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Category Archives: Camping

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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Tinywood Home on Trailer with Built In Outdoor Hot Tub

Have you ever heard about a tiny house that is also a hot tub? Yes, the project can be made and it already exists, thanks to a small company based in Warwickshire, England. The architects thought about building a home that offer comfort, relaxation and entertainment at the same time, and built this amazing tiny home that comes with an attached hot tub.

hot-tub-tiny-home-on-wheels

The company is specialized in building tiny homes and merging utility with creativity.

The inside is fully equipped as you will find a small kitchen, lounge area, two bedrooms upstairs and a functional heating system.

So after taking a look, you can say that it is the most perfect small vacation house for you and your family. As tiny as it is, there is still plenty of space inside for a family with two kids.

The outside hot tub is just an extra feature that tops the awesomeness of this house.

hot-tub-tiny-home-on-wheels-7

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How To Build A Fire & Cook Over It

Here is two tutorials on how to build a fire and to cook over it.

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Tutorial 1

 

wildernesscooking_zpse7c2ef2d

Tutorial 2

 

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How to Make & Cook Bannock – Out In the Field

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A bannock is a small, flat loaf of bread risen by a leavening agent, most often a chemical one, although yeasty bannocks are sometimes baked, as in a sourdough recipe.  They are meant to be cooked hearth-side, whether a fireplace or a campfire.  They are simple, and in the woods, simple is good.  Add some honey to some simple bread and after a few days or weeks of bagels and Wasa bread, it tastes like manna from heaven.  It’s hot, light, and comforting.

How to Make Bannock Bread

Ingredients

  • Bannock Mix
  • Water

Basic Bannock Mix

1 cup flour (white or a mixture of white and whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1 tbsp. shortening

Make the mix at home ahead of time. Sift dry ingredients, and cut shortening in with a pastry cutter or two knives until you have a granular, corn meal-like mixture. Package in zip-lock freezer bags. Double bag it if you’re going to be on a long trip. I’ve found that you can make large batches at once and make enough bannock mix for a trip in about fifteen minutes. Just make sure you sift the dry ingredients well, so you don’t get leavening problems.

Directions

Baking bannock is relatively simple once you get the hang of it.  Your first ones will be dark and maybe burnt on the outside and gooey on the inside.  Don’t despair, just pretend it’s a jelly donut and try again. The key is a consistent heat.  While flames don’t indicate a bad cooking fire, red glowing fires from hardwood are best.

1. Start with a small cast iron frying pan and oil it well.

2. Pour some water into the bag and squoosh it around in the bag (squooshing is a technical term). Because the water and baking powder form carbon dioxide to make the bread light, the faster you go from mixing to skillet, the lighter your bannock will be. There will be lumps, of course, but we call them flavor bursts. I say “some water” because how much you add depends on the humidity and of course, personal taste. You don’t want it any thinner than a muffin consistency. If you’ve never baked a muffin, think spackle. You can distribute the dough with a poke of a finger or a stick or a spoon if you’re the civilized sort. Remember, it’s always easier to add water than take it out, right?

3. Squeeze the mix out of the bag and onto the warmed pan (not scalding hot — if the oil is smoking, it’s way too hot).  The pan can be warmed over the fire if you have a grate, or leaned against a few logs near the heat source.  It shouldn’t hiss or sizzle like a pancake batter…that means things are too hot. Cool it off and be patient.  The bread will start to rise slowly.

4. Your bannock will start to look loaf-like.  At this point you’ll want to flip your loaf.  A little shake of the pan and flick of the wrist can turn it over, but a spatula is fair game too.  At this point, just keep turning it.  You’ll know when it’s done.  It’ll look a lot like the picture here.

If you have a lid, you can try to cook your bannock dutch oven-style and put coals onto your skillet lid. Otherwise, you can turn it over to cook the top (carefully!) or else when the bottom is done, prop the pan up against a log with the top facing the fire. This is a great method of “semi-reflector-oven”.   It also makes a lighter bannock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Posted by on January 19, 2016 in Camping, recipe, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Winter Camping For Beginners

Winter Camping
Winter camping can mean different things to different people.  For some, it means renting a cabin heated by a wood stove. For oth­ers, it means pack­ing snow­mo­bile trail­ers to the brim. For the more adven­tur­ous, it means grab­bing a pack and haul­ing in all the neces­si­ties to a remote loca­tion. No mat­ter how you win­ter camp, the fol­low­ing tricks are useful.

WEAR A FIRE­PROOF SHELL
If you are going to build camp­fires, either for the sake of cook­ing, warmth, or morale, make sure that your outer layer of cloth­ing is less likely to end up ruined if struck by an errant ember.  Wool is one of the best, most fire-resistant nat­ural mate­ri­als and is great for this.  Down jack­ets are down­right (no pun intended) awful, and you can lose tons of feath­ers this way.

PACK THE SNOW
Before set­ting up your tent, pack down your camp­site. If you have skis or snow­shoes, that means tramp­ing around hard until all the snow is packed.  If you’re shod only in boots this will take some time, but if you don’t do this, you run the risk of step­ping into a soft bit of snow in your tent and tear­ing the floor.

PACK AN EXTRA HAT AND GLOVES
Always carry a spare hat and a set of mit­tens. No mat­ter how dili­gent you are, no mat­ter how reli­gious you are about using idiot strings and keeper cords, you will lose a hat, and you will lose a glove.  Keep a cheap spare, or be pre­pared for frost­bite or a fore­short­ened trip.

EMBRACE THE PEE BOT­TLE.
Being cold can cause you to want to uri­nate more fre­quently, and we all know how incon­ve­nient it is to dis­robe and undo your sleep­ing bag at 0 degrees F.  For women, I highly rec­om­mend look­ing into the var­i­ous acces­sories that allow you to pee whilst stand­ing, and for both gen­ders a WELL-MARKED pee bot­tle will keep you warm and sim­plify your nightly con­ti­nence. For the love of god, don’t con­fuse your water bottle—color is not enough, make sure your bot­tle is well-marked and maybe wrapped in some duct tape.

USE THOSE STAKES
If there is snow, you can stake out your tent.  You can always make dead­men out of sticks or fallen trees, stuff sacks full of snow, buried skis, snow­shoes, poles, ice axes, or what have you.  There is no excuse for a poorly staked-out tent.  If you expect no snow and frozen con­di­tions, plenty of com­pa­nies make hard tent stakes meant to push through frozen ground, either out of tita­nium, steel, or 7075-t6 aluminum.

BRING THE RIGHT SLEEP­ING PAD
As Bear Grylls says, two lay­ers on the bot­tom are worth one on the top.  That is, you lose more heat through con­duc­tive heat loss when sleep­ing than any­thing else, so win­ter is no time to skimp on your sleep­ing pad.  Make sure you have a pad with an r value of four or more, and if you have one, throw a closed-cell foam pad under­neath. If you feel like your pad isn’t cut­ting it, stuff extra cloth­ing under­neath you, and toss your down jacket on top of your sleep­ing bag.

BOIL THE SNOW
Leave your water fil­ter at home.  Chem­i­cal fil­ters take longer to work in the cold, and mechan­i­cal fil­ters can crack and fail. Your best bet for water fil­tra­tion is boil­ing your water, as you prob­a­bly have to melt snow any­way. Don’t be suck­ered into think­ing glacial melt or fresh snow is sterile–it isn’t. Snowflakes often form around small bits of dust (nucle­ation sites) which can be bac­te­ria or viruses float­ing in the upper atmosphere.

SLEEP WITH YOUR BOOTS
Use boots with remov­able lin­ers, so you can put those lin­ers at the bot­tom of your sleep­ing bag to keep them warm.  If you only have single-layer boots, put them in a water­proof stuff sack at the bot­tom of your sleep­ing bag.  Noth­ing means morn­ing hypother­mia more than frozen boots!

CAMP BY CAN­DLE­LIGHT
A can­dle lantern safely hung on the inside of your tent (far enough away from you and the ceil­ing so as not to be a fire haz­ard) does won­ders to both warm your tent and reduce con­den­sa­tion.  Despite this, a towel for scrap­ing off con­den­sa­tion is always welcome.

EMBRACE LITHIUM
Use lithium bat­ter­ies in all your win­ter elec­tron­ics.  Not only does lithium per­form con­sis­tently down to much colder tem­per­a­tures than alka­line or NiMh bat­ter­ies, but they are lighter, last three times as long, and have a flat decay curve.

WIPE WITH CARE 
In the sum­mer, comfy leaves or soft river stones abound, but in the win­ter they’re few and far-between. While many have picked up pinecones in des­per­a­tion, the best read­ily found alter­na­tive is just plain old snow. It’s effective, ubiquitous, and leaves behind lit­tle residue.  If you do bring TP, please either pack it out or burn it. The ground is too hard for catholes and for those who have hiked along the Appalachian Trail dur­ing the first spring thaw, a mound of TP gen­er­ally sig­ni­fies a poorly hid­den scat stash.

FIGHT CON­DEN­SA­TION WITH A VBL
If you’re out more than a week, use a VBL, or vapor-barrier-liner for your sleep­ing bag.  Con­den­sa­tion from your own body can freeze within the upper layer of your sleep­ing bag where the warm air meets the freez­ing air, and over time your sleep­ing bag can become frozen solid.  While they are not as com­fort­able to sleep in, it beats hit­ting your sleep­ing bag with a ham­mer every night like some polar explor­ers have had to do.

FLIP YOUR BAG
If it’s not snow­ing, turn your sleep­ing bag inside out on top of your tent to dry dur­ing the day.  This is a great rea­son to choose win­ter sleep­ing bags with a black interior–it absorbs more solar energy and dries out faster.

FLIP YOUR WATER
If you have a large water stor­age con­tainer, turn it upside-down when stor­ing it overnight.  Ice forms from the top down, so keep­ing the spout/opening of your con­tainer fac­ing down keeps it from get­ting frozen up. This can be com­bined with insu­lat­ing the con­tainer, of course.

VASE­LINE
Cover exposed skin in Vase­line or ani­mal fats. Inuit have been doing this for years–simply slather any exposed or poten­tially exposed skin on your face, ears, neck, wrists, or hands in a thick oil and they’ll be less prone to wind­burn and frostbite.

Stay warm!
winter-camping-uintas

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10 Incredibly Cool Adventure Campers You Wish You Owned

By Matt Alpert

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These are 10 of the most awesome adventure campers ever made.

If you want to go car camping in the wild — the real wild — your Toyota Camry is not going to cut it. No my friend, you’re going to need something with some more chutzpah.

These 10 heavy-duty adventure campers are designed to crawl over any terrain that stands in their way, be it a steep mountain or dense jungle brush. Heck, some of them can even drive across the ocean.

Some of these adventure campers are loaded with amenities that you’d typically find in a high-end RV. So, if you’ve ever wanted to try glamping in a desert, jungle or rugged mountainside, these adventure campers will get the job done.

Jeep Forward Control

1-300x157

1The Jeep Forward Control is a unique utility vehicle that was made from 1956 to 1965. These trucks feature a cab over engine layout that gives the vehicle a shorter wheelbase.

Jeep Forward Controls were made as both a pickup truck and a van. Both designs are great vehicle platforms for rugged camper conversions, such as the one pictured above. Good luck finding one today.

EarthRoamer

2-300x157

2If you had the thought to put your RV on a jacked-up 4×4, EarthRoamer beat you to the punch.

The company makes heavy-duty, go-anywhere expedition campers that are loaded with the amenities you’d expect in an RV. The company started by building self-contained Jeep Wrangler camper conversions, but later switched to modifying Ford trucks like the F-650 featured above.

Terra Wind Amphibious RV

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3The Terra Wind is a fully-loaded luxury motor home that can operate on land and water.

It can reach a cruising speed of 7 knots on the water, and can drive up to 80mph on land. But it comes with a hefty price tag – these bad boys cost $850,000.

Unicat TC55 Comfort Plus

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4Ok, it kind of looks like a garbage truck, but don’t let this rugged camper’s exterior fool you.

Inside you’ll find high-grade wood paneling, skylights, a shower room, multiple beds, a kitchen, stereo system and a whole lot more. This self-contained camper is also about as durable as adventure vehicles come. Plus, it can charge over anything in its path.

Unimog

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5The Unimog is the quintessential heavy-duty expedition vehicle. Manufactured by Mercedes-Benz, this rugged vehicle has portal axles for high ground clearance and flexible frames to handle rough terrain changes.

The Unimog’s powerful off-road capabilities have made it a big hit among adventurers and explorers.

Pinzaugers

6-300x156

6Similar to Unimogs, Pinzaugers are highly-capable all-terrain vehicles. They were originally designed for military use, but adventurers and expeditionists have taken a shine to them for their off-road capabilities, carrying capacity and durability.

These powerful vehicles can drive up and over just about anything in their way.

7-300x157

7Engineering whiz Rick Dobbertin built this one-of-a-kind camper out of a stainless-steel milk tank, and drove it from Florida to South America and back again via the Gulf of Mexico in 1995.

It has living quarters inside, and a front dash that looks kind of like it belongs in a spaceship. There’s only one Dobbertin Surface Orbiter in existence, and we wish we owned it.

Conqueror Australia

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8Conqueror Australia’s UEV’s are rugged and versatile off-road camper trailers that have independent suspension systems and loads of cool campers features.

Each model comes with a fold-out kitchen, large hot water heaters, queen-sized beds, and lots more.

Sportsmobile

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9Sportsmobile has been making customizable adventure campers since 1961. They convert Ford, Chevy/GM and Mercedes Benz vans into off-road vehicles.

As you can tell by the Sportsmobile featured above, they can get pretty tricked out.

Ford Push Button Camper

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10Okay, it’s not a rugged all-terrain vehicle, but Ford’s 1958 push button station wagon camper is just too cool to leave off this list.

This one-of-a-kind camper contains a lifeboat and shelter that both unfold on the roof at the push of a button. It also has an unfolding kitchen with a refrigerator, sink and stove, and dozens of other automated gadgets.

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Folding Portable Charcoal Grill

folding-portable-grill-thumb

The X-Grill is a portable charcoal grill that you can fold up and haul anywhere with ease, and is great for those long hikes you take by yourself, while hunting or even on the beach.

Just unfold it, throw in some charcoal, and grill some weiners while you take in the ambience of nature.

Made from durable electro-plated iron construction the folding charcoal grill folds up to just 1 inch in thickness when collapsed. The portable X-Grill comes with a chrome plated tri-fold cooking grate, along with a charcoal grate, and measures 21 inches x 21 inches x 9 inches when fully set up.

 

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Posted by on August 15, 2015 in Camping, hunting, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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How To Build A Fire & Cook Over It

Here is two tutorials on how to build a fire and to cook over it.

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Tutorial 1

 

wildernesscooking_zpse7c2ef2d

Tutorial 2

 

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How to Make & Cook Bannock – Out In the Field

 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A bannock is a small, flat loaf of bread risen by a leavening agent, most often a chemical one, although yeasty bannocks are sometimes baked, as in a sourdough recipe.  They are meant to be cooked hearth-side, whether a fireplace or a campfire.  They are simple, and in the woods, simple is good.  Add some honey to some simple bread and after a few days or weeks of bagels and Wasa bread, it tastes like manna from heaven.  It’s hot, light, and comforting.

How to Make Bannock Bread

Ingredients

  • Bannock Mix
  • Water

Basic Bannock Mix

1 cup flour (white or a mixture of white and whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dry milk powder
1 tbsp. shortening

Make the mix at home ahead of time. Sift dry ingredients, and cut shortening in with a pastry cutter or two knives until you have a granular, corn meal-like mixture. Package in zip-lock freezer bags. Double bag it if you’re going to be on a long trip. I’ve found that you can make large batches at once and make enough bannock mix for a trip in about fifteen minutes. Just make sure you sift the dry ingredients well, so you don’t get leavening problems.

Directions

Baking bannock is relatively simple once you get the hang of it.  Your first ones will be dark and maybe burnt on the outside and gooey on the inside.  Don’t despair, just pretend it’s a jelly donut and try again. The key is a consistent heat.  While flames don’t indicate a bad cooking fire, red glowing fires from hardwood are best.

1. Start with a small cast iron frying pan and oil it well.

2. Pour some water into the bag and squoosh it around in the bag (squooshing is a technical term). Because the water and baking powder form carbon dioxide to make the bread light, the faster you go from mixing to skillet, the lighter your bannock will be. There will be lumps, of course, but we call them flavor bursts. I say “some water” because how much you add depends on the humidity and of course, personal taste. You don’t want it any thinner than a muffin consistency. If you’ve never baked a muffin, think spackle. You can distribute the dough with a poke of a finger or a stick or a spoon if you’re the civilized sort. Remember, it’s always easier to add water than take it out, right?

3. Squeeze the mix out of the bag and onto the warmed pan (not scalding hot — if the oil is smoking, it’s way too hot).  The pan can be warmed over the fire if you have a grate, or leaned against a few logs near the heat source.  It shouldn’t hiss or sizzle like a pancake batter…that means things are too hot. Cool it off and be patient.  The bread will start to rise slowly.

4. Your bannock will start to look loaf-like.  At this point you’ll want to flip your loaf.  A little shake of the pan and flick of the wrist can turn it over, but a spatula is fair game too.  At this point, just keep turning it.  You’ll know when it’s done.  It’ll look a lot like the picture here.

If you have a lid, you can try to cook your bannock dutch oven-style and put coals onto your skillet lid. Otherwise, you can turn it over to cook the top (carefully!) or else when the bottom is done, prop the pan up against a log with the top facing the fire. This is a great method of “semi-reflector-oven”.   It also makes a lighter bannock.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Posted by on August 4, 2015 in Camping, recipe, Wawang Lake Resort

 

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Artisan Fire Pits – Beautiful!

Here are some beautiful fire pits that will brighten your outdoor camping area.

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