How do you carry it all?

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forestwalker

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


Not what you would call comfortable but it is just sufficient.

What is missing to make it comfortable?
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,263
18
45
Yorkshire
Like other have said, the bulk of my pack is determined by the weather and mainly which doss bag I'm going to be using. I use an underblanket pretty much all year round with either a 1 season bag or a 4 season bag, one is the size of a small melon and the other is the size of a small detached house.
Once you added the billy cans, food, water, stove, change of top for the morning, tarp, hammock and cordage, knife, saw/axe and a bag of gadgets it all adds up.
I admire those who can do multi day trips with just a 45L but I prefer to be comfortable myself.
 

rg598

Native
I think part of the confusion with respect to what a bushcrafter carries comes from the fact that there are two different types of bushcraft.

First, there is what used to be called bushcraft/bush skills, now mostly referred to as survivalism. That is the system that most people new to the community imagine-a person with his knife out in the woods, relying on his skills.

Lately however, bushcraft has drastically changed its definition, at least as far as I have been able to observe. These days bushcraft incorporates the practice of traditional skills which require a level of sophistication not permitted if the person was just out in the woods with his knife. Things like spoon carving, basket weaving, bow making, etc, are still traditional skills, but skills that would have been practiced in a village setting, not by a single person out in the woods.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, a lot of people who call themselves bushcrafters believe that this is a higher form of knowledge, what they call “thriving in nature”, than mere survivalism. To practice skills such as spoon carving, those people are forced to bring in a large amount of kit, so they have the time to work on such projects. As a result, modern bushcraft has come to resemble camping with some time dedicated to woodcarving. It has become so extreme, that some people have to drive to the camp site in order to unload their “bushcraft” gear.

While there is nothing wrong with practicing the above skills, too many people have come to see it as bushcraft itself. These people can spend their whole lives never being in a situation where they are more than a walking distance from a hotel or a coffee place. I personally believe, and I might be wrong, that this is the reason that the modern bushcraft knife is what it is-a dedicated woodcarving knife, rather than a more robust bush tool.

So, be clear with respect to what you would like to do, and then try to find people who actually do it. If you want to go deep into the woods, with minimal gear, and rely on your skills, then find people who actually do that, and learn from them. If on the other hand, you want to go into the woods, put the stew on the fire in a cast iron pot, sit back in you camp chair and do some wood carving, then find people who do that. The two groups will have a different approach to their gear and skill selection. Unfortunately, both groups call themselves bushcrafters, and it makes it hard to tell the difference.

Personally, I fall in neither group. My gear comes up to about 30-40 lb, and I carry it deep into the woods each time. I use a CFP 90 backpack (replica). I am never in a position where I can walk out of the woods the same day that I went in. That, in addition to the fact that I have to carry the gear on my back for a whole day of hiking, shapes my thinking and gear selection in a very real way.

Just my $.02
 

Twodogs

Maker Plus
Nov 16, 2008
5,302
56
West Midland
www.facebook.com
Gary ,Cyclops roc is 70 lt if I remember correct ( Fine pack it is to ) ..
I used a sabre 45 with pouchs on the last meet and it dont give you much room for luxery items .
In my opinion 70 lt is about right for a four or five day trip and more importantly about right to carry , When you get to 100 lt plus you talking a lot of fitness and maybe kit you dont need .
Twodogs
 

jimford

Settler
Mar 19, 2009
548
0
81
Hertfordshire
If on the other hand, you want to go into the woods, put the stew on the fire in a cast iron pot, sit back in you camp chair and do some wood carving, then find people who do that.

I can't really see the point in driving out to the woods in a 4x4 just to do the above - you might as well do it in your back garden!

Jim
 

rg598

Native
You are right Jim, I don't think it is worth doing, but I didn't want to step on anyone's toes. Alot of "bushcrafters" do just that, but will never admit it. I think that's why some people get the impression that it would take a 4x4 to get all the gear to camp.
 

SOAR

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 21, 2007
2,031
4
44
cheshire
I haven't been on this site for long, but what's struck me is the sheer volume and weight of gear that's often discussed!

How do you blokes carry it all - mules, 4x4 - or are you 'back garden bushcrafters'?

Jim

why not share with us what you carry and how you carry it, everyone needs, or wishes to take different amounts of kit in order to be comfortable.
 

SOAR

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jan 21, 2007
2,031
4
44
cheshire
Comfortable - who said anything about comfortable?
;^)

Jim

P.S. I'll dig out my equipment list(s) and post it.

Jim

You need to be comfortable;) or its not really an enjoyable experience with no sleep:)
 

sirex

New Member
Nov 20, 2008
226
0
bournemouth
to give you an idea, this is my check list, this covers everything from mountain hiking to car camping, for both me and wife. I dont take all of it when im hiking for instance, and i wouldnt take all the clothing at once.

I take this in a 60-100 L rucksack, my wife uses a 65L rucksack. We obviously take alot less on day trips.

Orange survival bag
Space blanket
Whistle
First aid
Bin liner
Map
Map holder
Compass
Brew kit
KFS
Head net
Hexi fuel
Hexi stove
stove
Gas
Tarp (+pegs)
Mess tin
Matches
Folding cup
Fire steel
Tick tweasers
Books
Knife
Soap
Water bottles (+ water)
Water bladder
Hipflask/bottle
Aquamira
Purification tablets
Batteries
Trowel
Head torch (x2) (+ batteries)
Saw
Paracord
Midge spray
Dry wash
Airmat
Lilo
Sleeping bag
Pillow
Tent
Tent lighting
Camo hat
Thinsulate hat (black)
Socks - inner
Socks - outer
Gloves
Waterproof Jacket
Waterproof Trousers
Fleece
Norwegian top
Micro fleece top
Scrim net
Wrist warmers
Thermals
Tops
Trousers
Head scarf
Boots
Waterproof socks
Belt
Money
Informed of position
Phones

Groundhog pegs
Mallet
Water carrier
 

JonathanD

Ophiological Genius
Sep 3, 2004
11,906
130
Stourton,UK
Not picking on you Jonathan, but I see members saying I go out for a trip with an X litre pack, but the reality is different and I think for the clarity of new members we should state the actual size of pack, and not just the start off point.

New members may have idea's of wise bushcraft men going off to the local wood carrying a tiny pack or indeed wearing a loin cloth, carrying a knife and doing well, but as most know the real world is different.

Work on the Stella issue Jonathan, I can strongly suggest a three litre bag of wine, does wonders for a corn beef stew and the carrier;)

Is there a set standard? I can go out with a 45l pack with the 10l pockets left off, or if I'm with friends, put on with luxuries inside. Everytime I set off it's different, sometimes it's a 30l Sabre, sometimes 35, sometimes 65l total on it's own or with a Landrover attached (don't know how many litres a LR counts as). Every trip is different, everyone is different. There is no right or wrong. Bushcrafting is in your mind, not your gear. If you like tons of gear and big pack, camp half a mile from home, this doesn't make you any less a 'shrafter than someone who goes out for weeks with a blanket and Mora.

I see a certain prejudice against people who watch RM at home and spend little time outdoors. These people are no less bushcrafters than RM himself. It's about attitude and an awareness of the outdoors, not necessarily the experience of it, although that is ideal. There are people out there who have different focus and attention to the outdoors and it involves kit. If that kit gets used once a year or fifty times a year plus, there should be no belittling or prejudice.

The first poster seems to 'accuse' people of being back garden bushcrafters. Is that right? I think not. Better to be a back garden bushcrafter than an indoor Playstation-Crafter :aargh4:

As for Stella, I'd settle for three litres of Chateau Angelus, or a pint of Ardbeg. But depending on which, I'd have to alter my rucksack specs ;)
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
All this very light camping is great, but my pack in itself already weighs 4kg (external steel frame), so I tend not to think about weight too much as its heavy to begin with. If I
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My pack is a haglofs 'alaska', I've never seen anyone else with it, and I havent seen it for sale since I bought it. Its very straightforward, very strong, and I'm very happy with it. here's a picture for the curious (not my site, but the only one I could find that has a picture of it). If anyone has used one I'd be curious to know what you thought of it, I think its great.
http://www.nallo2.se/fjallbilder/diverse/minutrustning.htm

The Alaska was a good pack, almost ceretainly out of producton for a decade or more. I think the frame ws aluminium, though. Some quite intersting solutions, like the asymetrical side pockets (one for bigge objectsr, two for small items). I liked the bellt, with the small pockets.
 

forestwalker

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
I think part of the confusion with respect to what a bushcrafter carries comes from the fact that there are two different types of bushcraft.

First, there is what used to be called bushcraft/bush skills, now mostly referred to as survivalism. That is the system that most people new to the community imagine-a person with his knife out in the woods, relying on his skills.

It kind of depends. If one is just out travelling, then the minimal kit (however you define minimal) is sufficient. But if you want to have everything you'd need to make the stay longer (swede saw, full size axe, crooked knife, rope...) then the weight goes up, and so does the volume. Same if cooking nicer food or making more stuff is part of your "mission profile". If I take my basic kit and toss in a Mora slöjd (in a posh braided birch bark sheet) and a spoon- or crooked knife do I loose my bushcraft cred? It weights about the same as a book, and is a nice way to spend time. If I carry the same kit for a weekender as I would for a month, does it make me conservative, inflexible, just silly or not-a-bushcrafter (I already know I'm not fashionably ultra-light & day-glo)?

I think backpacking icon Colin Fletcher once pointed out that his kit was heavier than many others, but he had the stuff needed to overcome bad weather and damaged equipment. Is this a good or bad thing?

I agree that there is a point where you no longer have kit that is human portable, but then you enter a different style, more like setting up a permanent camp (that unfortunately ends after the bank holiday). And if I want to fit in and have the ability to provide 10 people with nice food from the medieval cookbooks, and myself with things to do for a week in a medieval camp, then I have a trailer (the yurt is rather space demanding, and I then bring at least 3 cookpots, a bunch of wooden bowls, more blankets than a Red Cross relief mission, etc on top of that). If it was just me I could go there with a backpack and live in sparse comfort, but it is a familly of four and much common kit for another 6-7.

Lately however, bushcraft has drastically changed its definition, at least as far as I have been able to observe. These days bushcraft incorporates the practice of traditional skills which require a level of sophistication not permitted if the person was just out in the woods with his knife. Things like spoon carving, basket weaving, bow making, etc, are still traditional skills, but skills that would have been practiced in a village setting, not by a single person out in the woods.

But if one lives in an apartment one really can't do much at home. One needs to go out to do crafts. So one goes out with "living kit", and a "tool kit". And why not carry some comforts if you already have breached the "single carry" wall? If was going to a "primtiive skills camp" for a week my kitlist would be different from a weeks hiking.

While there is nothing wrong with practicing the above skills, too many people have come to see it as bushcraft itself. These people can spend their whole lives never being in a situation where they are more than a walking distance from a hotel or a coffee place. I personally believe, and I might be wrong, that this is the reason that the modern bushcraft knife is what it is-a dedicated woodcarving knife, rather than a more robust bush tool.

The woodlore is not a craft knife (unless you compare it to the Aitor Jungle King, a Randall hollow handle, or the Rambos), it is a woodsmans compromise: ok carving ability and the durability to be batoned to hell and back. If you want to see dedicated carving knives the look at the slöjd moras.

But didn't we do this in the "survival-bushcraft" thread? If I was going on on a weekend canoe trip, or to spend the next year in the woods west of James Bay or east of the Urals I would carry the same knife as my primary knife (a woodlorish thing). Sure, for the year in the bush scenario I would like to add some stuff, like a spare knife (of the same style), a spoon- or crooked knife, perhaps a dedicated butchering knife, not to mention woodstove and canvas tent, swede saw, splitting maul, rifle/shotgun, etc. The heavy chopper knife would never enter into it (it is a jungle/tundra design, there I would carry a golok or sami chopper).

There are very few things that the bigger knives do better. And it was weeks since I last neeeded to kill a zombie, and that was on a UNIX server.
 

sapper1

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 3, 2008
2,577
0
swansea
When it comes to the crunch ,people will take what they wnt regardless of what others think.There was a recent thread very similar to this where a member had a pop at the gear others were using.I turned out that he had to go home because he didn't have sufficent or suitable kit and lacked the knowledge to use what he did have.
Says quite a lot about peoples attitude to the kit others feel they need to carry.
I'd love to carry a dutch oven with me but thet're a bit heavy to stick in my pack.
I can carry all that I need for a summer week in a 45L pack but have recently changed to 75L pack.Why? Because if I'm with a group I NEED beer and more food to share I Need more kit to share the skills I have,but most of all I carry what I need to be comfortable.
I have to carry it and if I'm comfortable carrying it why should this bother anyone else.
I have seen people spend a weekend with a 20L rocket pack and they have been as comfortable as people with a 130L pack and 4 carriers.
 

Shewie

Mod
Mod
Dec 15, 2005
24,263
18
45
Yorkshire
Why an underblanket - is it lighter and more efficient than a closed cell mat? Or is it neither, but just 'traditional'?

Jim


I find the underblanket does a far better job for a hammock than a mat, best bit of kit I ever bought.
Definitely not traditional though, not the Snugpak one I've got anyway :)
 

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