Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
camping/hiking/cooking/prepping/hunting trip experience
#1
    I just got back from a weekend at my buddies ranch. He's a semi prepper too, so we got to test out a bunch of stuff. This is going to be a very long, rambling thread that covers a TON of different topics from food to shelter to fire to food so I just decided to dump it in this forum. 


First off, I had my car packed at work and left directly there. I had about a 3 hour drive on Friday to get there. As I got closer, I realized that I was going to have a very short window of day light to try to get setup. As I rounded the corner, I got a text message from him saying that he was going to sit in the deer blind and for me to get the fire started..  I realized at that point I was going to have no help, and an hour to get everything done before the sun went down.   I spent the next 30 minutes of drive time trying to set priorities, also considering I was still in my work clothes.


As I pulled in, I immediately pulled out the 'cold' food (steaks) and put them in the ice chest. My worst fear would be that the food would spoil.

I had bought a Yukon hammock many months ago and that was where I intended to sleep. I'd set it up ONE time, so I knew the process, but had only done it once. I immediately set up the hammock and spread out my sleeping bag.. but did not put the overhead tarp up. I we were not expecting rain and it was a calculated risk due to time.  I unpacked some gear, loaded my shotgun, and then tried to start the fire.

Pre note: I'm trying to go for an 'ultra light' set up (I'm an average sized guy but I'm not very strong. So, everything I'm trying to do is to keep weight down. (hammocks, cooking gear, tools, etc).  for example. I bought a Condor bushcraft knife blank off the internet and made my own, super simple leather sheath and put my own simple cord wrapped handled on it. The thing is sharp, rugged, weighs NOTHING and lays flat in my backpack.  I'll post pictures if anyone cares.


First lesson:  There is a lot of debate as to if a Bic lighter is better than matches. In my opinion, the answer now is no.  Why? Well, if you are building a pyramid fire, you can DROP a match into the middle of the pyramid. If you are using a lighter, you're basically stuck to lighting the corner. Also, storm matches burn for 10 seconds or so. A Bic lighter, you'll only keep on for 3-4 seconds before it burns your finger.  Yes, I believe in having backups, but I think that in most cases, I'm going to be strongly considering matches.  Having said that, it took a lot more matches to get the thing started than I suspected, but it's a pros and cons thing.

Second lesson: We were using a smoker box as a fire pit. After the fire got rolling and I came back to it, as I opened the lid, flames shot out of it. The fire had ignited the leftover grease that was coating the inside. I didn't get burned, but I wasn't ready for Dante's Inferno when I opened the thing up.

I changed into my camp clothes and set up my tarp, since I had a moment to breath. I'm using the $8  4 x 7 camping tarp from Walmart. It's got some great reviews and I was pretty happy with my test setup. If you watch the you tube videos, it's not 100% water PROOF, but for a dew cover and breeze deflection, on top of the super low price and the very compact size, I think it's something to consider.

I had learned in my first test setup that God never puts trees where you want them, so I learned to bring tent stakes to tack down the ends of the tarp. I also spent a lot of time considering all of my various guy line options. I settled on hot pink BRAIDED mason line from home depot, vs some of the fancy stuff from Academy. Why?

Third lesson: With a hammock or any other tarp, you have NO idea how much line you are going to need. Seriously, 100 ft is a minimum. That mason line is very cheap, certainly strong enough, and comes in a huge quantity in a small package. Also, having it on a roll, instead of trying to untangle a hank of paracord, in the dark with a headlamp, made it a TON easier.  Yes, it doesn't 'reflect' flashlights, but the hot pink in the moon light, combined with the fact that I was the one that set it up so I knew where it was, not a big deal.

Lesson 3.1.  My hammock has a built in bug screen.  SPEND THE MONEY AND GET IT.  Having said that, even if you are not claustrophobic, you will be in a hammock with a screen over your head. The way that the lines attach, it will close in over your head. HOWEVER.... since I had done my test setup, I had an invention. I had bought that super cheap, super flexible PVC line from Home Depot, cut it into 4 pieces and put holes in the corners. When I ran my shock cord (you MUST USE SHOCK CORD FOR THE NETTING, TRUST ME) I threaded the PVC rails into it, basically to create spreader bars to hold the screen open and away from my face (pictures will be attached).  I was extremely happy with my invention, it cost less than $5, weighs NOTHING, they fit in my back pack, and made the night's sleep a bit better (more on that later)

Lesson 3.2: For the guy line of the corner of the tarp closest to your head... stretch it out as FAR as you can, and/or put it to a tall tree branch. Why? You get a raised roof over your head so when you get out of the thing and stand up, you don't knock your head on it. Also, if it does rain, having the part next to your head higher means that the water is more likely to run AWAY From you.

Lesson 3.3:  If you don't know how to tie a Prussic knot, learn.  For guy lines, it's freaking awesome.


I'm a ham radio operator. We both are.  I just got a Yaesu  817, which is a backpacking, all band, internal battery powered AWESOME radio. If you get to pick ONE radio for Z day, this is the one. Literally, it will transmit on anything. I have a roll up antenna which I tossed into a tree with some of that pink cord and set it onto memory scan (I have all of the common stuff programmed in). Interestingly, we didn't pick up much activity so we shut it down.

So, fire is going, camp is set up, I unroll my cheap sleeping bag into my hammock crack a beer and wait for my buddy to return.   More beer, steaks, Metallica on the boom box, all is well.


Until he tells me that it's going to be in the low 50s that night, and asks me what my sleeping bag is rated to.  I had bought it as an internet special. I thought it was rated to 50, which he says that you have to add 10 degrees to their ratings for 'comfort'. I had no idea it was going to be that cold. I thought it was going to be high 60s, low 70s, since it had been mid 80s that day.  I happened to have another blanket in the car that I threw into the hammock.






Ok, sleeping experience in the hammock with a mummy sleeping bag:

Generally, I sort of toss and turn when I sleep. However, I have the ability to hold totally still when I sleep if I have to,  (like in cars or on planes). In a hammock, you are going to be flat on your back and not move an inch. In a mummy bag, it was like being in a full body cast.  However, the breeze rocked me a little bit, which was kinda cool actually.  The spreader bars mentioned above worked really well.  The netting has inside pockets for your sheet, but if you put anything heavier than a pocket knife in them, they will droop badly. I put my knife in one side and my headlamp in the other, and slept with my actual flashlight between my knees.

The actual sleeping experience wasn't too terrible..

Until it got cold.

The extra blanket I had was pretty small. Heavy, but only big enough to get from mid chest to mid calf. I had brought heavier socks but had forgotten to put them on. I had a stocking cap on, a long sleeve thick shirt and a fleece jacket, but I was COLD.  I told him that if it had been 5 degrees colder I would have slept in my car.. If it had been 10 degrees warmer I would have been fine. It was cold enough that I held my piss all night long because I didn't want to get out the bag to take a leak.  I slept for about 5 hours.  He got up about 5:30 and went hunting. I held on for another hour or so and then got up.  I started the breakfast fire when I heard a gunshot.

I kept the fire rolling and unpacked my breakfast meal ideas when he walked up. He had shot a hog.

Breakfast:

Both of us had bought Mountain House dehydrated meals to try out. Seemed simple, heat water, dump in packet, eat.  We happened to both buy the scrambled eggs and bacon meals.   I heated my water in a $1.89 enameled cup from Academy. He used some super fancy MSR stainless steel cook set.   We both had some hardened plastic cook wear from REI.   The meal was .... OK..  We both replied that it was 'eatable'.  Expensive.  ($8), but eatable.  The eggs, mostly tasted like eggs, the bacon was in tiny pieces at the bottom that tasted like they came out of a jar.   The bacon did add some meat 'flavor' which helped.  We both hit pieces of the eggs that had not fully rehydrated. So, for something quick and easy, it's a win. Not something I'd like to eat often (beprepared.com sells that in a 20 pound can. I will NOT be buying it for the zombie apocalypse) I don't think.


then we went to clean the hog.  I'd actually never been with anyone when they had killed anything before. I'd never seen the cleaning/gutting process. I'm not super squeamish but I didn't know how I was going to react. I'm 37, I made a comment to him that that was the first time I'd seen the inside of a mammal since middle school biology class (which he was in, we've known each other that long, longer).

The hog did smell, but I didn't puke or anything.   It was interesting to learn the process of taking the guts out. It's not very hard, just cut out everything pretty much. Now at least if I had to kill and clean something I've got the basic idea of what to go. Goof learning experience.

We took it into town to the processor and came back home.  Played with some high end air rifles, more beer and Metallica, and it was time for lunch.  Rebuilt the fire, (which, by the way, since everything was damp, it took an HOUR to get a decent fire going to cool over, and with that, it wasn't fantastic. So, make sure that you start your fire as you begin to think you're going to get hungry, so you'll have it going by the time you ARE hungry'
 
I wanted to try an experiment. I happen to LOVE powdered mashed potatoes. Since I'm a single guy, I buy the single pouches and I make them with canned, evaporated milk. The pouches are 46c and the cans of milk I use are 46c. cheap, but a bit bulky and heavy.  I bough a  box of powdered milk and converted cups to ML and pre measured  the powered milk I needed into a ziplock bag.

Lesson Four:  I heated the water in my trusty cup to boiling, dumped in the milk, stirred a little, dumped in the pouch of potatoes, stirred and ate. I like my potatoes THICK, so I purposefully reduced the water a touch. You know what?  They were pretty darn good. stuck to my ribs just fine.   My  buddy made a stew with a can of chicken and a boulion cube in his cook set. Said it was good too.

Lesson Five. I also had brought a can of chili that I wanted to try to cook on the fire. I had bought an 88c can opener from walmart that he tried to use to open his can of chicken with  He got about halfway around the can when the thing broke off in his hand.  Seriously.  I pulled out my P38 and finished it and opened my chili in about 60 seconds. 

Lesson 5.1: Putting a piece of that pink mason line from above through the hole in the P38 makes it a lot easier to find. 

Lesson 5.2: Wolf Chili on the camp fire. Not bad. It didn't heat all of the way through, but warm chili better than cold chili, also the fire had died down by then so we weren't getting good heat


More beer and Metallica and playing with air rifles, and then I had a little emergency so I packed up and came home early. 


I learned a whole lot about my camping, prepping, cooking, hammock setups, food, fire building. I learned to me more aware of the weather, I learned that headlamps are bad arse. I learned that powdered milk isn't bad and matches are awesome. 

I think I'm going to go solo next time and experiment some more. I've got a park right up the road from me, I just have to miss out on the guns and Metallica.. but for more testing the drive will be a lot shorter.


Any questions about anything, or if anyone wants pictures of something let me know

hammock    
Reply
#2
Sounds a lot like the hiking trip my cuz and I had last weekend. I learned the importance of physical fitness. Be very selective with your gear because of pack weight. We had to boil water for drinking. Which wasn't a problem. But if we had to be on the move we'd be screwed. We're investing in Sawyer Minis next time. Make sure to have at least 2 MREs in your pack. Snacks too. I believe I have shelter making down pat. I'm still working on friction fire. But keep a Bic, matches, ferro rod and a Zippo in my pack.
In The Age Of Information, Ignorance Is A Choice.
Reply
#3
We tried Ferro rods last time. They are a HUGE pain in the behind. For anyone out there lurking, I challenge you to try it. It's really hard to do
Reply
#4
There's a trick to it. Find the driest material you can find. Any pine or cedar sap you can get mix it in the tinder. I always use the magnesium bar/ferro rods. Anything that can help starting a fire is not cheating. Shave off a generous amount and do strong strokes with your knife or striker. Dry, light tinder is the difference between a successful fire and aggravation.
In The Age Of Information, Ignorance Is A Choice.
Reply
#5
(04-24-2016, 07:56 PM)ric0123 Wrote:  I bought a Condor bushcraft knife blank off the internet and made my own, super simple leather sheath and put my own simple cord wrapped handled on it. The thing is sharp, rugged, weighs NOTHING and lays flat in my backpack.  I'll post pictures if anyone cares.



I'm always up for knife pics!  Smile


Quote:First lesson:  There is a lot of debate as to if a Bic lighter is better than matches. In my opinion, the answer now is no.  Why? Well, if you are building a pyramid fire, you can DROP a match into the middle of the pyramid. If you are using a lighter, you're basically stuck to lighting the corner. Also, storm matches burn for 10 seconds or so. A Bic lighter, you'll only keep on for 3-4 seconds before it burns your finger.  Yes, I believe in having backups, but I think that in most cases, I'm going to be strongly considering matches.  Having said that, it took a lot more matches to get the thing started than I suspected, but it's a pros and cons thing.


Quote:We tried Ferro rods last time. They are a HUGE pain in the behind. For anyone out there lurking, I challenge you to try it. It's really hard to do



John has some good tips, I'll toss out some as well.  Using a ferro rod is my favorite way to start a fire, but there are some ways to make it a lot easier;
  • John mentioned magnesium and that's a good tip.  Fires up even when wet and will actually burn under water.  Look in the 'Fire' section for the 'Ferro Rod' thread.  I've got different types of magnesium starters and links.  Some are easier to shave than others and can really go a long way towards getting a fire going.
  • A simple, plastic pencil sharpener can make a world of difference.  Find sticks the diameter of a pencil and start making shavings.  Make a pile and they really catch a spark well.
  • In the DIY section you'll see my 'Fire-starter wafer' thread.  If you haven't seen it yet, these things are the greatest thing since sliced bread!  Easy to make and burn for a good 5 minutes or more and provide a BIG flame.  Goes a long way towards getting a fire started, even with marginal tinder.  
Makes it a lot more enjoyable  Smile
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
Reply
#6
(04-24-2016, 07:56 PM)ric0123 Wrote: Breakfast:

Both of us had bought Mountain House dehydrated meals to try out. Seemed simple, heat water, dump in packet, eat.  We happened to both buy the scrambled eggs and bacon meals.   I heated my water in a $1.89 enameled cup from Academy. He used some super fancy MSR stainless steel cook set.   We both had some hardened plastic cook wear from REI.   The meal was .... OK..  We both replied that it was 'eatable'.  Expensive.  ($8), but eatable.  The eggs, mostly tasted like eggs, the bacon was in tiny pieces at the bottom that tasted like they came out of a jar.   The bacon did add some meat 'flavor' which helped.  We both hit pieces of the eggs that had not fully rehydrated. So, for something quick and easy, it's a win. Not something I'd like to eat often (beprepared.com sells that in a 20 pound can. I will NOT be buying it for the zombie apocalypse) I don't think.



MH makes some good stuff, but yeah...scrambled eggs w/bacon isn't one of them!  A bunch of us tried that a few trips ago and it was pretty high on the suck factor.  I mean if it was an emergency situation and that's what I had then I'd be thankful for it, but as far as enjoying it generally...nope.  And you've got to watch the sodium on those things as well.
Try out the scrambled eggs and back in a bag thing.  Thread and video are here on the board.  Got to get it right above the coals but it was actually a good breakfast.  And oatmeal is always a good go-to.
I like your hammock set up, very cool.  I've got a great tent (Catoma EBNS) but I've pretty much gone hammock and get a better nights sleep in them. 

+1 on the bug net!


Quote:learned that headlamps are bad arse.



+1 on that!


I don't even wear it on the head anymore.  I have the kind that can angle up or down a bit and wear it around my neck.  I angle it right where I'm walking and it's fantastic.  I love me some flashlights but the headlamp is a must have around the campsite. 

Sounds like a great trip Smile
Governmental dependance makes for poor self reliance.

"What could possibly go wrong with a duct tape boat?"  Cody Lundin

The best defense against evil men are good men with violent skill sets.
Reply
#7
rico:

"Breakfast:

Both of us had bought Mountain House dehydrated meals to try out. Seemed simple, heat water, dump in packet, eat.  We happened to both buy the scrambled eggs and bacon meals.   I heated my water in a $1.89 enameled cup from Academy. He used some super fancy MSR stainless steel cook set.   We both had some hardened plastic cook wear from REI.   The meal was .... OK..  We both replied that it was 'eatable'.  Expensive.  ($8), but eatable.  The eggs, mostly tasted like eggs, the bacon was in tiny pieces at the bottom that tasted like they came out of a jar.   The bacon did add some meat 'flavor' which helped.  We both hit pieces of the eggs that had not fully rehydrated. So, for something quick and easy, it's a win. Not something I'd like to eat often (beprepared.com sells that in a 20 pound can. I will NOT be buying it for the zombie apocalypse) I don't think."

 Agreed on the MH scrambled eggs and bacon... I took mine and pan fried them in a skillet for a few minutes after rehydrating= tasted much better then the eggsoup but still not great.

Now I did not believe it when I heard about the MH Biscuits and Gravy pack, could not even conceive how a biscuit would even taste after pouring boiling water on it but some how MH nailed it... 

Also if you are paying $8 buck for the breakfast packs, you are shopping at the wrong place.   

MH Biscuits and Gravy:
http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-House-Biscuits-and-Gravy/dp/B00HVAWB54?ie=UTF8&keywords=mountain%20house%20biscuits%20and%20gravy&qid=1461596018&ref_=sr_1_2&sr=8-2

Also our local Wmart has them for $4.98 most times.


Sounds like you had fun and learned stuff= Good weekend.
(I'm also looking forward to seeing your custom knife.) 

Oop, Here is your link:
http://www.amazon.com/Mountain-House-Bis...1_2&sr=8-2
Reply
#8
Good story/ info.


I usu wait until ldpcampingfoods runs a MH sale ( about 3-4 x a year ) and pick up a bunch of whats on sale...

But I buy the large cans only and then vacuum pack them into smaller amounts for outings as needed and such as its a lot cheaper ( what cans I don't use, still full go on the shelf and I build up my supply )
Can say the Chick /rice, Beef stew, and chilli mac are prob the favorite here.

BTW, The current price of the Biscuit/gravy pack is $4.54 now ( of course shipping unless certain size order , then free )
Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  Hunting tips David 9 1,415 12-22-2017, 12:35 PM
Last Post: bmyers
  Hunting Season JRSC 64 9,474 11-21-2017, 05:56 PM
Last Post: mac66
  Prepping for weather JRSC 5 1,597 09-06-2017, 04:17 PM
Last Post: JRSC
  Primative hunting weapon ghost 3 511 08-25-2017, 02:25 AM
Last Post: Bob
  Good luck hunting mac66 4 768 11-20-2016, 02:49 PM
Last Post: mac66
  Survival hunting w/handgun caliber David 17 5,107 09-12-2016, 12:55 PM
Last Post: David
  Hunting shotguns/rifles and gear thread David 7 1,392 08-20-2016, 12:05 PM
Last Post: David
Video Think You're a Prepper? Go Primitive Camping! David 6 1,629 02-10-2016, 04:48 AM
Last Post: Bob
  Cold Weather Camping oldmiser 3 897 02-09-2016, 01:16 AM
Last Post: Bob
Question Hunting specific FAK David 11 3,010 02-04-2016, 02:14 AM
Last Post: David

Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)