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Old 02-16-2013, 10:19 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Historically Accurate 19th Century Clothing/Equipment

I've often wondered what it would have been like to hike and camp in the 19th century gear that some of the original guides and surveyors would have used. I've been able to find pictures of guides such as Orson Phelps and I've read the accounts of the first hike up the Trap Dike in 1850 and Colvin's survey. But I'm still left wondering what materials the clothes would have been made out of and what items these people might be carrying in their pack baskets and what kind of shelters they might have used at night.

Does anyone have any knowledge they'd care to share on the subject or know of any sources that might help? I have a strange idea of constructing my own 19th century hiking kit and testing it out on some day hikes at least.
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Old 02-17-2013, 05:34 AM   #2
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George Washington Sears (1821-1890) aka Nessmuk describes all of his gear including clothing in "woodcraft". A digital version can be found here:

I forgot about Horace Kephart, his book "Camping and Woodcraft" also describes the clothing in chapter 2:
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Last edited by DuctTape; 02-17-2013 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 02-17-2013, 09:03 AM   #3
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You might be interested in clothing and life of a few years even earlier, and maybe a bit farther north with the web page of the Northwest Journal. From there are many links to period clothing and how to make it, and what voyageurs wore.
"Now I see the secret of making the best person, it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth." -Walt Whitman
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Old 02-17-2013, 10:02 AM   #4
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Check out Dixie Gun Works. They deal with reenactors from past eras.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:17 PM   #5
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There is a place, just outside Kingston, on Route 28, called Kimco, they have a nice selection of Filson, don't think their styles have changed... they are proud of the stuff.
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