Website of the Week – Mad Monte’s Retro Outdoor Gear page

A look at a cool collection of older, but very serviceable, outdoor gear.

My less-than-vintage late-1990s made Coleman. The basic design has hardly changed since the 1950s however!

I must confess to having an affinity for older gear that still works well. Be it an older design such as the p38 can opener, some vintage surplus such as my wool ski pants or an old-school way of treating leather, I tend to love older gear and methods in many cases.

Part of my interest is that I’ve been curious about anything remotely historical…and part of my interest is that some of the older gear and technology just plan works well and sometimes better.  I doubt I’ll use a canvas tent for backpacking. On the other hand, I’ve yet to find something as good as Sno-Seal for treating my leather touring boots.

In the vein, I’ve often peeked at a wonderful site on and off over the years:  Mad Monte’s Retro Outdoor Gear page.  Monte “Mad Monte” Dodge is an accomplished photographer, all around experienced outdoors person and part of the legendary 1977 PCT thru-hike crew that is a big influence in the PCT community.  He also has one kick ass vintage gear collection that I’d love to see in person at some point! 🙂

Monte with toys in Basement.

Mad Monte with a small portion of his toys. Photo from MM’s PBase site.

His collection is nicely documented by photos. The collection contains the usual assortment of older Coleman stoves and lanterns, but also vintage ice-axes, promotional literature and advertisements, snowshoes, white gas stoves , older canister stoves and more.  More than a few of the photos show the gear in action!  Rather cool to see a 50+ year old, or more, stove fry up some eggs, brew up some coffee or get the water boiling.

The excellent photos usually have some interesting and descriptive text that gives a bit of background and a flavor of the era in which the gear was used.

So give the site a look over. If you are into historic outdoor use and/or older gear that is still very much usable, this site will be extremely interesting to you. At the very least, the site may encourage you to grab a percolator, a two burner stove , pack it up and enjoy a morning sunrise while sipping coffee out by a favorite lake-side camping spot!  🙂

…or an equally nice sunset.


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