Thursday, January 15, 2015

What would you like in a field bag? And, a quick update around the grounds

For years, I've worn a hand-me-down shooting vest while hunting in the field.  My cousin offered it to me a while back, and it's been out with me a number of places.  However, though useful, it never did fit quite right, and the blaze orange back is faded, a button and zipper pull are now missing (having both fallen off), and the velcro design of the flappy front pockets grab onto my other clothing.

While perusing various online establishments, looking for cool leather work to attempt, I have come upon a couple of nice belt pouches.  What I've realized is that I just might be able to design and build my own pouch (or sporran, possibles bag, man-purse, whatever you want to call it) for the field.

I also know some of you out there who have varied and interesting experiences in the field, and I want to know what you might find useful on a bag for the field.

So far, I know that I'd like a bag that I can fit a box of shotgun shells, a bumper (for teaching retrieving), a water bottle (or flask, but just for the size), a pair of gloves, a tiny first aid kit, and still have room for collecting stuff (perhaps mushrooms or other food).  I also would like a separate pocket that I could line with a plastic or wax-paper baggy for the kind of dog treat my dog cares about (greasy).

It would definitely need a couple of D-rings, and maybe a dog leash latch.  Last, it would have a game strap.

These are my ideas.  Please let me know yours.

I can make a decent pull-string pouch, but the one I'm designing will need to have a bigger mouth

Updates around the house and garden

We've decided to finally end the pond.  Instead, I've filled in the hole with leaves from the walnut tree, and we hope to build a hill with a couple of nice rocks, and perhaps a little trickling stream at the base (we have the pump and liner from the pond, after all).

There has been a wonderful uptick in the number and variety of birds visiting lately, including a bluebird and two extremely violent hummingbirds.  These two went at it hammer and tongs (and yes, the hammer and tongs were precious, being so tiny).  At one point, they almost ran into my son.  One finally got hold of the others leg, wouldn't let go for quite a while, and then the two separated very quickly back to corners of the yard, like somebody had rung a tiny bell ending the round. 

I have purchased a small smoker that fits into my barbecue, and hope this weekend to smoke three pheasants from a recent hunting trip (where my dog was amazing, unlike a recent snipe trip, where she was horrid.  More on both very soon).

Pictures to come soon, too.


Hippo said...

The craftsmanship looks exceptional.

I have always liked bags/luggage that were a combination of leather and heavy canvas. It's a kind of reverse snobbery, the more beaten up they look, the classier they are!

Josh said...

Thanks, Hippo.

I must admit, when reading your advice, I thought, "Well, I've never worked with canvas, and I don't really plan to..."

Then, upon clicking the link I thought, "Huh! For five hundred pounds ($750) I'm willing to learn."

It flat-out amazes me how much people can pay for a bag.

And as for capturing that "more beaten up look" to get the reverse snobs -- that's playing right into my wheelhouse! I can make some real crap!

Truthfully, I know how you feel about the look. I think we all respect items that we know are useful and durable, and have been around the block a few times.

Hippo said...

Give it a go! You know where to get decent leather, I am sure there must be a huge range of heavy duty quality canvas in the States and all the brass fittings you can get from a saddler, the rein snap rings, D rings etc. Important is attention to detail, all the stitching is close, neat and regular and the materials high end so it exudes quality.

It's easy to knock up a smart looking website and you are in business. SLC - Stark Luggage Co. Ltd - Handmade in California...

Hippo said...

The initials SL and SLC subconsciously bring to mind the SL range of Mercedes, and Mercedes = Quality.

I think I shall start a new career in marketing...

Josh said...

Hippo, thanks for the moral support! I'll focus on leather for now, but will consider leather and canvas after I can comfortably make pouches and learn to wet-form.