We admit it. It can be sometimes too easy to get caught up in what is the newest and most exciting gear for getting out into the woods. While we stand by the fact that it is crucial to make sure you have the right equipment on hand when you pack up and head out, we’re also aware that it can sometimes be fun to take a step back and pair things down a little bit.
One great way to do that is by putting together a pack full of the same stuff your father or even grandfather would have used to spend time out on the trail. Not only is it genuinely interesting to see how vintage tools were used to solve the same problems we usually fix with a few taps of a button or swift assemblage of a tent, but it puts you as a hiker or camper, that much closer to nature. After all, that is the point of getting out into the woods, right?
Lodge Pre Season Cast Iron Skillet
Whether you bring out your own meat to throw on the fire or you want to bet on catching your own fish, this pre seasoned cast iron skillet is perfect for cooking up campfire meals. It is a simple, straight forward, and timeless tool that is perfect for home use or laid back trips into the woods.
Best Made Canvas Camp Stool
You don’t have to be old to get a sore hip or achy knees from sitting on the cold hard ground. This camp chair constructed with rust-proof steel frame and fitted with a heavy waxed duck canvas is a perfect tool to pack along with you in any type of weather. Folding down to just 10 by 9 inches, and featuring a water repellent canvas seat – it’s just as good for huddling around the flame as it is for use back at home.
Stanley Adventure Percolator
Coffee is, and always has been, an essential in camping as it is in life. When the sun comes up and you’re looking to get that early start on a long day hike, it’s always helpful to have a little java in you. This camp friendly percolator uses the old fashioned brewing technique to make up to 6 cups for you and your camping partners.
German Kerosene Lantern
No matter how good of an electric you have, nothing beats the natural quality of a flaming illuminating the interior of your cabin, tent, or your trail. These vintage kerosene lanterns provide an even flame without flickering, leakage, or risk of breaking the heat resistant borosilicate glass and provide 20 hours of light with a full tank.
Brass Key Ring Compass
Throwback camping means, of course, throw back methods of knowing exactly where you are. If you are out far enough away from the rest of the world, you don’t get a signal for your phone anyway so it never hurts to keep at least a small compass on you in order to make sure you can get your bearing. This particular waterproof compass made from brass is perfect for adding onto your pack or keychain.
Having a solid knife on you while you are out in the woods can save you a whole lot of time and worry. Whether you are looking to cut into some meat for throwing on your skillet or need to cut down some paracord to use to suspend your food from a tree, a solid knife is a great tool to have on hand, and what better one to keep on you than one of America’s oldest?
Coleman Steel Cooler
It’s hard not to include a cooler when building out a camping essentials post – especially when it’s made by one of the oldest American based companies, Coleman. This steel cooler can carry up to 85 cans, is built to be rust resistant, and with a solid steel construction. Whether you are looking to bring along some brews or cuts of meat, it’s a vintage great piece to have on you.
Filson Miti Camp Stove
While you can bring along camp stoves with gas canisters or use cole on those gnarly grates at a camp-site, it’s hard to beat cooking your meals with a simple wood fire. Filson’s Miti Camp Stove makes building out your own natural stove easy thanks to a stainless steel stovetop and stabilizing nails. Just split a log four ways and place this on top and you’ll be good to go.
Best Made Straight-Hold Hatchet
How are you going to split all that wood to get a campfire going without a hatchet? Whether you are looking to pick up a real workhorse that you can use day in and day out or you just love the design of pieces like this from the New York based company, this hatchet is a great choice. Made with a 1060 alloy steel and attached to an Appalachian Hickory handle, it has a great throwback look that fits in any environment.
Carhartt Berwick Jacket
A classic jacket from the heritage American workwear company based out of Michigan, this fleece lined Berwick jacket combines an old school look while meeting all of the demands of modern day utility. Perfect for keeping you warm on those cool mornings in the backcountry or when the leaves start falling from the trees. Featuring a zipper with a button-closure storm flap and reinforced cuffs, it’ll be a purchase that’ll last you a long time.
Best Made Waxed Canvas Blanket
If you are the kind of camper who likes sleeping out under the stars you know that you need to come prepared for morning dew. One great way to deal with that pesky problem is by laying out something like this heavy waxed canvas blanked. The seven ounce quilted cotton twill comes backed with a heavy sailcloth that keeps you both warm and dry. On top of all of that, of course, it just looks damn good.
Bradley Mountain Scout Pack
You got to lug all of your gear out into the woods somehow, so you may as well come equipped with a sturdy bag. This particular one from the San Diego-based Bradley mountain is made from an ultra durable 15 ounce waxed duck canvas that resists water keeping its spacious main compartment dry. All materials are soured from the U.S. and are made right here in California.
Great American Flask
In pretty much every popular depiction of people sitting around a campfire, a little bit of liquor is involved. Made with the exact same design as was first sketched out in 1819 by Jacob Bromwell himself, this throwback flask is perfect for sipping your favorite spirits out of after a long day hiking around your surrounding trails.
Danner Mountain Trail Boot
Of course when it comes to camping and hiking, you can’t get away without including a solid pair of boots. Made by a company that has been around since the early 1930s, these boots have stuck with the same heritage look that they first came out with when the company started. Sometimes vintage design is just the way to go.
Filson Wedge Tent
When it comes to old school camping gear, it may be tents that have changed more than any other piece of gear since the mid 20th century. Nowadays they all look like crazy space age pods. Bucking this trend, Filson has decided to come through with a throwback to the old days of camping with their 10 oz. marine finish army duck tent that can be set up between trees or with provided sheer poles – just how it used to be.