Saturday, 14 December 2013

Five Items I'd Love to Buy But Can't Justify

I've said in my blog bio that I'm no kit tart and my approach is to buy for my usage or upgrade something where appropriate. If I had a large wedge of cash handed to me would I change this attitude? No...Ok yes, a bit...Maybe. 

If I put my mind to it I can probably triple this list (and beyond) but I sat and thought to myself 'What items would I love to own but couldn't justify?', the main criteria being cost and or/ actual over perceived usage.

The first thing on the list is knives...not knife, but knives. Arguably a blog entry in it's own right! I'm not different to many other hobbyist bushcrafters in that I started with a bombproof 

Mora and still use this trusted workhorse brand, but when I qualified for my long service award at work I was given some money which I could spend out on a single item to remind me of my qualification...I got a knife made by Lance Ockenden (aka Driftwood walker) and
really that will do me...ish, the ish is that my long leave award also qualifies me for a six month sabbatical from work during which I've tentatively lined up a knife making day. 

Now the point I'm going round the houses to make is that I use a Mora a lot, use the Driftwood walker less, and would use the future 'knife making day' blade as a bushcraft bucket list event (make my own knife and attempt a sheath too) so I'm  not the sort of person to spend hundreds and hundreds of pounds on lots of blades that in all honesty I wouldn't get the use of.

Next up is a Swazi coat. I've linked to Ray Mears' site because I, along with lots of other hobbyist bushcrafters no doubt, associate Ray with this type of coat and the reviews are literally five star. Whilst they also like good as well as doing a the job they are made for, I've never understood why there isn't a full length zip...or is there and I can't see it? I could see me using this coat but it's a lot of sheets.

Next up is the Frontier stove. Whilst my experience of this type of stove is limited to seeing them in use, this to me seems to be a good design. There are also 'bolt ons' to buy like a water heater, and seemed really well priced (before you buy any extras) compared to some other designs out there...but would I use it to justify getting one? It would be great to take one out and about if you could find somewhere that doesn't fall foul of the no barbeques, cookers or open fires rule for country parks etc, even though it's contained. I'd still love one for use at Cubs though...l can dream.

And of course you'd want a Lavvu tent to use your Frontier stove in. JP and Pablo use this style of tent extensively on Woodlife Trails courses but a combination of cost, usage and indeed portability would prohibit a purchase...the irony is that the stove is portable.

When I started visiting the bushcraft forums it seemed that the Karrimor Sabre  was the pack of choice (arguably part of the bushcrafters 'uniform') and indeed it looks fit for purpose, but the basic pack is a few pennies, plus side pouches (which I'd want)...This the 100 litre pack I  got. For the usage and distance I'll ever need to hump it it's spot on.

As stated earlier I could add other kit to this list (a trail cam springs to mind as a near miss off this would be handy if I put Steve out) and indeed basic equipment and raw materials for other related bushcrafting subjects like willow weaving, flint knapping and leatherwork...if you are nodding in agreement with my thought process in this blog entry good stuff, if you are a kit tart vive la difference! 

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