Archive for January, 2013

Cooking a Hot Dog at the Campfire the Easy Way

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

Making an Oilcloth Wedge Tent

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Many years ago, I went camping and discovered the importance of waterproofing ones tent.  While you can buy spray-on waterproofing chemicals, I like doing it the old-fashioned way.  When tents were made of cloth, the waterproofing process turned the material into oilcloth, which was rainproof.  The following steps below are easy to follow and can be used to give life to old canvas tents.


1 King-Sized sheet with a 250 thread count, pre-washed

2 quarts linseed oil

1 quart paint thinner


Unused paint stir stick

Iron oxide, optional

Old clothes and rubber gloves

Clothes lines

Needle and thread


  1. Pull out the hem on the king-sized sheet.
  2. Mix the 2 quarts of linseed oil and 1 quart paint thinner in a bucket.  Add a small amount of iron oxide to the mixture.  The iron oxide is optional since it only adds color.
  3. Dip the king-sized sheet in the bucket with the mixture.  Turn the fabric over and over until it is completely saturated with the linseed oil/paint thinner combination.
  4. Hang sheet over one line of the clothes line to dry.  This approach will allow the fabric to drip evenly, which means a better coverage.  The drying process will take a week or longer.
  5. After the fabric has dried, add a hand-sewn hem to each end.

Note:  Mixing this concoction is very mess so wear old clothing and gloves through the process.

A great use for this oilcloth is in the building of a wedge tent.  To create your own wedge tent is easy and requires very few items.  You will need three long branches.  Two of these branches need to be the same length with the third being much longer.  Once you have these branches, the next step is to create the tent’s frame.  Begin by tying the branches together at the top.  You are looking to create a teepee shape.  The longest branch will go out the back with the two shorter branches creating the frame for the front of the tent.  Next, fold the sheet in half so that the opposite corners meet or you form a triangle.  Carry this over to the frame and lay out one triangle on the ground and the peak of the other triangle drape over the longest branch.  Stake down each corner of the triangle to the ground using tent stakes or branches and then adjust the shape of the tent.  Once this is done, you have cover from above and below with the natural forming ground cloth and tent shade. 

Tear down of this tent is just as easy and allows you to roll up your bedding and tent material together for easy packing and/or transport.  Do not worry about taking your “tent ‘poles” with you, these are easily found in nature.

Dutch Oven Cooking: Poppy Seed Cake with Fruit

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Looking for a camp dessert beyond s’mores?  Give this cake a try.

Making the Cake


12-inch Dutch oven with lid

Mixing bowl, measuring spoons, and oven mitts


¾ cup of water

1 ½ cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 3.3 ounce package of instant French vanilla pudding

2 cups plus 3 tablespoons flour

½ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon each almond and butter flavoring

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

3 tablespoons poppy seeds

1 cup sour cream

1 can of nonstick baking spray or stick margarine



  1. Light at least 26 charcoal briquettes.
  2. Grease up the Dutch oven with nonstick baking spray or stick margarine.
  3. In the mixing bowl, combine all ingredients listed above.
  4. Once thoroughly mixed, pour into Dutch oven.
  5. Place 10 heated charcoal briquettes on a heat-proofed surface and place the Dutch oven on top.   Put 16 heated charcoal briquettes on top of the lid
  6. Cook cake for 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. After the time period has passed, check the doneness of the cake by inserting a toothpick.  If it comes out clean, the cake is done. 
  8. Once done, remove all the charcoal from the Dutch oven with a gloved hand and turn the Dutch oven upside down with the lid still intact.  When the cake releases into the lid, remove the base of the Dutch oven and place a heat-proof plate in its place.  Invert the lid so that the cake lands in the plate.  Allow the cake to completely cool before moving on to the next step.

Making the Icing


Mixing bowl, and measuring spoons

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla

2 tablespoons lemon juice

14 ounces of sweetened condensed milk

21 ounces fruit pie filling

1 cup of fresh fruit of your choice



  1. Cream together the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, and sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Cut the cake in half horizontally.  Smooth ¾ of the icing on the inside of the cut cake.  Add ½ of the canned pie filling to the icing layer and then stick three to four toothpicks through the cake leaving the tops exposed.  Top this layer with the other layer of cake.
  3. Add the remaining icing and pie filling to the top of the cake. 
  4. Place the fresh fruit on top of the cake in a design that is pleasing.