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Totally Un-UL, Un Hi-tech list:
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Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Flame Resistant Tarp Ideas? on 06/24/2011 00:52:53 MDT Print View

Make your tarp/wrap out of Nomex.


David A
(DavidAdair) - M

Locale: West Dakota
Re: Re: Flame Resistant Tarp Ideas? on 06/24/2011 02:10:46 MDT Print View

hmmm, thanks Bob I see there is actually some promise of finding a light weight nomex fabric nowadays. I saw some at 4.5 oz. Now what might you coat it with if not silicone?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Flame Resistant Tarp Ideas? on 06/24/2011 02:29:33 MDT Print View

Bear grease.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
scout fire on 06/24/2011 07:58:53 MDT Print View

Bob- tree would be at your back (leaning against it)- like I said, probably not the most comfy way to spend the night :)

a small to medium size beeswax candle would be better (read safer) than a fire

I've read one caution on the lighter canvas- that the weave can be pretty open (nice for breathability- not so nice for water resistance), some suggest washing it in hot first to shrink it (tightening the weave)

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Un-Hi-tech list for a mountain man on 06/24/2011 14:49:34 MDT Print View

Think for "lightweight" items, the military shelter half was standard. Military uniforms were cotton or wool; even modern military uniforms tend to have a high % of cotton. Anything prior to 1900 would be wool.

There's a group in new Mexico/far west TX that re-enacts the "Mountain Man" days from the mid 1800's complete with skills tests. Using hollowed gourds for water containers (talk about recycling), black powder guns, the whole works.

Not sure their authenticity runs to clothing choices, but that'd be of interest.

Edited by hknewman on 06/24/2011 14:53:31 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: scout fire on 06/24/2011 15:23:06 MDT Print View

"Bob- tree would be at your back (leaning against it)- like I said, probably not the most comfy way to spend the night :)"

The tree does not show up in the diagram. Is the tree within the tarp or outside of the tarp? If you are leaning against the tree, it is within the tarp.


Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
scout fire on 06/24/2011 16:53:57 MDT Print View

tarp/blanket/long coat/whatever your using would be against (not around) the tree- your basically sitting on your butt creating a "mini teepee" :)

I purchased one of the hooded sportsman blankets and a 72 hour beeswax candle (would be carrying a sit pad too) to throw in my hunting pack- I think it would an effective technique when the weather is cold and you don't have a lot of time to mess w/ a shelter, I plan to test that theory

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
1920-30's .. Un-UL Un Hi-tech on 06/24/2011 17:22:34 MDT Print View

Does anyone recall the PBS series on camping? IIRC the documentary claimed one reason Henry Ford mass produced the auto in the 1920s was to get everybody out to enjoy Nature (or marketed it that way for the cynics). Many Model T's were outfitted with kitchens, bunks, and desks but more for carcamping/basecamping. During this time period, the choices for lugging around all this heavy fabric were rucksacks or Trapper John wood frame packs. Again iirc, only after WWII and the Korean War when Dick Kelty came out with the external frame did backpacking really start becoming established. Think during the Great Depression, the carcamping gear turned out to be emergency survival gear for some and during WWII/Korea, everyone was busy doing something else

Maybe looking at hunters of that time period would provide lighter, more mobile gear and clothing. Otherwise, maybe look at John Muir and early outings of the original Sierra Club to get some ideas of clothing and gear.

Edited by hknewman on 06/24/2011 17:30:11 MDT.

Josh Leavitt
(Joshleavitt) - F

Locale: Ruta Locura
UL but not High tech on 06/24/2011 19:00:08 MDT Print View

My eighty something year old grandfather recalls doing overnight "backpacking" trips in the '30s with just a fishing pole and a wool blanket.

james w glenn
(bark-eater) - F
Re: Bear grease on 06/24/2011 19:07:05 MDT Print View

First ya got to catch a bear.......

Edited by bark-eater on 06/24/2011 19:10:03 MDT.

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - F
Re: Totally Un-UL, Un Hi-tech list: on 06/24/2011 20:40:25 MDT Print View

I've recently stumbled on an old European rucksack that I purchased many years ago. It is made from canvas, steel, brass and leather. There is some oxidation due to exposure and the leather needs oil but it is overall in good shape and is about 2000cc, including pockets. I would rather someone get some good use out of it than send it to Goodwill and have it languish until it ends up in a landfill. I would be willing to send it for your experiments at no charge for the pack or shipping. Please send a PM if interested.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Oilcloth on 06/24/2011 23:20:59 MDT Print View

I'm not sure why you say this:

"oil cloth (which is difficult to come by unless I make it)"

I think there are several manufacturers making oilcloth outer garments. Usually they are "western" style outfitters, such as Filson. I own a Filson oilcloth jacket, and I love it. They tend to be expensive as hell, though. Stetson makes such clothes, too, don't they? Look in western supply stores for drover's coats- I think you can easily find an oilcloth one. (I have one of those, too.) Here's one I found:

If you're really going for atmosphere I don't think it gets any better than a cowboy's slicker...

Edited by acrosome on 06/24/2011 23:25:32 MDT.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Totally Un-UL, Un Hi-tech list: on 06/25/2011 09:37:59 MDT Print View

Look at European military surplus, especially Swedish.

This site has some ideas/products:

Italian military wool blanket, 5 lbs! I have one. 100% wool (ok, supposedly), so great for around a fire. These have a strong mothball smell and need to be aired out for days outside.

Water treatment: Don't treat, or boil

Fire: Matches for backup, firesteel for regular use, bowdrill for fun and practice and maybe sometimes actually starting a fire :)

John L Collins
(WVCubDad) - MLife

Locale: Not too far off the Tuscarora Trail
1920's and 1930's Scout Handbooks on 06/26/2011 10:58:30 MDT Print View

Some of the earlier versions of the Boy Scout Handbooks have suggestions for making gear, everything from toilet kit rolls to packs, buckets and food bags. The soldiers that fought in WWII were Scouts in the 30's. You can find these on eBay for decent prices. Also the corresponding Patrol Leader's Handbooks have additional instructions.

Jeffrey Kuchera

Locale: Great Lakes
+ 1 on Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart on 06/26/2011 11:41:53 MDT Print View

This book has been mentioned in this thread already. I think it contains an abundance of information that will help you meet your goal.

Ted E
(Mtn_nut) - MLife

Locale: Morrison, CO
Neptune mountaineering on 06/26/2011 14:14:11 MDT Print View

Neptune mountaineering has a mountaineering museum and it covers a wide range of "gear evolution"

it might be helpful to contact them with specific questions.

Rob Vandiver

Locale: So Cal
Re: Totally Un-UL, Un Hi-tech list: on 06/27/2011 12:42:59 MDT Print View

Hey Craig,
Ran across this a while ago, and thought it was fascinating. It's a 1907 catalog for Abercrombie and Fitch. Apparantly they did,t always sell clothing for preppy hipsters.

I was impressed by the gear, honestly. Things like alky stoves, bivys, aluminum cookware. This, I think, would have been extreme high end, looking at the prices, but it is worth a glance.

I also liked all the instructional tidbits. In the cooking section it suggested covering a bird or fish in a couple of inches of natural clay and thowing it on the fire for an hour until the clay was fully cured, breaking it open, and chowing it down. This should appeal to you on all sorts of levels. You could even try to do it with just your feet.

Adan Lopez
(Lopez) - F

Locale: San Gabriel Valley
Cooking fish with your feet on 06/27/2011 13:12:46 MDT Print View

Funny stuff Rob!