Archive for September, 2012

The Simplest Backpack Meal

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

If you are a primitive camper, you know the best places to camp are in isolated locations that require effort to reach. Sometimes this effort can be in the form of distance or it can be in the form of load. Regardless of what the definition of effort is, no one wants to be faced with setting up camp, cooking a full meal and then cleaning up.

There are three solutions to this problem. One, the camper can forgo food, which is not a good idea. Lack of energy can be fatal in the backcountry. Two, the camper can forgo culinary delights and eat cold soup right out of the can. While this does provide energy and sustenance, it is by know means a real meal. The third choice is to cook a nutritional home cooked meal that is both easy to carry, prepare, and cleanup is minimum.

You may ask what this magical meal elixir is and the answer is….. a backpack meal.

A backpack meal is one that contains simple ingredients that can fit in a backpack and that only require minimum cooking equipment. It is the primitive campers version of fast food.

To create your own backpack meal, follow the directions below. Substitutions have been made for some of the ingredients.



3 Tablespoons of olive oil
12 sun-dried tomatoes
1 small can water chestnuts
1 package of stuffing mix, such as ones used for Thanksgiving dressing
2 cans of smoked oysters, tuna or salmon
2-quart pot


1. Place stuffing mix in the 2-quart pot and add required amount of water according to package directions. To this, add an additional 3 tablespoons.
2. To the stuffing, add olive oil in place of margarine and stir.
3. If tomatoes are not cut up, slice the sun-dried tomatoes into bite-size pieces and place in stuffing.
4. Let the mixture set for 5 minutes.
5. Drain oysters, tuna, or salmon along with water chestnuts.
6. Place your choice of seafood and water chestnuts in stuffing mix, stir and enjoy.

A backpack meal is a filling meal that can be prepared quickly and without much effort. The ingredients above can be changed to suit ones taste. If you do not like dried tomatoes, give other dried vegetables such as peas, broccoli or mushrooms a try. If seafood is not your cup of tea, then try canned sausages or chicken. And do not fret if you do not have commercial stuffing mix, you can make your own with dried breadcrumbs and chicken bouillon.

So let’s meet around the fire ring and enjoy a simple meal that is fit for any King or Queen of the forest.

Creating the Simplest Tent in the World

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

I have been in many situations where a tent or shelter could not be set up quickly. Rain and fatigue has caused me to settle for less then homey conditions while I have been out in the backcountry. There is a solution to this problem that is easy to carry, only requires rope, a tarp made our of a tarpaulin material and tent stakes. This solution is not magic and is not one you will find in a camping store. Instead, it is one created through human ingenuity and survival. It is the survival tent.

A survival tent is a tent that can house one to two people, depending on the size of the tarp. The principle and construction of this tent starts out with trees. To create this tent, one will first need a long length of rope. When you are packing this item always pack more then you will think you will ever need. Rope in the backcountry is just as important as ones pocket knife.

Once you have your rope, the next thing you will need are two trees. While this sounds like a simple task, since you are out in the woods, it can be a challenge. The trees need to be spaced out enough so that your tarp can fit between them but their span also needs to be close enough so that your length of rope can cover it.

After your trees have been chosen, wrap one end of your rope to one tree and tie off. Pull the rope tight and tie off the other end of the rope to the other tree. The next step of this process is to fold your tarp in half and drape it over the rope. Adjust each side so that equal parts are on each side of the rope. Then, secure the tarp to the ground by running tent stakes through the grommets on each corner. Once this is done, the survival tent is ready to use.

While the process of making this tent is simple, there are few hints I would like to add. One, prior to attaching the rope to the trees make sure to examine the ground. Poison ivy or ants hills can make your stay in your emergency shelter uncomfortable and unsafe. Two, make sure to look up and check the condition of the trees. Are there any loose branches or dead limbs hanging? Both of these situations can be hazardous and sometimes fatal. Finally, if it looks like rain prepare for it. While the tarp will keep the moisture off your head, it will not keep it away from your feet. To prevent your emergency shelter from flooding, dig a shallow trench around the tent area. This trench will channel away the water and in doing so keep the surface under the tent dry.

Understanding how to set up a survival or emergency shelter is an important skill that every camper should know how to do. The supplies are minimum and use pieces of equipment that should be part of everyone’s camping supplies. So before you go out to the woods this year, make sure you know how to build the simplest tent in the world. It could mean life or death.

Learn How to Use a Parabolic Solar Oven

Monday, September 24th, 2012