Back to Basics.
As mentioned below the ideal of the bushcrafter circa 1980 was to be able to go native with only a blanket, a billy and a knife.
These days, maybe as a result of the times or maybe as a result of the experience learnt from recent hiking expeditions I find myself going back to basics much much more.
For example instead of a expensive custom knife I know prefer to carry and use a Mora Triflex. Experience has taught me this fantastic knife is equal to any task I put it to and thus pound for pound superior to even the best hand made blade - or looked at this way I could buy or carry 10 or more Triflex for the price of one custom job - enough knives to last a life time!!
Another example is my sack - ok I'll admit the sabre 45 with side pockets is probably the most versatile sack on the market today, while the PLCE Bergen is a bombproof tardis but pound for pound you can not beat the swedish army rucksack - 40lts of volume with an external frame this is a tardis in its own right - as a plus the sack can come off the frame and the frame be used on its own - a handy trick if you wanna carry that butchered venison or a large pile of wood back to camp! Tough as old boots these sacks cost £10 - a tenth of the price of a karrimor Sabre!
Lastly (for now) - cookware, a primus frying pan and a plate are great and can be used for many situations and this is my favourite for a base camp - but for hiking and general bushcraft you cant beat a swedish army mess kit. Cheap as chips, versatile and robust! These days I tend to carry just the pots and a gas stove and this is the crux as its the pots that win hands down - having a bail arm and a hook, usable lid (cup/frying pan) this cookware can be used in many ways.
Back to basics ....... well maybe its not a earth shattering revelation but then what would you expect?? Back to basics doesnt need to mean back to the blanket and billy can but I believe it should mean a move back to more cost effective, robust and multi-usage kit. Items with no thrills not need to be seen as unexciting either - for whats better spending your hard earned cash on expensive kit you can sit and admire or saving your pennies to spend on getting out there and using your kit to its fullest??
Remember the thrifty shrafters equation - COST DIVIDED BY USE EQAULS VALUE!!