Author Topic: Is new gear better?  (Read 384 times)

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Offline boomer

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Is new gear better?
« on: October 03, 2022, 09:00:04 AM »
I quit crawling in and out of tents a while ago but recall the Eureka pup tent style and a couple of Kelty tents saw a lot of hard use for a long time. Always expected canvas tents and tarps to hold ip but some of those tents did really great too. Packs the came with external frames, mostly Kelty and similar types, took a lot of use and abuse as well. The internal frame packs became popular in the 1980s but were a different thing. People search for old axe heads to reuse even now but knives maybe not so much. 

Other gear has noticeably changed as well. Footwear that can be resoled is a definite minority of available offerings but provides a greater range of choices. Gore tex kind of did away with galoshes and rain suits are certainly different.

I mostly have all the gear I'll ever need and more but still check out the new products and reviews. One recent score is an enclosed hammock tarp the weighs about nothing but works fine in wind and rain. I never invested  in a down under quilt but the synthetic insulated one I do have also does the job, no problem.

So is the new gear better, as good or not?

I guess the answer is - Yes?

Offline Pete Bog

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Re: Is new gear better?
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2022, 02:46:16 AM »
   Gear is better now. If you're willing to pay the price. Good stuff to keep you dry, warm, comfortable.
   There were 3 of us. 8, 10 and 14 years old. Each from a different neighborhood family.
   Built a wooden platform on the back of a little 'C' Allis-Chalmers tractor. Loaded a couple wooden boxes up with "camping gear" and headed into the woods a couple hours before sundown. After the evening milking was done.
   An Army surplus tent was a tight fit for 3. But we were all skinny juveniles back then. Hatchet,  bowsaw and cheap hardware store pocket knives for gathering wood and setting up a campfire. No cooler required for  just an overnighter. Supper was hotdogs and a can of baked beans with a loaf of home made bread. A grill from an old refrigerator or oven supported the beat up aluminum pot for heating the beans. Fresh cut green sticks for roasting the hot dogs. Hot dogs on buttered home made bread. Maybe a bit of ketchup if we remembered to bring it along. Wash it down with Kool Aid from a galvanized water jug usually used to bring lunch out to the field during haying season or fall combining. We hadn't taken the coffee habit yet.
   The evening was spent telling tall stories in the tradition of the popular TV shows of the day. Or versions of books we had read. We three were always the heroes of the stories, of course.
   Mosquitos were bad. OFF mosquito repellent was used. But it was a rub on liquid. It wasn't in an aerosol can yet. A manual pump fly sprayer from the dairy barn was used to clear out the tent just before we crawled into our old surplus wool blankets. no sleeping bags for us back then. No mattress or cot either. Didn't need it when we were 8 or 10 years old.
   Breakfast was bacon and eggs in a cast iron frying pan. Toast was either burnt or not toasted at all. Done over the grill, it was usually burnt. Scrape the worst of it off with a knife, butter it and eat it.
    No camp chairs, or camp table. The platform on the back of the tractor was a stand around table of sorts I guess.
    Paper plates were thrown into the camp fire when done. Cheap plastic dime store Drinking glasses and old silverware for utensils was about it.
   Didn't need much back then. We cut our own tent poles and stakes. We thought we were roughing it pretty good. Traveled in and out by tractor. Out of sight of all signs of civilization. So what if we were only 500 or 600 yards (meters) from the home place. When your 8 or 10, it's wilderness.
  The 14 year old was the "mentor" and made sure fire safety was tended to and proper camping procedures and skills were used.
   Could that be done today? For less than 20 dollars and a raided pantry? Probably. Except for the tractor.
    And if we were 10 years old. That sleeping on the ground is a youngsters game. Good times while it lasted though.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: Is new gear better?
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2022, 08:18:26 AM »
A lot of modern gear is better than ever.  Clothing, footwear, gloves, and maybe even hats is far better that when we were kids.  My early camping was with shelter halves, a wool army blanket, a press board back frame that I strapped a duffle bag on.  I wore jeans, a heavy cotton shirt, and a pair of black ankle high tennis shoes.  A ball cap from Little League and a jean jacket.  Rain wear was an afterthought.  We loved it though.  Everyone had a .22 rifle and a box of shells.  Cheap pocket knives were common and only one guy (me) had his dad's military knife.  Still have that.  Today my camping is over for the most part but I have a Noel Mountaineering tent, a couple of high dollar sleeping bags, Gore-tex clothing and the like.  The old stuff I still use is high dollar these days and it is Thirty year old Filson chaps and coats, and the prize gear made by Empire Canvas and Wool out of Duluth Minnesota which is a wool parka, wool vests, cotton anoraks, and the warmest mittens and boots on God's white earth.  The good old days are right now, at least regarding camping and outdoor gear.
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
(Mark Twain)

Offline boomer

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Re: Is new gear better?
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2022, 10:10:43 AM »
Good points y'all

I tend to place wool and canvas in the"old school" category but newer water resistant technology might have to change that. Maybe it's a grey area?

No doubt gore tex was a game changer as was cordura.

Like most folks I end up belonging to the "If it works it's good" school of thought.

Still the old gear ...