I, personally, don't have the money to buy the fancy Duluth canvas pack or a Duluth canvas tarp (that's the posh gear of tv presenter types) so if I were to build my own budget longhunter kit then if would have to be a combination of gear I already own and surplus etc.
So first lets define a longhunter ............ then why we need to bring him into the 21st century!
A Longhunter (or long hunter) was an 18th-century explorer and hunter who made expeditions into the American frontier wilderness for as much as six months at a time. Historian Emory Hamilton asserts that "The Long Hunter was peculiar to Southwest Virginia only, and nowhere else on any frontier did such hunts ever originate" although the term has been used loosely to describe any unofficial American explorer of the period. The parties of two or three men (and rarely more) usually started their hunts in October and ended toward the end of March or early in April (Wikipedia)
So these were guys who could live in the backwoods with minimal kit (which they carried with them - sorry bushcraft expedition camp fans - but longhunters hiked the woods and they didn't have 4x4s and often didn't have horses either as they needed more care and were hard to hide from hostile natives)
My own research has dug up a few examples of kits carried by backwoodsmen and rangers (rogers rangers for example) and if we look at them closely we can see similarities between 17th/18th century gear and the gear we carry now ...............
- Blanket roll
- Tarp or oil cloth
- Rifle or smoothbore, shooting pouch and horn
- Belt knife
- Tomahawk or hatchet
- Fire-making kit, candle and tinder
- Boiler or folding skillet and eating utensils
- Period compass
- Primitive fishing kit
The above is not meant as an all-inclusive list, but rather as a guideline.
So a 21st Century version of the above -
- Sleeping bag and bivi
- Tarp or Poncho
- Rifle and ammo
- belt knife
- belt axe
- fire steel - tinder (cotton wool and vaseline?)
- Water bottle and purification device
- boil in a bag rations
- Billy can or frying pan .... maybe a Swedish army mess kit complete
- Silver compass
- fishing kit
Most importantly is the means of carriage - for the 17/18th Century backwoodsman the blanket roll would be the obvious choice but these days a rucksack would be needed due to bulk of items like sleeping bags and the "additional" gear modern man seems to need.
Now do we need to bring said Longhunter chappy into the 21st century? Correct me if I'm wrong using the kit comparisons above then he's already here!
So the term 21st Longhunter is incorrect - If we watch Dave's videos -
- I think it becomes clear that his idea isn't to bring the longhunter into this century but the reverse - to take us back, to try to teach us and get us to simplify our kit, expectations and budget and in so doing take us away from the petrochemical world more bushcrafters seem very dependant on.
I will be writing further articles along this theme as I experiment and explore - why not join me?