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camping tips and tidbits

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Robk the eggs pop in the mud. They can't vent. To cook them on a spit square off the spit a little they won't spin so much. Mud spuds are great, but watch the heat. To speed up potato cooking insert a copper nail down the center when baking. Good ideas keep them coming.

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For cooking eggs, I like boiling them. Afterwards, the same water can be skimmed off and used for oatmeal plus hot chocolate, or tea.


To make and store charcloth for flint and steel use an Altoid tin.


Scrape the white off of orange peels, and boil them in a sugar/water (syrup) solution until transparent. Makes a great addition to tea, or simply eaten alone.


For backpacking, keep the lunch simple. My two main lunch menus are


Pilot biscuts, jerky, cornnuts, a bit of bittersweet chocolate and tea




Pemmican, Parched corn with maple sugar, dried fruit and tea


Tea is simple to make, just toss in a few teabags in a Nalgene before setting out in the morning. By noon, it's brewed.


Some safety tips for canoeing


Never, ever wear a puncho while canoeing


On moving water learn and use hand and paddle signals


Avoid dark colored helmets when running rapids. Pick a color that can be seen from a distance.


Carry throw bags


Have a rewarming plan


Whistles are a must have






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Backpack chicken is great to. But you must use a canvas backpack not a nylon one. Take a few flat rocks put them in the fire for a few hours take them out and put them under the wings of the chicken and inside the cavity. Wrap in a wet towel and then wrap in wet newspaper. Carry around all day and by dinner time presto you have a whole chicken ready to eat.

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le voyaeur... not sure what you mean by pilot biscuits, throw bags, and rewarming plan. Yeah, ponchos when on water are a definite nono. Scomman don,t forget to add baby potatoes and possibly small onions and vegtables to the mix, bbq sauce is a nice touch also. Keep them coming.

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For long-term camping, the dutch oven is your friend! All too often our cast iron friend is neglected, which really is a shame since anything can be cooked in one.


I visited a Historical village that had a cooking reenactment, and talked with one of the reenactors there about dutch oven technique. This lady used one every day, so I think going with these tips will surely help you:


1. Tin foil is bad, imparts metallic flavor to your food.


2. A pie pan nestled inside of your dutch oven makes cooking more efficient.


3. Rocks placed under the dutch oven will prevent scorching (no sedimentary rocks!)


4. Wait half an hour into the cooking process to put charcoal on top of the dutch oven, placing it on too soon will result in things being gooey in their middles.


5. Never use soap! This is one I've added, but all too often people do it. Soaping up a dutch oven results in a condition known as "the runs". Get a handful of salt and rub inside to clean up, right after you're done cooking.


(This message has been edited by Venturer2002)

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I teach the Scouts about hand angles (spread hand = about 15 dgrees, two hands spread = 30, 360 degrees in circle therefore 3 x double hands right of North = East) and do navigation without compass or map. Actually the next step is to make thier own map using a plain table survey.


Light all fires with flint and steel or by friction. (I'm working up to this one)


When hiking use a flint or lighter. Both work after getting wet.


Round cake racks in the bottom of the Dutch Oven allow heat rto circulate. Same with pan and 3-4 small rocks between oven base and pan.


I have drawn a solar compass. It is a laminated diagram that must be drawn to your line of latitude and uses a sticks shadow. It is accurate to 1 degee given correct solar time and if you know the date to within 5 days. Not as complex to use as it is to draw. Adults pick it up within minutes. It takes less than 5 seconds to read a bearing or if you know a bearing to get the time.


Learn a few quick 'no props' games and use them while waiting for people, to focus the group or just for fun.





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Hello Survival gurus: Our troop has struggled with fire by bow and drill. We get lots of smoke but no fire. Anyone tell me how to prepare the tinder? Don't say go get a pre-made kit, we live over seas. Details, please.

Thanks, John D

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Some say hardwood drill and softwood base piece. Others say the opposite. I use the one piece of stick. The thick end is the base and the thin end is the drill. Softwoods generally.


Brace the wrist that holds the top hand piece against your shin to stop the wobbles.


Saw across rather than back and forth.


For tinder underneath I use old birds nests preferably. Look around after big winds. We also use dried Roo poo for tinder but you are on your own with American alternatives.


Lots of sweat may be needed. Beware though - I've seen drops land on the newly formed ember.





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One tip for river crossing is to have the scouts trade packs. If one goes in the drink his pack will be dry on the other scout.


In northern hemisphere, when a sliver to half moon is present, a line drawn through each point to the horizon points to approximate south.



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Red Feather


A rewarming plan is simply the steps you would take to prevent hypothermia should a crew flip a canoe. The colder the water, or weather (windchill) the more aggressive the procedure should be, i.e. dry cloths, a fire, hot drinks, sleeping bags, buddy warming, evacuation....


John D.,


For tender, the best is cedar bark if it can be found in your area. The bark can rolled/rubbed between one's hands producing some real nice fluffy fibers that can be made into a bird's nest. Pine pitch (nature's naplam) can be added to your firelay to accelerate your fire.....

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I too use a Scout Stave. I get a lot of kidding from the boys because it is wrapped with about thirty feet of Parachute cord. Under the wrapping I have several fishing hooks. I can unwrap the cord, cut off both ends and pull a nylon strand from the center core. Tie one end to the Stave and the other end to the hook and go fish. Or you can use the cord to build snares and traps.

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