About | Blog | Forums | People | Free Newsletter
Trailspace is a product review site for outdoor enthusiasts. Use it to find and share great gear.

variety of questions!

8:32 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

When you say backcountry camping, do you mean you live off the government provided land? or do you go where ever?

Also does anyone here ever hunt for squirrels or birds while they're hiking? My friends and I shoot doves with high powered pellet guns, and I was thinking its not a bad way to get food... The only thing is, I'd be adding weight with a BB gun (thinking of getting the Red Ryder, but its only 350fps but also 2.2lbs which will probably be the lightest thing), on my back, and if it is government provided land, I'm not too sure how legal this would be... any thoughts? What about trapping?

***Sorry if I offend anyone with the idea of this, but I believe hunting to eat is acceptable. I would never drop a deer or dove and let it go to waste.

I know this topic is probably way over done, but i would just like everyone (who reads) opinion on what homemade stove they are most fond of. I'd like some more professional point of views on this other than websites just telling me what my options are.

Toilets... bring some TP, dig a small hole, gettr done, put the soil back, and be on your way? hopefully that is all there is to it (tried to go about this as easily as possible)!

and finally books! not a what should i read before I go out into the wild, but what should I read in my downtime, to enjoy right before i'm off to sleep! I'd love to hear all of your opinions!


thanks in advance,

MikeyBob

9:29 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
884 reviewer rep
3,432 forum posts

Hey Mikeybob365,

The term 'backcountry camping' refers to having to hike down a trail to your campsite, as opposed to 'frontcountry camping' where you park your car very close by. Car camping is pretty much the same as frontcountry, just a different term, although some people do differentiate between the two. Some people (like me) seem to call loading up the family and all the 200 lbs of camping gear (to be kicked off onto the ground at camp) car camping, while 'frontcountry camping' is more often used to describe camping in an area like a state park,that also offers 'primitive backcountry camping'.

Homemade stoves....I use both commercially made backpacking stoves and home made stoves. I like alcohol stoves for traveling light, however they do not burn as hot as white gas stoves, and use more fuel. The reason they are lighter is because the stove itself weighs next to nothing, so really your only weight is the fuel. But since alcohol stoves burn more fuel than white gas stoves they loose this advantage after a few days depending on how much you use them. If you want to learn about alcohol stoves, check out these guys:

http://www.minibulldesign.com/myadventure/

http://jwbasecamp.com/index.html

http://www.geartalkwithjasonklass.com/

Toilet time.....yeah that's how I do it. However some areas require you to pack it back out, or have different requirements on where & how you do it.

Books....we already have a discussion going about books here, good stuff:

http://www.trailspace.com/forums/off-topic/topics/57222.html

As far as hunting I would say go camping somewhere you can legally and ethically hunt, don't go hunting somewhere other people go hiking & backpacking, bad idea!

11:21 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

I'll add just a couple thoughts on hunting:

1) Hunting is regulated by game officials who have a ballpark idea of the balance between predators and prey, and they issue licenses and set bag limits accordingly. What you're describing -- hunting without a permit -- is called poaching and it's the bane of game management worldwide. It's not only illegal, it's ethically wrong.

2) Responsible outdoorspeople adhere to Leave No Trace principles, whether they are hunters or hikers. Killing animals is like cutting down trees or uprooting wildflowers -- it leaves a huge trace. Take only photos, leave only footprints is a good guideline. Regulated hunting and fishing is an exception only because anglers and hunters help prevent overpopulation by prey species, which leads to population crashes and general ecosystem degradation.

3) Responsible backpackers go into the woods prepared - that includes taking enough food to sustain them. Remember, backpacking is a high-energy activity that requires lots of food to keep you going, and depending whatever you can kill along the way puts you at substantial risk of starvation. If you're determined to eat live game along the way, get a fishing pole and license and hike where there's a trout stream or stocked lakes.

12:28 a.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

thank ya trouthunter once more!

and tommangan, i found out squirrels is not poaching from October 1, 2009-February 7, 2010 and May 1-31. As long as it doesn't go to waste i don't see why not! Dove on the other hand is a big no!

I got the license but its gonna be catfish for me, trout are released in december and are dead by february because of the heat! Gonna be a lot of work gettin those ready to eat!

12:28 a.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

for some reason i double posted!

sorry all :/

7:27 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts

MB

If you're a real hunter you know there's not enough fat on a squirrel to make it worth shooting for food. Anything that makes a living running up and down trees is way lean and you consume more calories digesting it than you get, I believe the name for this is "rabbit death" but "squirrel death" might even be more appropriate. Squirrel and rabbit are best cooked in oil and with other things to add calories.

That said, and I do truly understand your sentiments, one of my favorite camping meals is to buy a nice fat rabbit from the butcher, cut it in half and take the rear half camping. Spread the legs and use a couple smaller sticks to fasten it to the main cooking stick and keep it flat. Make an oval shaped fire pit. You place the rabbit over coals in one end with a rock on the end of the stick to hold it about a foot or so over coals. You keep a fire going in the other end of the fire pit and keep moving coals under the rabbit and turn often. You will need some high calorie food to add to this dinner, but man is it good and it does really quench the "small animal cooked over a fire and eaten in bare hands" thing. You can even use your Bowie knife to cut it up.

Only do this where wood fires are acceptable. Since I generally do this on mineral soil in the mountains of the west and off trail, not in camp grounds, I don't have too much impact. You should disperse the rocks afterwards, be sure the fire is out and the soil cooled and there is no underground fire started in a root from a near by tree and brush loose gravel over the cook spot so that yo can't tell it ever happened.

The other half of the rabbit you cook at home for the wife and do it in burgundy with herbs and stuff in a skillet.

Jim s

7:55 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
MODERATOR TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
884 reviewer rep
3,432 forum posts

HaHa....rabbit death.

Jim is right, not much meat on a squirrel, many people just use it to make stews and chili.

Also Jim knows how to cook over a fire I see, that is how I was taught. You cook over the coals, twig fires are good for boiling water in a pot, but a real pain for actual cooking.

I'm lucky I guess, most places I backpack are damp to wet, so no fire hazard with a little common sense, and more dead fall than you could shake a stick at.

I agree with tommangan, if you want to hunt legally & ethically, fine. Many people find out the hard way that living off the land is a skill you develop over time, not something you go out and buy to carry with you. I tried it for three months on a coastal island several years ago, it was not fun, and I'm not good enough yet. If I had not had food with me I would have gone hungry quite a bit. A friend of mine would bring me supplies twice a week as they headed out to go crabbing. It was several years before I developed a taste for oysters & crab again because I ate so much of it.

8:35 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

alright jim, i was unaware of this option! how will i be carrying meat? especially for a multiple day trip. if an animal is shot, we almost immediately carry it off on a four by four, and get to work from there. how do i keep it from going bad?

10:49 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
89 forum posts

alright jim, i was unaware of this option! how will i be carrying meat? especially for a multiple day trip. if an animal is shot, we almost immediately carry it off on a four by four, and get to work from there. how do i keep it from going bad?

i forgot to add, because i was unaware of keeping meat on you was an option I was very set on the idea of hunting and trapping animals.

11:07 p.m. on January 29, 2010 (EST)
0 reviewer rep
415 forum posts

MikeyBob: I've been following these discussions for years and I've seen very little mention of combining game hunting with backpacking. I suspect this is because veteran outdoorspeople gave up on it decades ago for the reasons Jim S. and Trouthunter point out.

You may try it out on your own of course -- just keep in mind that many previous generations have had the same idea and dropped it because it was more trouble than it was worth.

Of course some things you just have to do to find out for yourself.

8:57 p.m. on January 30, 2010 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
747 forum posts

If you freeze meat before you go (cut it in half first) and then wrap it well and then wrap it inside your sleeping bag, it will last a while. It all depends on where you're going. In the old days instead of food stamps you got food commodities and 3 pound cans of chicken did not need refrigeration. On a week trip you carried a can and open it with your P38 can opener ( a small C ration can opener not a Walther 9mm.) It was then cooked over what ever, and you had meat for 3 days. Basically you eat your fresh rabbit the first night, especially if you don't want to freeze it. Most butchers can order one for you and get it in 4-5 days. If you do this, be sure to send us a photo of it on the spit.

Trout, yep about 4 bites on a squirrel. I shot one in Alaska sitting in a tree. All I had was a 30-30 with big boat tailed bear loads, so I aimed at its ear. The shock wave cleaned and skinned it, all that was left was the bones and meat on the legs and the tail. The tail hung from my motorcycle handle bar for a long time and last night I found it out in my shed. It was like beef jerky only soft.

Jim S

April 16, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: "Skeleton" setup Newer: Stupid question
All forums: Older: Gear winner: The classic Sierra Cup Newer: Gore-Tex Pro Shell observations