Snowshoes According to Leon L Bean
January 13, 2010, 8:30 am
Filed under: Gear, The Great Outdoors | Tags: , ,

I felt is was time for another installment of the world according to Leon L. Bean, and seeing that it is sill very much winter out there, I thought some of you might need a good set of snowshoes if you don’t already have them. As in the past all the illustrations come from the L.L. Bean Guide to the Outdoors.

For clarification, “There are three basic snowshoes. The similar Maine and Michigan patterns; the Pickerel, also known as the Arctic or Alaska; and the Bear Paw. All others are variations.

"Peacock" Pocket Warmer
December 15, 2009, 1:11 pm
Filed under: Gear, Outdoors | Tags:

Bought this Peacock pocket warmer at a yard sale over the summer and now since the weather has become so cold I might actually get a chance to use it. Handwarmers like this one are definitely an older technology. Essentially they are a smoldering ball of fueled soaked cotton in a metal case that you stick in your pocket and hope you don’t catch on fire while fishing.  Either way they are beautiful objects and better then carrying one of those chemical sack handwarmers in your pocket.

The shiny Peacock comes in a purple crush velvet case that after its lit you put it back into before stuffing it into your pocket.

While I haven’t used this yet I’m thinking about getting some lighter fluid and giving it a try next time I go fishing, hopefully I won’t catch fire.

Dad's Boyscout Handbook
November 30, 2009, 9:19 pm
Filed under: Books, Gear | Tags: ,

Over Thanksgiving while visiting my family I came across my father’s old Boy Scouts of America Handbook, The Handbook for Boys. My father bought the book new in 1950 and it would guide him and serve him well through his time as a Boy Scout until he was an Eagle Scout. The book if filled with all the necessary knowledge a young man should know, everything from how to tie knots to first aid. Here are some of my favorite pages from Scouting skills chapter of the book, the rest can be seen here.

Make sure you know the Scout’s Law

Shoe Choices
November 11, 2009, 10:28 am
Filed under: Gear, Wearables | Tags: , , ,

Here are some shoe choices from the Whole Earth Catalog of August 1972.

While Walter Dryer is still around as a company, I dont think they are still offering these handmade mocs, to bad especially at that price.

Wish Wallabees were still only $23.95

A classic.

The Outer Layers According to Leon L. Bean
October 16, 2009, 8:18 am
Filed under: Gear, Wearables | Tags: ,

It got wet and cold down here real quick yesterday. As I have posted before, here are some thoughts and examples from Leon L Bean and the Guide to the Outdoors on the subject of outer layers and winter jackets.

“The anorak shell comes from the Far North, where no one has adapted as well to a hostile environment as the Eskimo. (He also have us the kayak, probably to world’s most seaworthy small boat.)

“If you’re and upland hunter, stalking grouse, quail, pheasant or woodcock, you’ll want to dress as lightly as possible yet you’ll need protection against grasping bush and brambles.” (Talking about the Wool Mackinaw)

Pocket Knives Cont.
October 5, 2009, 9:41 am
Filed under: Gear | Tags: ,

Some recent acquisitions of mine that can be added to my growing collection of pocket knives. I had been looking for an old Swiss Army knife like this one for some time and came across it at a junk store around town a few weeks ago. Its a pretty simple little tool in need of some sharpening to be useful.

The other knife I recently picked up was a vintage Imperial Kamp-King knife. I see these old pocket knives around alot and wanted to find one that was in good shape. As far as I know the Imperial Kamp-King company from Ireland isn’t around any longer but their pocket knives were the standard boy scout knife back in the day.

Packs According to Leon L. Bean
September 23, 2009, 8:59 am
Filed under: Books, Gear

These drawings of various pack types come from the LL Bean Guide to the Outdoors, a book which I have written about before.

Designs for classic packs like the Duluth and also specific bags for taking on river trips in the canoe. Also Archival Clothing just wrote about vintage Duluth packs and has a link to some other great images.

Detailed drawing of and external frame backpack and the various types of frames available. You have to love the old aluminum external frame packs.

Vintage Backpacker Ads
August 22, 2009, 6:24 pm
Filed under: Books, Gear | Tags: , , , ,

Been collecting some vintage issues of Backpacker magazine that I find at junk and thrift stores around town. The guys over at Cold Splinters unearthed an amazing collection of old Backpacker magazines that have been fully scanned and are available at google books. Pretty amazing collection and a great way to waste away a few hours. Its cool to see the old mountaineering and backpacking stories along with all the now vintage gear they used. The ads too in these old magazine are great, alot of them capture the early moments of some now very big companies. Here is a selection I scanned from my copy of the December-January issue of 1980.

Time To Collect Pocket Knives
May 18, 2009, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Gear, Uncategorized

Well just last week I picked up two new vintage pocket knives. The junk stores around here are loaded with great vintage pocket knives and other wierd pocket tools. I have been looking for a vintage Swiss Army knife for a little while and came across this one last week. It needs alot of love to shine once again and some serious sharpening to be more valuable then just looking cool.

It has this medium size blade and then a smaller one. I will make a good pocket addition as soon as I can sharpen them.

The other pocket knife I found isn’t really a pocket knife, rather a folding horticultural tool. Its a vintage pruning knife with a wood handle made by a now extinct company called Dunlap from the US of A. Its gonna be a beauty when I clean her up.