The Advantages of Carrying/Using 18th Century Equipment.
· A flintlock smoothbore gun is versatile, you can make fire with the lock without using any gunpowder, you can use various sizes of small shot & round ball, you can if necessary use other projectiles besides lead, you can retrieve lead from shot game & remould it for further use. If the lock should malfunction it is easily repaired with spare springs, if you have no spare springs the lock is easily converted to matchlock.
· A flintlock rifle has the same advantages as the smoothbore except that it can not use small shot without leading the barrel. A .32 flintlock rifle has more power than a .22 rimfire & is less expensive to shoot.
· You can purchase an antique flintlock pistol now with no need for licence or registration.
· Ball moulds can be used as heavy tweezers for removing foreign objects from the body.
· Gunpowder (Black Powder) can be used to make fire with unprepared plant tinders without wasting ammunition.
· A trade axe/tomahawk is very versatile. The head is easily removed to be used as a hide scraper, the tomahawk can be thrown for recreation, self defence & hunting. This axe is a good defence weapon for hand to hand fighting, for constructing shelters & traps & for hammering in stakes or wooden pegs. A new helve/handle is easy to make & fit & does not require a wedge to secure the head.
· The awl is used for making leather items & for repairing leather items. The awl is used to make & repair moccasins.
· The butcher knife is for skinning & butchering game & can be used for self-defence.
· The legging knife is a back-up to the butcher knife. If you should dull the edge on your butcher knife you can continue with the legging knife. You do not want to stay around sharpening blades. Your shot may have attracted unwanted attention.
· The clasp knife is used for camp chores & for making trap triggers. You do not want to use your main blades as utility knives.
· Flint, steel & tinderbox will enable you to make fire anywhere in all weathers. It will not break or wear out & the process is renewable & sustainable.
· 18th century woodsrunner’s clothing (men & women) is practicle, protective, hard wearing & renewable.
· The housewife (sewing kit) is for making & repairing clothing & packs. The needles can be used for removing splinters & if needs be sewing up wounds. The beeswax is used to wax the linen sewing thread & can be used as makeshift tooth fillings.
· The angling tackle can be used with a rod or set lines, it can also be used for catching ducks & large land fowl. The linen or silk lines can be replaces with hand made cordage made from plant materials. Silk lines can be used as suture thread.
· The cooking kettle is used for boiling food, boiling water for drinks & sterilising, carrying water & for catching rainwater.
· Cotton & linen bags can be used for cleaning dirty water before boiling for drinking or adding to your water bottle.
· Gun tools are used for repairing the lock on your flintlock muzzle-loading gun if needs be, but these locks are very hard wearing. The tools are merely a back-up. The turn screw is used to remove the lock & barrel for cleaning.
· The whet stone is used to sharpen your blades, as is the metal file though both could have other uses if working with metal.
· The half-axe is optional & is capable of heavier work than the tomahawk without adding too much weight.
· An auger is optional & is used for making holes for constructing more permanent dwellings. These augers come in a variety of sizes & weigh very little. Small versions will fit in your pack, where longer versions can be tied to your blanket roll.
· The sword is also optional but in a hand to hand fight can be very useful. The sword is also used for cutting reeds for shelter & mat construction.
· The wool blanket is far more versatile than a sleeping bag, & if wet the blanket retains more body heat than a sleeping bag. The pure wool blanket can be used as a matchcoat or a Great Coat & can be used in a sitting position under an oilcloth covering on the trail.
· The oilcloth shelter is very versatile & can be used in many ways, including use as a rain coat. Used as a lean-to shelter you can use fire for warmth at night & you have good visibility on at least three sides. The lean-to is easy & quick to construct & quickly taken down. It does not need tent poles/rods & it is easy to carry.
Anyone using this equipment is advised to learn the many primitive skills that go with this type of wilderness living. If you are living this 18th century lifestyle then your level of comfort will never drop below this level. This equipment does not wear out, anything that should break can be repaired or replaces from natural sources. You are also advised to carry a modern medical kit which should include an eye wash glass.