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Monthly Archives: February 2016

How to Make a Quick CAN Stove

If you suffer sticker shock after shopping for wood-burning camping stoves, you’re not alone. Why pay $60 to $100 for a titanium backpacking wood stove when you can make one out of a bean can for nothing. Sure, you could build a fire without any containment at all, but the low weight, efficiency, and minimal set-up time of a tin-can stove could make you a believer. And as long as there are sticks to burn, your stove will have fuel. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll have a lightweight bug-out-ready survival stove in no time.

1

The Gear List
To create a bean can stove, you’ll certainly need the empty can. You’ll also need a pair of tin snips. If you don’t have a pair in your tool box, borrow a pair. You’ll also need a tape measure, a pencil or marker, a drill with a ½-inch (or similar size) drill bit, and a file to remove sharp edges when you’re done. Gloves are a good idea, too,  since you’ll be working with a lot of sharp metal.

2

The Procedure
Remove the can lid completely from a 40-ounce (or similar sized) food can. You could use a smaller can, but the 40-ounce size because one-quart water bottles will nest inside the finished stove. Next, make a mark all the way around the can about 1 ½ inches below the open top. Use your tin snips, spiraling in, to cut this ring off the top of the can, but before you start, determine whether you are using right- or left-hand snips. It will be easier if you cut in the correct direction. You could leave the can full height, but I wouldn’t recommend it. A shortened stove has better balance, and the last thing you need is for your stove to tip over.

3

Next, make four equidistant marks around the mouth. Each mark will be the centerline for the four “teeth” on the top of your stove. Mark a line half an inch on either side of each of the four centerlines and draw a line around the can 1 inch down from the mouth. Using the tin snips again cut out the lines,  leaving four 1×1-inch teeth at the top of the can.

Next, drill eight equally-spaced holes around the bottom of the can wall. These will be the air intake vents. File off any sharp or rough edges from your metal work. Finally, before you start cooking food or boiling water over this stove, burn a few twigs for about ten minutes to get rid of the plastic can lining.

4

The Effectiveness
Once your stove is complete, set some tinder in the bottom and some broken twigs on the top of that. Place it in a stable, level spot and light the tinder through one of the vent holes. Place your cooking pot over the top of the stove and cook away. You will have to remove the pot every time you need to add fuel, but this is far better than trying to create stove doors for adding fuel. It also forces you to set the dangerously hot pot out of the way when refueling. This stove can burn twigs, paper, cardboard and any other solid fuel that’ll fit inside; and it boils one quart of water in about eight minutes. The finished stove weighs only 2 ½ ounces.

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Stay On Track – Navigation Tricks

Getting lost is one of the primary reasons that people find themselves in a survival situation in the outdoors. It can happen to anyone, anywhere; but it’s much more likely to occur when someone fails to keep track of their location, or when navigation skills are lacking. Getting lost can be a preventable problem, if you take the right precautions.

compass

To avoid getting lost on your next hunt or hike, put the following tricks into practice:

– Get a map of the area that you are traveling to and study it before going.
– Take the map along, and use it and a compass (or GPS) while you’re there. If you’re printing out maps from your computer, don’t use an inkjet printer. If the map gets wet, the ink will run and turn into a rainbow-smeared mess.
– Imagine what the terrain would look like from a “bird’s eye view” and where you are in that terrain.
– Look behind you frequently, especially if you are returning in that direction.
– Look for and use landmarks, if possible.
– Study and remember the landmarks that you use.
– When traveling off trails, use prominent, distant landmarks and/or a compass bearing to travel in straight lines.
– Account for declination when reading your map and compass. Any good map should tell you how much to add or subtract for True North.
– Watch out for gun barrels and other metal items, which can pull the compass needle off course and distort your bearing.

If you’re heading into the woods this weekend, good luck and stay safe.

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Packing List

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Tracking Black Bear

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The goal of all hunters is a quick, humane kill where the animal drops in it’s tracks and is dead within seconds. But in a pursuit that has as many variables as hunting, sometimes things don’t quite go according to plan. However, game can be tracked and recovered with the right skills and with patience.

First of all, you need to wait the right amount of time after the shot before tracking a wounded animal. I’ve heard estimates of waiting 30 minutes for a hit in the vitals and 5-8 hours for a gut shot. Waiting overnight might be even better on very poorly hit animals, however for black bear the temps may not allow for this as the meat might spoil.

imagesB582SF66You don’t want to push an animal. Be patient and wait it out. If you push a wounded animal, and he gets adrenaline flowing, the odds are against you finding that animal.

You need to mark the exact spot where the animal was when it was hit. This will save you much time in searching for blood. Also mark the position where you took your shot from in case you have to return to it to regain that perspective. Once you find the trail that the animal took after the hit you should try and identify where you hit that animal. Dark blood can indicate a liver or muscle wound; bright red blood with bubbles in it is a good sign and indicates a hit in the lungs; green liquid or bits of food matter in the blood indicates a gut shot.

Take it slow and mark blotches of blood with flagging tape every 25-50 yards to trace the trail from afar to determine overall direction the animal took. Just remember to go back and pick up the tape when you’re done. You should walk to the side of the trail so as to not disturb the sign. If you lose the trail and can’t find more blood, start fanning out and walking circles from the last place you had blood.

2013-10-12-birch-012When tracking a wounded animal it is easy to get caught up in just looking at the ground, trying to find that next speck of blood. You should be aware of what is 100 yards out in front of you as well and be ready for a killing shot if the animal should get up in front of you.

If you take it slow, be quiet and be thorough, finding wounded animals can be done on a consistent basis. Follow these tips to help find the game that you might have not put the best shot on.

DDW-Bear-Hunt-086

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GROUSE Hunting Rates

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pg 4 grouse

Bookonline

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Muzzle Affect Accuracy – With or Without?

tapeIf you hunt in rainy places, you probably know about electrical tape, the basis of vigorous debate in almost any camp.

The tape, stuck over the muzzle, is used to keep precipitation and debris out of the rifle’s bore. But many hunters argue that the protective layer throws off your bullet’s impact point. Others say the flimsy barrier won’t deflect the bullet.

Which is it?

After testing the accuracy of two bullet types fired from the same .308 bench rest rifle, first without tape over its muzzle and then with electrical tape covering the bore. The results of eight 5-shot groups: Tape does not significantly degrade accuracy. Just as important, the tape also did not shift the rifle’s point of aim.

If you tape your muzzle to keep out the elements, you needn’t worry about shooting through it.

difference

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Grouse Hunting Tips

Ruffed Grouse are the king of all game birds, and sometimes (most of the time) the most challenging. So here are a few tips and techniques that you can try that work well.

Ruffed Grouse

Ruffed Grouse

In order to hunt grouse, you need a place that holds birds. Ruffed Grouse like moist, dark places with little ground cover (like grass), but low overhead cover.  Our hunting areas here in Northwest Ontario are mixed timber and brush along creek bottoms. Grouse need food, and mostly live on buds and berries, but also feed on bugs and clover. Food sources differ from area to area, but grouse typically eat the same things everywhere. You will notice that grouse change their diet as the seasons change.

The ideal areas to hunt will hold the presence of water as that makes a big difference,  creek bottoms with mixed old growth and re-prod, and a road close by for grit.

Early in the season, you will find the birds in family groups or coveys. As season and winter progress, the groups break up and you will find birds mostly in singles and pairs. Early season birds hold pretty tightly here in our area, but it isn’t like that everywhere.

Ruffed grouse have a daily routine, so you can pattern them. They normally get up late and fly into a feeding area or along a road to pick gravel. Then it’s off to loafing and dusting the afternoon away. In the evening, they will go back to feeding, and usually roost around the same area.

Before season, and if you can, drive roads looking for new spots an checking old ones. Early in the morning or late in the evening, you can find grouse in the roads picking gravel. Mark these spots and come back during season to hunt the areas around them. Even if an area doesn’t provide birds, still go back a different time to check again if everything the grouse need is there so will they eventually.

German Shorthair Pointing at a ruffed Grouse in the Oregon Woods

When hunting grouse, use a dog that has a really good nose and hunts from close to medium range. It’s a good idea to sometimes stop in an area that will likely hold birds and let the dogs just circle. Grouse are hard to scent for dogs, so slow and steady is good.  Hunt up or down creeks, then turn around and hunt back in the opposite direction.   It’s hard to believe how many birds the dogs will miss the first pass, but after you leave, they will move around put out a good scent cone for the dogs.

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