A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Trail Food. Honey.


We arrived at Hawk's fort about ten o'clock, where we were kindly entertained. As before observed, many of the men had their feet badly frosted early on the march, and some before we set out; one in particular, Ichabod Dexter, who was one of my messmates, and whose pack I carried with my own through the whole march, and yet I was among the foremost in the march, and, although I was hungry, I never failed in vigor and activity, and this, I have always thought, was owing, in a measure, to the following circumstance: We had in my mess perhaps a pound of honey, in a wooden bottle, and after our provisions failed we dipped the end of a rod, not into a honey-comb, like Jonathan, but into the bottle, and put it to our mouths.
Rufus Putnam's Journal. February 10th. 1757.

Travel Light, or A Full Pack?

Unless I am out hunting for meat, I always carry the same pack regardless of where I am going or for how long. I may only be going for a couple of days, but in my interpretation, it would probably be longer. Also one never knows what might happen on the trek to delay me. I would sonner go knowing I am prepared, whether it be now, or 300 years ago.
July 9. After marching about ten miles further, he sent three of us for- ward to go to the bay and bring him an account of the distance to it. That we might go the lighter, we left our blankets and provisions with the scout, but the distance was much greater than was expected, and we were unable to return before sunset to the place where we left the party. They were gone and had carried off our blankets and provisions; the officer had taken fright and run away, supposing we were killed or taken prisoners. We attempted to track them but to no purpose. Believing that they could not be far off, we fired a gun but received no answer. Our situation was by no means agreeable, having nothing to cover us from the gnats and mosquitoes (with which that country abounds beyond description) but a shirt and breechclout.
Rufus Putnam's Journal. July 9th, 1757.

Herbs For The Trail . Ginger.


This night the ten men at our fire made a little soup for supper of the thigh bone of the dog and a portion of the back bone of pork, seasoned with ginger, which relished exceedingly well. With respect to the meat of a dog, I have, ever since I had this experience, believed it to be very good eating and that I could at any time eat it without disgust.
Rufus Putnam's Journal. February 8th, 1757.
 
Ginger Root (copyright Keith H. Burgess).
 
Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion and is used for wind, colic, irritable bowel, loss of appetite, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, dyspepsia (bloating, heartburn, flatulence), indigestion and gastrointestinal problems such as gas and stomach cramps. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems. It has also been indicated for arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches, coughs, bronchitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, to ease tendonitis, lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots.
Ginger has been well researched and many of its traditional uses confirmed. It is well known as a remedy for travel sickness, nausea and indigestion. It is a warming remedy, ideal for boosting the circulation, lowering high blood pressure and keeping the blood thin in higher doses. Ginger is anti-viral and makes a warming cold and flu remedy. Ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory herb and there has been much recent interest in its use for joint problems.

http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-ginger-root.html

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Samuel Hearne. 9. Pack Weight.



There is a series of videos about Samuel Hearne's trek to find the copper mines for the Hudson Bay Company produced by Ray Mears, but unfortunately these videos contain misinformation. Hearne was NOT travelling light like the Indians. All had heavy packs and Hearne's weighed in at 60 lbs. They were carrying kettles and used these kettles for cooking up stews.

About midnight, to our {24} great joy, our hunter arrived, and brought with him the blood and fragments of two deer that he had killed. This unexpected success soon roused the sleepers, who, in an instant, were busily employed in cooking a large kettle of broth, made with the blood, and some fat and scraps of meat shred small, boiled in it. This might be reckoned a dainty dish at any time, but was more particularly so in our present almost famished condition. April 1770.


{35} Knowing that our constant loads would not permit us to carry much provisions with us, we agreed to continue a day or two to refresh ourselves, and to dry a little meat in the sun, as it thereby not only becomes more portable, but is always ready for use. On the twenty-sixth, all that remained of the musk-ox flesh being properly dried and fit for carriage, we began to proceed on our journey Northward, and on the thirtieth of June arrived at a small river, called Cathawhachaga,[35]which empties[87]itself into a large lake called Yath-kyed-whoie,[36]or White Snow Lake.
 
December 1770. Indeed for many days before we had in great want, and for the last three days had not tasted a morsel of any thing, except a pipe of tobacco and a drink of snow water; and as we walked daily from morning till night, and were all heavy laden, our strength began to fail.

1771. January.
After leaving Island Lake, we continued our old course between the West and North West, and travelled at the easy rate of eight or nine miles a day. Provisions of all kinds were scarce till the sixteenth, when the Indians killed twelve deer. This induced us to put up, though early in the day; and finding great plenty of deer in the neighbourhood of our little encampment, it was agreed by all parties to remain a few days, in order to dry and pound some meat to make it lighter for carriage.

April 1771. Having a good stock of dried provisions, and most of the necessary work for canoes all ready, on the eighteenth we moved about nine or ten miles to the North North West, and then came to a tent of Northern Indians who were tenting on the North side of Thelewey-aza River. From these Indians Matonabbee purchased another wife; so that he had now no less than seven, most of whom would for size have made good grenadiers. He prided himself much in the height and strength of his wives, and would frequently say, few women would carry or haul heavier loads; and though they had, in general, a very masculine appearance, yet he preferred them to those of a {89} more delicate form and moderate stature. In a country like this, where a partner in excessive hard labour is the chief motive for the union, and the softer endearments of a conjugal life are only considered as a secondary object, there seems to be great propriety in such a choice; but if all the men were of this way of thinking, what would become of the greater part of the women, who in general are but of low stature, and many of them of a most delicate make, though not of the exactest proportion, or most beautiful mould? Take them in a body, the women are as destitute of real beauty as any nation I ever saw, though there are some few of them, when young, who are tolerable; but the care of a family, added to their constant hard labour, soon make the[129]most beautiful among them look old and wrinkled, even before they are thirty; and several of the more ordinary ones at that age are perfect antidotes to love and gallantry. This, however, does not render them less dear and valuable to their owners, which is a lucky circumstance for those women, and a certain proof that there is no such thing as any rule or standard for beauty. Ask a Northern Indian, what is beauty? he will answer, a broad flat face, small eyes, high cheek-bones, three or four broad black lines across each cheek, a low forehead, a large broad chin, a clumsy hook-nose, a tawny hide, and breasts hanging down to the belt. Those beauties are greatly heightened, or at least rendered more valuable, when the possessor is capable of dressing all kinds of skins, converting them into the different parts {90} of their clothing, and able to carry eight or ten[AA] stone in Summer, or haul a much greater weight in Winter.

Samuel Hearne.8. June 1770. Pack Weight and Shelter.


The snow was by this time so soft as to render walking in snow-shoes very laborious; and though the ground was bare in many places, yet at times, and in particular places, the snow-drifts were so deep, that we could not possibly do without them. By the sixth, however, the thaws were so general, and the snows so much melted, that as our snow-shoes were attended with more trouble than service, we all consented to throw them away. Till the tenth, our sledges proved serviceable, particularly in crossing lakes and ponds on the ice; but that mode of travelling now growing dangerous on account of the great thaws, we {29} determined to throw away our sledges, and every one to take a load on his back.[82]
This I found to be much harder work than the winter carriage, as my part of the luggage consisted of the following articles, viz. the quadrant and its stand, a trunk containing books, papers, &c., a land-compass, and a large bag containing all my wearing apparel; also a hatchet, knives, files, &c., beside several small articles, intended for presents to the natives. The awkwardness of my load, added to its great weight, which was upward of sixty pounds, and the excessive heat of the weather, rendered walking the most laborious task I had ever encountered; and what considerably increased the hardship, was the badness of the road, and the coarseness of our lodging, being, on account of the want of proper tents, exposed to the utmost severity of the weather. The tent we had with us was not only too large, and unfit for barren ground service, where no poles were to be got, but we had been obliged to cut it up for shoes, and each person carried his own share. Indeed my guide behaved both negligently and ungenerously on this occasion; as he never made me, or my Southern Indians, acquainted with the nature of pitching tents on the barren ground; which had he done, we could easily have procured a set of poles before we left the woods. He took care, however, to procure a set for himself and his wife; and when the tent was divided, though he made shift to get a piece large enough to serve him for {30} a complete little tent, he never asked me or my Southern Indians to put our heads into it.
Beside the inconvenience of being exposed to the open air, night and day, in all weathers, we experienced real distress from the want of victuals. When provisions were procured, it often happened that we could not make a fire, so that we were obliged to eat the meat quite raw; which at first, in the article of fish particularly, was as little relished by my Southern companions as myself.[83]

 
Notwithstanding these accumulated and complicated hardships, we continued in perfect health and good spirits; and my guide, though a perfect niggard of his provisions, especially in times of scarcity, gave us the strongest assurance of soon arriving at a plentiful country, which would not only afford us a certain supply of provisions, but where we should meet with other Indians, who probably would be willing to carry part of our luggage. This news naturally gave us great consolation; for at that time the weight of our constant loads was so great, that when Providence threw any thing in our way, we could not carry above two days provisions with us, which indeed was the chief reason of our being so frequently in want.
Samuel Hearne on his Journey to the Coppermine, 1770
Charles William Jefferys/Library and Archives Canada/C-070250

Sharpening Blades In The Field. Stones and Files.

Someone just recently asked me: "How did the longhunter sharpen his knife in the field".
Well although some people in the 18th century did not look after their tools, I think there were a lot more that did. The passage regarding Gist and Washington comes to mind. These two set off alone in the wilderness with only one blunt hatchet and no means of sharpening said hatchet. How dumb can you get! It always amazes me that seemingly educated people make so many bad mistakes, especially when their lives may be at stake.
There were whetstones and metal files commonly available during all periods of the 18th century and earlier. A smart person would carry one or both of these items to keep their knife and belt axe/tomahawk sharp and in good working order. Here are some examples below.


Perret-plate Xlfigs38-39-01
 An early Barlow clasp knife, probably 17thc.-18th century, with a whetstone.
The above images are from: finds.org.uk.

Honing and whetstones. Notingham University Museum. Photo By Robin Aldworth

Basing axe and whetstones. A basing axe is used to roughly shape the whetstone at the quarry.

A whetstone from my collection. This one came from a creek bed.

An 18th century whetstone in a wooden holder.
Cries Of London. A street vendor selling honing and whetstones.
 

Samuel Hearne 7. 1770 Return and Departure.

The twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth proved fine, clear weather, though excessively cold; and in the afternoon of the latter, we arrived at Prince of Wales's Fort, after having been absent eight months and twenty-two days, on a fruitless, or at least an unsuccessful journey.[44]

On my arrival at the Fort, I informed the Governor, of Matonabbee's being so near. On the twenty-eighth of November he arrived. Notwithstanding the many difficulties and hardships which I had undergone during my two unsuccessful attempts, I was so far from being {61} solicited on this occasion to undertake a third excursion, that I willingly offered my service; which was readily accepted, as my abilities and approved courage, in persevering under difficulties, were thought noways inferior to the task.
I then determined to engage Matonabbee to be my guide; to which he readily consented, and with a freedom of speech and correctness of language not commonly met with among Indians, not only pointed out the reasons which had occasioned all our misfortunes in my two former attempts, but described the plan he intended to pursue; which at the same time that it was highly satisfactory to me, did honour to his penetration and judgment; as it proved him to be a man of extensive observation with respect to times, seasons, and places; and well qualified to explain everything that could contribute either to facilitate or retard the ease or progress of travelling in those dreary parts of the world.

Oatmeal.
Finding deer and all other game very scarce, and not knowing how long it might be before we could reach any place where they were in greater plenty, the Indians walked as far each day as their loads and other circumstances would conveniently permit. On the sixteenth, we arrived at Egg River, where Matonabbee and the rest of my crew had laid up some provisions and other necessaries, when on their journey to the Fort. On going to the place where they thought the provisions had been carefully secured from all kinds of wild beasts, they had the mortification to find that some of their countrymen, with whom the Governor had first traded and dispatched from the Fort, had robbed the store of every article, as well as of some of their most useful implements. This loss was more severely felt, as there was a total want of every kind of game; and the Indians, not expecting to meet with so great a disappointment, had not used that[111]economy in the expenditure of the oatmeal and other provisions which they had received at the Fort, as they probably would have done, had they not relied firmly on finding a supply at this place.
 

Samuel Hearne 6. October 1770. Indian Women.


He attributed all our misfortunes to the misconduct of my guides, and the very plan we pursued, by the desire of the Governor, in not taking any women with us on this journey, was, he said, the principal thing that occasioned all our wants: "for, said he, when all the men are heavy[102]laden, they can neither hunt nor travel to any considerable distance; and in case they meet with success in hunting, who is to carry the produce of their labour? Women," added he, "were made for labour; one of them can carry, or haul, as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and, in fact, there is no such thing as travelling any considerable distance, or for any length of time, in this country, without their assistance. Women," said he again, "though they do every thing, are maintained at a trifling expence; for as they always stand cook, the very licking of their fingers in scarce times, is sufficient for their subsistence." This, however odd it may appear, is but too true a description of the situation of women in this country; it is at least so in appearance; for the women always carry the provisions, and it is more than probable they help themselves when the men are not present.
 

Samuel Hearne 5. August 1770. Gunpowder Bag.


The person I engaged at Cathawhachaga to carry my canoe proving too weak for the task, another of my crew was obliged to exchange loads with him, which seemed perfectly agreeable to all parties; and as we walked but short days' journies, and deer were very plentiful, all things went on very smoothly. Nothing material happened till the eighth, when we were near losing the quadrant and all our powder from the following circumstance: the fellow who had been released from carrying the canoe proving too weak, as hath been already observed, had, after the exchange, nothing to carry but my powder and his own trifles; the latter were indeed very inconsiderable, not equal in size and weight to a soldier's knapsack. As I intended to have a little sport with the deer, and knowing his load to be much lighter than mine, I gave him the quadrant {42} and stand to carry, which he took without the least hesitation, or seeming ill-will. Having thus eased myself for the present of a heavy and cumbersome part of my load, I set out early in the morning with some of the Indian men; and after walking about eight or nine miles, saw, from the top of a high hill, a great number of deer feeding in a neighbouring valley; on which we laid down our loads and erected a flag, as a signal for the others to pitch their tents there for the night. We then pursued our hunting, which proved very successful. At night, however, when we came to the hill where we had left our baggage, I found that only part of the Indians had arrived, and that the man who had been entrusted with my powder and quadrant, had set off another way, with a small party of Indians that had been in our company that morning. The evening being far advanced, we were obliged to defer going in search of him till the morning, and as his track could not be easily discovered in the Summer, the Southern Indians, as well as myself, were very uneasy, fearing we had lost the powder, which was to provide us with food and raiment the remainder of our journey. The very uncourteous behaviour of the Northern Indians then in[93]company, gave me little hopes of receiving assistance from them, any longer than I had wherewithal to reward them for their trouble and expense; for during the whole time I had been with them, not one of them had offered to give me the least morsel of victuals, without asking something in exchange, which, in general, was three times the value of {43} what they could have got for the same articles, had they carried them to the Factory, though several hundred miles distant.
I got up at daybreak, and, with the two Southern Indians, set out in quest of our deserter. Many hours elapsed in fruitless search after him, as we could not discover a single track in the direction which we were informed he had taken. The day being almost spent without the least appearance of success, I proposed repairing to the place where I had delivered the quadrant to him, in hopes of seeing some track in the moss that might lead to the way the Indians were gone whom our deserter had accompanied. On our arrival at that place, we found they had struck down toward a little river which they had crossed the morning before; and there, to our great joy, we found the quadrant and the bag of powder lying on the top of a high stone, but not a human being was to be seen. On {45} examining the powder, we found that the bag had been opened, and part of it taken out; but, notwithstanding our loss was very considerable, we returned with light hearts to the place at which we had been the night before, where we found our baggage safe, but all the Indians gone; they had, however, been so considerate as to set up marks to direct us what course to steer. By the time we had adjusted our bundles, the day was quite spent; seeing, however, a smoke, or rather a fire, in the direction we were ordered to steer, we bent our way towards it; and a little after ten o'clock at night came up with the main body of the Indians;[95]when, after refreshing ourselves with a plentiful supper, the first morsel we had tasted that day, we retired to rest, which I at least enjoyed with better success than the preceding night.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/two-more-gunpowder-bags.html
 

Samuel Hearne 4. July 1770.


On the seventeenth, we saw many musk-oxen, several of which the Indians killed; when we agreed to stay here a day or two, to dry and pound[U] some of the carcases to take with us. The flesh of any animal, when it is thus prepared, is not only hearty food, but is always ready for {39} use, and at the same time very portable. In most parts of Hudson's Bay it is known by the name of Thew-hagon,[40] but amongst the Northern Indians it is called Achees.
 

Samuel Hearne 3. November 1770. Fusils.


Deer proved pretty plentiful for some time, but to my great surprise, when I wanted to give Matonabbee a little ammunition for his own use, I found that my guide,[103]Conreaquefè, who had it all under his care, had so embezzled or otherways expended it, that only ten balls and about three pounds of powder remained; so that long before we arrived at the Fort we were obliged to cut up an ice-chissel into square lumps, as a substitute for ball. It is, however, rather dangerous firing lumps of iron out of such slight barrels as are brought to this part of the world for trade. These, though light and handy, and of course well adapted for the use of both English and Indians in long journies, and of sufficient strength for leaden shot or ball, are not strong enough for {57} this kind of shot; and strong fowling-pieces would not only be too heavy for the laborious ways of hunting in this country, but their bores being so much larger, would require more than double the quantity of ammunition that small ones do; which, to Indians at least, must be an object of no inconsiderable importance.

A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in

Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean in the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, by Samuel Hearne
The North West Trade Gun.

Samuel Hearne 2.

Our situation at that time, though very alarming, would not permit us to spend much time in reflection; so we loaded our sledges to the best advantage (but were obliged to throw away some bags of shot and ball), and immediately set out on our return. In the course of the day's walk we were fortunate enough to kill several partridges, for which we were all very thankful, as it was the first meal we had had for several days: indeed, for the five preceding days we had not killed as much as amounted to half a partridge for each man; and some days had not a single mouthful. While we were in this distress, the Northern Indians were by no means in want; for as they always walked foremost, they {7} had ten times the chance to kill partridges, rabbits, or any other thing which was to be met with, than we had. Beside this advantage, they had great stocks of flour, oatmeal, and other English provisions, which they had embezzled out of my stock during the early part of the journey; and as one of my home Indians, called Mackachy, and his wife, who is a Northern Indian woman, always resorted to the Northern Indians tents, where they got amply supplied with provisions when neither I nor my men had a single mouthful, I have great reason to suspect they had a principal hand in the embezzlement: indeed, both the man and his wife were capable of committing any crime, however diabolical.

A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in

Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean in the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, by Samuel Hearne

 

Samuel Hearne 1769.

Samuel Hearne was to make three trips for the Hudson Bay Company. The first two trips were cut short because of the loss of Hearne's sextant.
Hearne was at the mercy of his Indian guides and carryers, no matter how much he disliked some of the things they did or did not do, he was forced to keep the peace and carry on. On the last trip Hearne was to witness a horrific act of barbarity, and he could do no more than stand and watch it play out.
Chawchinahaw finding that this kind of treatment was not likely to complete his design, and that we were not to be starved into compliance, at length influenced several of the best Northern Indians to desert in the night, who took with them several bags of my ammunition, some pieces of iron work, such as hatchets, ice chissels, files, &c., as well as several other useful articles.
A Journey from Prince of Wales's Fort in Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean in the Years 1769, 1770, 1771, 1772, by Samuel Hearne

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Preserving Foods Aboard Ship. A Link.

http://paulinespiratesandprivateers.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/tools-of-trade-tips-from-galley.html

A good read. Check it out.

It is that time of year.

In the New World, winter seems to be the time for making & reparing, same in England & Europe. But here in Australia summer is the time for looking over ones gear and making any needed repairs or changes. So right now, it-is that time of year.
How did you go on your last historical trek? Too much weight? Did anything break? Does anything need adding to your pack to make life easier in the woods?

I added a market wallet to my pack for carrying extra trail foods. It is secured under the flap on my knapsack. I am much better ballanced this way & more comfortable than carrying extra food in my haversack.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Description of Woodland Indians in Canada.


These savages are tall, well made and robust, they have the same skin as us, but theirs is burnt by the strength of the sun and which they spoil with the different colours they use to stain themselves. When they come to council or leave for war, they pluck their beards. In the summer they wear a shirt and breech cloth, which is a piece of cloth which goes around the hips. In winter, the wear a capot, like a redingottes, and mitasses, which are a piece of cloth wrapped round each leg. They like blankets which they wrap around them when marching and to sleep in. The women are dressed in much the same with a piece of cloth around them larger than the breech cloth, called maxtikote. The men wear their hair very short, and intertwine it with pieces of bone or ivory, they split the ears, and put in small plates of silver and bits of binding wire. The women wear their hair long and behind them and enclose in sleeves made of leather and decorated with silver. Men go to war and hunting. Women follow them to carry their things, take care of the cabins, which are a type of tent made with tree bark, and to the chaudi√®re  which means getting the dinner, otherwise they remain in the villages to cut the Indian corn that they love and watch over the well being of the family.
Journal of the Campaigns in Canada from 1755 to 1760
by
Count de Maures de Malartic
Lieutenant General of the Armies of the King
Governor of the Iles de France and of Bourbon
1730-1800

http://www.newfrancedocs.co.uk/newfrancedocs.co.uk/Malartics_Journal_Sample.html

Construction Workers Find Cannon. India.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2237958/Workers-dig-Tipu-era-18th-century-cannon-weighing-ton-Metro-rail-work-Bangalore.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Monday, 19 November 2012

18th Century Clasp Knife from Scratch.

You will remember my first attempt at making a friction clasp knife, it turned out okay, but not the best. It was a good learning experience for me, and I said at the time I would make another one. Well I made it yesterday.
Unfortunately I had to work in good light for the video camera, this meant that when I had to heat the tab on the blade to bend it, I could not see the colour of the steel and it was not hot enough and broke off!!!
This I corrected by fitting in a pin in place of the tab, but it is not an 18th century method as far as I know. So today, I removed the pin and fitted a ring, which is an 18th century method. I think it turned out well, and I am pleased to have it and use it. It is much lighter than my present period clasp knife.

The blade I made by cutting it out of a saw blade with a cold chisel and then final filing. The handle is deer antler. I found a diagram of original 18th century blade shapes on the net, printed them out, and transfered the design I wanted onto an ice cream container lid using my awl. Then I cut the shape out.
I placed the cut-out on the saw blade and scribed the shape onto the steel with a stylus. The part I cut out I used to mark where the blade hinge pin goes, and this I transfered to the steel blade using a center punch. Only hand tools were used in the making of this knife. See what you think of it.

The design of blade I used is marked with a tick.

The pattern I made with the stylus and just to the left the circular saw blade I cut the knife blade from.

My anvil is a piece of railway iron.

The finished knife with the stop pin.


The same knife with the steel ring I made and fitted this morning in place of the pin.



Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Flintlock Gun in the 18th Century and Now.


The Flintlock Gun in the 18th Century and Now.

The flintlock, be it fusil, musket or rifle was still in use in wilderness areas in the 19th century long after the production of the percussion lock. Why? Because the flintlock is more reliable in wilderness areas; you do not need a large supply of percussion caps, any siliceous rock can be roughly knapped and used in the flint lock. Apart from running out of caps and not being able to replace them, percussion caps can be lost or destroyed by damp and corrosion.
My .62 cal/20 gauge flintlock fusil.

My .32 calibre flintlock rifle.

My 14 gauge percussion half-stock fusil.

I carry tools and spare lock springs to repair the lock on my flintlock fusil, but if I were to run out of spare parts, then I can easily convert my flintlock into a matchlock and continue using it. You can’t do this with a percussion lock. Not that these locks often break down, they are very hardy. In the 30 or so years I have been using my flintlock it has only failed me once. The hammer would not spark. I heated it to cherry red in the fire and rehardened it and it has been working fine ever since. Even so, I also carry a spare hammer (steel) in my knapsack.
Mainspring vice, spare lock springs, a spare hammer, and a wad punch. 18th century smoothbores did not use a patched ball, but you can patch the ball for better accuracy over greater distances.  Any suitable plant fibre can be used as wadding, but green will not catch fire.

Leather pouch, tallow container,screw, pin punch, leather, turn screw, and two spare flints. These are carried in the shot pouch.

I can use the lock on my flintlock fusil to make fire without the use of gunpowder, but at the same time, I have gunpowder (black powder) to use with unprepared plant tinder if I should ever need it. I do not have to carry a lot of weight in lead, because I can retrieve lead from shot game and easily remould it into round ball or swan shot (buckshot) using the two light ball moulds I carry and a small light lead ladle. This means that I can carry more weight in gunpowder so it will last a lot longer.
The powder horn I carry.

My spare powder horn.

My gunpowder wallet. This is used to carry extra gunpowder on long trips. When empty, it is used to store tinder.


By using a smoothbore flintlock I can use round ball, swan shot, or light bird shot, or any combination of two of these. By loading bird shot and round ball, I am able to hunt small game and large game at the same time without having to change loads to suit. The flintlock has two safety devices, half-cock on the lock (no lock safety should ever be trusted!), and the use of a leather hammer boot. IF I were ever to run out of lead, then there are plenty of other projectiles available from nature which I can load instead. I can also use a hunting plug bayonet if I wish. With 42 inches of barrel plus stock length, I can keep man or beast at a good distance and kill with it.
The lock on my fusil with the leather hammer boot in place on the hammer. If the half-cock were to ever fail and release the cock, then the flint would only strike the leather boot and the gun would not fire.
My youngest son's shot pouch with ball mould, turn screw, cow's knee lock cover, and pouches for round ball and gun tools.

My shot pouch and contents.
Tools on the strap of my shot pouch. Vent quills, powder measure, loading block with two round ball, vent pricker and pan brush. A vent quill is used to mark a loaded gun, to keep the vent clear when loading, and to plug the vent when using the lock to make fire.
A worm for cleaning the bore which I hand forged onto my iron ramrod.

The rammer end of my ramrod screws off so that I can screw on the screw used for pulling a load.


I can easily make and use paper cartridges for faster reloading; I also carry a loading block hanging from my shot pouch strap. The cartridges can be carried in a cartridge box or belly box for easy access and to keep them safe and dry.


Cartridge box.

Gunpowder (Black Powder) is easy to make providing of course you have the ingredients. I of course can not recommend that you make your own gunpowder, but I will mention that it MUST always be mixed wet.  Water or urine can be used.