So what would a 18th Century soldier have?? Below is a list taken from the diary of a French officer from the 1700's, I have left out none relevant items like gun flints and powder horns ect btw.
Summer issue items
- Shirt x2
- Fire Steel and Flint
- Butcher knife
- 2 extra pairs of socks
- Folding knife x2
- Long underwear (material for the use of)
- Cooking pot
With their wool uniforms this kit seems pretty good for the prevailing conditions that would have been found in the wilderness north of New York well into Canada.
So my own kit or the equivalent of -
- Wool smock (made from army blanket)
- 5.11 shirt and t-shirt/Zip neck shirt
- Sewing kit
- Fireset - firesteel and Bic lighter
- Butcher knife
- Wash kit inc comb and tooth cleaning items
- Walking Boots
- 2 x Socks
- Mittens (with leather choppers)
- JHW (army jumper)
- 2 x Opinel knives or 1 x Opinel 1 x Mora No1
- Long underwear
- Sleeping bag - MSS or similar inc thermarest and bivi bag
The similarities are there - mostly even the materials are similar - really only the tech has changed for example a flint and steel replaced with a fire steel (ferro rod) ......... some stuff missed out were items not considered as personal issue for example candles as these were issues per 100 for guard duties etc and considered part of the rations hence here we don't mention them or a torch - one thing I wouldn't leave out of my modern gear is a first aid kit but I doubt the 18th C soldier had access to anything we might consider as even the most basic of kits.
So what does this mean? Well in light of the previous post it certainly means changing my kit isn't really necessary, it also means my skills, while always having room to improve, wont require to much adapting.
This means two things firstly, that my kit is pretty basic and that my skills are pretty good, I already carry less by knowing more as the saying goes. Secondly, that I will need to caste my net further a field to find new inspiration - although even with modern kit I can still "play" the same scenario I mentioned before as the rules of the game are still the same!
With all this in mind tomorrow I'll be in the loft sorting out my kit and then watch out ebay here I come with the surplus - a few smart bushcrafters are about to be made very happy with some bargain kit!!