Posts tagged #1960s

Boy Scouts of America – Camping Merit Badge Book 1966 Gear List

BSA Gear List - 1966

BSA Gear List - 1966

A vintage gear list from the Boy Scouts of America. This particular list is from the 1966 Merit Badge Book. I've had this book for a long time but as a former Scout in the UK, I disagreed with some of the BSA membership policies and it didn't feel right posting it, they have since agreed to take action and while the rule change was voted in by a pitiful margin at least they have made steps in the right direction.

WEAR Complete uniform Pr. of comfortable hiking shoes* Sweater or jacket* Pr. rubber lightweight* Raincoat or poncho* Rainhat or rainhood*

CARRY IN POCKETS Jackknife Matches in waterproof case Handkerchief Wallet and money (including dime for phone call) Individual toilet paper in plastic bag Compass 2 0r 3 Band-Aids

TOP OF THE PACK OR OUTSIDE POCKET Repair kit containing: rubber bands, needles, thread, buttons, safety pin, shoelaces, cord, extra plastic bags, fire starter Pair of extra socks Eating utensils: knife, for spoon, cup, bowl, plate Flashlight

INSIDE YOUR PACK OR FASTENED TO THE FRAME Sleeping bag or 2-3 warm blankets

INSIDE YOUR PACK Waterproof groundcloth, plastic sheet 1 pr. moccasins or sneakers Plastic or cloth clothes bag containing: extra shirt, extra pants, pajamas or sweat suit, extra handkerchief, extra socks, change of underwear Toilet kit Containing: washcloth, comb, soap in waterproof container, hand towel, bath towel, metal mirror, toothbrush and toothpaste, washbasin (plastic or canvas)

*if not warn, have readily available in pack.
— BSA, Merit Badge Series - 1966

This is a fairly comprehensive and weighty list but to be fair it is for camping not just hiking. I also love this great illustration to go along with the sections.

BSA Gear List - 1966

BSA Gear List - 1966

There is a whole series of these book covering a multitude of subjects they are cheap and easy to find but packed with great information.

Posted on November 27, 2013 and filed under Gear List.

House of Hardy – 1969 Catalogue

The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

The House of Hardy - Anglers Catalogue 1969

Found this gem in Macleod's Books, Vancouver. What a wonderful book shop, there are piles of seemingly unorganized books to rifle through. This catalogue came from its depths; a real fishing time capsule, one to study and drool over. I uploaded a whole bunch of catalogue pages here. Check out the "Anglers and Sportsman's Pipe."

The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The House of Hardy - Mark 1969

The imagery in this catalogue is pure fishing gold but I especially love their logo - thick lines and great colours.

Posted on November 6, 2013 and filed under Books, History.

Paul Petzoldt

National Outdoot Leadership School History

Having read Paul Petzoldt's wonderful "Wilderness Handbook" I was familiar with his work with the National Outdoors Leadership School (NOLS), however I feel like I got a real insight into the great man from a set of videos filmed in the 1960s about NOLS. They give such a fascinating look into the roots of the school and into Petzholdt; his experience, passion and philosophy of the outdoors.

NOLS - Thirty Days to Survival

Petzoldt is a real hero, with a truly incredible resumé. In his youth he climbed extensively in the Grand Teton range and eventually founded the Petzoldt-Exum School of American Mountaineering in the 1930s. He spent time living in England which gave him the opportunity to climb in Europe, particularly in the Swiss Alps during the late 30s where he honed his skills and made a double traverse of the Matterhorn in one day with his climbing buddy Dan Bryant of New Zealand.

Petzoldt was selected to go on the first American expedition to K2, and during the Second World War he became a representative of the Department of Agriculture in Lend-Lease and then became a tutor to the troops of the U.S Army's 10th Mountain Division. After the war, he went on to teach thousands of youthful American's to love and thrive in the outdoors through the 'Outward Bound' program in Colorado in 1963, and then through the founding of NOLS in 1965. He was a true outdoors philosopher and pioneer, believing that youngsters should not be taught at, rather they should be involved in their own progression and learnings.

Sadly Petzoldt died in 1999, however his legacy lives in the people he inspired and through NOLS which still runs to this day. Thank you to NOLS for sharing these videos and for keeping his legacy alive.

Vintage Campsite Brochures

Vintage Campsite Brochures

Vintage Campsite Brochures

I was fortunate enough to be sent a collection of vintage American and Canadian campsite brochures from the 60s and 70s.

The collection was sent to me by Justin V. Clark who came across them while archiving the papers of Grady Clay. Clay, now in his 90s, is a veteran American landscape, architecture and urban planning journalist, he has led an extremely illustrious life. He is the author of many books, was a long-time editor of Landscape Architecture magazine and also the former Urban Affairs Editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Clark believes these brochures are from the many cross country trips which Grady took during his research. You can find out more about Clay here most of his books are still available from Amazon.

 You can view large versions of the entire collection here.

Posted on January 6, 2013 and filed under History.

Tea Chronicles Pt.8 – Berry-Leaf Tea

Berry-Leaf Tea

Berry-Leaf Tea

This tea comes from one of the most celebrated foraging books of all time, Euell Gibbons' "Stalking Wild Asparagus"This classic book first printed in 1962 is far, far more than an edible plants field guide. It is a witty, insightful book that teaches the reader about foraging through Gibbons' stories and exploits. Essential reading. Gibbons has dedicated a whole section to what he calls "Wildwood Teas" (lots of rich Tea Chronicles picking here) which is where we find his recipe for blackberry, raspberry and strawberry leaf tea .

The leaves of these three familiar fruits have long been dried and used for tea and in home remedies. Gather the leaves while the plant is in flower and dry them as directed with other tea materials. One word of warning: be sure the leaves are thoroughly dry before you use them as tea for, as they wilt,they develop a poison which is driven off or altered in composition as the get thoroughly dry. There have been cases of livestock being poisoned by wilted berry leaves, but when these leaves are contained in fully dry, cured hay they cause no ill effects.

Berry-leaf Tea is probably the most effective home remedy for diarrhea but, aside from its medicinal uses, it is also a pleasant beverage and wholesome in reasonable quantities.It contains tannin (as does Oriental tea) and has a pleasant aroma; the flavor differs slightly according to which species is used but all of them make an acceptable substitute for tea.
— Euell Gibbons - Stalking Wild Asparagus, 1962

I had only just read this chapter when I was invited to a friends house who's garden was overflowing with raspberry bushes. I tried to pick the greenest and freshest looking leaves. Once home I laid them out, on newspaper, in the sun on the kitchen table.

Raspberry Leaves Drying

Raspberry Leaves Drying

I left them for a full two weeks to make sure they were completely dry (Gibbons' word of warning concerned me a little.) The colour was still really impressive even on the dried leaves. I steeped a half dozen crushed leaves in boiling water for about 10 minutes and gave it a try. I then added another 6 leaves and left it for 5 minutes more.

The tea was light, even after leaving to mash (steep) for a considerable time and adding additional leaves. I couldn't eek much flavor from it at all. The taste that I did get was a vegetal and slightly herbal flavor. There were some tannins. Not unpleasant, just not much of anything. I have read so much about berry leaf tea I can't help thinking I've done something wrong. I shall persevere with this one, so there may be an update to this post as soon as I can get hold of larger quantities or leaves. Does anyone have any tips for berry leaf tea?

Gibbons' book is, in my opinion, essential reading for anyone with even the slightest interest in foraging, botany, the outdoors or even for anyone that likes a good book. It is still in print and easy to find. I hope to be trying more of his recipes in soon.

Posted on August 30, 2012 and filed under Tea.

Tips from the Archive #001

W.K Merril - Time Until Sunset

W.K Merril - Time Until Sunset

Partly inspired by Mike Clelland's excellent Ultralight Backpacking Tips and partly inspired by Aaron Draplin's tweeting philosophy, 'Tips from the Archive' is an open ended compilation of my favorite backpacking tips from hiking history.

Tip 001 - How to tell how soon the sun will be setting.

Face the setting sun. Extend your arms at full length toward the sun, your wrists bent inwards, your fingers just below the sun. Count how many finger widths separate the sun from the horizon. Allow fifteen minutes per finger. If four fingers fill the space between the horizon an the sun, with your arms fully extended sunset is an hour away; six fingers would mean an hour and a half.
— W.K Merill's - All About Camping, 1965
Posted on June 11, 2012 and filed under Tips from the Archive.

Mission 66

Clingman's Tower Great Smokies National Park - Photo from the Library of Congress

Clingman's Tower Great Smokies National Park - Photo from the Library of Congress

It was impossible to predict the post war motoring boom that swept across the USA in the 1950s. The US Highway System had opened up the country and the introduction of inexpensive automobiles gave an optimistic, wealthy, America an invitation to hit the road. When they arrived at the National Parks what they found were run down tourist centers built by the Civilian Conservation Corps some 20 years earlier, the deteriorating system was stretched to breaking point and the parks were under threat. The government stepped in and set about radically developing the Parks system with an ambitious ten year plan.

MISSION 66 is a forward-looking program for the National Park System intended to so develop and staff these priceless possessions of the American people as to permit their wisest possible use; maximum enjoyment for those who use them; and maximum protection of the scenic, scientific, wilderness, and historic resources that give them distinction
— What is Mission 66?

While there were a great many infrastructure developments, the most visible and interactive were the visitors centers. In contrast to the original Civilian Conservation Corps' rustic architecture the new buildings managed to be both bold, contemporary and visible while complementing their surroundings. They became the public face of America's National Parks. In just 10 years more than 100 new visitors centers were open to the public.

Now more than 50 years later the national parks are at a cross roads. A lack of routine maintenance, overuse and a change in attitude amongst visitors is threatening the remaining Mission 66 centers. The architecture style has fallen out of favor and the 'preserve or demolish' stalemate means buildings continue to deteriorate. It now seems that history is repeating itself, when people go to the parks now, what they find are run down, dated visitors centers and an infrastructure which is reaching breaking point. Once again the parks are in danger of being "loved to death." 

What strikes me most about Mission 66 is that it represents a large scale celebration of America's national parks, they had a plan and went through with it. It fell in line perfectly with the National Park Services' original mission "to make the parks accessible to all and to preserve them for future generations."  I find it really hard to put a stake in the ground as to wether I am for or against the preservation of the Mission 66 architecture.  I think, for me, the demolition represents the close of an optimistic, forward thinking chapter in National Parks history from a time when things could get done, my concern is whether another brighter, more celebrated chapter awaits on the next page. I hope it does.

For more information about Mission 66 please visit C. Madrid French's incredibly informative site, much of imagery within this post was sourced from Library Of Congress.

Posted on June 4, 2012 and filed under History.

W. K Merrill's 1962 Gear List

All About Camping 1962 - Drawing by Luis M. Henderson

All About Camping 1962 - Drawing by Luis M. Henderson

This list is from "All About Camping" written in 1962 by W.K Merrill a retired U.S Ranger. I have read books twice the size of this publication that contain a third as much information. His advice on "Knapsack Camping" is to "Take it easy–go light–keep a clean camp–prevent forest fires" something we should all be doing.

His gear list for an individual is as follows.

Air mattress, ¾ size, plastic or nylon for lightest type. Axe, small belt type (optional) Bag, sleeping, 3½-pounds eiderdown Bandanas, large (2) Belt and/or suspenders Boots, 8-inch tops, hobnailed or Tricouni nailed soles Camera and accessories (optional) Can opener, twist type for cutting smooth can edges Chap stick, white, for lip protection Compass, declinator, adjustable with sighting line Cook kit (one-man nesting type) Fire permit Firearms and ammunition if hunting First-aid kit, small size, plus mild laxative, roll of two-inch adhesive Flashlight, small fountain pen type, extra batteries and bulb Glasses, dark sun type or prescription ground, with case Handkerchief, white, pocket (1) Hat with wide brim or billed cap Head net for mosquito country Hunting and fishing licenses, if required Insect repellent Jacket, wool windbreaker Knapsack rucksack or pack-board Knife, with screwdriver, can opener, leather punch, and blade Map topographic, large scale of area Match safe, waterproof Matches, waterproofed Moccasins or tennis shoes to wear at camp or for emergency shoes Notebook and pencil Pants, blue jeans or poplin Poncho, groundcloth or tarpaulin (lightweight) Sewing kit (optional) Shaving kit (optional) Shirt lightweight wool, two if gone over a week Snake-bite kit Socks, two pair lightweight wool, two pair heavy wool, ½ size larger Sunburn lotion Tent lightweight (3½- pounds or 4-pounds) one or two man mountain style (optional) Toilet articles, toothbrush and paste, comb, soap, steel mirror Toilet paper Towels, one dish towel, one hand towel Underwear, two-piece long-handled type, lightweight wool Watch, wrist or pocket waterproof type
— W. K Merrill - All About Camping, 1962

A great, comprehensive list. I love that Merrill, being a U.S ranger, lists out both fire permits and hunting licenses.

PATC 1960 Gear List

 PATC - Hiking, Camping and Mountaineering Equipment, 1960

 PATC - Hiking, Camping and Mountaineering Equipment, 1960

I came across this great guide in a dusty Portland bookstore. It is a truly exhaustive list of all the gear available to the hiker, climber and mountaineer in the early 60's. This is a real gem, it has details about the brands, the weight of the items as well as the details of which companies make them. Excuse the long post, but I love an gear list.

Their suggested gear list for hiking the Appalachian Trail is as follows:

On Person Handkerchief (Bean’s 24” bandana); Polythylene plastic bag 9” x 18” (Gerry#P62) for toilet paper Valuables, permits, keys, small note book and pencil stub, pocket knife with 2 blades, can opener Small compass induction damped (Gerry #K42 or Silva “Explorer” Stern Waterproof match box with small size strike-anywhere matches sprayed with laquer like Krylon Alarm Watch (Corcoran) Maps and proper guide book sheets in map case (PATC) — Carry in front of shirt Camera Equipment

Pack and Contents A. For use while hiking Kelty “Mountaineer” Model Packboard of proper size used with waist strap and equiped with studs or loops at of vertical risers for easy lashing. Lashed to topbar — Ruck - or rucksask (Camp and Trail #300) with “Dee” ring hooked on stud secured to top of cross bar, shoulder straps of rucksack wrapped around cross-bar, then brought down and snapped into “dee” rings at base of rucksack. Kelty Packbag Model “B” if no side trips are planned (for side trips the first option permits leaving the pack frame in base camp and carrying out essentials in the rucksack). With the rucksack arrangement, items not required during the day are placed in a rubberized clothing bag which is lashed below the rucksack, heavy items at the top. Cup – miner’s cup with wire loop handle (Sierra Club or PATC — same manufacturer). Canteen – 1qt. aluminum fuel bottle (Camp & Trail #367) or 1 qt aluminum Army surplus in pocket of pack. Shoes – Pete Limmer Mountaineer Boot; for wet spring and fall, use Beans’s Maine Hunting shoe with Bean’s arched inner sole or felt insole, as preferred. Sock – Inner - light wool surplus. Outer - cushion sole 50-50 wool and cotton since no nylon cushion sole available. Also Wigwam #620 or Epsy all nylon. Trousers – Masland Mountain brier cloth in cold weather(surplus trouser, hell Field M-1951 is best but not too available). Sears 11 oz denim, not Levi — legs are too narrow — in warmer weather. Shirt – According to weather. Pandleton wool 10oz Woolrich 14oz. Two button-down flap pockets essential. Jacket – Full zip parka (Holubar) Underwear – In summer, Brynje top, regular shorts (not jockey shorts, which permit chaffing) In winter, wool and cotton, long drawers. In very cold weather, over Brynjes warm surplus pajama-style 50-50 wool and cotton, long drawers and long sleeved undershirt with 3-button front for ventilation. Hat or cap as desired; billed cap or felt hat. Rain garments – Superlight rubber coated nylon parka (Bean) with Horcolite rain chaps (Holubar). First Aid Kit. Insect repellent – OFF Anti sun-cream _ Glacier Red Label for lips and face; after tanning Sea and Ski.

B. For use in camp Sleeping bag. Summer: Ski Hut Meadow-S; Fall and Winter: Holubar’s Royalite; Ski Hut Meadow-C; Army Surplus. Use Summer and winter bags, nested, during coldest weather. Cook Set and Stove – Atenhofer with Primus 71 (Holubar), sizes to suit 1, 2, 3 men. Gasoline in aluminum gas bottles, 1 pt. or 1 qt. (Gerry to Camp & Trail). Axe – Not needed if cook on gasoline stove. Fire inspirator - 24” x ¼” inside diameter 1/16” wall pure gum tubing (any chemical supply house). Invaluable with cranky wood fires. Doubles as tourniquet. Salt and Pepper – plastic (Boy Scout cat. No. 1411). For larger amounts use polyethylene bottles. Spoon and Fork – nesting aluminum (Gerry #A45). Flashlight – 2-cell medium size. Extra bulk. Cellulose Impregnated Sea Salt Tablets (Morton’s) Sewing Kit - 2 needles, little thread, in first aid equipment. Reserve matches and reserve toilet paper in waterproof containers. Toilet articles – Toothbrush and small paste; powder in cold weather; hotel-sized soap in bobby pin plastic box; razor blades, brushless shave cream (if shave). Tent – Holubar Royalite, Gerry Yearound. Air Mattress – Nylon Rubber, full length (Camp & Trail #268); Stebco Backpacker 46” (Ski Hut).

C. Food - Use polyethylene bags except for canned meats which should be limited. Bag food on polyethylene and place in a cambric sack for protection from chaffing. Jam in wide-mouth polyethylene jar, screw top (Ski Hut). Oleo (higher melting point than butter) in aluminum screw-top jar with plastic liner. (Benjamin Edington).
— PATC - Hiking, Camping and Mountaineering Equipment, 1960
Posted on January 24, 2012 and filed under Gear List.

C. William Harrison's 1965 Gear List

First book of hiking

First book of hiking

Found in Harrison's "The First Book of Hiking" published in 1965, this concise yet poetic book is beautifully illustrated by E. Frank Habbas.

Here is a list of items that should be included in the pack of any hiker who expects to be on the trail for several days.

1 mummy-type sleeping bag (or from three to four lightweight wool blankets) 1 poncho 1 pair camp moccasins or sneakers Extra underwear, shirt, wool socks 3 bandanas 1 pair extra extra bootlaces Canteen and drinking cup First-aid kit Snakebite kit Antiallergin kit Soap, towel, tissue, and other toilet articles Waterproof matches Pocket or sheath knife Rope (25- or 50-foor length) Insect repellent Flashlight and candles (preferably plumbers candles because they burn longer) Cooking kit (nesting pots, frying pan, forks, spoons, can opener, scouring pads, paper or aluminium plates Sewing kit Mosquito netting Camera and film
— C. William Harrison - The First Book of Hiking, 1965

I particularly like the sound of plumbers candles.

Posted on November 30, 2011 and filed under Gear List.