Like many people into the hobby, or way of life (depending on your prospective) we call bushcraft I have become disillusioned with the commercial shadow that now hangs heavily over us. Some of it generated by the bushcraft industry - yes, after all how can you be a good bushcrafter, are at least wear the mask of one, unless your dressed in your expensive Swazi, your costly wool shirt or your lavish Fjellraven, and lets not forget your over priced and (often) over rated hand made knife (which wont even glow in the dark when Orc's are near) - oh of course the schools and the tv people lead you to believe you need all this gear, its their wallets you fill as yours is emptied. (And yes to my shame know its true as I was once part of that industry so I know the back stabbing and greed that haunts it)

But God loves a sinner come to the light and hopefully I will be forgiven for past transgressions too should I have made any. But that's by the bye as today things are changing, still their are those who will waste their money (often gladly??) on over priced gear just because its worn by X or sold by Y, whether they realise it or not its usually sold to them subliminally, the need generated in their minds rather than their reality - after all how do you get someone to part with hundreds of pounds for a new knife when the one they have is perfectly fine?  Many experienced people however, and it seems to be experience that's the key, are turning their back on the greed of the industry and its voracity and in so doing are often rediscovering a whole new range of gear which is neither expensive nor made only to last one season until the new more expensive model comes out!!

I have sent this past year testing out gear with a very back to basics approach, not initially intentionally, but as time went on I began to remember past trips from my novice days and the gear I liked then (before the brain washing of the must have branding culture) and to find items which cost a fraction of the price you might expect ................ and often which as are as good as, if not better than the commercial alternative!! (There is a whole article being written about this to come)

One such item is the Swedish army boot (pictured above) -  in essence a surplus version of the Lundhag boot - I have both so can compare them like for like and the only down side I can find to the issue boot is the weight.

Yep, I'm guessing the sole and rubber foot is a heavier, possibly thicker, rubber and so making the boot heavier - but not cripplingly so, and on the plus side this means the boot will take more wear and tear and last longer!

So the boot itself then - well its a rubber lower boot and a leather upper, the upper is a thick, hard leather which in the best traditions of all armies around the world need breaking in. Mine I first treated with Neats Foot oil to make them a little supple then simply wore them until comfortable. The ankle height is good being very similar to the old British DMS boot for those who remember them!! The sole and foot are moulded together and 100% waterproof with the upper sewn so the tongue etc (if treated and looked after) will also prevent water ingress. Mine didn't come with any type of insole so initially I made innersoles from a section of old sleeping mat before buying a pair of felt inners which are warm and comfy.

Mine also have a square toe designed for skiing but that's cool with me and I look forward to using them in Feb for snow shoeing hopefully the toe will be an aid rather than a problem there!

So there you go - not much else to say as is always the case with a item that isn't designed to be flashy - they are tough robust boots waterproof and hard wearing which once broken in will offer the wearer protection and longevity.

Oh ya and best of all .................Lundhag Scout boots RRP at around £120, these Swedish army boots are the princely sum of £9.95 ...........or put it another way you could by 12 pairs for the same price as one pair of Lundhags!!


Waldgeistman said...

Nice article Gary.

Mike said...

What a bargain. You soon get used to heavier boots anyway.
To me keeping kit simple and at a good price, you enjoy your times out and about alot more.

Survivall said...

Cheers Paul

I agree Mike and if you consider the saving (about £110) that's a trip the Sweden or similar - rather spend my cash on that than gear for sure!!

Finnman said...

Some really wise words from old beard! :)
It's supprising how few and simple gear you can make youself comfortable in wilderness by having some knowledge and using common sense. Though I don't mind by paying bit more on item that I know will serve me many years or even rest of my life, but upgrading newer modem all the time is just pure greediness of human being nature..more more more.

Anonymous said...

I have been using a similar pair of Swedish military surplus boots for a few years now (the all-leather ones). They are marked 1968 and were in unused condition when I got them *for free* from a local military surplus store. I wore them on a week-long hiking trip in Lapland and didn't have any problems whatsoever. :)


A Heart Pumping Nitro said...

What I find interesting is they don't even look like military boots to me. Very simple robust design. Too bad for me such things aren't reliably available in the US.

Anonymous said...

Spotted these boots at a good price (£5.99), so ordered two pairs. Are the lowers leather or rubber? The description said they are leather with rubber coating, if they are just rubber they are not much use to me, I bought them to use as motorbike boots.

Ah well, can't complain at two pairs of good boots for less than one pair of rubbish, I suppose.