Correct historical documentation should be primary documentation. That is the written word from someone writing in the period, in my case that would be a writer in the early to mid 18th century such as Peter Kalm for instance. Or it could be documentation in the form of a period painting, such as these by Chardin in 1732. These images show period copper kettles, but look at the size of the originals in comparison to the lower one being sold by some of today's dealers.
Being made of the same materials is not enough, the fact is this is a 19th century kettle not the larger type made in the 18th century.
The other thing that prompted this post is a post on a new blog belonging to a young man who I am aquainted with. His very first post sais that he has read that Longhunters wore their waist/equipment belts back to front for comfort and so they could wear a pouch in front. To my knowledge this is not correct, and I have found no documentation to back this up. This rumour started way back when a well known living historian misinterpreted some information. The written word stated that the belt was "tied" at the back, not buckled. Now to me this means a sash, sashes are tied, but not leather waist belts.
At the time I read this I remember trying it out myself as experimental archaeology. It was not very succsessful. Have you ever tried to buckle a belt at the back? Have you ever been caught short and had to take such a belt off?! No, it does not make any sense at all. The sash was often tied at the back because it stopped the fringe from getting caught in the brush when in the forest. But the belt was and is buckled in the front. I have never had any discomfort from a belt buckle of normal period size worn at the front.
Finding an 18th century image of someone wearing a waist belt with the buckle in front proves nothing, but I think we can safely assume that this was the most common way of wearing a belt. I can't say if any woodsman did not wear his belt backwards, I can only suggest that you try it yourself and come to your own conclusion.
My belt pouch is worn to one side as was the popular way. When wearing a cartridge box for militia duties I place the buckle to the side of the pouch, not behind.
Sash tied at the back to keep the fringe out of the way.
I have read of a sash lore. When men were visiting they had a way of comunicating their wishes to the opposit sex. To wear the fringe at the back as above, meant that you were not looking for a relationship. To tie the sash on the side meant that you were not actively looking for a lady, but you were open to suggestions. To wear the fringe hanging down directly in front meant that you were actively seeking a relationship with a woman. A very good idea I think.