Category Archives: Camp Techniques

Outdoors and camping techniques to help guide you with your outdoors lifestyle.

Roast Venison

by Woodsbum

Here is a great recipe for roast venison (deer). Technically any wild game is venison, but for this purpose we will be using deer. Unlike many roasts, this recipe seems to be almost like breaded deer prime rib when it is done.

  • 3 lbs round deer roast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 stick of softened butter (real butter)
  • 2 cups of dry bread crumbs.
  • 1 cup dried apples
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 beef bouillon cubes dissolved in 1 cup hot water

Ensure to use these preparation steps before starting.

Wipe cleaned and prepared roast with damp towel and then rub all sides with the salt and peppers. Whip the butter until it is light and fluffy. Spread the butter over the meat. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining ingredients and stir to moisten the crumbs.

Put the roast on a large sheet of heavy aluminium foil and pat the dressing over the roast. Fold the foil over the roast to seal it and tuck the ends under so that it is completely covered. Roast at 325 degrees for about 2 hours. If you want the edges to really crust (as I do) just push the foil down on the sides to expose the roast.

When you cook/serve it just take the dressing from the roast, slice the meat and thicken the drippings into a gravy.

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Tips for Cooking Wild Meat

by Woodsbum

Cooking wild meat seems to be one of the many questions that I get on a regular basis. For some reason people don’t know that much about cooking game animals. It might be due to a drastic decrease in the amount of hunters. Maybe it is due to the decrease in the amount of people that can actually cook something that didn’t come in cellophane. No matter what the underlying cause, I hope these tips might help any of you out that are fuzzy on how to prepare and cook game.

Before I start I want to toss out this disclaimer: I am not a chef. I am also not a food preparation or cooking expert. I am just a slightly overweight guy that loves food and has been cooking for himself since he was a teenager. Since I grew up very rural and lived off a lot of wild game, I had to learn how to prepare it where nonhunters would eat it. This is not an easy task, but I have now gotten to the point where some of my preparations have wild game that is almost 100% undetectable to the common city dweller..

This list is not all inclusive, but will give you a little bit of a foundation from which to work from. As times goes on I will include some recipes and meal preparation ideas to assist you in creating some great meals.

The first item I will address is the common response when talking about wild game: “It just tastes too gamy.” This “gamy” taste is usually connected with meat that was not properly cleaned and drained of blood. Although old timers tend to like the flavor that wild meat tends to have, the average grocery grazer has no interest in anything that tastes out of what they consider normal. To keep this taste from overwhelming your dishes you need to follow the following steps.

Several of these tips are associated with grilling or hot smoking. Others are in reference to stewing.

  • Squeeze out all the blood from the meat. Start by soaking the meat for a period of time and then squeeze out all the blood while running the meat under running water. This removes much of the gamy flavor that people complain about. Some people claim that soaking for at least 2 hours in buttermilk, milk, boiling water, apple cider, or even salt water help. I address the apple cider boiling further down the list.
  • Ensure all the “slime” is off the meat. Wild game tends to have an odd slime on the outside of the meat. Before you cook the meat it is important to either brush off or scrape off this “slime.” Inner cuts of meat will not have this slimy layer so many of you who do not process your own game may not know what I am talking about. The think to remember is that you want the meat as clean as possible. Any impurities will cook off or burn off depending on how you cook (for the most part), but it leaves odd flavors in the process.
  • Use liberal amounts of seasoning. Although frying meat does produce its own flavor, grilling meat tends to do two things: adds smoke flavor to the meat and allows added spices or rubs to drip off. The meat will absorb flavor best (in my opinion and experience) when you first start to see the juices coming to the surface. This happens in two stages. Light juice is visible as the cooking side starts to seal up and the moisture is pushed to the top side of the meat. The second time is when the meat is cooked about 1/2 way through. This is when you see standing pools of juice on the meat. I will cover more on this later on.

    Use liberal amounts of seasoning

    Use liberal amounts of seasoning

  • Don’t use too high of temperature when cooking wild game. If you sear the bottom and don’t allow all the seasoning to be fully absorbed throughout the entire cut a lot of the gamy flavor will come out. You will also get an odd texture that many dislike about wild game. Cook the game slowly and over heat ranges (for light smoke/grill/campfire) around 225 degress Fahrenheit.
  • Only flip it once. Keep your eye on the meat and the way that the juices are accumulating on the top side. If you flip the meat too many times it tends to dry out and toughen up. This also changes the texture and changes it to one that people dislike.
  • If you are cooking an animal that tends to be greasy you can boil it for a short time before grilling, smoking or frying. I like to use apple of some sort for what are commonly considered “trash” or “greasy” animals. Such species include raccoon, squirrel, certain types of duck/geese, and bear when it has been living in and around human settlement. These animals all pick up odd flavors from the food that they eat and raccoons are a great example. I like to boil mine in apple for several minutes before I perform my finishing cooking method. Strong flavored meats such as types of goat or pig can be boiled in beer for a few minutes to remove odd game flavors. Both of these methods help with the slime that tends to form on greasy types of meat.

    Be careful when cooking after boiling meat. It will dry out quickly. I caught this squirrel just before it got too dry.

    Be careful when cooking after boiling meat. It will dry out quickly. I caught this squirrel just before it got too dry.

Watching the juice accumulation on the meat is very important. This tells you where in the thickness of meat that the cooking process has reached. As more and more juice accumulates on the top side of the cut, the closer to the center of the cut is cooked. For example:

  • Small droplets begin to form on the top of the cut on the grill. This means that the bottom side has seared shut and juices are beginning to be pushed to the top side. When this happens it is at the tail edge of when seasoning is pulled into the core of the meat. If you have not already seasoned the meat, you should do so quickly. This is also the point where you will end up with a rare cut if you flip it now.
  • Medium sized droplets of juice appearing on the top of the cut mean that you are getting to the medium rare to medium stage of the cooking process. There will be no real standing “puddles” of juice, but the droplets are starting to be big enough to run and join together.

    Shiny top of meat when it gets to the medium rare stage

    Shiny top of meat when it gets to the medium rare stage

  • Standing puddles of juice appearing on the top of the cut mean that the meat has reached the medium well to well stage. Flipping the cut now will leave no pick and an almost grey color throughout the entire cut. This is also the point where the meat starts to dry out and changes texture. Be vary careful at this point. When it looks like “blood” has started to accumulate on top of the cut you have cooked it too long. If you start to see the juices turning color and becoming less clear in nature it is very important to flip the meat quickly and season the other side before the cut dries too much.

These guidelines work great for cooking over open flame or frying, but things change a bit when you are going to stew out a critter. When you are making a stew or doing a “critter” with noodles type dinner it is important to keep an eye on the cooking process. You really need to make sure that the meat is really coming off the bone and the striations are separating with ease. Image that point with chili steak that allows you use a potato masher, but the meat doesn’t turn to mush. It is the perfect “pulled pork” spot. That is what you are looking for. Each section of meat coming off the bone stays together, but can easily be pulled apart. For whatever reason wild game tends to become more like a clam when over cooked in a stew and less like beef or chicken. There is a “perfect” spot, but if you leave it too long it doesn’t make it more tender. It shrivels and the texture becomes odd.

Lastly, a lot of the “drippins” that are used for gravy contain much of the gamy flavor that turns people off. If you can drain some of the juices and dilute it with some beef broth people will like it more.

Those are my main wild critter cooking tips. I will keep referring to them as I add recipes. Hope this helped!!!!

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Mountain Man MRE

by Woodsbum

For those of you who read my site regularly, this will come as no surprise. I not only like food, but I love doing research. Today I had someone pass along a post someone did about making their own MRE type meals. They called them Mountain Man MRE. What I like about his approach is the way that he takes the time to explain each step in the process of making a full meal. Truly, this is a great post and even if you don’t like the food he prepared you can made necessary modifications as needed.


Humans have been preserving their harvest well before modern conveniences like pressure canners and deep freezers were invented. Preserving the harvest was the art of delaying nature’s natural effect on food – spoilage.


Being resourceful… and just plain hungry, our ancestors figured out ways to make food safe to eat long after living food was dead. Fermenting, smoking, drying, grinding, pounding, salting, and/or curing were preservation methods Native Americans, frontiersmen, long hunters, mountain men, and pioneers used.

None of the above, are you?

Maybe you hike, camp, or hunt. What I’m about to share will even be useful to hungry desk jockeys looking for a  protein-rich, healthy snack you won’t find in the processed-food vending machine at the office.

The vast majority of us are not mountain men/women or Amazon explorers (not the online store). We’re simply on a modern-day journey of self-reliance. You have to eat now and later. Learning to preserve foods with traditional methods is a skill you’ll be glad to own when the power grid fails.

In the meantime, let’s make a Mountain Man MRE (Meals Ready To Eat). The MRE will consist of four items; pemmican, jerky, parched corn, and dried blueberries. Here is another article on our site for pemmican with dried fruit mixed in. Parched corn is being added to the MRE with a brief tutorial. Today’s post will focus on making jerky in traditional fashion – over an open fire.

Modern and old ways will meld together. For instance, I used our electric Excalibur dehydrator for drying corn to parch and made jerky over a fire pit. This is my modern version of traditional trail foods eaten by Native Americans, fur traders, and mountain men.

Our Mountain Man MRE’s need to meet the following criteria:

  • Convenience – similar to pre-packaged, processed fast food – only ours is whole food and healthy
  • Storable – long-lasting without modern refrigeration
  • Transportable – dense, compact, and light-weight (less than 1/2 pound)
  • Tasty – an acquired taste by some but I love this primal stuff

Onto the first item of your MRE…

How to Make Jerky

If this is your first attempt at making jerky, you may want to read how to safely dry meat in my Definitive Guide to Making Jerky.

Being a Mountain Man MRE, this was a fine opportunity to dry meat over an open fire. I’ve cooked many meals over campfires but never made jerky this way.

What new stuff did you do today?

Every new preserving technique we own, no matter how small, is one step closer to food independence.

Step 1

Start a fire with hard wood to create a coal bed. A fire pit is nice if you have one. A charcoal grill may work for you.

Step 2

Design a way to hang the meat. I used poplar and sweet gum saplings lashed to my outdoor kitchen tripod.

How to Make Modern Mountain Man MRE's

Step 3

With a bed of coals underneath the rack, place the meat over the heat. The rack was about two feet over the fire.


Jerky hanging

Then the rain came down. I improvised and wrapped a tarp around the tripod which did two things; protected the fire, and created a smoke chamber accidentally.


Smoke house teepee

Step 4

Wait. The meat took about 4 hours to dry on the fire. I keep the coals going from time to time by adding wood at the back of the fire pit. The key here is to keep a constant heat (shoot for 225-250º F) inside the smoke house. Low and slow. You not cooking the meat.

Step 5

Check for doneness. If the jerky strips bends and no fibers are exposed at the bend, it’s not ready to be used for pemmican. You want a very dry meat that can be ground into powder.


Now you’re ready for the next item on our MRE package…

How to Make Traditional Pemmican

Down and dirty (traditional) pemmican consist of dried meat and rendered fat. I’ve seen a few fat-free pemmican recipes on the internet but that idea is just plain ludicrous and feeds the big fat lie. Stick with healthy, grass-fed fat for a satiating trail food. Ever heard of rabbit starvation? If you hate the thought of eating fat, substitute honey as a binding agent instead of tallow. Peanut butter pemmican is another option.

For today’s recipe, we’re using rendered tallow and jerky made over an open fire – mountain man style!

Disclaimer: This was my first attempt at jerking meat over a fire. Not an easy task in the rain – but doable. After the jerky was ready over the fire pit (approximately 4 hours), for added safety, I tossed it into our Excalibur for an extra hour. Also, modern kitchen appliances were used to grind and prep the jerky. The old school method is to place the dried meat on a stone and pound it to a powder. Gotta gather me some stones next time!

 Step 1

You’ll need equal parts of tallow and ground jerky. Here’s how I render tallow. You may add dried fruit to the mix if you like. I prefer the taste without the fruit.


Jerky dried over an open fire

For time’s sake, I used our Vitamix blender to turn jerky strips into a fine powder. Dump the powder in a mixing bowl while your tallow is warming on the stove.


Jerky powder!


Pre-made tallow melting

When heating the tallow, don’t allow it to get so hot that it smokes/burns. Low to medium heat here.

Step 2

Pour a small amount of tallow into the powdered jerky and stir. Don’t pour all the tallow in at once. It’s easier to add more tallow than to grind more jerky.


It took two pours of tallow for the correct consistency

Step 3

You’ll know when you’ve got enough tallow mixed in with the jerky when it compresses without crumbling.


Needs more tallow

Add too much tallow and the pemmican’s jerky flavor will be overwhelmed by tallow. Mix while your tallow is warm to better saturate the meat powder.

Step 4

When the right consistency is achieved, add mixture to a loaf pan. Press it down evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and, with one motion, drop the upside down loaf pan onto the paper. Lift the pan and you should have perfect pemmican. Another option is to form pemmican patties or balls. I’ve thought about sprinkling powered sugar on top and slipping these on the snack table at faculty meetings. 😉 I’ll video the response and get back with you.


Pemmican loaf!

Wrap the wax paper around the loaf and place it in the refrigerator until the tallow hardens. Slice into individual serving sizes and wrap in wax paper. Place in a container (ziplock bag or paper bag) for your next adventure. Wax paper and ziplock baggies have redundant uses… wax paper = fire starter; ziplock bags = container.

Or – go fur trader style and stash your fresh pemmican in a “parfleche” – an untanned animal skin bag. For further reading on the benefits of this amazing trail food, check out my article on Bread of the Wilderness.

Pemmican may be eaten as stand alone snack/meal or added to beef up wild onion soup for a hot trail meal.

Add the third item to your MRE…

How to Make Parched Corn

Dried corn that has been roasted is called parched corn. Removing/reducing he moisture content makes the corn last a long time. Parched corn is easier on the teeth than plain dried corn. You’ve bitten a popcorn kernel before, right?

Ideally, you’d walk out to your corn crib and grab a few ears. If you’re like me, you may not have access to dried corn on the cob. Dirt Road Girl and I took a road trip looking for dried corn. We stopped at a local organic farm we buy from, but their corn crop was gone and stalks plowed under.

We ended up buying two green ears for this experiment. I shucked them and tossed them into our dehydrator as a test – along with a bag of frozen organic grocery store corn. The bag corn was cut from the cob. Traditionally, you’d want the whole kernel. We adapted and used the cut corn. Dehydrating corn on the cob was a big waste of time.

Step 1

Heat a pan/skillet over medium heat. You can parch corn in a dry pan or with oil added. I tried both and found the dry pan batch tasted the best. You’d think bacon fat would make anything taste better. Not with the corn.


Parching with bacon grease

Add salt or other spices (optional) to the pan and cover the bottom of the pan with a single layer of dried corn. Shake the pan to keep the corn from scorching. A spatula is also helpful for stirring. Keep the pan and corn moving for a few minutes until it turns golden brown. Dump that batch and add another.

Step 2

Allow it to cool and bag and tag your snack. Pretty simple.


The completed Modern Mountain Man MRE!

Pictured above is the full-meal deal: Two bars of pemmican, one bag of parched corn, one bag (about 8 pc.) of water buffalo jerky, and a bag of dehydrated blueberries. The entire Mountain Man MRE weighed less than 1/2 pound (0.418 # to be exact).

Where’s the bread? Since I don’t eat bread, I didn’t include traditional hardtack in the MRE. Survival News Online has a great how-to for your reference if you’d like to make your own.

Hopefully, this light-weight, nutrient dense MRE will keep you moving on your next outing. Toss it in your coat pocket or haversack and you’re set for mobile fast food on the trail!

To see how a few of my Prepared Blogger friends preserve foods, check out our “How We Preserve Foods” round robin below with over 20 articles to help you achieve food independence!

Keep Doing the Stuff of Self-Reliance,



Now I am not sure how many people will actually go out and make these full meals for themselves. To be totally honest, there is little doubt in my mind that I will. There is a huge chance that I will take the time to do the fruits and pemmican to supplement my already massive jerky batches that I do. The parched corn just doesn’t seem like something I would like considering how bad my stomach reacts to greases. If I could find a way to parch it without actually frying it, I might give it a try. That would mean that I was grilling it, however, and the individual kernels will almost definitely fall through the grates during the attempt….

Have fun and stay safe everyone!!!

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Setting Duck Decoys

by Woodsbum

Every year a large group of people get dressed up in warm clothes, grab their shotguns, and trudge through the marshes of America to try their hand at duck hunting. The humorous part of this ongoing battle against the “fowl” elements is the amateurish attempts some of these people make at luring in their prey. Every weekend I set my decoys and sit there while ducks come into my spread while the less skilled hunters around me get irritated and start shooting in my direction after they realize that their decoys are doing nothing. It never seems to fail. It is not a joke when I say that I have had hunters get annoyed with their own inadequacies and start shooting towards the ducks coming into my decoys from distances over 150 yards.

One of the most dangerous and mind blowing incidents occurred when a group of hunters moved to a point directly across a slough from me. These guys were no more than 50 yards away and kept shooting right over my head. One even shot into the middle of my decoys. When I finally just got up and started picking up my gear they actually yelled at me and were upset that I was leaving.

Not everyone has this type of situation arise when they are out duck hunting, but there are many people that do. What I don’t understand, above and beyond the whole safety factor, is why they don’t just learn to set their own decoys and practice blowing more than a mallard call. Not all ducks are mallards or sound like mallards. There are other calls out there.

First thing you need to remember when you are setting up your decoys: If they appear to be in a pattern, you set them up incorrectly. Ducks Unlimited has many articles about setting duck decoys and arranging them in a proper pattern. Ducks tend only fly in formation, sometimes. You don’t see them floating around a like as if they were attempting to look like a US Navy attack formation. It doesn’t happen.

Second thing to remember is that ducks like to remain a bit segregated. You usually don’t find different species of ducks floating around in clumps with other species. Although you might find several different species floating around the same area of a pond, you won’t normally find widgeon, mallard, teal, bufflehead, and canvasback ducks all clumped into a large group. They will group together, but separate.

Third is the fact that not all ducks sound like a $12 mallard call. Go buy a few more calls and learn to blow them. The $20 Duck Commander teal call allows you to make sounds like a teal, widgeon and pintail all with that same call. Also note that not all calls are made the same. Your Duck Commander Mule might sound ok, but with proper practice and some skill a Zink ATM Green Machine will sound better.

Here are two pictures of one morning spread. I had to modify things a bit because of the current and depth of the water out towards the middle. If you notice I clustered the decoys together into both the “feeding” and the “chilling” areas. There is also a lone duck up near the grass and a couple off the picture to the left also near the grass. I did the because it was a really cold morning and I had seen groups of ducks near to shore while driving out. The second picture is the other group that I clustered off to the right. Just so you know, this hunting trip bagged me 5 ducks on a really slow morning.

Left side of spread, a few off camera farther left

Left side of spread, a few off camera farther left

Right side of spread, a few in the grass off camera to right

Right side of spread, a few in the grass off camera to right

Here is a great article from Ducks Unlimited about setting duck decoys. If you notice, they also talked about keeping your decoys from looking too uniform or like they are in a pattern of any sort.

So the long story has come to this:

  1. Don’t bunch up all your decoys into a small group.
  2. Don’t lay your decoys out as if they are in formation.
  3. Don’t put your decoys into a “horseshoe” pattern because it will look like a pattern.
  4. Do make sure your different species are segregated and in a group that looks like a bunch of ducks.
  5. Do make sure you have several duck calls for the different species duck decoys you have.
  6. Do make sure you know how to properly use your decoys.
  7. Do have fun.

Good luck everyone and happy hunting.

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Campfire Reflector Wall is Useless

by Woodsbum

Today I ran into an interesting article that about campfire reflector walls. Their contention is that a campfire reflector wall is useless. According to them, they have scientifically proven that the reflector wall does not work. The article can be found here, but as always I have copied it for ease of reading.


Does The Campfire Reflector Wall Work? NO… Here’s Why

The campfire reflector wall is somewhat the mark of the experienced outdoorsman. But do they actually work they way they are purported, to redirect heat at the back of the fire to someone on the opposite side of the fire all snug in their lean-to? The short answer is NO! It doesn’t, however, stop others from continuously preaching it and can be found in many survival books. In all honesty, I too, many years ago, believed it. But why doesn’t it work? Well, first lets look at what we are discussing, so we are all on the same page.


On the surface, it seems it would work, right? Science, however, tells us that it can’t and a simple experiment you can do at home will prove that it doesn’t. Inverse Square Law and more appropriately Inverse Cube Law says that it doesn’t work. But for the purpose of explanation we will use Inverse Square Law.

Inverse Square Law

Inverse-square law is any physical law stating that a specified physical quantity or intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity.

A clear example of this is dropping a pebble into a still pond. The concentric rings near the point of impact will be more intense and as the rings radiate outwards they spread out and lose intensity. This happens with light, heat, magnetism, gravity, etc.

You can do the same thing with a flashlight. Place the source of light near a wall and you will notice how intense it is. Now begin backing away from the wall and you will notice the light covers more area, but the intensity of the light falls off proportionately to it’s distance squared.

The same is true of heat. The closer you are to the campfire, the hotter it is. But as you back away, heat becomes less intense but covers a greater area at that new intensity.

Using the formula of Inverse Square Law, one will note that if we have a fire radiating at 100 degrees, when one moves back say two feet and square the distance one receives only a quarter or 25 degrees of the heat radiated by the fire

Look at the diagram below and position yourself at the position where the Yellow A is. Notice how the letter A has less red dots on it the further away from the source it is. That is Inverse Law.

So how then does this affect the reflector wall? Well, imagine the radiated heat on the other side of the fire also falls off at the same rate, which it does. Now in order to reach you, the already lost heat has to jump back over the source, losing more heat in the process, and reach you at what ever distance you’re at, losing even more heat. The fact is by the time it reaches back just to the heat source it originated from, it is not even measurable, because the temperature is below what the source is radiating.

I know, your head is spinning, right? Here’s the experiment I performed at home, to illustrate the effect.

I took an indoor/outdoor thermometer and placed the outdoor probe 6” away from the back stove, between the stove and the back wall. I turned on the stove and watched the thermometer climb until it became stable and the temperature wouldn’t climb anymore. In my case that was 103 degrees Fahrenheit. I then took the wooden cutting board I had and placed it 2” away from the heat source, a la reflector wall, on the opposite side of the flame, nearest me. Now keep in mind the cutting board was way larger in relation to the temperature probe than anyone builds a reflector wall in relationship to themselves or the fire. The results were, that even though the cutting board was only two inches away from the heat source, the temperature at the probe did not climb past 103 degrees, even after leaving the board in place for about 10 minutes.

Now, keep in mind, this was about as a controlled experiment as one could have. I had a constant room temperature in the kitchen of 74 degrees, without fluctuation, and I had a gas stove putting out a constant 103 degrees at 6” away. In the outdoors, things will not be so kind to you as any little breeze will diminish results exponentially.

So, the long and short of it is The Reflector Fire Wall does NOT work. But if you’re going to go through the effort of building one at least use it to as part of a system to draft smoke away, because using it to reflect heat back to your lean-to won’t work.


As I always do, I like to analyse these type articles and put in my $.02. To begin, let us look at the science they used to determine that this does not work:

1) Inverse Square Law: They are correct about how the law works and they applied it correctly as long as you DO NOT TAKE WIND CURRENTS AND STRUCTURES into effect. The fact that a campfire’s heating dissipates so quickly is based also upon the cooling nature of wind currents and surrounding structures. A campfire out in the open will actually have much more of its heat dissipated and you will receive less heating effect because of this. To illustrate this, let us think about a wood burning stove or fireplace. As slow moving air around the fire is heated it will rise, thus creating a current. These warm/cool air currents will slowly heat the room due to the ambient air temperature rising and the air ends up being rewarmed. The heat will also warm the surround structures, thus also helping to increase the ambient air temperature. Quite simply, if you were only judging the filling of an apple pie instead of the whole dessert most people would consider it WAY too sweet.

2) Ever heard of “getting out of the wind” or “wind chill?” These effects were never even discussed because this would have disproved their misguided theory. By adding more protection to your shelter, whether there is a fire or not, you decrease that effect. Because most people are not going to go out the woods and build an entire log cabin for a short stay in the woods, good shelters and a reflector wall become a great alternative. When this wall is created and a fire is properly placed between that wall and your structure, you have in essence created a “fireplace” of sorts for you shelter. This protective wall blocks the wind, cuts down on the air currents that will carry your warmed air away and your structure is able to collect enough of the warmed air to actually start to warm up itself. This is just like the concept of a fireplace or wood burning stove. Warm the air, collect it, reheat it, warm the surrounding structures, and thus the camper will be happy…..

3) Lastly, I want to add a bit of common sense to this. Why is it that your tent will heat up the longer you are in it? Is there any major insulation to that sil-cloth dome tent you bought? That fabric is VERY thin and lightweight. How about that rain fly made from the same material? There is no insulation there. Where is the insulation and how does the tent stay warmer than the outside environment? The air trapped between the fly and the tent itself acts as a layer of insulation. This works just like goose down, prima loft or any other number of materials. The trapped air works as an insulation barrier to keep you warm and act as insulation. This same principle is at work when you build a good, solid and large campfire reflector wall in front of your shelter. Although the sides are open, the wall works as a way to partially wall off your shelter and allow you to use trapped air for insulation. Heat that air and you are good to go…..  This is a no brainer…..

To wrap this up, I am quite concerned at the stupidity being spewed by so many “outdoors” sites that are trying to cash in on the survivor hype that reality TV has created. These morons are going to get someone killed if they don’t slow down and apply some traditional knowledge to situations rather than picking out a single aspect to rip apart techniques that have been used for 1000’s of years. Even though ancient people had never heard of Inverse Square Law, they seem to have been better suited and more capable of applying Common Sense Law to their daily activities. If you want to quit doing what has worked since the Stone Age then go for it. Have fun in your RV while you watch Netflix and your DVD of Jeremiah Johnson. I will keep doing what works, makes sense, and doesn’t require some keyboard commando to validate it.

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