Friday, September 7, 2012

GEAR - 3 favorite items

Appearantly there this 3-item-buzz going through the online outdoorcommunity and I've been asked/tagged to think about and show my 3 most favorite items by outdoorenvy and he by the weekend woodsman befor that. Normally I would not take part in these "pass-arounds", but it gives me a reason to rethink my gearoptions.
My 3 favorite items..... I gave it quit some thought and I came to the conclusion that I do not have any real favorite items. No items I would go without. My gear.... well, it's just my gear. Tools that serve a purpose and which can be replaced without much trouble or heartaches.
Or at least that's what I thought in the beginning. But the longer I tought about it, the more the subject of heartaches stuck with me and it became clear that I do have favorite items and that I can categorise the rest of the stuff in several levels of being favorite.
There is the stuff that still falls into the tool-categorie and this group is by far the largest. These are the cheap, plastic or otherwise nonspecial pieces of 13-in-a-dozen-equipment I use. Items like my Dutch messtins, canteens, ponchos and most of the other surplusthings I own. Most of this stuff I'd sell right away, if shipping weren't such a killer, here. To be honest, most of this stuff only actually gets used on groupoutings, whenever I have guests, for instance, or on familytrips or maybe with the scouts in the furture.
Then there's the stuff that I regularly use and like, but which still is easily replaced and which have no special value to me.  Stuff like me canvas Swedish backpack and messkit, the Mora clipper, the Finnish gasmaskbag and all the other, mainly older items. These items have a real and by now proven value. The gasmaskbag is a little above that, because it was a gift.
And than there is that categorie of items I do cherish, but mostly not for it's usefullness, but more out of sentimental values. Items like my old army SAK, my birchbark coffee- and sugarcontainer, my WW2-compas and the pouch for it my daughter gave me and others. But, as said, this gear more often than not stays at home.

So.... how do I make my choice on my 3 favorites??
Simple, I let my heart speak. What items do bring a smile on my face, when ever I use them, hold them or even think of them?

First of all, there's my woolen military gear, especially my Swedish army pants and my Scottish wooly pully. For most of the year I can not wait to put them on and it makes me sad to put them away for summer. They make me feel wonderfully comfortable everytime I do wear them. It does its job by keeping me warm. Allthough these items are surplus, the pants have a sense of history and nature to them; 2 things I have a soft spot for. So does the pully and as icing on the cake it was a gift.

Than there is my firebox. I found that piece, while being out and bringing it back to life was really rewarding. Because I found it next to a cabin in the woods and was able to restore it, it somehow feels like a gift too. It is very usefull and to me it has a high esthetic value. it fits my feelings and thoughts about "natural and traditional" perfectly

My third choice would be my old army SAK. It was handed to me as standardissue, when I joined the Dutch army in 1990 and has been with me for most of the time since. The knife and I "shared" a lot together and it feels comfortable to just hold it. It is basic, no-nonsense and functional, with a large touch of personal history.

And if I'd had to pick a forth, than I'd have a tough time chosing between my hunters' coffee- and sugarcontainer and the gasmaskbag.
The coffeecontainer for it's emotional value, its esthetics and for representing my thoughs and feelings , the bag simply because of its usefullness, functionality and, so far, it is building up a history with me too.
The container isn't particularly handy, because of its size and vulnerability. It has a tendency to get stuck in damp weather, too. The bag isn't exactly a beauty, but has proven its worth so far.


  1. Nice choices. I like the wool outfit. I wish I could find some wool military pants that fit me, that's wishful thinking though. That knife is neat too. I know tools are tools but when you've carried something for decades and counting and it has yet to let you down it starts to feel more like an old friend.

  2. Good picks, useful and a lot of 'character' in them. Best kind of gear in my opinion, useful and meaningful, can't beat good memory makers.

  3. I like your choices and the meanings behind them. :)