Field Expedient Steri-strips

butterfly bandageSo, you’re out in the backcountry getting in a little bushcrafting, camping, hunting, fishing, or what have you, when you trip and fall, lacerating your arm on a branch that was sticking up from a downed stump. After wiping away the blood, you realize the gash is severe enough that it needs stitches. Not being near a hospital, that really isn’t an option. Instead, you reach for your first aid kit, knowing it has butterfly bandages.

“Ugggh!” you exclaim in frustration, as you notice your first aid kit is not in your bag.

Fortunately, your training kicks in and you expediently fashion some steristrips from the roll of duct tape you had stashed in one of your pack’s pockets.

–… Read More

Baking Soda vs Baking Powder

I’ve often told people, if anyone can find a way to screw up cooking in a dutch oven, it’ll be me. Admittedly, that was me early on.

My problem is I am an adventurous cook, meaning if it’s laying around I’ll try it as part of the recipe. Alas, there have been plenty of wonderful recipes lost in oblivion, because I failed to document my hasty experiments… My family still talks about that wonderful steak I once made! On the other side, of the same token, there are also those hasty experiments I’m glad were lost into oblivion.

One of the things I really had a hard time getting was understanding how exactly baking powder and baking soda affected the … Read More

Spring Time Catfish

A_Blue_Catfish_(5794304908)Many know fishing is a favorite pastime of mine. What they don’t know, however, is that catfishing is my favorite.

With spring upon us, there is plenty of  great spring cat action available. Here are a few tips to get you going for some big cats


It was late March when a fishing buddy called to tell me the white bass were making their spawning run up the tributaries of a local lake.

“They’re swimming up the creeks and piling onto the shoals,” he said. “We need to get out there soon if we’re going to catch some.”

The next evening we each caught more than 50 fat white bass apiece.

In April, the crappie started bedding on my … Read More

25 Most Incredible Survival Stories of All Time

We all hear of harrowing stories of survival. Sometimes, survival instructors even use them as an example of the mental fortitude that may be required to push beyond your limits in order to stay alive.

Here is one such story, but there are countless others


Hugh Glass was a mountain man on a fur trapping expedition led by Andrew Henry in August 1823. The expedition planned to proceed from the Missouri River, up the valley of the Grand River in present-day South Dakota. Glass surprised a mother grizzly bear with her two cubs and sustained massive injuries. He managed to kill the bear with help from his trapping partners, Fitzgerald and Bridger, but was left badly mauled and unconscious. … Read More

Confessions of a Sharpshooter: How a Deer Cull Actually Works

The last place you would expect to see an animal rights group is protesting alongside a hunters’ rights group, but that’s exactly what is happening on Long Island’s East End. When town, state, and federal authorities announced the plan to remove as many as 3,000 deer from the local population, it polarized the community—and created unlikely allies. This is the first landscape-level cull in the region, and it has certainly garnered its share of opposition.

Local sportsmen were outraged over the use of hired guns to manage the local whitetail population. As with a lot of areas, access for hunters is extremely limited on Long Island. Now taxpayers are going to fund a service that hunters would happily provide for … Read More

Getting Flat Feet Ready to Hike 2650 Miles

PCT_2014A couple of weeks ago, someone I know was sharing their excitement with me about getting going into the Army. It been a long time dream and now it was finally happening. When asked how the physical went, she laughed and said, “I felt like a lab rat”.For what ever reason, she brought up they also checked the arches on her feet.

Sometime ago, I ran across an interesting article, on Brian Green’s backpacking site and when this conversation about flat feet came up, for some reason I remembered it, not that this newly sworn in soldier had flat feet. At the time, when I read the article, I did some quick research and found this.

Studies analyzing the correlation Read More

Easy Homemade Buttermilk and Dutch Oven Biscuits

IMG_2305A staple of the camp cook is some buttermilk biscuits. Just the aroma wafting through the air is enough to make a person salivate. With all things camping, however, one has to be fairly selective in what to carry, because things can get pretty out of hand, gear and food wise, fairly quickly.

I’m a big fan of making my food from scratch, meaning I don’t like using special purpose items for one use only. That means, I also like making my buttermilk from scratch. Fortunately, out of all the kitchen mix’n, it is by far the easiest to make, requiring only two ingredients—Milk and lemon juice.

Before we start, however, preheat your dutch oven to about 375, size 10 … Read More

Origins of the Whelen Lean-to

The baker tent, wall tent, and Whelen Lean-to are all synonymous with traditional camping— that golden era of the late 1800s to 1930s when leather and canvas  seemed to propagate the camp scene.

Col. Thompson Whelen, credited with designing the Whelen Lean-to, was a United States Army Colonel, Hunter, outdoorsman, avid writer and designer of the Whelen Sling and Various rifle cartridges.

It is the Whelen Lean-to that is the subject of this article and the question to whether indeed Col Townsend Whelen actually did invent that version of Lean-to, or did he actually ripoff the design.

Our friends over at have a great article tracing back the history to well before Whelen himself. Here is the article. It’s … Read More

Thistle: It’s That Spine of Year

SONY DSCMy favorite foraging ground is bounding with edible flora. That means one of my favorites, thistle, is at the perfect growth stage, where it is delicious and palatable.

I like the wide eyed look people get as we collect the young thistle and carefully cut away the spines so we can get to the tasty tender stem. Once they bite into it, they often exclaim in wonderment, “Wow, it tastes like celery!”… Indeed it does!

There is a lot more to this plant than just eating it. For one, it is packed with rich nutrients. And, here is a great article written by one of my favorites to go over some neat things about this delicious plant


Thistle: Touch … Read More

Healthy Fat: An illustrated Guide to Rendering Fat

There has been a fair amount of information, both past and recent, regarding the benefits of animal fat for health purposes as well as functional uses, such as candles, soap, and other things.

Woodsmen and homesteaders understand the value of animal fat and take advantage of its many virtues by processing it down into something they can use.

Here’s a great little article on some of the value and how to easily render the fat


Animal fats have many health benefits. Rendering fat is a very simple process that separates animal fat from the meat and other tissue fibers. Once you render the fat, you can use for cooking (lots of health benefits), making soap, as a leather preservative for … Read More