Tuesday, 10 January 2012

18th century Packs & Carrying Methods.

Information supplied by request.

This article is taken from a reply to one of our group members on our group's forum  who is thinking of carrying a seperate bedroll on a leather strap or tumpline:

First let me say that this is not MY prefered method. I have over the years tried many different period methods of carrying gear before I settled on what I use now. However, it is a personal preference, so I will post here what I think you are looking for.
The "Tumpline" has a long history of use for burden carrying, it is a useful piece of equipment & does have its place. Usually used for portaging heavy loads that are suspended from the persons forehead, but can also be used across the shoulders, or over one shoulder with the strap across the chest.
I found this method for blanket carrying difficult when wearing a hat. Over one shoulder I found it unballancing at times & a strain.
The problem with carrying items in the blanket roll, is that every time you use it you have to take the loose items out & repack them again. I don't find this method very practicle.

My own pack is a knapsack (two straps) for carrying my main gear, & occasionally a haversack (one strap) for carrying trail foods or extra items for a long trek. I try to keep my gear the same at all times, summer or winter. My blanket roll & my oilcloth are tied seperately to the straps of my knapsack. Only when on the water do I wrap my blanket inside my oilcloth. In this way when on the trail, I can remove the oilcloth if it begins to rain & cover mysel & my equipment.
Zoom in (real dimensions: 640 x 605)Image
This is my knapsack. When I was trying out the bedroll carry, this pack was actually a haversack my wife made me as a gift. I soon realised that this method was hard work over any distance, so converted the haversack into a knapsack.
The other thing is that I have enough straps to wear already, & another strap across the chest just will not do. Using the knapsack method as above, means that I only have my powder horn, shot pouch, haversack & chest strap on the knapsack across my chest. The knapsack is last on & first off. My leather costrel/water canteen I suspend from my waist belt.
I hope this helps.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Henry David Thoreau.


Craig Meade said...

It's always great to hear this kind of info coming from hard-earned experience Le Loup.

Le Loup said...

Thank you Craig. In this particular case it was hard earned experience too! It nearly cost me my life one time using the wrong carrying method whilst ascending a cliff face on a goat track!!! That was many years ago now, but there is always more to learn.