Archive for September, 2016

Life before Cell Phones-Tips on Camping Safely in the Backcountry

Friday, September 30th, 2016

How did we survive without cell phones?  I know a lot of people wonder this fact when they are out in the backcountry and need help.  While no one really plans for an emergency, the key to survival when you cannot get a signal is prevention and preparation. 

life.before.cell.phones

One of the easiest things one can do is to prevent a problem when camping and hiking.  A common problem arises when beginning campers and hikers do not know how to read a map.  Yes, I know this skill sounds simple but you would be amazed at how many people really do not know how to read a trail map.  They assume they can just walk down the trail and then go back up but……..if you have ever been in the woods you will notice something.  After awhile everything looks the same.  Your cell phone does not get a signal, you have no compass, and the map you have really does not make sense.  Once you get to this point, there really is nothing you can do but signal for help.  A common pattern for S.O.S is anything is threes.  This can be three toots of a whistle, three stones laid out, three fires or even the outline of the letters S.O.S, which comes in threes.  But there is another choice and that is prevention through preparation.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses of your camping and hiking skills is a start to preventing a problem.  In the situation described previously, the problem could have been easily solved by tying orange hunting tape along the path you took, if you don’t know what this is we suggest to check the blackbuck antelope hunting ranch, they have plenty of useful tips for the outdoors.  Once you reached where you wanted to go, all you would have had to do was follow the tape back to your starting point.  Yes, the process works but do not just use any orange tape unless you want to hit the trail again.  What I mean by this is the fact that some marking tape is not biodegradable and in doing so goes against the idea of “leave no trace.”  To abide by this rule, always make sure that the marking tape you use is biodegradable.

The last safety tip is to always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. You should check out these side by sides for sale for the next time you go camping.   If you do get lost, this gives individuals a starting point by which they can start looking for you.

Camp Fire Recipe: Ribs and Red Cabbage

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Oh my, nothing beats red cabbage in the fall.  While I am not a vegetarian, I tend to migrate to the red cabbage while my husband devours the ribs.  Below is one my favorite recipes to fix in the fall at the campground.

Camp Fire Recipe:  Ribs and Red Cabbage

Ingredients

Liquid or spray oil

2 pounds of country style pork ribs

3 slices of bacon

1 head of red cabbage

1 tart apple

½ cup of water

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/3 cup of red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

ribs.and.red.cabbage

Steps

  1. Build the fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Using a 12-inch Dutch oven, lightly grease the inside of the Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Finely chop the red cabbage and place in a large bowl.
  4. Peel, core, and chop the apple. Place in the bowl.
  5. Add water, brown sugar, and red wine vinegar to the large bowl.  Stir to combine.
  6. Place a grilling rack over the fire and top with the 12-inch Dutch oven.
  7. Chop bacon and add to the Dutch oven.
  8. Season the country style ribs with salt and pepper. Add the country style ribs to the bacon and cook until the ribs and bacon are brown.
  9. Remove the ribs to a plate and add the cabbage mixture.  Stir.
  10. Place the ribs on top of the cabbage mixture and top with lid.
  11. Move the Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface. 
  12. Arrange 12 prepared coals on this heat resistant surface.
  13. Place the Dutch oven on top of the coals from step 12.
  14. Cover the lid with 24 coals.
  15. Cook for 50 minutes.
  16. Prior to serving, check to make sure the ribs are done and the cabbage has cooked down.
  17. Serve.

Boy, I can tell you this dish is delicious but you can always make some changes.  While this recipe does not call for onion, I have added it to the cabbage mixture before cooking.  To beef up the vegetable amount, I have also added sliced turnips. 

As far as the meat goes, if you do not have country ribs do not worry, pork chops work just fine.  If you really want to change it up, add bratwurst in place of ribs.  If you choose the latter meat, reduce your cooking time to 30 minutes.

Camp Fire Recipe: Smothered Swiss Steak

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Nothing beats a hardy meal after a day of enjoying the outdoors.  While life would be easier if I had a chef at my campsite, this recipe makes cooking over the fire not such a chore and only you will know how easy this recipe is to prepare. 

Camp Fire Recipe:  Smothered Swiss Steak

Ingredients

Liquid or spray oil

½ teaspoon of salt

6 cube steaks that are around 4 ounces a piece

½ cup of flour

½ teaspoon of black pepper

4 Tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion

1 medium green pepper

14.5 ounce of petite tomatoes with onions and garlic (If you cannot find the onion and garlic variety, simply chop extra onion and add either chopped garlic cloves or garlic powder)

12 ounce can of cola soft drink (any dark soft drink will really do)

1 Tablespoon powdered beef bouillon

3 Tablespoons tomato paste

smothered.swiss.steak

Steps

  1. Start the fire to prepare the coals.
  2. Lightly grease a 10-inch Dutch oven with liquid or spray oil.
  3. Sprinkle meat with salt on both sides.
  4. In a bowl, combine the flour and pepper. 
  5. Dip each cube steak in flour and pepper mixture.
  6. Add the vegetable oil to the Dutch oven.
  7. Place a grilling rack above the fire.
  8. Top the grilling rack with the Dutch oven and heat the oil.
  9. Once the oil is hot, add the floured cube steaks and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  10. Place the browned cube steaks on paper towels to drain.
  11. Dice up the onion and green pepper. Add to Dutch oven.
  12. Cook for 5 minutes.
  13. After the onion and green pepper has cooked, add the tomatoes, cola, bouillon, and tomato paste.  Mix well.
  14. Put the steaks back into the Dutch oven and top with lid.
  15. Move the Dutch oven to a heat resistant surface.
  16. Arrange 10 prepared coals in a circle on the heat resistant surface.
  17. Place Dutch oven on top of these coals.
  18. Add 20 coals to the lid.
  19. Cook for 60 minutes.
  20. Once 60 minutes have passed, knock off the coals and take the Dutch oven off the bottom coals. 

Serve the meat and add the tomato gravy to a big mess of mashed potatoes.  If you want something a little different, top egg noodles with the tomato gravy instead of potatoes.