Non expensive kit

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andywragg

Forager
Jun 9, 2016
110
0
Sheffield UK
I gave most of my ex-military gear away when I left the TA in 1999, but kept a few things, just in case. This year I've had to re-kit both myself and my boy, and have found ebay and amazon a great place to pick up bargains. Here's what I've discovered;

Hultafors knives (I have Hultafors GK, OK1 and the Classic Hunting Axe)
Lixada folding wood stoves and Trangia clone alcohol burners.
Vango folding gas burner - uses the ubiquitous gas canister
Tenth Wonder Hammocks and Tarps - Not the cheapest but definitely very good quality with great features
more military surplus - UK issue kit is SO much better these days. The new PCS clothing is pretty cheap and the cold weather gear looks much better than we had back in't day.
Eko bio ethanol - cheaper, cleaner, and hotter than meths, with much less smell.
 

scarfell

Forager
Oct 4, 2016
224
1
south east
Any where sell these surplus wonderful cheap trousers in 36" legs?????????????:(
The only way to find bargains, except with occasional luck, is to spend many hours searching and searching and searching :) as suggested above ebay and amazon are good places to start, as is "army surplus" in google

Ps doesnt matter how many ?'s you put, you still have to do the searching yourself :p
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,481
437
Cabin Fever Central
The little plastic bottles that 'e-juice' vaping liquid comes in can be re-used to store fuel, albeit only a small amount with 10ml being the most common size. Now whilst that's not exactly a lot it's more than ample to refill a Zippo lighter or provide a squirt of accelerant to assist fire starting in adverse conditions and survival situations. Another option is to remove the dropper nozzle it just pulls out thus making it possible to easily fill with Potassium Permanganate crystals, Magnesium powder, Flowers of Sulphur, Lithium, whatever gets you hot. Given a good rinse they could also be suitable for food use as holders for salt & cooking spices, putting a splash of maple syrup on pancakes, fruit cordial concentrate etc.

Dimensions of the 10ml bottles are roughly 98mm x 22mm diameter. Five will fit in a large tobacco tin. So a handy size for inclusion in any grab-n-go emergency kit, glove box backup in the car or even your regular bimble bag. You can buy the bottles new from the likes of Ebay & Amazon for around 15p each, alternatively just ask around for empty ones that would otherwise be binned.
 
Apr 7, 2016
393
52
suffolk
The only way to find bargains, except with occasional luck, is to spend many hours searching and searching and searching :) as suggested above ebay and amazon are good places to start, as is "army surplus" in google

Ps doesnt matter how many ?'s you put, you still have to do the searching yourself :p
I think you may need to read back a bit to put my post in context. I do (I won't put a full stop in here in case it's too many?)
 

MilkTheFrog

Tenderfoot
Nov 10, 2015
55
0
United Kingdom
Well I was bored so I had a go at the £100 challenge... although since I don't see why people usually skip clothing on these things, it ended up being more like £150. Still, seems like a decent setup if you were starting from absolutely nothing. I tried to avoid places like Amazon and Sports Direct for various reasons, but that's up to you. In reality, charity shops and second hand stuff is your friend but I wanted to see what could be done if you can't rely on them. Assuming you have things like cutlery, underwear, thin socks, bin bags/carrier bags but not much else.

RucksackSwedish LK35£12.50http://www.militarymart.co.uk/swedish-army-lk35-rucksack.htmlThe standard, might need a patch or something but nothing major. Stock straps should be fine to begin with.
KnifeHultafors HVK£4.19https://www.ffx.co.uk/tools/product/Hultafors-Hulhvk-7317843800111-Craftmans-Knife-HvkRidiculous price for a quality knife, I've got the rubberised handle version of this and I'd say it's at least on par with a Mora. Just hone it on your jeans until you feel the need to sharpen.
HatchetSilverline 1.5lbs£5.35http://www.yourspares.co.uk/parts/ys161884/hardwood-hatchet--15lb-068kg-HA68.aspxCheap, but spend some time working at it with a axe puck (check your local beach) and it'll split wood as well as anything.
Saw300mm/12" bow saw blade + 2x ~3mm x 25mm nails£2.50http://www.homebase.co.uk/en/homebaseuk/stanley-12-inch-bowsaw-blade-673460Not too difficult to make a frame and you can pretty easily carry the pieces with you. Better performance than any folding saw and a fraction of the price.
Sleep bagCzech Bed Roll£9.00http://www.militarymart.co.uk/czech-army-bed-roll.htmlMight need some repairs but duct tape has your back, still a decent, pretty warm setup if bulky.
Sleep roll7mm Foam Mat£3.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/m100-foam-camping-sleeping-mat-id_5591048.htmlMight want something thicker if it's cold.
Cordage2x 100ft Paracord£2.98http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111683203585?var=410690918229Maybe not as good as the real thing, but it'll do for most uses.
Water bottles750ml + 1.5l£1.15http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/gb/groceries/sainsburys-caledonian-scottish-water--still-750ml-(sports-cap)Just a plastic bottle with a sports top to drink on the go and larger one to carry water, cheap as chips and I've used them outdoors before. Just don't throw them around or expect them to last forever and it'll do fine.
StoveLixada Woodgas£9.89http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/262721365706For places where you don't want to/can't have an open fire. Free fuel.
PansBritish Mess Kit£4.50http://www.militarymart.co.uk/british-army-mess-tins-genuine.htmlPretty much the cheapest containers you can rely on for cooking. Unless you want to gamble with food/coffee tins that might not have a chemical lining.
Fire steel8x80mm ferro rod£2.97http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/192071041557Cheaper than most budget firesteels and easier to use. If you want a handle, split a branch, carve out the middle and wrap it with string to secure it.
TorchCree Q5£1.99http://www.ebay.co.uk/p/1989579613Added a quid for batteries, don't expect the world but it has some decent reviews, will probably do for around camp.
CompassSilva Micro£5.94https://dash4it.co.uk/silva-micro-carabiner-compass.htmlYou can get cheaper compasses, but ones you can rely on to point north without being perfectly level? Or not to just fail and get stuck? That's your call.
WhistleMarine Whistle£1.30http://www.militarymart.co.uk/emergency-marine-whistle-survival.htmlLoud, probably won't need it but you'll regret not having it if you do.
Sit matGarden kneel pad£1.00Try poundland or a gardening store, useful to line the back of your pack and use as an easy to access knee rest or sit pad.
OS MapLocal area£5.84https://dash4it.co.uk/ordnance-survey-maps/series/explorer.htmlNot everyone chooses to practice bushcraft with a map, but they are incredibly useful in an area you're not familiar with. Good skill to learn.
Map caseScout£2.50http://www.militarymart.co.uk/scout-map-case.htmlCuts down on the map folding frustration, even if it's in your pack most of the time.
Tarp8x10ft polyethylene£4.84http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/291299888604Cheap, versatile.
First AidSelf assembled£5.00Think it's better to put this together yourself than to end up looking through it for the first time when you really need something that might not even be there. Can get some super cheap ones in a bag/box to get you started.
ShoesArpenaz 50£11.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-50-mens-walking-boots-black-id_8244102.htmlThey're alright, certainly not that great but better than going out in some worn sneakers like you see some people doing. Not much else for less than £25 unless you get lucky with your size in military surplus/second hand.
JacketArpenaz 20£10.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-20-mens-black-id_8370601.htmlIt's a jacket.
WaterproofQuencha£3.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/men-rain-cut-zip-green-id_8356252.htmlIt's a waterproof. Could consider a poncho, bit bulkier but can double as a shelter and would cover your pack and some of your legs too.
HatGerman Winter Hat£2.00http://www.militarymart.co.uk/german-olive-winter-hat.htmlPossibly overkill or too warm most of the year, but a good hat does wonders for morale in the cold.
GlovesForclenaz£3.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/forclaz-100-adult-black-id_8285576.htmlSimilar to some surplus ones you can find but probably more modern - windproof/breathable, and less worn.
ShirtAustrian Field Shirt£3.00http://www.militarymart.co.uk/austrian-field-shirt.htmlSolid mid/outer layer, tough material and it does a lot to stop the wind.
FleeceForclaz 20£2.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/forclaz-20-mens-fleece-black-id_8351934.htmlIt's a fleece. Worth having a good mid layer, probably better off checking charity shops or a dutch surplus fleece if you can stretch to it.
TrousersArpenaz 50£7.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-50-mens-pants-khaki-id_8356067.htmlDecent enough if you can get the sizing right. Again the alternative is surplus.
SocksArpenaz 50£3.99http://www.decathlon.co.uk/arpenaz-50-high-adult-white-id_8329335.htmlHad trouble finding a reliable source of cheap wool socks, seem decent if not that warm. I'd wear them over some thin comfortable polycotton socks if you have them.
ScarfShemagh£2.28http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/201513785847Scarf, towel, pillow, sling... useful thing to have.
Base layer topBritish army£1.50http://www.militarymart.co.uk/british-army-issue-long-john-top.htmlWarm base layers for next to nothing, can get some modern ski stuff for not much more that's wicking if you prefer.
Base layer bottomBritish army£3.50http://www.militarymart.co.uk/british-army-issue-long-johns-2-pack.html
NotebookTesco A5 Wirebound£0.75http://www.tesco.com/groceries/product/details/?id=271660270Possibly your most important bit of kit. A pencil helps too. Don't get it wet. Largely personal preference, I prefer blank pages but they're much harder to find.
Total:​
£145.64
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,481
437
Cabin Fever Central
There's some definitely good bargains in that list and maybe even a little wiggle room.

If the FAK includes scissors then a whistle could be fashioned from a discarded drinks can.
OS Map... I hear some people take screenshots of Bing maps and print them off at the local library :27:
BA mess tins... not my first choice of cookware but slighty cheaper Millicamp versions can be found
Water bottles... plastic ones can be foraged for free, alternatively £land should have the 1L aluminium camping bottles back soon.

Tempted to say ditch the woodgas stove and BA tins in favour of two large tins of something like Nido milk powder , Soup, Coffee. One to make a billy can the other a hobo stove but those gasification stoves are really good.
 

MilkTheFrog

Tenderfoot
Nov 10, 2015
55
0
United Kingdom
Yeah. If you really wanted to get under £100 I think the key would be actually using some bushcraft skills to make some more of the gear yourself. Could do a triangle frame backpack with some paracord weave/cobra knot straps, wrap all your stuff in the tarp and lash it to the frame. Dig up some clay and make your own cooking pot.
 

MilkTheFrog

Tenderfoot
Nov 10, 2015
55
0
United Kingdom
A challenge for you. Dig up some clay, make a pot, and cook 2 meals and a mug of tea in it. Do that by midsummer (21st June 2017). Post video or photographic evidence, and I'll post you a couple of beers.

Good luck

J
Hah, I actually have an unfired bowl sitting on my desk. Haven't been out for a while, but you can generally expect 50/50 success rates with campfire firing at best. It's not something you want to rely on in the field, partly because it'll take several days at least. But it's certainly not an impossibility. It's a skill people relied on for tens of thousands of years, and we can learn it as with any other.

Does water filtration count as cheating? What about adding temper? ;)
 

walker

Full Member
Oct 27, 2006
454
0
49
devon
my kit gets wet it gets left out kicked about etc , love cheap gear as well as dearer stuff
you really have to look and shop around
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,481
437
Cabin Fever Central
So there I was looking for christmas tree in Poundland....but that's another story
anyhow... lurking in the kitchen section are these "Moscow Mule" mugs. Not the genuine article but copper coloured stainless steel.
Good for the old world 18th century or steampunk look and well, a tin mug is handy
IMAG2977.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: crosslandkelly
May 11, 2009
47
2
Tennis Town
"Gucci" kit versus "non-expensive" kit - horses for courses:
In life, I ALWAYS opt for the least expensive acceptable quality item. In day to day living, that'll be supermarket own brand instead of Heinz, Lidl own brand sugar instead of Tate And Lyle, etc. When I ate biscuits, I found the budget versions of chocolate digestives from Sainsbury and Morrisons to be less desirable than those at Tesco and Asda, despite them all being the same retail price.

Cost isn't always an indication of usability, value or quality: I actually prefer the Asda/Tesco own brand version of Chocolate Hobnobs to the McVities original because they're a tad harder and so better for dunking in tea...
:coffee2:

For bushcraft and wilderness activities, my default "brand" is British Army surplus - what I grew up on using from an early age. The least expensive and generally toughest and most idiot-proof. Items replaced as something better comes along - mostly by commercial kit made for the military (eg: Buffalo Mountain Shirt). Most of my non-military kit is now "vintage" or is unbranded and I tend to customise EVERYTHING over time - I don't always know exactly who made what I've got.

Over recent years, I use a fair few pound shop items. (eg: I binned my AA Maglite LED in favour of a 99p Store LED torch - Poundland still sell these - but for a penny more!)

A few years ago, I made a 100 mile coastwalk (Exmouth to Poole less Portland) with a pal. Working as a purchaser for an outdoors pursuits chain of shops, he had the latest, top of the range Gucci kit.

His load was light (~25lb) and compact. I used a good quality civvie rucksack but my kit inside was bulkier and heavier by upwards of 15lb over my mate's rucksack. I consequently left my army sleeping bag and carried a "two season" (really one season!) sleeping bag, instead. I never use tents but had a 3 person tent - so I carried the flysheet and poles only. Plus a mylar emergency shelter (not needed).

Did I suffer over that week or what?!

But then, I had the advantage over him during our rock climbing trips a few years earlier. I don't abuse my kit but I also don't have to "over care" for it, either. I'm not so worried about my kit getting knocked about, exposed to the elements or muddy, etc, within reason.

It taught me a valuable lesson: bushcraft kit should be honed for bushcraft, hiking kit needs to be honed for hiking. I since keep my hiking specific kit packed in my hiking rucksack - which I use only for hiking.

Buying used - warning:
Car Boot Sales are my favourite source of kit - before too many people felt the pinch and so started bothering to sell their goods online.

The rucksack (Lowe Alpine Liberty APS) that I'd used on that coastwalk cost me £5. It had a fantastic back adjustment system but (to me) was low capacity (65 litre). It also had funny shaped shoulder straps which were annoying to me by day 2 of the hike:

(ME):
"This rucksack's more comfortable than anything else I've used - but these silly, squiggly shoulder straps let it down. If it ain't broke, don't fix it - they'd be better straight and wider."

(MATE'S REPLY):
"Yeah, they've since replaced that back system with an inferior design. Those shoulder straps are designed for women - you've got the women's version, you transvestite!!!"
:facepalm:


(I have since gotten the male's version of the same rucksack - aquamarine coloured instead of blue and of a higher capacity. Literally half the price at the same car boot sale, probably because it was caked in mud and the main compartment waterproofing had largely flaked. Tested on another hike - EXCELLENT. I'm keeping my girlie version in case I can get a female friend interested...)