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!BlueTrain said: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.
That^ in spades.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.
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......To make a good bannock when camping, you need a proper skillet..
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.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? ......
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. noDon'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.