All those books of my youth are still on my shelf for the most part, some are copies after losing some of the originals to various storms over the years <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I used a packboard in the NorthEast growing up as it was the most efficent pack for the time to haul out large loads of critters from bush camps. It was a simpler time that I keep trying to return to....then find myslef typing on a bleepin' laptop <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> stop the crazy train I want off <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />
I whittled my way through my early years and there's no signs of quitting in me <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!
Yeah, I remember reading most of that stuff. I also read a lot of the books by Joseph Altsheller about Indians and colonial woodsmen. I also liked Cache Lake Country and the books by Calvin Rustrum.
First pack I ever owned was a German Army rucksack. It came to the U.S. with one of my uncles as a war souvenir complete with blood stains. I used it on my first backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada in 1946. The first NEW pack I owned was a Trapper Nelson packboard made of wood and canvas with no waist belt; I had it rigged for use with a trumpline. I never really liked the Trapper Nelson so I continued to use the German rucksack until it literally wore out in about 1960. I replaced it with a Bergans and then later with a Kelty. I used that Wermaht rucksack on my solo of the John Muir Trail in 1954 as part of what was, for those days, a lightweight pack. IIRC, the pack I carried on the JMT back then weighed a bit over 15 pounds not counting food and water (close to another 30 pounds). I'm planning a reprise of the Muir trail this coming summer and my pack will probably not weigh much less than the one I carried over 50 years ago. I'll probably be warmer, dryer and less mosquito bitten though. Should be better fed also; I almost starved to death on my first trip. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
"Survival with Style" was my first survival book at age 10. I was already pretty accomplished in backyard survival by that time (grew up in the woods by a good sized creek - big enough to get in trouble with), so the book was a combination of supporting what I already knew, and providing some new skills that I hadn't needed to think of yet. My first backpack was a frameless CampTrails IIRC, but I quickly realized that wasn't going to work for me. The first expedition backpack I used was a Madden internal frame pack. My first purchased backpack was a Gregory Snowcreek in 1983. I 'discovered' lightweight backpacking in 1987. I probably am too young to qualify for this thread.
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
Hey, me too. I was 5 or 6. My dad, the amateur bee keeper, had a fresh 5 gallon bucket of the stuff. For some reason, I thought it would be cool to stand on the lid. It didn't hold my weight. My dad was NOT happy.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
In Alaska a "Honey Pot" is not something that smells sweet <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I'd stick with "A Pot of Honey" if I were you <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.
Loc: California (southern)
My first pack was a sack or whatever tied to an Army molded plywood pack frame of WWII vintage. Keltys were available, but they were incredibly expensive, way beyond my budget - thirty-five dollars! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
My first pack was an airborne ranger kidney buster that I replaced with a Trapper Nelson (bright yellow) which I loved and had for over thirty years before it "disappeared." I am currently searching for a new pack, but there are so many good ones on the market, it is hard to decide. My wife and I are into the modified lightweight backpacking area (up to 30 pounds for me and 20 or so for her), so I would welcome some ideas as to best packs.
The first pack that I owned was also a military ruck sack. I use that from around 1970 until about 1986. I then went to the external frame Kelty. ( I can't remember the model name but it is green with no padding on the waist belt and just about all sleeping gear had to go on the outside of the bag). It was heavy and kind of a drag.(I do still have it though) Then later on I went, of course, I went to the internal. Now I have a High Peak and I don't remember the model name on it either...(I am getting old) Any way, in my opinion, the internals are the way to go now-a-days. I wouldn't take any thing for my pack because it is so durable and believe me I have put it through the paces too! It has never torn, ripped or even held a stain for very long. It's about ten years old a just about looks new. I clean it regularly, and I empty it every time I get home. It hangs in the closet with the rest of my gear so that it is ready to go if something comes up and it always does huh??????...sabre11004....
The first step that you take will be of those that get you there... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
The first step that you take will be one of those that get you there 1!!!!!
As a youth, I read books by Angier and Col. Whelen. I also read their articles in outdoor magazines. I harbored ideas of living off the land and having no responibilities. Then life happened. My best friend and I spent most of our weekends camping by a creek in the foothills near a family friends ranch. We didn't drive yet, so his mom would drop us off and mine would pick us up. We had an Army surplus WWII napsack and a Boyscout aluminum packframe with a canvas pack. Our cooking pot was a coffee can with a baling wire handle and we cooked over a campfire. We slept under the stars or a lean to. Life was good ! We learned a lot, like about sleeping too near a campfire in a synthetic sleeping bag <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />. We always had our knive swith us. They were eating utensils, can openers and all around construction tools. I have always carried everyday even now. We also always sneaked out our .22 rifles( our parents didn't see our need for them like we did). Not a camping trip goes by that I don't go back to those simpler times in my mind. Even little things like the smell of campfire smoke can do it.
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Hmm, I don't go back quite that far, but my first pack as I recall was a Hillary from Sears with an external frame and fold-down tube shelf on it for your sleeping bag. My cook kit and canteen were Army surplus, the tents we had for our Scout troop were WWII era shelter halves that buttoned together with wooden 3 section poles that made an A-frame.
The outdoor books I read, other than the Boy Scout Manual came later-Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker, The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked Through Time. I also have some Royal Robbins books on climbing somewhere. Not all that old, but classics nonetheless.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.
I'm not too far behind you - my first decent pack was a Camp Trails Adjustable II, and back then the Timberline tents were near the top of the line for general backpacking. I remember reading The Complete Walker (the first one), and when Colin Fletcher said good things about it, I remember thinking, "I gotta get one of those!" In fact, it was the Complete Walker, read after my son's first backpack trip with the Scouts (I was the parent who went along to help the Scoutmaster), that got me well and truly hooked.
As far as the old knowledge, a lot of it is still good, but a lot of it has passed into history. As far as gear, in the words of Carly Simon (I think): "THESE are the good old days..."
I don't really have any interest in going back to the "old ways"; I prefer the comfort I can take with me now.
When I started in 1946, my gear was built around a war surplus German army rucksack that was too big for me, the liner for a U.S. Army arctic sleeping bag, a GI poncho for shelter, a sweater and a tin can with a wire bale for cooking over fires. I slept on my Army surplus clothes (those that I wasn't wearing -- the bag liner was a 45 degree item at best) and just suffered the mosquitoes. With this as my basic kit, I backpacked in the Sierras and San Gabriel mountains for eight years including one through hike of the JMT. It wasn't until I started earning a bit more money that I was able to upgrade my gear, starting with a better sleeping bag. I got cold, wet, and cold and wet a lot in those years and I was always hungry. But I did learn a lot.
Would I give up my warm, dry, lightweight gear? Only if I had to.
Hey Pika The Summer I spent wandering and backpacking in California in my youth, I had a US mtn regular cotton shelled mummy bag, an 8x10 piece of plastic that I called a ground cloth that I slept under in a rain, a homemade backpack with one o'them newfangled wide waist band dealies. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> and a coffee can and an aluminum 1 quart boyscout pan to cook in over a camp fire.
I still sometimes use a huge Kelty Super Tioga frame pack, but my lightweight tents, WM Sleeping bags, breathable shells and Warmlite Down Filled Airmattress have changed everything. I do remember when I could afford to upgrade to one o'them blue pads - boy that was luxery compared to sleeping on the ground. Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I grew up in a poor, old industrial section of Rockford, Illinois. No camping, or forest land for miles around. I moved to Hollywood, Ca. when I was fourteen. There I met a guy named Larry Gill. Larry took me on my first real camping trip. We went to the Sequoia Forest and I can tell you that, for me, packing has not gotten any easier...
There were about eight people on the trip, we all took a small daypack with lunch and snacks and hiked about 14 miles to a campsite called "Peck's Cabin". After we arrived, a helicopter flew in and landed long enough for us to unpack all our gear and supplies for ten days. Larry and his wife were sleeping on a waterbed mattress that night.
That was my introduction to camping. Since then I've almost always had to haul all my own gear <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
As you may recognize, three of the guys in that skit are John Cleese and Graham Chapman who went on to be half of Monty Python and Marty Feldman who was Igor in Young Frankenstein.
This month's issue of VIA, the AAA magazine for Northern California has a article on luxury camping in the Sierra-fancy food, real beds, tent cabins, etc. Fairly pricey too, depending on where you are.
Don't get me started, you know how I get.