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It’s Saturday night on the first full day of summer.  What great timing as SLD shares his “Cowboy Camping” ensemble for us.

Over at Everyday Carry, SLD writes this:

Heading out on a horseback campout with some friends. Will include several nights camping out in rather primitive camps. Not shown in the picture would be a Gransfors Bruk small forest ax which I find to be invaluable in any kind of camping environment for shelter and fire.

The Inova is a red led model which throws plenty of useable light but helps preserve night vision and which I find, spooks the wildlife, including horses, less. The large knife is a favorite based loosely upon a knife shown in George Washington Sears, AKA Nessmuk, book, Woodcraft which was published in 1884 and has been in print ever since, it is a must read for any would be outdoorsman.

Not sure why he has those speed strips giving he’s got a single-action wheelgun, but I suppose it keeps the cartridges in line, so to speak.

His own hand-made knife rates a very nice touch.  Something we don’t see a lot here.  Very nice!

So, for out on horseback and camping, he’s got his wheel gun, cowboy-style holster, spare ammo, flashlight, compass, blades and firestarting gear.   And no phone, no charger, no battery, no headphones, and all the rest of those electronic doo-dads.  Just like camping’s supposed to be.

What’s not to like?

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  1. He’s working on that “Nessmuk Trio” it would appear and he’s 1.5/3 of the way there.

    Pretty cool if you ask me.

    • Derp, one other thing. What makes you think the knife is self made?

      He doesn’t say that and SLD is Hitachi’s name for their proprietary improvement on D2 tool steel. A bunch of custom knife makers in Japan use it for high end kitchen knives that usually start around $120/blade $1100/chef’s set and go up from there. Good shit at 60+HRc with decent corrosion resistance due to a high Chromium content.

      • d2 is not a great knife steel. mini grip, leek and bk 24 here in d2, kinda chippy and don’t really want to razor. but they will stay not razor sharp quite a while.
        i like it; i don’t recommend it.

        • D2 is a tool steel that’s over 100 years old at this point. I personally wouldn’t it pick for a knife blade.

          The SLD from Hitachi is a different beast. They changed the carbon and chromium content of the steel along with some other stuff. It’s base is D2, and it’s considered a D2 derivative but in reality it’s really rather different from D2 itself.

          It can have chipping problems if it’s not been treated properly in making a blade though. There are other companies that make something similar to SLD but which is a different content, some of which are very picky about their heat treating and will chip or flake along the edge if the treating wasn’t done right.

        • D2, heat treated properly, is an incredibly tough steel that performs fantastically. Dozier would be a good place to start, but Kershaw does it right as well. It shouldn’t be chipping.

        • it’s great for stamping dies.
          to form an edge it’s too reluctant to allow the carbides to align properly. it holds that sharp but not razor sharp edge forever. but hit some bone and it chips rather than rolls. harder to touch up. too many new powdered knife steels to mess with it. that said i have three and they will open a fukton of boxes. the bk24 is always in my right front. helluva chunk, for the money i don’t mind beating the crap out of it. minigriptilian doesn’t sharpen like the one in cm154, but it stays almost charp longa. the leek has it laminated between some sandvik- neat, but you can’t shave with it.
          bob heat treats. but if your going that spendy, get a knife steel. get you some m390 goodness.

  2. Ditch the watch. That’s the first thing to love about camping. Fuck time. Just go by the light. Forget your appointments and responsibilities, at least for a while. That’s the whole purpose of camping(in today’s world, anyway).

    • Wearing a watch is a very hard habit for me to break. I even sleep with a watch, a habit gained when my wife had cancer and I had to wake her to take medicines during the night. About the only time I can do it is when going totally traditional for muzzle loading camps.

      • It’s the first thing I always do before I leave. Putting the watch in my bedstand drawer is like the camping ritual for me. I’ll be back about nightfall… of whatever day.

      • I only ditch a watch if I am by myself. If camping with others it’s handy to still have a frame of reference

    • Ummmm, pass, but thanks for the idea. Its been 15 years since I gave up smoking, something I had done since about 16, no desire to go back to tobacco.

  3. Very cool! I find myself on the farm tonight at the camp. Not even close to primitive camping, but at least I can’t see a street light or hear a car. A rifle at hand.

    • Nice, any time spent away from suburbia, around a campfire is time well spent. Hope you had your children if you have them with you, or those whose company you enjoy most.

  4. Question for the group wisdom. Why do revolver holsters leave the trigger exposed which is a Bozo no-no with others.

    • If you look closely there’s a thin leather loop that holds the hammer down and keeps the revolver from bouncing out (a real possibility on horseback). With the hammer strapped down there’s no need to cover the trigger on a SAA, but then I don’t know what harm covering it would do.

  5. Pretty neat. But if I’m carrying a full-aized single action I want a big bore.

    Makes the gun much lighter and handier.

    Plus a 250 grain Keith at 1100 fps is pretty comforting .

  6. I keep a couple speed strips for my .44 mag Blackhawk. Plucking them off one at a time is probably easier than plucking two at a time on my GP100.

      • Also make for a shitty weapon, although a full sized hand saw can be quite formidable. Light and quick, it takes advantage of the ‘death by 1000 cuts’ tactic.

  7. Speed strips are handy for SA revolvers. Keeps the ammo neatly lined up to load one at a time in the loading gate.

  8. Hello gentlemen, just got back in. A few days on horseback and laying on the ground in blankets, especially the first trip for the summer, is about what my old back and arthritis can handle. Usually can work up to a bit longer, lol.

    The knife was indeed made by myself, it has been a hobby for going on 40 years now. Usually I give them away to friends and family, who by now are getting rather tired of them probably lol. This one I like and over the winter I put new handles on, the buffalo horn I had used before had cracked and chipped badly. And indeed, I occasionally us it as part of a Nessmuk trio with a folding knife and hatchet.

    Unfortunately, all the handguns I owned with a caliber starting in 4 have gone away, including an 1873 in .45 colt. I gambled that I could still use a SAA with 38s in it so I picked up the .357 Traditions 1873 and so far so good. I still have enough dexterity to thumb back the hammer, so until further deterioration I will enjoy this one.

    The speed strip is something that keeps the cartridges in line and saves my, unfortunately larger than it should be, gut, from having to wear a dedicated belt with loops while riding. I can simply use my Hanks Amish belt for both jeans and holster like normal.

    I have several folding saws, but I guess I still prefer the ax which is what I grew up with.

    • I like your rig. Traditional. Western. You could handle most situations if you were on your game. That being said if you were camping near the border I would probably have that single action as well as a lever action somewhere in the mix.

      • I was a couple hours away from our border, but probably a different border than you are thinking. The Canadians generally are pretty friendly…

        That said, I do have a lever Marlin in .44 mag which I take with me a lot in hunting season. I suppose now that I have dropped down in caliber to .357 I will have to pick up a new .357 version. I kind of like the Cimmeron Texas Brush Popper version.

      • I have never sold them. I did make quite a few at one time once I started using power tools, and that probably would have offset cost, but it was never about that, it was always about the pleasure of designing and then creating the blade. I have given a lot away to almost every one except maybe half a dozen I have kept for myself.

        Now that I have arthritis, and who knows how long I will be able to do so, I have kind of gone back to the start and work as much as possible with hand tools alone, eschewing the use of power grinders etc as much as possible. I find this to be extremely satisifying but extremely time intensive, I can spend 4 to 6 months forging, stock removal, and hand filing a blade.

        My wife has even gotten used to me sitting watching tv with her while sanding or filing fittings.

        • Its funny but knife sharpening has become my new stress-relief. I can only imagine building one from scratch!

  9. I notice the speed strips have six rounds each. Unless he has a modern gun (e.g. Ruger), I hope he doesn’t load more than five.

        • For me …carrying and shooting a single action is a mechanical celebration… favorite guns….and I dont even like horses.

          If we had open carry….I’d carry a Vaquero or Stainless Ruger Flat top.

          Just hard to conceal that pumpkin of a cylinder…..

      • Because I’ve been there, and done that, had a matching set, Uberti 1873 Cattleman .45LC SA and an Uberti 1873 leveraction in .45LC…Nice to look at, but in the long run, not really practical…I still carry wheelguns, a .357M, and a .41M, sometimes for personal protection, and all the time while in the woods…

        • There are practical advantages to SAs over DA/SAs. Specifically price and weight. A Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 mag with a 5-1/2″ barrel weighs 4 ounces less and costs $250 less than a Redhawk with a 5-1/2″ barrel and the 7-1/2″ Super Redhawk weighs 5 ounces more and costs $330 more than a 7-1/2″ Super Blackhawk. If you like the .41 mag you can get a 6-1/2″ Blackhawk that weighs 4 ounces less than the 5-1/2″ Super Blackhawk and costs $160 less. Packing a 41 ounce gun is easier than packing a 53 ounce one and if you can save almost 5 bills in the process, the SA makes a lot of sense. If we’re being purely practical in a woods gun.

    • Thank you for the benefit of your practical experience. I have and use DA revolvers too, along with pistols and both lever carbines and semi-autos. I do not feel underarmed with the 1873 on camping trips, but if I do, I will definitely move to something a bit more modern.

      The next camping trip may well be totally primitive carrying a prerevolutionary flinter Kentucky longrifle in .54 caliber. Its just about finished and I am jonesing to get out and give it a carry.

  10. .357 mag is hard on any single action, especially a Pietta.
    Recommend the Ruger GP.
    44 special or .45 Colt.

    • Wow. If .357 is hard on any single action it’s amazing how my .44 mag Blackhawk has held up so well.

  11. Oops, just caught the remarks about the .38.
    Jeez, I’d still go with the GP. The double action option would make a difference.

    • I can tell by your writing you’ve never fired a single action pistol. But if you are only repeating what you’ve heard somewhere, then it really isn’t YOUR opinion you’re stating, is it?

    • Because people come here to read about gun-related subjects, not obscure details of political maneuvering in one state, relating to a bill that isn’t firearm policy?

    • Probably because the “militia threat” turns out to be just some people that don’t want to vote as they’re told to, so they left. THAT is considered a HUGE threat, when one happens to be a precious snowflake.
      If those guys can’t be made to do what I tell them, they’re a threat to the entire world. THE ENTIRE WORLD I SAY!!!!!!!
      BTW, just FYI, the story IS trending on all the dinosaur media. Just not under the same alarmist headline that you referred to, because when the truth hit, it made the precious little Oregon snowflakes vewy, vewy sad…

  12. I should have a cowboy pistol.

    But then I’d have to get a cowboy rifle. And a cowboy hat. And a horse. And……

      • Speaking as the owner of two horses, if you think guns are expensive, wait until you start paying horse bills. Each one is like buying a new gun every month.

        • My old boss had 2 rescue horses. One of them had something wrong with it’s gut. After 2 MONTHS and nearly 10K in vet bills they had it put down. And what do you do with a dead horse? Pay someone nearly 2 grand to load it up and haul it off.

          My dad was a real cowboy in Wyoming as a young man so it’s always had some appeal. Thanks, but no thanks.

      • I’m afraid the same thing will happen when I bought a Luger when I was 17. I have no willpower to stop and I can’t afford another “gun theme”.

  13. @SDL. Great rig! Love the knife.
    About what I used to carry when horsing around in the Rockies.
    To the folding saw fans; not so good when having to buck a 10″ log across the trail. I have a Wyoming Outfitter’s 30″ crosscut saw in a saddle scabbard which rides under the stirrup like a carbine but way flat. Much safer and much faster than a 8-10″ folding saw. Still, a folding saw of good quality is very handy around camp. I skip on the ax/hatchet. Replacing the ax w/a large Bowie knife which I find to be more handy and hang from my saddle, not my belt.

  14. I ate Shetland pony once. I hope Mule is better

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