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Thread: Lightweight bush/field craft kits?

  1. #1

    Default Lightweight bush/field craft kits?

    I've been searching around for a bushcraft kit that would allow some basic crafts to be done but also be light/small enough to be brought on a backpacking trip(e.g. Pacific Crest trail, Northville Placid, any kind of long term trip). So far I've found very little that contains all the most common bushcraft/survival equipment that would be necessary and still maintains a reasonable size and weight. I was thinking the kit would contain some things along the lines of; Ferro rod/striker, a few pieces of small tinder(fatwood), a healthy amount of paracord, a few matches for emergency, a small sharpening stone and strop(DC4?), and maybe a spoon knife or other specialty items if I figure I can afford the space. Im curious to hear what you think could have a place in a small(maybe belt carry sized) bushcraft/survival kit.

    Thanks for your suggestions,
    Mike


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Old school backpacker and old school bushcrafter here, and I think you have your concepts mixed a bit.

    The goal of a backpacker is generally the lightest base weight possible and as much multiple use of items as possible with absolutely no duplication of effort. No matches, ferro-rod and lighter. Besides, matches are 19th century tech in the 21st century. They were rendered obsolete with the invention of the Zippo, and the Zippo rendered obsolete with the advent of the disposable lighter.

    When one is weighing items by the gram to save weight there is no room for redundancy and multiple backups of every item. Most backpackers will refuse to accept change at stores when returning to trail and they cut the handle off their tooth brush to save weight, and complete base weight (pack, shelter and complete sleep system) is usually under 20# in this high tech age.

    A backpacker will have a basic pack load which includes a pack, sleep system and shelter. you will also have a cooking system, but many backpackers have turned to "cold soaking" food in zip lock bags so they can skip needing the 1oz stove and 4oz of fuel, not to mention the pot to cook in.

    Having those items, or using modern backpacking gear, you will not need most of the "bushcraft gear" you have listed. Even if you are sleeping under a tarp you only need a specific amount of cordage. A "bushcraft" knife would be a waste and even a multitool is shunned by most hikers and replaced with an SAK, if they simply must have a knife. You will find through hikers on the PCT that carry none.

    Additionally, the PCT is a heavily traveled trail, almost as heavily used as the AT. Thousands of people from every major city on the west coast hike that trail or sections of it each year. You will not go for a day on the PCT without seeing someone and building a "base camp" would be impossible, the NPS would be on you in an instant.

    Yes, the bushcrafters on you-tube carry a lot of gear, usually from the house to the back yard, or from the car to just out of sight of the car. They are not humping that on section hikes of the PCT.

    Leave the 70# loads to the Marines that have to carry a heavier basic load of ammo on a single patrol than a backpacker lives on for a month.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

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    We were about to give you up for lost and divide up your stuff. Whereya been?

    Alan

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I would never, never touch kyrat's stuff. He might just be sleeping under the blanket with a blunderbuss. I might toss pebbles as his stuff just to see if he was there but I would never touch it.

  5. #5
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    I had a little trouble getting the forum software to accept my posts for a couple of days.

    I have also been studying for a certification test for the past couple of weeks and that has put me to reading and doing practice tests nonstop.

    Yes, there is a plan! And my Mama would spin cartwheels in her grave if she knew.

    I have been here, just not real obvious.

    As for divying up my stuff, well once you know I'm good and dead I hope someone uses it to the best extent. That or goes somewhere and restarts a civilization, I think there is about enough.

    I need another shed and I'm running out of footprint to put them in. It's a pain trying to build a storage shed on a 45% slope!
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 06-02-2020 at 06:53 PM.
    If you didn't bring jerky what did I just eat?

  6. #6

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    My recommendation would be something that takes ZERO weight, learn skills! The skills for bushcrafting weigh nothing and can be practiced along the backpacking trip. If you are normally carrying an SAK, then there's your cutlery.
    As to cordage, start learning how to make reverse twist with natural plant fibers.
    Learn how to make a fireboard and bow drill to start fires.
    And so on...
    Primitive skills are a good place to start "bush crafting" and you can enjoy the wilds even more!
    Good luck!

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