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Monday, April 27, 2009

A Knight's Lesson Learned (well, maybe)

As Lady Suzanne mentioned in her blog the other day, I took off this weekend to the woods and to participated in a pre-1840 Mountain Man Rendezvous. It’s basically a group of old boys shooting muzzle loading rifles, throwing tomahawks and knives, open fire cooking, and primitive tent camping. Throw in a little “white lightning” and ale and you’ve got a recipe for one hell of a weekend.

Thanks to Sir James of Taylor for the photos:

Above: Sir Bowie blowing the crap out of a target in the deep woods.
Below: Yes, Sir Dayvd, I was running around in the woods with my "hawk"
(no animals or humans were hurt in the making of these photographs)

Now, you wouldn’t think that a man primitive camping would need much – maybe his gun, powder, lead balls, patches, a knife, a hawk, a little food…
Yes, you would think that. But, Lady Suzanne can attest to the fact that I packed more “essential” items than an army on a month-long march, including, but not limited to: Gun, black powder, extra powder, lead balls, extra lead, patches, cleaning supplies, a tent, tent poles, tent stakes, ground cloth, rope, a dutch oven, a skillet, three cups, cooking utensils, spices, a cooler of food and ice, eating utensils, a lantern, candles, flint and steel, matches, a pipe and tobacco, beer, whiskey, two sets of clothing plus extra, bug spray, sun screen, a journal, reading glasses (I can go on and on).

Yes, I needed and used a lot of items, but I have to admit that I left 75% untouched. To make a long story short, I’ll never joke about all the stuff my girls pack when we go on a weekend trip.

So, what’s the lesson? I thought I was being prepared like a good boy scout, but I was breaking the old KISS rule: Keep It Simple Stupid. History is littered with stories of pioneers who ventured out to new horizons packed down with so much stuff they ended up tossing most of it just to lighten the load to survive.

It’s true, all other things being equal, simplicity is almost always the best approach when it comes to getting positive results. So, the next time I head out I will ask “Does it matter? If so, how much does it matter?” K.I.S.S.!
(unfortunately, I probably won't learn the lesson so easily).

Sir Bowie “Squire no-neck Bowie” of Greenbriar


  1. I am packing for a little jaunt to the shore this week and I will try to take your words of wisdom under advisement. I will try, but I will almost undoubtedly fail. Because you never know...

    Lady Tammy "I pack a bag just for my shoes" of the Jersey Shore

  2. Heh...actually thats disappointing.. i thought the whole idea was that you chase down your dinner shoot it and skin it and cook it in an earth mound or something..

    So did you take it in turns to phone up Domino Pizza..and get free Pizza cos it always took the scooter guy way more than 30 minutes to find you in the wood..
    i thought at least you'd be telling me you bagged a Dick Cheyney or two..LOL..

    Still its good to see you prepping for your trip to rural Oxfordshire... only here you'll have to catch your food... no guns allowed.

    As for packing...i've lost count of the time i pack my giant suitcase to wade ashore at the Capes of Delaware... only to go back home with 80% unused and still in its ironed state ready to go back in the closet. I never learn... 1 sweater, one set of jeans, a change of chuddies, and a pair of addidas and i'm good LOL..

    I got round it by buying a small suitcase, thereby forcing me to spend hours deciding what to leave out before i go.

    Sir dayvd ( only 1 hand luggage...when the apocalypse comes ) of Oxfordshire

  3. Tammy, you and our LucyAnne could fill a shoe store I bet if you empty your bags...she has extras for extras, just in case...

    and it seems as though over-packing isn't connected to gender or age or country of origin

    One of my all time favorite computer games is Oregon Trail, and part of it is buying supplies, packing the wagons, buying animals,
    choosing travel routes...
    and then getting tipped into the river and losing it all...have actually made it all the way to the end a couple of times...maybe someday I'll really go see the faint Oregon Trail and travel overnight in a's on my list of things to do

    Lady Suzanne of Greenbriar

  4. Sir D's proposed packing list is a perfect one for our trip to see him in July!

    Sir Bowie, just hire an Indian scout (that would be me) to tote your stuff next time! I can be hired for a plug of tobacco, a fifth of whiskey and some pretty beads...some things never your packing list! LOL!

    I can provide my own "Hawk".

    Sir Hook the Hawk of Warrick

  5. Speaking for my 1/16 "Native American" self, when my friend Kevin and I traveled to Denmark, Sweden and England in 1986, we each had one carry-on bag and no other luggage for the entire trip. Nylon underwear. They can be washed in a sink and they dry out quick.

    Sir "I'm too old for this shit" of Taylor