_Words of Wisdom I

Serves: 5



* A small roll of freezer tape comes in handy in camp. Use it to secure or cover the lids of spices and bottled items. (Page 37)

* Use an aluminum foil liner when baking cakes or pies in your Dutch. Make sure that the lid fits tightly and that the foil isn’t in the way of a snug fit. (Page 45)

* Level your firepan or cooking area before you start cooking. Usually a few shovelfuls will do the trick. To level your Dutch, put 1-2 tablespoons of water in the Dutch, if it rolls to one side or another, level accordingly. (Page 45)

* If possible stay away from glass containers when rafting or horse packing. Re-bottle such things as vinegar, oil, whiskey, etc. in plastic bottles. (Page 52)

* When you pre-package dry ingredients or put liquid ingredients in plastic containers, make sure they’re labeled. (Many years ago, on a Boy Scout trip, this detail was over looked. Someone added liquid dish soap to the pancake batter instead of salad oil. I’ll leave the results of that faux paux to your imagination!) (Page 52)

* To make your own pre-packaged stuff, measure and mix all dry ingredients at home and put them in a labeled zip-lock bag. (Page 72)

* If you're car camping in a developed camp ground, some sort of fire pit is usually provided. When on a trip away from roads end, take a few minutes to select a good kitchen site. A level spot, chosen by the cook for his kitchen, takes precedence over someone who wants to pitch their sleeping tent in a certain place. I find it much easier to sleep on a bit of a slant, than cook on a sidehill. If using a fire pan at home or on a raft trip, suitable flat rocks can be used to level the firepan. If horse packing and cooking with coals from the camp fire, I level the area where I set my Dutches with a shovel. A level Dutch is always important, but especially when baking! (Page 74)

* Keep a clean camp! As soon as you set up camp, get a garbage sack set up. Completely burn any dry garbage you can. Food scraps, wet paper towels, non-burnable garbage should be double bagged and put up every night. On a raft trip, the first cooler I empty becomes the trash storage container. On horse back trips, I normally pack it in the box with my hobbles, vet kit, and horse supplies. (Page 76)

* On pack trips or a raft trip, plan your pork and poultry meals for the first few days, as they don't keep as well. Personally, I prefer to start dinner with pork or poultry still partially frozen rather than have either of them sitting in a cooler totally thawed out for a day or two. (Page 87)

* When cooking with cast iron, start with the pan and oil pre-heated to keep stuff from sticking. (Page 92)

* When shopping, look for firm, well-shaped onions with unblemished, papery skins. Peel onions under running cold water to prevent eyes from watering. (Page 98)

* Do not rinse canned chilies since much of the taste will go down the drain with the water. If they are packed in vinegar, they may be rinsed. (Page 104)

* A can or two of black olives in the chuck box can be used to add color and a little flavor to any number of dishes. (Page 104)

* Carry a small bottle of chlorine bleach. After you rinse your dishes, rinse them in a second cool rinse to which you've added one cap full of bleach for two gallons of water. (Page 109)

* Before you toss the dish water after doing the dishes, strain the dish water and put the solid waste in your garbage to be packed out. (Page 109)

* When you toss the dish water, try to get more than two steps from the tent and don't throw it where someone is going to step in it. (Page 109)

* As an additional camp treat, do this: Choose your favorite frozen fruit pie from the grocery freezer. Place a round baking rack in the bottom of a 12 inch Dutch oven. Place the frozen pie on the rack. Bake for 45-50 minutes or according to the instructions on the box using about 4 briquets on the bottom and 14-16 on the lid. (Page 113)

* In a dry camp, you can use the last of your coffee to do your dishes. It's already heated and it will cut dried egg yolk off a tin plate. (Page 113)

* If camping in an area where bears have been habituated to humans, a clean camp is an absolute must. This means dishes done after every meal, garbage kept to a minimum and stored out of reach and out of camp, and any food containers or coolers kept securely closed or hung in trees out of camp. (Page 123)

* Being nocturnal for the most part, bears are more likely to come prowling once you hit the bed ground. Leave a couple of pots and pans or some cleaned out cans on the ground outside of camp. If a bear comes calling he'll typically rattle these around, giving you some warning he's in the area. (Page 123)

* Don't try to fight a bear over food, or anything else for that matter. Even a little bear is tougher than you! The key to "bear less" camps is to make sure if a bear does show up, he is in no way rewarded. (Page 123)

* On long trips when salad fixin's won't keep long enough, plan a five or seven bean salad. A pasta salad also will add some variety. (Page 126)

* In the summer, at least part of your main dish meats may be pre-cooked to extend their life in a camp cooler, i.e. chicken breasts, ham steaks, sausage links can be pre-cooked and then frozen. (Page 130)

* For a fresh-caught flavor, thaw fish in milk. (Page 133)

* Lemons don't take much room and keep fairly well so throw a few of them in your chuck box. Bottled lemon juice will work as well. Besides using them for cooking, squeeze the juice of a lemon over meat or chicken prior to cooking to eliminate that "ice box" taste. (Page 133)

* In hunting camp, do as much of your prep work for breakfast as you can the night before. It saves time and gets the guys out on the hill a little quicker. (Page 145)

* Whether car camping, horse packing or on a raft trip, organize your camp boxes and cooler. That way, in the grey light of dawn, while every one is straining at the bit to get going, you're not going through all five coolers to find the sausage. (Page 145)

* Some dishes, such as soups, stews, chili with beans, and casseroles, can be made at home and frozen. These are extra nice in hunting camp when the first guy back to camp can start it heating, so when every one else gets in supper is done with little muss or fuss. (Page 145)

* When you pull camp make an extra trip around the camp site after you're all packed. Pick up any stray snoose cans or gum wrappers. It's also insurance against leaving a fishing rod leaning up against a tree. (Page 155)

* When packing garbage crush all your cans and plastic bottles. If possible "toast" your cans for a few minutes in the camp fire to burn off food residues. (Page 155)

* Always pack the EXTRAS. The extra mantles for the lanterns, the extra batteries for the flashlight, extra whiskey or beverage of choice for the cook, extra TP in case someone gets into some bad water, extra matches in case some one leaves them out in the rain, and any other little extras you need in camp. (Page 156)

* If at all possible, pack a couple of stainless steel thermos bottles. Especially in hunting camp, the cook will be less surly if someone makes a pot of coffee the evening before and fills a thermos to set with a cup next to his bunk. On the trail or on a raft trip, a thermos of hot chocolate or soup made at breakfast can be the first line of defense against hypothermia should someone get tossed out of a raft, or a sudden thunderstorm catches someone without their rain gear on. (Page 169)

* Always pack as good a first aid kit as weight and space will allow! Whether your car camping, horse packing or on a raft trip make sure the first aid kit is readily accessible. (Page 175)

* Be concerned with safety in all aspects of outdoor recreation. I always try to have contingency plans for any trip should someone get sick, injured, or severe weather disrupts original plans. (Page 175)

* An old outfitter I met while trapping grizzlies for the Park Service in the l970's used a unique method to discourage bears from hanging around his camps. He'd scrounge nearly used aerosol cans of hair spray from his wife and daughters and take them to camp. If a bear started hanging around camp he'd smear the hair spray cans with a little bacon grease and set them a couple of hundred yards outside of camp on the ground. As he put it, "about the time the old bear crunched down on a can of hair spray, things started to happen purty fast!" He said his wilderness mine field of bacon scented aerosol cans quickly provided bears an advanced degree in "Avoidance!" A word of caution though, bears are like mothers in-laws don't make them mad what ever you do! (Page 177)

* If taking pre-packaged food to camp, be sure you pack any extra ingredients called for on the package, i.e. oil and eggs for cake mixes. (Page 179)

* When possible, pack dry goods in zip-lock bags to save space. Keep a magic marker in your camp box to label left overs. (Page 179)

* A roll of heavy duty aluminum foil in the grub box always seems to get used. (Page 179)

* Short cuts in planning and preparations invariably lead to short tempers amongst the campers. (Page 179)

* In the summer make up your own freeze jugs for your coolers. I use plastic juice containers of one quart and one half gallon. Make up ice tea, powdered fruit drinks, and drinking water and fill jugs 2/3 full. Put them in the freezer and freeze. Pack your cooler with these instead of commercial blocks of ice to save space and money. In addition, beer in the can may be frozen and used in lieu of ice. Don't try it with near beer or soft drinks. (Page 201)

* In the middle of the summer or on long trips, pack your coolers to be opened according to when you plan to use them. Stuff will stay frozen longer if you don't open them until you're ready. I tightly strap the lid down with a boat strap and then go around the lid with duct tape. It can add 3-4 days to how long you can keep stuff frozen. (Page 201)

* Wrap knives up in a towel. Don't let them rattle around with your other kitchen utensils. They stay sharper longer and you lessen the risk of cutting your hand when reaching for something else. (Page 183)

* When you pick a spot for your campfire pay attention to the prevailing winds around camp. Don't pitch tents downwind, especially those made with nylon or other synthetics, as a single spark blown from a campfire can ignite them. (Page 190)

* Make a thermos of coffee the night before and place it with a coffee cup next to the cook's bunk. He will get up in a much better humor the next morning. (Page 203)

* Take extra precautions when preparing poultry. Wash and disinfect your hands, utensils, and cutting boards before using them again. (Page 204)

This _Words of Wisdom I recipe is from the Cee Dub's Dutch Oven and Other Camp Cookin' Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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