Hitting the Sweetspot with Your Outdoor Gear

I’ve been doing more thinking and planning than writing lately – I hope the fruits of this will appear here soon!

In the meantime here’s something to ponder:

Since the earliest days of my involvement in bushcraft, I’ve been interested in how bushcraft and primitive skills can help me reduce the amount and weight of stuff I carry.

This is the guiding principle that launched a thousand cliches – “knowledge weighs nothing”, “the more you know the less you carry” etc etc. Look on any bushcraft website (now even this one) and you’ll see such wisdom.

This is often forgotten in the excitement of getting out and trying out all that shiny stuff. You’ll see many a sweating bushcrafter carrying a huge rucksack full of goodies that really they’re not going to use. I suppose all this stuff does ensure a certain level of comfort which is a good thing.

At the other end of the scale is the almost compulsively weight-obsessed lightweight hiker. Relying very heavily on synthetic materials and accepting that comfort is a trade-off and probably not as important as weight is all part of the game.

Somewhere in the middle is a sweet spot. By carefully deciding what you actually need to take, using a hybrid selection of kits (sometimes the lightest, sometimes the most ‘natural’), and having the skills to improvise using natural materials along the trail you can have the very best of both worlds.