Modern bushcraft !?!

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johnboe522

Silver Trader
Feb 20, 2012
353
0
lulworth
I have been asked to write an article on modern kit and equipment and its uses in bushcraft in 2013.

I was just wondering what people's thoughts are, what do you guys think on the issue, I enjoy modern kit I must confess to being a bit of a jack door when it come to shinny kit.

But I am fascinated with the more traditional methods and the skills used, but I much prefer wearing gortex and full strech fabrics than wax jackets and wool.

Can the two mix or is there a hard core bushcrafters scene!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,625
1,722
S. Lanarkshire
Depends.

Mordern fabrics melt with sparks or cinders, and many are not safe near open flames.

Otherwise, modern kit is two things. Firstly, it can be brilliantly lightweight, but secondly there's just so much of it that sometimes the simplicity is totally lost in the volume of 'must have's'.
Carry less by knowing more is an aim rarely attained by most of us.

atb,
Toddy
 

johnboe522

Silver Trader
Feb 20, 2012
353
0
lulworth
Just seen that for the first time !! Looks like a really handy bit of kit if a mobile was a must have in the wilderness.

But a very good example indeed.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
Depends.

Mordern fabrics melt with sparks or cinders, and many are not safe near open flames.

Otherwise, modern kit is two things. Firstly, it can be brilliantly lightweight, but secondly there's just so much of it that sometimes the simplicity is totally lost in the volume of 'must have's'.
Carry less by knowing more is an aim rarely attained by most of us.

atb,
Toddy
Thats stretching it a bit Mary for crying out loud. If your close enough to melt a modern fabric then your too close to a fire so don't need it and if your getting holes from fire sparks stop poking the fire.

To be honest when I see people talk about melting Gore Tex et al, frankly...I often don't believe them, I honestly think they are making stuff up to fit their angle or if stupid enough to get close enough to melt kit should really stay at home out of harms way.
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,205
209
-------------
To be honest when I see people talk about melting Gore Tex et al, frankly...I often don't believe them, I honestly think they are making stuff up to fit their angle or if stupid enough to get close enough to melt kit should really stay at home out of harms way.
Got to say I kind of agree with that, hell as a kid we used to run through the embers of the local bonfire and our snorkel hood parka jackets didn't melt, are these people lying in the fire?
Some wally wafting a lit fag about in the pub was far more of a problem to man made fibre jackets.
 
Thats stretching it a bit Mary for crying out loud. If your close enough to melt a modern fabric then your too close to a fire so don't need it and if your getting holes from fire sparks stop poking the fire.

To be honest when I see people talk about melting Gore Tex et al, frankly...I often don't believe them, I honestly think they are making stuff up to fit their angle or if stupid enough to get close enough to melt kit should really stay at home out of harms way.
The tall flames that can sometimes lick from a fire or shoot out in a gust won't melt Gore-Tex, neither will any embers or ashes which can be blown or rise from the fire. I've had this happen and them land on my arms a few times, I've never had any problems. :)

I think all of us still like to retain a certain element of traditional outdoor living. Hence why most of us bushcrafters still use traditional methods (fire, foraging, hunting, whittling, etc) and modern equipment and gear still has it's roots set from that of long ago.
 
Last edited:
Feb 15, 2011
3,860
0
Elsewhere
There's no reason, other than purist snobbery, not to mix modern with more traditional gear. After all it should be about what works & what is more comfortable & efficent to use.
 

maddave

Full Member
Jan 2, 2004
4,177
34
Manchester UK
I tend to use natural fibres around the fire (Craghoppers pants melt for fun if a spark hits them.) But most of my gear that's not clothing is synthetic, from my pack to my sleep system. My tools are an eclectic mix of both modern and trad and as for boots I prefer leather unless I've gone sub zero, then it's mukluks or pacboots which are both synthetic.
 

copper_head

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 22, 2006
4,261
1
Hull
Whatever works really, as long as you've got what gear you need to be content and safe camping out. Your choice of what type of gear, ultimately, only allows you to tailor some of your experience of the outdoors.
Bivvy's, tents, hammocks, Gore-tex, Ventile, gas stoves and open fire's I've got and use it all.
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
268
70
SE Wales
It's surely a no brainer for me: Take and use the best of what's available for the job at hand - why would you not use the right tool for the job, regardless of when it was designed or made? Only a fool would dismiss a good bit of kit purely because it was new....................everything was new once.

It just so happens that for me, most of my really good, basic reach-for kit that I know and trust is traditional stuff, e.g. for my money you can't beat good simple wool clothing..............some of the new stuff makes a noise like someone pulling 40 bags of crisps through a hedge with a length of cord and when it does get wet it will freeze you...........but horses for courses, each to his or her own....atb mac
 

johnboe522

Silver Trader
Feb 20, 2012
353
0
lulworth
It's surely a no brainer for me: Take and use the best of what's available for the job at hand - why would you not use the right tool for the job, regardless of when it was designed or made? Only a fool would dismiss a good bit of kit purely because it was new....................everything was new once.

It just so happens that for me, most of my really good, basic reach-for kit that I know and trust is traditional stuff, e.g. for my money you can't beat good simple wool clothing..............some of the new stuff makes a noise like someone pulling 40 bags of crisps through a hedge with a length of cord and when it does get wet it will freeze you...........but horses for courses, each to his or her own....atb mac
My thoughts too mate, cheers guys this is a great help.
 

Bluffer

Nomad
Apr 12, 2013
464
0
North Yorkshire
I have a whole range of Paramo clothing for wet weather trekking and paddling, the lightweight stuff does not cope well with thorns, branches or sparks from fires but I've found no better clothing for working hard in typical British on-off rainy weather when you don't want the inconvenience of changing the old outer layer every half-hour.

I've recently sorted myself out with some wool and cotton/polycotton clobber for the more sedate stuff in the treeline, mainly to save my Paramo gear from being damaged.

I suppose I'll try and use an appropriate mixture of new and traditional gear depending on conditions and activity?
 

rommy

Forager
Jun 4, 2010
122
0
Hull, East Yorkshire.
Isn't cost a consideration in this debate? For example I am amazed at the cost of a modern lightweight backpacking tent. I've done John o'Groats to Lands End sleeping under a Lichfield Viper that cost me pennies but was perfectly adequate for seven weeks in all conditions? Just a thought?
 

Bumbler

New Member
Feb 22, 2013
256
0
Norway
www.bushcraft.no
There's no reason, other than purist snobbery, not to mix modern with more traditional gear. After all it should be about what works & what is more comfortable & efficent to use.
Agreed.
I use a modern outer shell, these days a gore tex jacket, or a softshell jacket. But inside that I prefer to use a knitted wool sweater. Well that is a truth with some modificaten. Most of the time it gets to hot to wear, and since wool is heavy, most of the time I use a fleece sweater. But my base layer is wool.
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,791
1,264
62
Pembrokeshire
I am a gear reviewer by way of a job.
Although I get to try out all sorts of gear I find that I prefer natural fibre fabrics to 100% synthetic fibre garments.
That is not to say that natural fibre does not equate to "modern" kit as fabrics such as "Epic Cotton" combine modern technology with natural fibres to great effect.
When you take into account the ecological impact of synthetics compared to naturals, plus the practical efficiencies of the fabrics then I find that I come down in favour of natural or natural /synthetic fibre clothing.
Plus the look of naturals suits me better!
 

Squidders

Full Member
Aug 3, 2004
3,853
14
44
Harrow, Middlesex
Bushcraft is a hobby... it's a massively broad one too. I liken it to reenacting. Some like english civil war, some like viking and others like whatever there is to like. The trick is not to be a complete bottom-hat about it. Go out, be nice to nature, be nice to other people, be happy in yourself and inspire others to do the same.

Enjoy your wool, enjoy your goretex.

I just purchased a shiny new Therm-a-rest Neo Air Xlite mat and will probably used a rolled up woolen jumper as a pillow when i'm on it. Oddly instead of both sides of the fence, traditional and modern, applauding me for using "Their kit" what usually happens is the fast and light brigade will slate me for using something heavy, thick and woolen and the trad lot will berate me for using something that will self-immolate.

Go figure.
 

HarrogateTobias

Full Member
Feb 4, 2011
856
1
30
Heaton, Newcastle
There's no reason, other than purist snobbery, not to mix modern with more traditional gear. After all it should be about what works & what is more comfortable & efficent to use.
Well said, I would like to add the smartphone (Samsung galaxy note 2 in my case) . It can do extremely accurate GPS (with barometer onboard and without internet 3g/4g!)
Also the numerous free apps, I got a knot app which has really helped me learn the hard ones!
Amazing camera (1080p video recording)
LED as light in a pinch.
£10 batteries

ect...
 

johnboe522

Silver Trader
Feb 20, 2012
353
0
lulworth
I am a gear reviewer by way of a job.
Although I get to try out all sorts of gear I find that I prefer natural fibre fabrics to 100% synthetic fibre garments.
That is not to say that natural fibre does not equate to "modern" kit as fabrics such as "Epic Cotton" combine modern technology with natural fibres to great effect.
When you take into account the ecological impact of synthetics compared to naturals, plus the practical efficiencies of the fabrics then I find that I come down in favour of natural or natural /synthetic fibre clothing.
Plus the look of naturals suits me better!
Just out of curiosity how did you get in the that of work, I have read a few of your reviews they are very helpfull, just always thought it was a hobbie !!
 

Toddy

Mod
Mod
Jan 21, 2005
35,625
1,722
S. Lanarkshire
Thats stretching it a bit Mary for crying out loud. If your close enough to melt a modern fabric then your too close to a fire so don't need it and if your getting holes from fire sparks stop poking the fire.

To be honest when I see people talk about melting Gore Tex et al, frankly...I often don't believe them, I honestly think they are making stuff up to fit their angle or if stupid enough to get close enough to melt kit should really stay at home out of harms way.
Nope; look at any of the folks who wear modern fabrics around fires for any length of time at all.....it's all spark holed :(

M