value for the money. Of course the competition offers similar stuff and some brands a superior expedition or military quality for a lot more money. Who wants it may choose it.
I myself invest my money in the other equipment that will last me a lifetime and save the money by using Decathlon clothing and used Army surplus field uniforms.
In my opinion Gucci stuff isn't needed in the woods and next to the fire seldom a good recommendation.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
Usually we recommend a bit larger rucksacks to beginners, where a warmer or cheaper sleeping bag would fit in, civil clothing they already own and used military surplus equipment that has a very good quality but usually can be bought in good conditions for very low prices.

New would be the very high quality Savotta Jääkäri L with Särmä TST side pouches 2xXL, 2xM, and 1xS a good recommondation because it will last a lifetime and is outstanding good constructed. But of course that isn't cheap. That's factory new high end equipment.

British Bushcrafters often use the British army long back Bergen Rucksack, because they are pretty good and used very cheap for this outstanding high quality.

You usually make the best deal if you buy original equipment that was issued by a NATO army and try to get it in the best possible conditions, handpicked, supergrade or especially grade 1. Even if bought already used it will last you far longer than usual middle priced civil equipment, especially regarding waterproofed plastic fibre fabrics.
If you stay in the system that was issued by the own army you get the stuff very cheap everywhere and it fits well together.

So, an Austrian beginner should buy Austrian stuff, a German the German army equipment, an American US army equipment and a Brit the British army stuff. The qualities are more or less identic but you get the stuff simply the cheapest if you buy the equipment of the own army.

The Dutch issued more comfortable rucksacks than the Brits, but the system is overlapping and fits well together, even in the camouflage pattern, which was nearly the same DPM - woodland camouflage before the British army got a new pattern.
You could buy a Dutch rucksack but get everything else from the British army and it would fit very well together.

In the here linked thread I recommended to another beginner a middle sized Dutch rucksack which is in the opinion of really good informed military surplus specialists one of the best options for buying a used bushcraft all purpose rucksack.


If that is a good recommendation to you depends on your body size and strength.

If you are young, tall and strong but poor you can take this!

If you are tall and strong but rich, the Savotta Jääkäri L with Särmä TST pouches would surely be the best option for you.

But if you should be relatively small or weak or old, my own equipment, which I listed above, wouldn't only be extremely comfortable to carry, like for me who is easily able to carry a 3 times heavier kit.

No, for most really small, old, or weak persons such a lightweight equipment can be a necessity, because it can be the only complete equipment they are able to carry over longer distances!
 
Last edited:

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
Before you buy boots, I recommend to read this thread here.

Such damages you have to expect with all glued shoes that are more than 7 years old. It doesn't matter how much they had been used.

Boots you should buy NEW. And if you are able to afford it, I recommend to buy old fashioned sewn boots and not modern looking glued boots.

 

woodspirits

Full Member
Jul 24, 2009
3,765
449
West Midlands UK
www.facebook.com
Hi Adam and welcome to the forum. You mentioned wild camping so perhaps moderate walking involved? And time of year will dictate your comfort level, amount of gear and bag to carry it in. Try not to get hung up on the 'must haves' too much keep it simple and refine as you go along. If it's just a case of a short haul from car to pitch, even a bin bag will do. ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,829
126
50
Kent
Good evening all.
I apologise as I guess this has been asked many many times before.

I am basically a newbie to bushcraft. I have done one wild camp weekend (3 nights) on Dartmoor but that was with mostly borrowed kit.

I am looking at getting my first rucksack I dedicate to bushcraft and wild camping.

to start with I am looking at a 35/40L pack. I’ve seen a Northen Ireland patrol pack that looks something like I would want/would suit my needs (I think)


It would be used mainly for day trips to begin with moving onto overnighters with either a hammock and tarp or tarp and Bivvi.

would appreciate your thoughts and suggestions.

Ta
That particular pack is NI "style" which means its a copy of the genuine article. I cant say that it will be bad, but you can get the proper one for around the same price but in DPM. Personnaly I think these are a good buy as a daysack. They compress down small enough to be carried in a bigger pack and have good features and very well made. Like anything military they are made for a purpose. These NI bags are designed to be used with webbing so sit quite high on your back without it. Depending on how big chested you are you may find you need a sternum strap. Well worth the price in my opinion and always re-saleable.

 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

lostplanet

Full Member
Aug 18, 2005
1,829
126
50
Kent
Hi Adam and welcome to the forum. You mentioned wild camping so perhaps moderate walking involved? And time of year will dictate your comfort level, amount of gear and bag to carry it in. Try not to get hung up on the 'must haves' too much keep it simple and refine as you go along. If it's just a case of a short haul from car to pitch, even a bin bag will do. ;)
Sound advice from woodspirits too. It will be trial and error, but thats part of the fun.

I like Uncle Rays advice,
Something to carry your outfit in
Something to sleep under
Something to sleep in
Something to sleep on
Something to cook over
Something to cook in
Something to carry water
a mug
eating utensils
food
medical kit
Navigational equipment
illumination at night
wash kit
clothing
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
I also would pack toilet paper, a knife and matches or a cigarette lighter.


The point is, that my stuff listed above is not only very light. It also packs very compact. It is the lightest and most compact long lasting quality equipment in natural colours I could find, and I did my research over years.

There are of course other options of stuff to compress a 3 seasons equipment into a 34 litres rucksack. But in my opinion they are usually less good, less long lasting, or have a worse price - value relation.

My 34 litres rucksack is full, totally compressed. There will not fit additional a mouse into.

If you try to pack other good quality equipment into the 38 litres rucksack, and do not leave items away which I listed above, the risk that it will not fit into the rucksack is very high.

A cheaper or warmer sleeping bag with synthetic filling and it will not fit.
More water and food for a week will not fit.
A large sensible priced tarp and the food will not fit.
A usual selfinflating insulation mat will not fit.

And so on!

I listed above how to fit a 3 seasons equipment for several weeks long travels into a large day pack.

If you want to do it too you surely will find no better way to do it. I doubt that anyone can do it, because I know most existing outdoor equipment.

But you can buy a just a bit heavier equipment for approximately half the price, if you buy used British Army equipment in good conditions and it will last you perhaps longer than the equipment which I listed above.

But I doubt that you will get it in the 38 litres rucksack which you asked about and in the link that @lostplanet gave us they even write about only 30 litres and that is simply too small if you pack usual army equipment and follow the list I gave you above. But that is approximately the minimal trekking equipment most experienced bushcrafters will recommend to you.

I don't own so much current British army equipment and I didn't try out if it fits.
But I am pretty convinced that it will not fit.

Perhaps we have a member who is able to try it out, because he owns the stuff.

But with MOD bivvy bag, British army tarp, British army Gotetex suit and all the other highly recommended stuff ???

I doubt that it fits even without spare clothing and warm baselayers.
 
Last edited:

Brizzlebush

Full Member
Feb 9, 2019
196
97
Bristol
Paul Kirtley has written lots of great articles on his blog.

Here's a good place to start:

Also if you're on a budget, or even if you're not, I think this article is great too:

Have fun out there! Welcome along.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin

 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,356
1,330
Bedfordshire
In the olden days, when folk didn't have to carry a huge rucksac we had a saying about learning stuff. it was 'the more you carry in your head, the less you have to carry on your back.'
True, and today you can carry less by knowing more. However, if you are not carrying your resources, you need to draw them from the land, knowledge may allow you to do more with less, but if you do need to draw from the land it will be destructive to some degree. Some of this will regenerate quickly, some takes more time. There is also the old saying about "taking only memories and leaving only footprints." There are many more people today, and more are using the outdoors. In some places even leaving footprints is an environmental problem.

Examples of bushcraft that help with pack load, but which may not be appropriate now in higher use areas:
No stove - cook on fire
Sleeping bag not warm enough, or no bag - make a long fire and keep it going all night
No shelter - cut poles, gather leaf litter, pull up moss
No mattress - leaf litter, cut conifer bows
No cord - dig up roots, strip bark, cut tree shoots
No food - pull up or pick wild plants, trap animals

In England, the areas where wild camping is tolerated, like the fell tops and moors, are not well stocked with resources. Getting permission to wild camp is one thing, but getting permission to "bushcraft" camp doing the stuff I list above is going to be a whole lot harder.

I think all that is a valid argument for having the ability to carry more until you have learned more ;)

I started with packs that had 40 litre main body with ability to attach two 10litre PLCE pockets (first original Snugpak Rocket Pack, then a Sabre45). The short back Snugpak was meant for use with webbing and was awful, just killed my back. I also found that with my cheap bulky sleeping bag, cheap bulky hammock + tarp + mat, cheap bulky cook gear, it was a struggle to fit everything in. Gear does expand to fill available space, but fitting everything in a very small space is a whole skill unto itself, that only comes with practice and fine tuning.

All the best

Chris
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst and Broch

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,513
3,776
Mid Wales
It saddens me to say I 100% agree with Chris as far as the UK goes (not that I'm sad to agree with Chris, but I'm sad that our circumstances in the UK means he is right). We've mentioned several times recently that we live on a very crowded small island and we cannot continue to persuade people to venture into the very few wild places we have and carry out traditional 'bushcraft' activities. We have to have an attitude of carry in/carry out everything we need.

I no longer demonstrate natural shelter building because the amount of material that has to be gathered would soon cause too much damage to my wood. I spend more time talking about and demonstrating 'one pot' cooking on a gas stove than I do fire lighting. And, I probably spend more time talking about respect for the environment and conservation than I do about 'natural resources'.

As far as rucksacks go, for two to three nights out in lowland conditions and above 10C, 40 Litres should be enough. However, the extra weight of another 10 to 20 litres is nothing. More importantly is where the pack fits on your back and where you take the weight (shoulders/hips) and how far you need to carry it. If you're walking from the car to a camp 1km away you could manage with a duffle bag; if you want to do 20km over mountains and moors you will need a comfortable rucksack with a good back system.

I am not going to recommend a bag though - there are hundreds of makes and models and, having found a make I like years ago, I stick with it so have little experience of most makes. You need to get to an outdoor store and try some on your back. There are cheaper models that will do the job but may not last as long as the more expensive ones, but chances are you will want to change after a few years anyway.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SaraR and armie

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
2,503
965
Berlin
I recently had a look at most of the currently in Germany and France offered civil rucksack models and I found them so bad constructed that I wouldn't take them as a gift.

It is of course necessary to try on a new rucksack if it has a hip belt.

But we as experianced hikers and bushcrafters should point out which rucksacks are well designed and made out of long lasting materials.

We can't send beginners into the shops without any experianced guiding informations. They surely would come out of it with nonsense constructions which we as experianced persons would simply throw away.

I think a lot of current trekking rucksacks are really dangerous to use.

They are made for hostel hopping and not for expedition like hikes.
 

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
4,513
3,776
Mid Wales
I think a lot of current trekking rucksacks are really dangerous to use.

They are made for hostel hopping and not for expedition like hikes.

Exactly why, like for any purchase, one has to define the requirements. There are very serviceable rucksacks out there for less than £50 for occasional weekend trips. Not everyone will be using them for more than a few weeks a year.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Erbswurst

Hultafors Outdoor knife for Sale

We have a a number of Hultafors Outdoor Knives with Firesteels for sale.

You can see more details here in this thread OUTDOOR KNIVES The price is £27 posted to the UK. Pay via the paypal button below.