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Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Going Lightweight? It's soooo nineteen fifties!

Recently many people, especially outdoors bloggers, have been keen evangelists of the cutting edge "lightweight revolution". Sorry chaps, but you are way behind the times, and if your pack weight isn't under 20 lbs then you are going woefully wrong.

Who says so? No other than the Eagle Comic. This, and other sound advice, was published under the title of 'Enjoy The Open Air - Hiking (1)' back in May 1952, when some of our senior Challengers were first taking to the hills. Wool base layer? Yep, that was recommended in 1952 as well. Click on the pictures to see them full size if the print is too small - read and enjoy!

Well, that's my kit sorted for the TGO Challenge next year.



Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Hey Phil

Can you sort my kit out too please?

All these 'lightweighters;' they still have a way to go then...

September 17, 2008 at 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I am sure everyone knows I am a very calm man who does not get excited about anything! However I am waiting for a Challenge when the weather conditions are similar to 1983 or even 1986, then we will see the well tented, well booted people such as Alan Sloman far more comfortable that the ultra light boyos.
From the affable, pious, and religous, Derek.

September 18, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi Alan,

I would never presume to sort your kit out. However, if you intend to follow the advice of the Eagle I might suggest that pyjamas could be seen as slightly effete by some of the bigger boys.

Hi Derek,

I can imagine you in May with the rain & hail rattling against the windows sipping a large malt and chuckling contentedly. You are a wicked man...!

September 18, 2008 at 7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Phil, Do you realise your cats bonnet has only one peak, it should be a fore and after! Yes your comment about May could be somewhat near the truth, there has been no other years like those two!

September 18, 2008 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger Martin Rye said...

Hamish Brown's kit list in his Mountain Walk is a good guide. No sleeping pad, just hard and rugged, old school. I must confess to needing my comfort - I can not match the Eagle style, alas.

September 18, 2008 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

I think the PJ's are a great idea! I could say they were part of my 'sleep system' as a way of further drastically reducing the weight of my kit and getting an even skinnier sleeping bag.

"Effite" - I can handle that - I already carry a lilac towel.

September 19, 2008 at 10:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely priceless, Phil! Great find!

S'not just the PJs – what about the comb,, mirror, cotton, pins & needles, twine, swimming pants, knife fork & spoon, tin opener, mug & plate, and buggery flip, a canvas bucket!

To cap it all - soap, towel, toothbrush and paste!

And even Alan don't carry a canvas bucket... does he?

I don't think I've ever come across... pardon me... encountered a rubberised sleeping bag, but I live in hope.

What I would love to know is which member of the Outdoor Reapers and Hotdographers Guild wrote the text - be fascinating to get them to do a "then" and "now" feature.

September 19, 2008 at 11:32 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Hi there Deppity

No idea who might have written that piece, but the Eagle back then was very keen on promoting the outdoors. 25 June 1954 had the Eagle Club advertising "wonderful cheap holidays" with:

A walking tour of North Wales
A walking tour of the Pennines
Cycling tour of the fens
Cycling tour of the Yorkshire Dales
Walking tour of the Lakes.

The blurb then goes on to say discuss this with your parents. You can assure them that you will be well looked after. There will be ten in each party in charge of an experienced Youth Hostels Association adult leader.

The cost? £3. 5s. 6d.

It must have been a success as by 1957 the range was hugely extended. There was a brochure for Eagle and Girl readers which even offered trips abroad and sailing lessons.

Who would dare offer this sort of thing in a kids comic these days? Different times maybe, although statistically the "risks" to children now are no different to fifty years ago. It's the attitude to risk that has changed.

Love to hear from anyone who went on an Eagle holiday - I think it would make a great story.

September 21, 2008 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Mike Knipe said...

£3/5/6d would be 60+ weeks spending money for me at around 1960-ish (I didnt get spendies in 1954 as I would have eaten it) This wouldnt include any Christmas or Birthday money or anything me grandad slipped me...
So - just for the rich kids...

Wouldn't be allowed nowadays anyway..

September 22, 2008 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Average wage in 1954 for agricultural labourer was £6/4/10, which at first sight looks as though Dad could have subsidised one kid for half a weeks wages.

Reality is that all of this was needed to feed the family and pay the rent(not much 'discretionary' expenditure in those days) so Mike's right - these were very middle class offers from a very middle class comic.

Beano Reader

September 22, 2008 at 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Always stop at about 7 o'clock"! That would curtail young Sloman's drinking habits! Would also lighten your load Phil!

September 23, 2008 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Andy Howell said...

Humphrey recently sent me an article by HIllaire Belloc on his explorations of the Pyrenees. This was fuill of lightweight advice. 1950's pah !!!

Lighten the load AL and there's more room for you know what :-)

October 6, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

Of course - the man who rhymed 'fleas' with 'Pyrenees'. Even his verse tends to the lightweight sometimes (joke!).

I thought he had a rather racy time in the mountains, until I discovered that Miranda was a bloke!

October 7, 2008 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger FellBound said...

Only just seen this. Faby u lus.

June 14, 2017 at 5:17 AM  

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