Keeping ourselves honest...

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Elleth
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Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elleth » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:50 pm

Recently I came across this thread - Taking Lindsey's Thread a little farther - and it led me to an enlightening - but humbling - metal exercise.

What changes would you make to your rangery get-up if your life actually depended on it? That is - assume you'll be dropped in an unsettled wilderness crawling with people who want to kill you, and have to cross two hundred miles and come out the other side.

Here's the trick with this exercise: it's not a "what modern elements I'd add" question, but rather a means of shaking out how well we've thought through our fictional get-ups in the first place. If you're mostly complete, then go with what you have now. If you're still working, then assume you've got the pieces you've planned out. But either way, we're still talking medieval-ish/period technology.

I've got lots I should change.
Some of that is 'cause I've proceeded from a " 'civilian' clothes pressed into service" idea, but mostly it's because I've been quite guilty of thinking "costume" rather than "kit" over the years.

So with that in mind, I'll start. Some - many - I in fact have no intention of actually doing. But as a means of keeping myself honest:
============================================

Boots - I still want to work out some kind of traction. Even turnshoes threaten slips on steep pine-needle covered hillsides, and that's dangerous.

Buckles - Any strap that doesn't need a buckle for taking on and off shouldn't have one. Too much chance of glint or knocking metal. If it needs adjustment, it can use the holes-and-thong method.

Speaking of, my waist belt could be wider and softer: I went with a period-correct narrow belt, but a wider one would work better. And we can assume Dunedain of the angle faced less material shortages of leather than their real medieval counterparts due to a lower population density.

Surcote: I'd remove the contrasting linen edging. It's too light and stands out too much.

Everything bladed would get a serious sharpening: my belt knife might need to be re-profiled to make this possible because I was more thinking aesthetics than function. Probably this also means wool or guards or something in the base of my quiver sock.

Speaking of bladed, my longknife isn't quite stable enough in its scabbard: I'd probably forgo a scabbard entirely and use a sheath. It *might* need some weight taken off the pommel to make it more usable. Also, the sword I have - should I use it - would need to be dulled down and given a more practical carriage.

Finally, the critical weather stuff. I can pick when it's too bug-infested or slick to go out: a "real" person wouldn't have the choice.
* Better sun and insect protection
* Ice cleats or crampons.
* Better gloves
* More cold food
* More socks


So those are my immediate thoughts and self-criticisms. What about you guys?
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Peter Remling
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Peter Remling » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:23 pm

I wouldn't change my equipment, other than darkening or covering some of the shiny or brighter aspects of clothing and gear. I'd spend more time revisiting skills I learned years ago but have somewhat atrophied due to disuse.
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Elwindil
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elwindil » Thu Jan 31, 2019 9:01 pm

if it's because I have some sort of vital information, then it becomes a matter of evasion and survival, minimal gear used, ditch anything and everything that's going to just slow you down, bury it in a cache to hopefully come back for later. your best bet isn't to troop around carrying all sorts of gear, travel as light and stealthily as possible, that being said, I still have a great deal of kit to create, I've had a few setbacks of late so nothing has gotten done. I'm going to get back to making the boots, I've got everything mostly cut, just the finishing touches are needed. one sword, long knives, shorter bow and arrows, cloak, small, tight bedroll with extra socks/hose. belt pouch with firemaking kit and snares/hooks for set lines, though I'd probably not use those, and instead would just rely on the snares and some primitive fish traps. if I'm in a small group, due to physical limitations, I'd choose to stay behind and draw off pursuit so the others stand a better chance of escape and evasion. that's just the reality of things for me these days. any fires that I did set would be small, or otherwise concealed and used mostly for cooking, if even that. as for the traction, perhaps some hobnails or something similar might help.
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Ursus
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Ursus » Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:09 pm

Overall I'm happy with my current setup. It's medium-light, easily modified, and by design kind of forces me to focus on the bare essentials which is one of the things I
like most about it. However there are a few small things I'd tweak.

Boots: Like others I would rather have a bit more traction via hobnails or some such. Anybody got a source for purchase there?

Shirts: My everyday linen shirt needs some ties added at the neck and arms. Both of my good woolen ones need tailored for me to be able to roll the sleeves up. Normally
well fitted wool is a good thing but I'm a human furnace and like to be able to cool out without completely removing items of clothing.

Im still circling a possible fighting knife. My old dirk serves well and is my prefered design for an in close weapon but I'd like to craft one with a bit more heft.
My current mentality is that if I cannot solve an issue between my longsword, short bow, small hand axe, and healthy knowledge of hand to hand combatives then a knife
probably isn't going to help me anyway and I'd rather forgo the added weight. Add to this that the by knife on my sword scabbard is the size of many modern bushcraft
belt knives and I'm not lacking in anyway for cutting tools or improvised weapons.

Other than that Im really happy with all else. My tools and weapons are adequate and then some. Of late I'm happy to carry my short bow/quiver combo most of the time but
my current setup also easily allows me to switch to my warbow and ranger arrowbag with ease should I wish. Sword: Ive beat that horse to death but Im beyond confident in my choice of bladed companion, its function and carry,and ability to lay any troubles to rest. Besides, the sword is merely a tool. It requires the swordsman to make it a deadly weapon and so I will continue to train rigorously to make it so.

For foodstuffs I only carry dried goods that can either be eaten as they are, cooked over the fire, or cooked with a small amount of water. I refuse to carry produce other than occasionally
a small onion or some garlic, anything else is not worth the carry weight. My normal goods are aimed at providing the sustenance needed to keep my body fueled for the
journey and its many varied challeges. I am always looking for new things to add in here though if anyone has any suggestions.

Im always looking to broaden my horizions in terms of knowledge and learn new skills applicable to the outdoors but I'm also comfortable with the skill sets I
currently possess.

I don't think it would be a jolly lark but as a whole I'm quite confident I could to jump into such an environment at current and either thrive or adapt to succeed as needed
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Elwindil
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elwindil » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:08 pm

[quote="Ursus"](snip) Boots: Like others I would rather have a bit more traction via hobnails or some such. Anybody got a source for purchase there?

I haven't tried these yet, but they appear to be fairly well constructed, and would be something I would use on the boots I'm currently making. https://www.armorvenue.com/roman-army-1 ... gJTCfD_BwE
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Greg
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Greg » Fri Feb 01, 2019 11:51 pm

I understand what you guys are saying about wanting better traction, but if I'm earnestly dropped into a wilderness full of things that want to eat my eyes for jujubes, I wouldn't trade my turnshoes for ANYTHING. I've found (and discussed here on occasion) that turnshoes leave the least noticeable trace behind of any footwear I've ever seen, worn, or tracked. You get used to their stability/lack thereof.

I'm thinking hard about changes I'd make...and it is difficult thinking. I've run through this SO many times in my head over the past year or two, paring it down bit by bit to essentials. This thinking led to my tool roll, to keep everything minimal and together in one place, instead of "this kit, that kit..." This thinking led to my recent setting aside of the blanket and reliance on the cloak for 3 of the 4 seasons. This thinking also led to the custom short sword, to make me more mobile and fit in with my general preference in a fight.

I wish I could contribute more...but I really am quite pleased with what I have. The only thing I might consider, if we're after earnest practicality, would be throwing everything in a backpack, because cultural connections or no, backpacks are far superior to single shoulder straps and snapsacks.
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Elleth
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elleth » Sat Feb 02, 2019 12:59 am

Oh, I figured most of you guys posting would be set. :)

Greg - that's interesting. It could just be you've worn your shoes in more. There's absolutely a point where a sole gets worn in enough that it's soft enough to move well with the foot on hillsides and give some purchase - to say nothing of the scuffing. But the pine needle covered dropoff behind our back pasture is still murder in anything but vibram, at least for me. :/

Anyhow, my thoughts went less to hobnails than some kind of pine pitch and gravel mess, but I've no idea if that was done, and if so how well it worked. Certainly I do want to try iron creepers of either the colonial or norse variety at some point: they just haven't made it to the top of the "to get" list yet. (That said, I did just find a lightly woven linen scarf I hope will be good at keeping out blackfly and mosquito this spring)

(I'm still impressed with that tool roll minimization, by the way)
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Greg
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Greg » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:18 am

I thought it was interesting that you brought up your surcote edging...did you dye it, or is it natural? Mine took a bath in walnuts before I sewed it on and I've never felt like it really stood out much when reviewing photos. Still...terrain differs.
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Elleth
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elleth » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:47 am

Mine is natural, as far as I remember. I believe I was simply too impatient to do a dye cycle. I'm in no hurry to do so, as no one's actually trying to hunt me in the woods. :mrgreen:

But that said, I think once summer rolls around and I'm back to running leather projects through a new walnut bath, the whole surcoat will get a round or two to see how it goes. If I'm still not happy after that, I can decide what to do then.

I do have the impression the linen edging may help a bit to keep everything in place, both by its weight and by interrupting wool's tendency to cling to itself. But I didn't try wearing the surcote without it, so I've no comparative data.
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Iodo
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Iodo » Sat Feb 02, 2019 5:43 pm

Fascinating thread :P

A very difficult question, if the scenario is in winter mountains and I'm allowed to include modern kit, I would add a length of rope and associated climbing equipment, ice screws, snow boots, crampons and snow-shoes but;

Elleth wrote: it's not a "what modern elements I'd add" question, but rather a means of shaking out how well we've thought through our fictional get-ups in the first place. If you're mostly complete, then go with what you have now. If you're still working, then assume you've got the pieces you've planned out. But either way, we're still talking medieval-ish/period technology.

So, for crampons I'd have to go with something like this: viewtopic.php?f=27&t=3981&p=42664&hilit=crampons#p42664 and I'd have to have some kind of rope and a walking axe or spear for defense. My combat skills are lacking and it probably wouldn't be wise to completely rely on being good at hiding, so If I really was going to have goblins after me I'd definitely want develop better combat skills and have some kind of armor, carefully designed to be silent and not shiny
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Odigan
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Odigan » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:37 am

Greg wrote:I understand what you guys are saying about wanting better traction, but if I'm earnestly dropped into a wilderness full of things that want to eat my eyes for jujubes, I wouldn't trade my turnshoes for ANYTHING.

+10 for the Avatar reference.

I second this, as on natural terrain I've personally found turnsoles to superior to other footwear in terms of comfort, warmth, and traction, even on slick surfaces. One of the reasons for this, I believe, is that they allow the foot to move and conform to the ground fully, as it is meant to. They simply permit things which aren't possible when the foot is encased in the armoured box that is most modern footwear; like a natural gait, striking with the ball of the foot first, not the heel, or the ability to grasp at exposed rocks or with one's toes. As a contemporary equivalent I would take (and regularly do use) Vibram FiveFingers (the early models with the thin soles) or Feiyue sneakers (the AirJordans of the Shaolin monks). I cannot stress enough that if you're covering long distances and are trying to shed weight, you can't go wrong starting at the feet, as every gram must be picked up and swung along with each step.

While I personally don't have traction issues I know this is a common complaint, but I can't see as going so far as wearing crampons unless you're specifically going mountaineering or trekking up a glacier. If you're carrying rope already and really need some extra grip this can be bound around the shoe to create a textured tread.
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Elwindil
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Elwindil » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:25 am

I've not worn turnshoes before, how are they for fighting in? would you want something different if you were going to have to eventually confront your foes?
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Odigan » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:38 am

Elwindil wrote:I've not worn turnshoes before, how are they for fighting in? would you want something different if you were going to have to eventually confront your foes?

They seem to have worked well for the Danes.
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Ursus
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Ursus » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:14 am

Odigan wrote:
Elwindil wrote:I've not worn turnshoes before, how are they for fighting in? would you want something different if you were going to have to eventually confront your foes?

They seem to have worked well for the Danes.


I think it’s important to note that not all turn shoes are created equally. My current ones from Bohemond have a heel and thicker sole than the other pair that I own and force me to walk in a more modern gait but with less traction than you’d get from a modern sole. Also a turn shoe that is baggy about the foot or the incorrect size will ruin ones impression on them. Having trekked a lot in a moccasin I whole heartedly agree with a basic turnshoe style boot working best for a book reference ranger. Still at 34 and having lived a hard life I have a left knee that likes to dislocate with the occasional awkward twist and so for the sake of safety need to work on some form of secure traction. Preferably historic in nature.
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Greg
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Re: Keeping ourselves honest...

Postby Greg » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:43 am

Elwindil wrote:I've not worn turnshoes before, how are they for fighting in? would you want something different if you were going to have to eventually confront your foes?
Armed combat involving the sword and many other weapons involves very fluid footwork, with the feet never really coming off the ground, but instead sliding or "shifting" as the blade moves and combatants interact. Turnshoes are actually superbly designed for this very purpose...SCA'ers that you see running the field in full armor and cleats are after very different goals and using very different means than a period fighter whose intent is to kill or be killed.
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