Primitive Trekking

This site is under construction and I will be adding pictures as I get them ready.

Primitive trekking is an art and takes a number of seasons to start to appreciate. As you take part in trekking you will slowly determine the correct set of gear that you must take to have an enjoyable experience.

My trekking takes the form of a British Officer of a rangering unit during the French and Indian War. This requires spcific types of things for my clothing and kit which would be different than a longhunter's kit. I also carry a camera to document the experiences and as I have time will put up pages showing various treks.

Once you find your optimal kit you may leave it packed and ready to go except for various foodstuffs that you will take along.


For rangering the clothing warn will be similar to that shown on my French and Indian War gear page. The exact clothing will be based upon the time of year that you are trekking. To date I have not done any deep of the winter trekking. Only late spring through early fall when the weather is warmer. The materials you should use for your clothing should consist of linens and wools. For my officer's uniform I have broadcloth breeches, a linen or cotton shirt, a linen lined wool waistcoat and a woolen officer's coat. My hose are typically wool, even in the summer. Whenever possible I wear moccasins although I will wear shoes in rocky terrain. For my hat I typically wear an officer's hat although at times I will wear a scots bonnet.

As part of your kit you should have a good quality tomahawk and knife. The tomahawk I prefer has a flatback that is useful for pounding stakes, etc. My knife is called a roach knife and it is a nice utilitarian piece. I also carry a proper folding knife for the time period.

Shooting supplies

I carry a British officer's musket with bayonet and accoutrements. My sons carry rifles. Each of us carries a possible bag, priming flask and a powder horn. I also carry a cartridge box as that is what was carried by the British for quick loading of their muskets. Some scouts would carry a loading block with patch and ball ready to go. The possible bag will hold the tools necessary for taking care of your firelock.

When on an extended trek you will also need; a lead laddle, a ball mould and up to four pounds of lead, If using paper cartridge you will also need to carry spare paper for rolling your cartridge and a mainspring vice. You may also find a small file useful.

If you are carrying a rifle, you will not need the cartridge box or cartridges. If carrying a musket you may also carry a small bag of buck and ball or shot. A buck and ball load is a .50 caliber round with as many as 6 or 8 .32 caliber rounds. If firing shot I suggest makihng a paper catridge for the shot less the power. This will act like the cup in a modern shotgun load.

Camping Gear

The more you carry the more it weighs. Try and select a compact set that will give you the functionality that you require. First and foremost you must select the type of carrying conveience that you will use. You may use either a haversack or a knapsack. If using a knapsack your bedroll may be carried on your knapsack. If using a haversack you will use a separate tumpline to carry the bedroll. Your knap or haversack will carry the following:

You will also need to carry food on your trek. Even if you will be making a hunting trek you should carry some staples in case of lack of game. More on this will be given later. You will also need one or more canteens. For more information on what to carry in your knapsack, check out our Bug Out Bag page.


Your bedroll should consist of a woolen blanket. Within the bedroll you should keep a spare set of socks and a spare pair of moccasins. Spare lead, an extra bag of ball and any other extra items may be folded inside the bedroll. You may slaso roll your bedroll in an oilcloth that may be used as a shelter.


You will want to carry the followinfg items:

I also like to carry apples and sometimes cheese. If you carry a market wallet for extra food apples are a nice addition to the trek. The market wallet may also be used to hang your food in a tree.


If you are lucky to have a base camp you may bring other items such as dutch ovens, chairs, an actual bed, etc. When I am camping at a base camp I use a 16' x 21' officer's marquee for myself and my family. Inside I have cots for my sons and a rope bed for my wife and I. We light the marquee with candle lanterns and a candle chandelabra. Trestle tables keep many of our goods up off the floor and we sit on a variety of stools and chairs. The picture to the right shows four of us in front of the marquee. The costuming ranges from French and Indian War to Revolutionary War.

The pictures below show my wife and I in the camp. My wife is trying to unravel a mess of yarn that she was using to work with on an inkle loom. The picture of me shows me in the tent.


Trek Reports