Friday, 9 November 2007

KIT list and suppliers

Several people have recently asked me for kit recommendations - apart from the gear we stock which is all tested by us - the below list might be found to be helpful!!

Comprehensive Kit List
(Including suppliers list)

The below is a list of the typical items carried by the bearclaw team during our courses and various adventures.

It builds upon the generic course kit list and is designed to give you a more detailed list including the websites of the various suppliers we would recommend.

Please mention Bearclaw Bushcraft when contacting any of the suppliers listed below.

Clothing –

Under wear
Underpants – cotton summer/winter

T/shirt – cotton is fine for summer. Winter opt for Montane Terra, Icebreaker or layering via the Ullsfrotte range to avoid chilling.

Shirt – cotton for the summer

Micro fleece for wet/cold or a Army Norgee is ok for dry cold climate

Thermal layer
Montane Extreme Smock - this is my year round top perfect for all conditions as a solo layer or as layering.
Snugpak make two thermal mid-layer jackets – the elite pile (cold/wet) or the Sleeka elite (dry/wet) – requires a natural fibre outer layer if working around campfires

Greenlander, Forester or Barents trousers by Fjellraven as all top quality robust trousers – the professionals choice

Windproof/outer layer
British Antarctic survey smock, tough Ventile jacket, well designed with plenty of pockets. Windproof, fire safe and shower proof - recommended

General wear wool socks are best as these are warm even when wet. Ullsfrotte are good – British army socks are also a favourite

Leather work gloves offer some elemental protection and are useful around the fire. Mekralon or thermal liners enhance these is cold weather. In extreme cold woollen mittens inside leather chopper mittens are robust and warm.


General purpose good all rounds are Rogue boots. For wet climates rogues can be worn with Sealskinz socks but Lundhags are a great choice also.

Head gear
For sunny climate Tiley hats or boonie hats in cotton with brims work well. For colder conditions woollen watch caps like the Ullsfrotte Luva are best. For woodlands and general wear the Fjallraven range of hats or caps is recommended.

By far the most versatile waterproof item a bushcrafter can use is the poncho – adapting from waterproof to shelter to a million things in between – highly recommended are the genuine US army ponchos with the Fjallraven coming in a close second

Call Jasper and ask for a genuine US poncho.


A strong wide belt which can be used as a tool suspension system, lash, and strap for carrying firewood ect is ideal – this is not used to hold up trousers!! (Brady belt)

Cutting Tool
For the novice we recommend a medium (100mm) bladed knife like the Frosts Mora or Clipper.

For the more experienced or those travelling further a field a large camp knife like the Wilderness knife is a wiser choice as this knife is designed to do fine carving as well as chopping and splitting

A small folding knife such as those made by Opinel are great utility tools and ideal for kitchen tasks

Possibles Pouch
A Possibles belt pouch contains all those essential items we need to survive – call it the backwoodsman’s survival kit its worn on the belt with our cutting tool – thus in theory if we strip down to a underwear we should still be able to wear our belt in case of an emergency.

Wooden – hand made by you!

Stone and mini steel – are best for the field, used to top up the edge on your cutting tools. The Fallkniven DC range works well but can be very coarse. Mini-steels are ideal for adding a micro secondary bevel especially for game preparation.

A compass with a whistle attached and the knowledge of how to use both is essential.

Non-safety matches carried in a old camera film case are a versatile emergency back up to your fire lighting kit

Swan Vesta – were available
Flint bar
Carry your ferro rod (Jukka stick being the original or a fireball) in a rubberised tinder pouch (tobacco skin) – this means your fire lighting kit is to hand and that damp tinder can breath or be dried by body heat if carried in the pocket.

Insect repellent
Nordic summer is a favourite – life systems pump DEET sprays are strong and effective

First Aid kit
A small cuts kit should be carried whenever you carry your knife – a military First field dressing (FFD) is a good back up – make the kit yourself to meet your ability and needs.

Para cord
Genuine 550 is the best but hemp or natural cordage is ideal as it will degrade if left in the woods.

A Maglite or Petzl Tikka Head torch are a good well tried and tested choice.

Field and Camping gear

Water bottle
Nalgene bottles are tough and well thought out – wide mouthed allowing better re-hydration as well as being easier to refill from tap or stream.

Sleeping bag
One season – Snugpak Jungle bag (synthetic)
2/3 Season Fjellraven Distance 5 (down)
3/4 Season Snugpak Elite 3 (synthetic)

Sleeping mat
Therma-rest is without a doubt our favourite but for the base camp nothing bests the comfort of a reindeer skin.

Bivi bag
Light weight Snugpak bivi bag is a good choice but if size matter the Alpkit bivi bags has been found to carry favour with the team here. Bombproof and long lasting the genuine British army bivi bag is a perennial favourite but ensure is genuine and not a cheap copy.

The Kathmandu tarp is light yet robust – our favourite without a doubt

Swedish army mess kit


Fjellraven Vintage 20lt is an excellent top spec day sack. (the new 30lt will be even better!!)

Karrimor Sabre 45 – weekend pack

Karrimor Sabre 75 – Top spec well designed and highly respected full sized pack

Spare clothing
Spare clothing should include a change of clothing which can be worn if your normal layers get soaked – it can also include task specific clothing such as waterproof socks or

Cameras – books – mobile phones.

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