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Bushcraft 101: Part 1A - Your Pack and You

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posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 08:33 AM
Hello class, today i will be speaking to you about the things you will be taking with you when you go into the wilderness. If you have any questions please wait until the end of the class to ask. shall we begin? Good.

Most people want to focus on a particular piece of equipment, IE; a firestarter or something of the sort, but i will tell you that to focus on any piece of gear that you would carry in your kit before having focused on what it would be carried in is a huge error. I know what you're thinking, but EOMS, i already have this super high speed hiking pack that everything fits in. and that's ok. If you have a pack that suits your style, will hold all the items you need, and has the durability to last you years and years, this part isn't for you. However, if you don't trust your pack to stand up to the challenge of life outdoors, listen up.

1) Durability.
Your pack should be made of a material or combination of materials that are considerably stronger than most medium to high end hiking backs. These packs are made to be light weight and only really for carrying sleep items and a few daily needs items with maximum comfort and are expensive, not something you would want to go trudging through wet foliage and mud with. In my experience, canvas and leather last the longest for bushcraft needs.

2)Weather Resistance.
This is one of the more important traits of a good pack. You don't want something that will absorb and retain water, wet gear is ineffective. It gets heavy, will destroy your need to keep dry luxury items, and it's all around a bad hit to your morale. There are numerous products out there that turn a non weather resistant material into a weather resistant one but the downside is you need to reapply them. Dry bags are amazing and can be used for numerous applications in the outdoors and i recommend having at least one. And remember, waxed canvas and oiled leather are your friend when thinking about weather resistance.

This one is obvious. If it can't hold all your gear with a little extra room, you don't need it.
On the other hand, if it does hold all your gear with enough room to pack a small child, you don't need it.
Never underestimate the power of MOLLE webbing or other outer attachment points, having this on the outside of a pack will bring a whole new world of what you can carry and how you carry it, but this isn't for everyone. Personal preference is always in play.

What good is a pack if you can't haul it around? Try to find something that fits and has the potential to add other things to make life a little bit better for you such as access to the back panel to add/remove padding, removable or sewn on shoulder straps, load displacement waist straps, or even an extra lumbar pad and don't be afraid to make modifications. A little extra padding goes a long way.

Many amateur and novice outdoorsmen overlook this and almost always will lead to disaster. Your pack is your friend, take care of it. Materials that are easy to clean will be a huge asset here. Cleaning the grit and grime off of your pack can and will add years of life to it. Brush out the dirt and mud, oil up or repaint any exposed metal, if its waxed canvas, rewax the worn areas, if its oiled leather, reapply oil to any area that looks too dry. If you take care of it, it will take care of you.

Its yours, why not make it your own? While using a pack the way it came is fine, some like to add or remove that little bit to really make it suit them for example, adding pouches, changing straps, maybe that enclosure isn't working for you. Nothing is set in stone and you shouldn't resign yourself to what the manufacturer says you need. Also, if you can make your own pack, go for it. It all comes down to this, You are the only one who truly knows your needs and a pack can be viewed as an ever evolving creature.

That's the end of part 1A
if you have any questions or if i've overlooked(because im forgetful) anything feel free to reply, I'll answer/thank you in time.

Coming Soon- Bushcraft 101: Part 1B - Do I Need or Do I Want

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 09:08 AM
A.L.I.C.E packs are not expensive at all (25-35 bucks) and many people including me over at Bushcraftusa love them. Plenty of mods for them also.
edit on 3-7-2014 by FirePiston because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 09:19 AM
a reply to: FirePiston
I agree, A.L.I.C.E packs are pretty handy for what they are
the biggest thing is getting that rack comfy but it's almost a non issue.

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 09:29 AM
a reply to: EyesOpenMouthShut

You can't go past a hemp backpack IMO. It's tough, durable, and doesn't become overly waterlogged when it gets wet. The only problem is protecting the items inside when the weather turns for the worst, which is why I placed an old plastic bag on the inside to protect my gear.

Granted I did this for school-but after six years it still looked as good as the day I got it, the only wear and tear was found on the buckles and not the bag itself.

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 10:03 AM
Concept vs reality.

Springer mountain, Georgia, is the starting point of the 2180 mile Appalachian trail.

Just 30 miles down the trail from springer mountain is a place called Neels Gap. Neels gap is the first resupply point on the trail. Situated just off the trail at this location is an outfitter store called "mountain crossings outfitter". They have quite a famous reputation for being the place where unnecessary gear goes to die!

Every year 2000 thru hikers that visit the store throw away or send home literally TONS of gear at Neels Gap. After just 30 miles! Many hikers slog into the store, slump down their pack and buy completely new gear.

The staff evaluate over 500 packs each year and ship back over 9000 lbs of gear from the store.

Obviously these gung-ho hikers believed that they had carefully planned and picked the right gear; they were sure that they had more than adequate, if not the best, gear. These hikers have altered their lives and cleared their schedules for months to attempt to walk 2180 miles while carrying everything they need on their backs. Surely they knew their undertaking required a wise choice of provisions that they could carry with comfort? The Appalachian trail is the Pro leagues, after all. Not something to attempt haphazardly.

Or so these hikers thought they were adequately prepared, until everything was put to the test. Many find their gear is way too heavy to burden any longer. They find that their boots are too uncomfortable or have little to no support with their pack on their back. Their pack rubs blisters on their shoulders, its also too heavy. The rain gear isn't as waterproof as predicted. There is a realization that the "had to have" Whiz-bangs and Doo-dads may not be worth the weight.

Many hikers simply quit right there and then. After 30 miles of trail.

See what I'm getting at? Attempting to subsist using only what you can carry has a sharp learning curve. Test, use, experiment. Beware of your gear becoming an anchor on your back rendering you immobile and ineffective. If you go the tacticool/cheap/heavy route, and what you are prepping for becomes a reality, reality is going to bite you on the butt.

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 10:08 AM
a reply to: METACOMET

I cannot agree with you more on that and will be discussing exactly that topic in part 1b.
This part was just the basic pack intro for the newbie.

posted on Jul, 3 2014 @ 03:39 PM
a reply to: METACOMET

I have to agree with you. Have beem a backpacker since the age of 8, so have years of experience, as well as current knowledge of what will get u where you are going, with the lightest, most durable gear out there.
I am with you in that if you arent able to comfortably carry it day after day, eventually something will give- either you will give up, or the gear you deem unnecessary will be dumped off somewhere.

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