Outdoors, Green Living, Homesteading, Sustainable living, Green Building

Survival Camping Arkansas and Area

5 areas of concern in wilderness survival.

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A guy from 180 Tack.com inspired this post. Below is a list of his
survival areas of concern in order of concern. The interesting thing to note is that fire was #5.

  1. Exposure
  2. Shelter
  3. Water
  4. Food
  5. Fire

Exposure has to do with covering the body and keeping it from wind, cold, moisture in winter (possibly sun) and heat or sun in the summer. Clothing plays a huge role here. Poncho may be needed. Insulation in layers. Sun glasses and sun block in winter snowy areas. I have experience -20f with wind near Chicago and I can tell you that you must have all exposed skin covered or it will begin to go numb in minutes. In summer shade, sun screen or earth covering and ground temps may be in order.

Shelter has to do with added protection from wind, rain, cold in winter and heat or sun in summer. Shelter can be anything from tarps, to space blankets, to tents, to ponchos to tube tents to lean-to’s made from brush to caves or burrows in summer. Don’t underestimate the power of the ground to cool you in summer. Just a few feet below ground is 40f to 70f year round temps. Its a perfect natural air conditioner that’s everywhere.

Water of course is water or moisture. Needed to avoid heat stroke, dehydration and in avoiding hypothermia. Know your wilderness water sources. Plants are better sources than solar stills.

Food can mean small amounts of food to give small burst of energy and stave off some hunger. Pine trees alone can provide much. I feel that winter is a very tough time to survive if you didn’t bring food with you. Finding nut trees might be your best hope. Hunting critters will be a better food source in winter but its not easy. In spring, summer and early fall the buffet opens up. Especially with fishing. Hunting is easier. Plants are abundant.

Fire is good for sanitation of water and heating the body. Fire should not be the main concern when thinking of warming the body. If you worry too much about getting a fire going other more important things may be neglected. Fire is best used in shelters or at shelter entrances. Know how to use bow and drill but don’t depend on it. That method takes practice. One note on that method is that one should use the same type of wood for both bottom plate and drill. A better plan would be to carry flint and steel striker on your belt somehow along with some char cloth. A money belt could hold some char cloth. The buckle if made of carbon steel could be the striker or a carbon steel knife as a striker. All that is needed is a place to keep the flint rod. Maybe in the sole of a shoe as long as you know it to be secure.


Rock House Ozark Highlands Trail

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Soon we will be going to a Rock House on Ozark Highlands Trail for camping..

Hurricane Creek Natural Bridge Dec 19th

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We didn’t go this day we went to Rock Creek instead. This post will be for a future trip now, maybe in January.

It looks like we changed plans and will camp at Hurricane creek maybe really close to this natural bridge. Its about a 2 mile hike in to this bridge. So I will be packing lighter than on previous trips. There is a 20% chance of rain that night. It will be overcast or partly cloudy. Sunrise just after 7am, sun set 5pm. We will need to be parked and hiking just after noon that day. There will be no moon at night, probably will be dark night. High of 66, low of 45 in the river valley. I expect it will be colder on Hurricane creek. And usually this time of year its much colder.

This location is at about 1000 foot elevation. It is about 50 miles from Russellville. Hurricane creek is a major tributary of the Big Piney creek.

Above we see the Ozark Highlands trail which passes right by the natural bridge. I’m sure thats how we will be hiking in to this location.

And above I show where it is in relation to Russellville and Clarksville.

Rock Creek Cave (Spring Entrance) Dec 19th

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This is rock creek on upper big piney in Newton County. Its near Parker Ridge Road. There is a cave here that has 200 feet of passage then sumps. No formations and probably no bats. A spring comes out of the cave. It will make a nice place to camp. It is at about 850 feet elevation in the National Forest. It is 50 miles from Russellville AR.

There is a 20% chance of rain that night a few days before that was upgraded to 60% then 70%. It will be overcast or partly cloudy. Sunrise just after 7am, sun set 5pm. We will need to be parked and hiking just after noon that day. High of 66F, low of 45F in the river valley. I expect it will be colder on Rock creek. And usually this time of year its much colder. 50mph wind gust are foretasted.

In the first picture there are buffalo on the lower right.

Next me on right and Steve Irwin on left eating boiled eggs that Ahsan brought.

Me on the left making tea, and Ahsan on the right.

Me and Teeka(Michael) Teeka is his trail name. A trail name is similar to the CB Handle for truckers.


Steve, Teeka and Me just before it began to rain hard. Wind had not started to blow yet. The tarp I was under there was a quick and dirty desperate attempt to make rain shelter. It later proved to be no good when 20 to 50 mph winds began to blow. It did work nicely though in rather heavy rain for a while.

The next morning I got up before anyone from the van. Yes me and Ahsan went to the van when the wind began to blow. My tent was taking a lot of water on the sleeping bag. I decided it wasn’t right for this situation. We had a bivy sack but I had forgotten about it. If I had climbed in my sleeping bag before the rain and wind hit and had it wrapped in that bivy sack I think I would have made it til morning just fine. Also if I’d just got in and used a poncho to cover my head area I probably would have been fine though the bivy sack would have been much better.

In the morning a gust of wind that resembled a clear torndo with 50 mph winds came along and knocked the green tent that was to be Ahsan’s tent over. It almost collapsed Steve’s tent while he was still in it. Mine was already down from the night before. The pegs were too light for the pole and I think I need to pack a V shaped peg similar to the military pup tent pegs just for the pole. Maybe 2 on the pole. The smaller pegs for the ground level pegging were fine. Also some kind of windbreak on the open side might have been a good idea.

Next the Spring cave from camp.

Steve’s tent.

Teeka’s Tent in the distance.

This creek is called rock creek for a reason, The area has many house sized boulders all

Rock creek spring cave flowing very well.

Rock Creek flowing own down to Big Piney not far away.

A huge hunk of grey Pitkin limestone. The spring flows from this Pitkin limestone. This is a layer of limestone that is lower in elevation in the east and higher to the west. It is more like shale to the south and more solid to the north. It is usually between 10 and 20 feet thick. Boxwork caves are formed in this type of limestone. These are also known as maze caves. This spring only has about 200 feet of cave in the summer months when the water is at a trickle. It quickly sumps.

I tried to take photos of the encrustations in the limestone but they didn’t turn out well.

Next we have some beautiful green grass in the trees that reminded me of Hobbit land.

Again some buffalo on the lower right. Same buffalo as above.

This was to be Ahsan’s tent which fell down the next morning to a 50 mph wind gust.

The next 4 are of my ninja tent which didn’t survive the night.

This is me with the pack on. I was carrying 43lbs of gear there.

Next a fairly large herd of goats at a town called Deer Arkansas.

A rock bluff overhangs the roadway. We also encountered on the way in a natural car wash
that was similar where a waterfall showers down on the county road.

On the way back out to the north through Limestone Arkansas we had to hand clear a fallen tree. Wasn’t difficult because it was small.

Near Limestone Arkansas there is a Lodge with a rental cabin. And these 3 buffalo where there along with some goats.

We packed up and began back towards the main county road where there is a bridge crossing Big Piney Creek. This tree was leaning across the roadway the evening before when we came in to Rock Creek. I noticed then that its roots were a bit pulled up and it looked like it might go over at any time. Well it did. Luckily we only had to back up 100 feet or so to a sharp bend where I was able to back up and turn around to go north. We didn’t know how bad the road to the north would be either. There were some huge mud holes near creek level on it. On one mudhole we got out and probed the bottom with sticks. It was only about 1 foot deep and the bottom seemed solid. We made it just fine. It was about 30 feet long. Others the locals had already made paths around through the trees.

Ahsan took this image from the hillside above the spring of us at camp. I was on right, then Teeka, then Steve on left.

Next me in the chair staying warm. I had some extra cold weather stuff in a bag that got wet. Everywhere where the clothing touched the bag it had became damp or wet. I put on some of it this morning and was surprised to see that once it warmed up even damp it insulated well enough to keep me quit warm. Not all of it was cotton. I had complete covering for head, neck and hands.

Next we have a night image of the van. The guys heard and saw what they thought was someone walking on the county road 100 to 200 feet from camp. I told them it was Big Foot. It could have been the person in the window of the old farm house we saw on the way in. There was this woman who came to the window and it was very reminiscent of the horror flick Psycho.

Night photo’s of Teeka’s Tent which survived the horrific weather quite well.

Further lessons from this campout.

I didn’t cook any. I only made tea and coffee and tang. I bummed boiled eggs from Ahsan instead. Steve had a gravity flow water filter he brought. He hooked it up and it was very slow to start. So we figured its an all night filter. And sure enough by morning there was a gallon of filtered water. I boiled my water.

I had tried the next morning to start a fire with my flint and steel striker on a trioxane fuel tab. It wouldn’t take a spark. I tried using the walmart water proof matches and couldn’t get one to strike. It just tore up on attempt to strike. I then open and squirted out some Military fuel gel that is used for cooking. It wouldn’t take a spark. So I grabbed the bic lighter and lit the fuel tab and fuel gel. Of course it lit fine from a flame. I also tried my steel wool and 9v battery and guess what? The battery was dead. I think it may have discharged in the zip lock bag by short circuiting across another battery body.

Also a 2 to 3 inch dia. limb fell and rested on top of my van. It didn’t punch a hole in it. But it got me to thinking, what if a huge limb fell on a tent with someone in it. They don’t call those things widow makers for nothing. It might not have been smart camping under trees in such weather in tents.

The rain got me thinking of some way to erect a shelter over the fire where everyone could get under it and not get wet. Something like a TPee or Yurt with opening at the top. I now plan on working on a structure made from ropes and tarps and small Carabiners. If each person carried one rope and tarp and peg and biner. And one person a main rope with ring. Something like a TPee could be made. One rope would go from tree to tree about 8 feet high. The ring would be centered over the fire. Then biners latch onto the ring. 4 ropes go out to form a pyramid frame to pegs. Then one tarp on each side leaving a hole at the top. Its something I’ll have to play around with. Then I’ll post plans for it on a blog post. We had 4 tarps but no real good way to string them up.

I brought the AR7 22 but no time for hunting. We did not see any wild game except for crows. Yes we saw a murder. That is group of crows very high and distant. I setup a soda can at 15 yards and we emptied 2 clips into it. Me and Ahsan hit it 2nd shot while Steve took 4 shots to hit it. I was also hitting it every shot or every other shot not braced against tree. It will definitely kill small game.

Also all the tents had water in the floor of them, maybe 1/8th” to 1/4″ deep. Steve and Teeka where on air mats, so they didn’t get wet. Me and Ahsan went to the van and I idled it for heat. I noticed something about my van. First it revs up and down in a cycle pattern. It sounds like a a/c clutch kicking in when it revs up. Idle alone does not heat the engine water much. I’d say it would get down to 120 degrees. So it kept us above freezing but not warm. Whenever I would get cold I would wake up and hit the foot feed a few times until I felt warm air again and until I got it warmed back up a little, then go back to sleep.

I am considering putting 6 or 8 deep cycle batteries in the back of my van. These would keep 4 electric blankets going for 15 to 20 hours with no idle. I’m talking about the 12v electric blankets that are sold at truck stops for $35 ea. Also with an inverter an electric chain saw might be powered and help to clear small trees that fall on the roadway. Or would be good for cutting up limbs into firewood. Heck a battery powered skill saw might be nice for that.

Long Pool(Big Piney Creek) Nov 12th

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We will be camping at Long Pool on Monday Nov 12th.

These maps I will print out and have on hand in my emergency kit vest.

I’m not totally sure where we will camp just yet, but I’m betting just down stream from Long Pool camp grounds to the south. This time maybe I can build a swamp bed from sturdy dried poles and sticks. Its illegal to cut live trees, and probably a real swamp bed should be made from green branches and small trees. Dead wood is likely to break and also will probably have insects in it. Deer Gun season will probably be in. So we will have to wear hunter orange.

Above: Henry AR7 .22 — 3 Lbs
I may try to hunt with the 22 or 410. I will try to fish with the yoyo’s and the trot line. I expect to have better luck on Big Piney Creek as I doubt the pools totally dried up this last summer during the heat wave and drought. Its raining today the day before this trip but I expect the rain to be gone by tomorrow night. It will be damp up there which is good, we can burn a camp fire. Arkansas Burn Ban Map

Above:Rossi Tuffy 410 — 3 Lbs

Its looking like the low may be just below or above freezing tomorrow night. The elevation there is about 600 feet. Will be partly cloudy. Its raining today so I expect dampness but no or little rain tomorrow. The creek will be up a little. Looks like we will have almost no moon light. Sunset is at 5:12PM and sunrise 6:52AM. I am going to try to take a few low light photos this time. It looks like I can set a 4sec exposure time. This also shuts off the auto flash.

This time for sure I’d like to cook some corn bread in my hobo dutch oven. I may want to try some bread made from scratch too using baking powder. If I can’t get powdered egg I may pack frozen beaten egg in zip locks.

I will try out the Walmart Hammock and use my tarp over that in a tent fashion. I do have a mosquito net but I won’t need it this time of year.

We began this trip hiking down to an old road that thought would go to a place called Slant Rock just downstream from long pool. Indeed it did, it was not the road I recalled from 20 years ago. 20 years ago we drove a small Chevy S10 down to the slant rock itself. Today a 4 wheeler would not make it a 100 feet. The road was washed in several places revealing huge rocks and sharp drops. Logs were down across the road in several locations. When we got to slant rock I found the old parking area and fire ring. There was some trash and refuse in and around the fire ring. The huge 120 foot oak tree we used to swing from was now dead. No way to swing from Slant Rock as we did 20 years ago. The pool was also much larger, though this is winter so the water may be up. There was a nice looking area on the opposite bank with a fire ring and a tree and rope for swinging into the water there. We talked about going over there which would mean wading the stream in a shallow crossing.

We then went back to the vehicle and into the official camp site. They have a primitive camping area, which is where you camp next to a vehicle with a tent. I had almost decided to camp there but there were no clear trails heading up stream and it would be impossible to wade across there. So we would be locked into camping there and going no where. Also there was this guy working for the park running a leaf blower, clearing leaves from the camp area pavement. That kind of ruined the primitive atmosphere.

Finally I said after we had paid $7 for the primitive camping area that I wanted to go back and cross Big Piney where we had talked about and end up at the camping site/swimming site on the other bank. That’s what we did. Later Ahsen showed up looking for us. He said he went all the way down to Slant Rock looking for us around dark. He would have seen our fire for sure. He said he could not find us. I think we may have heard him yelling for us, but it was faint and sounded a long distance away.

This next image is a photo from Slant Rock to the camping area where we camped
on the other bank.

The dead tree here is the monster oak we used to swing from 20 years ago. Sadly that is no longer an option.

The next 3 photos are of Long Pool Swimming area itself. And the next 2 are the cliffs above long pool. Then back to the Slant Rock area as we head to the camp site.

Here we are crossing on the way to camp. The water was about a foot deep. The next day the water had risen over night by about half a foot. If it had risen any more it would be almost to swift to wade.

The first image of Slant Rock and the old dead oak from the camping area.
One photo of the rope swing and a few of the camping area itself. It is very clean here for almost an acre or more. We assumed that all undergrowth and wood has been consumed in camp fires. We had to move go about 100 to 200 feet to find wood for the fire. Steve used my Gerber machete with saw back edge to saw a 7″ log in two. It was partly rotten but still tough to saw in two. He was trying to cut the stump off so that all 3 of us could move the log up to the fire.

We were lucky there were two log cross sections that we could use as chairs there
by the fire ring. Next we see a couple of photo’s of the tarp/hammock setup I put up. The tarp in this case was more to block wind on the underneath side of the hammock. The sky was so clear I expected no rain. But this setup would have shielded my hammock from light rain at least.

I setup a trot line in this next photo location and two yoyo’s I baited them with trout bate. But when I pulled them up the next day the trout bate was gone, same as it was at Richland creek. I think either the bait became soft and melted off the hooks or minnows ate the bate. I had white grubs on the hooks as well. There was no sign of fish other than minnows. A person might need a boat and some bass fishing rigs to catch anything this time of year.

I began to start the fire with flint/steel and char cloth. Steve became inpatient and threw a fuel tab and some alcohol accelerant on it.

In the next 5 or 6 night photo’s I tried out my camera’s 4 second exposure time. It had some nice results. I do now want a camera that can do 30 second exposure or more.

Night sky.

Here I show the use of the alcohol burner in front of the fire in the cooking of
Backpackers pantry Apple Cobbler. The crust for this turned out to be more like dumplings. But it was good. We ate fake pork ribs as well. Tang and Tea and hot cocoa as well.

Next a few photos of me waking up from the hammock. This was a $26 Hammock from the Walmart camping section and I have to say that it is a good hammock. Its not as good as the Hennessey Hammock but then again it didn’t cost $300.

I woke to start the fire while the other two were still in the sleeping bag and tents. So I was uninterrupted as I began the fire with flint/steel and char cloth. First you must prepare some good tender of varying sizes. Use your knife to get some shavings from sticks. Get some charcoal from the last fire ready. And anything else that would make good tender. It took some blowing on the char cloth and placing tender on it and blowing again but after a few minutes it was hot enough to make a flame. The flame went out a few times, each time I had to blow a bit on it to get the flame started again until enough of the larger stuff began to burn.

Next 3 images of the corn bread I cooked in the Hobo Dutch Oven. It worked great. I
now know that I can easily cook breads in a camp fire. The hobo dutch oven is very light and I think I can pack it any time. Though its probably a cooking technique that should be used more when camping from the BOV or ATV.

I think next time until summer I will forget the trot line or even pole fishing. The yoyo’s are easy to set out though so I may put 2 to 4 of them out. On just an overnight camping trip like this there is no real time for hunting either. I may go hunting the morning before or day before to try to get some game that I can clean and bring to camp.
The lesson so far is that if you intend to live off the land make sure you stop by the grocery store first. Even Survivor Man Les Stroud goes almost 7 days eating nearly nothing in some shows.

I heard crows calling in the morning and possibly a squirrel chattering. I’ve heard varying responses to the eating of crows. Some say they are fine to eat, most of their diet is not carrion. But other seem to think that crows are just short of buzzards. I compare the crow to the catfish. We heard distant coyotes late at night as usual.

I tried starting a fire with the 4.5″ magnifying class I got at Walmart for $1 but it didn’t work, just wouldn’t get the least bit hot, though it does create this bright spot on whatever you direct the light at. I’m quite sure the 8.5×11 Fresnel lens would have worked fine. Its looking like that Fresnel lens is the one solar fire starting method to pack. I’d definitely have on in the BOV at all times.

Critter Gitter Bag

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Below is a list of items for what in bushcraft is known as a Critter Gitter bag. Some of these items are illegal except in certain situations, such as in certain locations on your own private land etc. Snares are illegal almost everywhere because they catch dogs and cats as well as everything else. This is called an indiscriminate method of trapping. Gill nets are illegal in most cases but trot lines are not. Use of poisons and intoxicants for fishing is illegal in most cases. Why are some methods illegal? Because they work too well. However on your own land you may find that most if not all of this is legal at nearly any time. You may want to make this up without the illegal items for standard use and with them for SHTF use.

  • 3-3 piece arrows.
  • arrow tips
  • sling shot/sling bow
  • shot (.32 cal balls)
  • snare wire for snares and deadfalls
  • other cordage
  • large mouse traps
  • fishing yoyos
  • coon cuffs
  • gill net
  • trot line (18 feet with 12 1 foot drops) with small trebble hooks and dry bait. This will be the lighter catfish line and 8 lb mono line for drops.
  • large trebble hook to make 3 prong gig point
  • knife to make spear
  • clove oil (fish intoxicant)
  • polk weed berry juice (fish poison)
  • ground up green black walnut shells (fish poison)
  • other common fishing tackle for pan fishing (hooks, white grubs, silver spoons, fly’s, line, sinkers, floats)
  • fishing line (8 lb)
  • razor blade
  • flint knap kit sold here
  • very small fishing multi tool
  • small finger nail clippers
  • few small nails for bait anchors and setting up some types of deadfalls
  • binoculars or telescopic monocular for inspecting traps from distance to keep human sent away from traps.
  • copy of the 350 page brown cover trappers bible

If I added any kind of blow gun to this kit it would include the use of poison darts. Blow guns are not very effective without poisons. When you use blow gun with poisons you are playing the rattle snake game. This is the way he hunts. Though he has an advantage of heat sensing when tracking his prey. This may be one reason this method is illegal, because its hard to track prey after you poison it.

Making the 3 piece arrows shouldn’t be too difficult. If you are already an archer then you may have bent and broke arrows that you can use. Otherwise cut a standard arrow into 3 pieces. Get the end tip inserts with female threads(4 of them). Get two or 3 machine bolts that fit into these inserts. Screw a bolt into an insert and mark the threads next to the insert. This shows the center position. Then cut the bold head off equal distance from center. Use the bolt as a handle when gluing the insert into each end of the arrow piece. Use hot glue to glue in the insert. The arrow should be relatively aligned and straight because of the inserts. This will add weight and inflexibility to the arrow. And you may not want to shoot this arrow from high powered bows. It should work fine from the sling bow.

A sling bow is a sling shot that has or can be converted easily into a device for shooting full length archery arrows. There is an attachment for the sling shot for holding the arrow and the rubber bands are lengthened. Search the web for more info and videos. There is a video on you tube of a guy in Hawaii taking a hog with one. I have a friend that claims his son is almost good enough shot with one to take a deer, we will see.

Recommended Books
Trappers Bible

Richland Creek Arkansas 2nd and 3rd Nov. 2012

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On the 2nd and 3rd of November 2012 we will be camping primitively on Richland Creek. Richland Creek is is a major tributary of the Buffalo National River in northern Arkansas in the Boston Mountains. The elevations in that area top out at 2000 feet and Richland creek is at about 1000 foot elevation where we will be camping. The area is mostly National Forest. There is a forest service campground there but we want to hike to a primitive site.

On the 2nd me and Gary Tuck will head up there early Friday morning to scout out a camp site. We will setup camp and stay that night. Next Day Brandon Hoult and Kevin Barber and a few others may join us. I will have to take Gary home that evening and come back to camp before dark.

We will have 10hr38min of day light on those two days.  7:35 am sunrise to 6:15 pm sunset. Solar Noon will be at 11:52am. Moon rise will be around 8:40pm on 2nd and 9:30pm on the 3rd. Moon set will be 11:20pm 2nd and Midnight 3rd. Moon will be dropping from full on the 1st and be about 85% on the nights we camp. This time of year we are almost half way in between fall start date and winter peak date. Temperatures range from 40 degrees night to 60 during day. Hunting seasons in at that time will be squirrel, rabbit and deer. Deer being bow or muzzle loader only. Gary may take the muzzle loader in case he gets a shot at one. You may hunt either doe or buck this year. Hogs of course are not regulated. I doubt we will see a hog.

For fishing I will use my 3 piece fly rod with crappie reel. I have standard 8 lb line and a few fly’s and grubs. I will also be packing a few yoyo’s. I don’ t expect to catch anything this time of year. If we see a snake or turtle it may be fair game.

For guns I will be packing Rossi Tuffy 410 black with black composite stock. I will also have the Henry AR 7 .22 camo survival rifle. I’m not sure what the others will be packing yet.Some of us will be in hammocks Others on the ground on sleeping mats. Tarps or poncho for shelter.

We will be trying out several methods of fire starting. I plan on testing some cooking techniques. Cooking in clay, aluminum foil. Hobo Aluminum Pie pan dutch oven. Aluminum foil reflector oven. Though I’m still working on a possible menu. I think the hobo camping will be more for BOV style camping.

I will be taking photo’s and logging a story on this blog.

The above is a diagram of a pattern for a ninja tent made from a 6’x8’tarp. I intend to put this up on this trip. This is a versatile tent. It could be used over a hammock, or even on a swamp bed. I’m also going to try to construct a swamp bed on this outing.

The above image is a likely camp site area. Its low in the creek and close to a clearing. Its close to some larger pools of water. We should have a chance of getting some food there.

This image is a swamp bed. After its made you probably want a mat of some kind laid on top of the sticks. If you had no air mattress or pad you may need to make a mat from grasses and leaves. This will get you above rough ground, rocks, mud and water. Rain runoff would also run under this and not get you wet. This bed might also be made in a triangular shape between 3 trees. One might lash each wood stick together with cordage to make it more permanent and sturdy.

Camp Packing List Worksheet

This Camp Packing List Worksheet is a check list for items I intend to pack on this trip. Items that are small font mean I probably won’t have it this trip. Items that are underlined are duel purpose items and may occur in more than one list. This list is still a work in progress. And I may decide at the last minute to lighten my pack and leave some of it in the BOV.

Nov 2nd was called off because Gary Tuck had to work.

I borrowed Gary Tucks Handy Talky 2 meter radio.
As I left his house and got on highway 22 towards Dardanelle AR, I picked up the Mt Nebo Repeater about 5 miles away. There was a net meeting going on and I checked in. After I got to Brandon’s house on Tucker Mountain north of Russellville I decided to try the handy talky sitting in his living room. The repeater answered back. No one was listening at the time. This was 20 miles away or more. Of course we were on the top of a hill at about 600 feet elevation. Pretty good for a handy talky I’d say. I took it to camp and got nothing. Too much of a hole up there in the Richland Creek area. Of course I may not have keyed in the right repeater frequencies. However I think it would not have worked at all in that area unless you hiked to the top of a hill. For it to work in that area the repeater would have to be on a hill of a ridge right next to Richland Creek.

Scenery pics walking to base camp 2. We, a group of 5 were separated because the first 3 took off without me the leader. They went about 200 feet off trail down to the creek level where they could not see me and Steve and we could not see them. So I hiked on to base camp 2 which was 1.2 miles from the van. Base camp 1 as about 2000 feet from the van.

This is base camp 2. This begins with the 6×8 Blue tarp that I
made into a ninja tent.

Here Steve Irwin sets up his tent using two walking sticks for post.

Here are some scenery shots around base camp 2.

We begin some camp photo’s after dark. Note the rock chair I made just right of the fire ring we found there. I had 20 different ways to start fire and Steve whips out his Bic lighter to start our fire with.

This is me sitting on my rock chair. All of us drank water taken from the creek. The creek water was clear as spring water. I purified with chlorine dioxide. I thought I would only have a 30 minute wait time but directions said 4 hours for chlorine dioxide.
Brandon purified at base camp one with UV light using the Steri-pen. You turn it on and stir the water you are purifying with it until the light goes out. It seemed to take about a minute of stirring.

Cooking Tea, bake sweet potato in tin foil, wild rice and Steve’s stew.

Baked sweet potato, wild rice.

Coffee and the alcohol stove being demonstrated. Made from a coke can by Steve Irwin, its one he gave me. In the morning I cook an omelet with it. Some of these are the stove with no flash to show the blue flames that look like a burner. There is a tea candle that Steve lit to the right of it. Note the water filter bottle from Walmart, has blue rings and spout. It worked fine, and improves your grip strength at the same time. It isn’t fast. You are supposed to put purified water in it then filter that into something else by squeezing.

Night photo that didn’t’ turn out well, I need to see if I can increase exposure time on my Digital Kodak Camera.

The next morning I checked the temperature and it appeared to have gotten down to about 38F(3.3C) just before dawn. It was in the 50’s during the daylight hours. Humidity was around 60%. The moon came up closer to midnight and was up early in the AM close to dawn. The chart I read for moon rise set was wrong, or I read it wrong.

Next a type of Hobo tin can candle camp stove I tried to make with
4 candle wicks. They lit but burned down to the wax and quite. I think the holes next to the wicks need to be larger, or the wicks need to be larger, or both.

Next morning I got up and made coffee, tang and milk. I cooked the powdered egg omelet. It turned out magnificently. Steve showed me something new in the cleaning of camp pans and pots. You can use leaves, pine needles even dirt or sand as an abrasive and scrub all the built up or burnt on matter off the pot then all that is left is a thin dirt or mud film which is easily washed off. Wouldn’t hurt to sanitize the pan in the fire before use next time. Or with soap.

Altoids can with rock holding the lid shut. Making char cloth with it from women’s makeup patches. I also us it to make charcoal. Both for fire starting tender.

Here is the finished char cloth and char coal made in the Altoids tin. All you need to do is drill or poke a small hole in any side of the tin. This allows the gasses to escape. You will see a flame shoot out this hole as it cooks, when the flame stops it has finished. Because the inside becomes devoid of oxygen quickly whatever is inside does not burn and is turned to carbon fuel. On a side note the charcoal could be crushed for making filter charcoal. And this same tin could be used to make chemically activated charcoal(carbon).

Char cloth can be used with flint and steel, bow and drill and fire piston for easy fire starting.

Now we have the Hobo Dutch oven making biscuits with Bisquick mix. It called for 1 tablespoon of milk or water for 1/3 cup mix. But I found that to be too dry. I kept adding milk until I got it to the drop biscuit consistency. I guessed at the amount of time they were in the fire and I left them in a bit too long yet they turned out fine if you cut off the burnt bottoms. I was quit impressed.

A Christmas ball that a prior camper had tied to a cedar limb near the fire pit.

Next we have a 5 drop trot line I made up at night just before bed time. We put it out
and 3 yoyo’s and caught nothing. We didn’t have them out long enough but also we feel
that this last summers heat wave has killed all the fish in the creek and they must
repopulate. We saw nothing but minnows. I only used two knots to build the trot line.
I tied the thin mono-filament to the braided line with what I have known as the girth hitch or similar to the prussic knot used in rope climbing. I backed it up with half hitches. I used the standard bass hook tie with just about any hooks. With that one you run the line through the hook then back through in the opposite direction making a small loop then run that loop around the hook making again what is like a girth hitch. Then you wrap the end around the main line 6 times and back through the split next to the hook and pull tight. Drops have to be 24 inches or 2 feet apart by regulation and i happened to have a tailor’s tape measure with me that had 120 inches on it. You leave extra line on each end from the end drops for tying to limbs. I found a super anchor rock and tied one end to it an chunked it into the creek. I tied the other end to a limb.

The sticks were for wrapping each drop around. This prevented entanglement of one drop
with another in transit.

This photo shows the petrified encrustations of ocean creatures in the stone at the
creek level. Lots of limestone in the area and nice sized caves as well.

This begins Base Camp One Photos

Next we demonstrate the Sierra stove. This stove has one AA battery and a small fan directly underneath the fuel/fire area. The bottom and sides are hollow allowing air flow from underneath up to the sides and inward through holes on the inside wall. You can use any small twigs, leaves, pine needles, bark or camp trash as fuel. It burns quit hot and cooks very efficiently. We were reheating a cooked chicken breast in these photos.

This is a picture of the moon I think.

A panoramic 180 degree view someone took of base camp one.

Mountain and Valley scene on the way home.

In conclusion I think we didn’t have enough time as always. We didn’t have enough time for hunting and exploring. At night at base camp two we could hear small things moving around near the camp, probably either mice or small birds. Steve Irwin said he saw a squirrel. I thought I heard a squirrel off in the distance higher on the ridge chattering. Also something was between me and the water behind a tree, it made some chattering noise and scurried off in a hurry towards the water when I turn to look in its direction. I didn’t get a glimpse of it. We woke to crows calling nearby at dawn. Ahsan said in base camp one that coyotes came into camp and sniffed around Micheal’s tent then went on. He was camping out on the open ground in a sleeping bag. I heard coyotes yipping after I got in the sleeping bag. Steve thinks he heard a deer walking through camp but I told him it was probably me getting up for a nature call. All in all I think there would have been more survival game in the country where I grew up around the farm than up in the mountains where we were. Though I didn’t get much time for hunting. I did sit a few times just outside camps view in a few locations with the shotgun. We didn’t get time to put a swamp bed. I have heard that its illegal to cut down anything live. And a person would have to do a lot of searching for dead wood that would be strong enough for a swamp bed.

The next day I tried out the char cloth with flint and steel and it worked great. I also tried out the 8×11 Fresnel lens close to noon. And it worked great. I forgot to try a magnifying glass I had. I tried the concave lens from a large flash light and it didn’t work it wouldn’t focus the light hardly at all. Perhaps you need a car headlight lens instead. We will try more fire starting methods on the next trip I guess.

One thing I realized is that when you pack lots of gear and especially lots of expensive gear to include guns and expensive knives, you don’t want to walk away from camp and leave anything unattended. This can be a little burdensome. Especially if you have fishing and hunting to do. So my point is that expensive gear is not all its cracked up to be. This is another reason to keep things simple and pack light. This isn’t such a problem when camping next to the vehicle as you can lock everything up in the vehicle when you go out to hunt/fish/gather.