17 October 2013

Late Update from the Road

October is a travel month for me so it has been tight on getting time to fiddle with the tent, scout the area for the wolf hunt, family time and just in general. I was able to get some pics on Saturday of the stove jack going in and another burn in the stove so as I sit here in a hotel in Milwaukee Wisconsin after having traveled the state I figured I'd post those pics.

The stove jack is from BearPaw Wilderness Designs and can be found at that link. I ordered the standard jack and had it in three or four days. It does have the velcro edge for placing the waterproof cover over when you're not using the stove. I also liked how simple the installation was. Though their instructional video on the mater is good it wasn't applicable in my case as there was just no way to get my tent and where I wanted the jack into a position to use a machine to sew it in. Thus I did it by hand while standing on a stool outside the front of the tent.

I'm no sewing master by a long shot, especially standing on a stool leaning over and into the tent. We got 'er done though, and I ran a couple heavy coats of seam sealer around the stitched in jack. We did have a pretty good rain that night and there were no leaks.

 Then on Sunday morning I got a fire going in the newly repainted stove to do the second burn in and test the draft from within the tent. She vented well and while initially I had some odor in the tent it quickly dissipated and worked like a charm.

I also got out for a quick scout to the area, found some more sign and this tuft of wolf hair.

Captured a few more images from the general area I scouted this time.

I also did the scout with the Gamekeeper's Bag that Skab made for me. I love this thing!

And finally, obligatory knife near a shroom shot!

05 October 2013

Seven Days In December (The Food List)

I've been working on the list of gear and food that I'll be taking on the trip. I'm not new to winter camping or longer forays into the wilderness but this will be the first winter excursion for this duration. I've done extended stays in the Boundary Waters before but weather and temperatures were not a huge consideration for the time of year. In this case I'm looking at highs in the 20-28 Fahrenheit range with lows that are in the single digits.

According to NOAA historical data these are the averages.

The Normal, Monthly Average Temperature (degrees F) 14.8
The Normal, Monthly High Temperature (degrees F) 22.3
The Normal, Monthly Low Temperature (degrees F) 7.3

With that in mind and coupled with the physical activity I expect I'm figuring on between 2800 and 3300 calories per day. It's highly unlikely that I'll be eating lunches, perhaps some snack bar or fruit or something but not a full on lunch, so most of the caloric intake will need to be for breakfast and dinner.

I'm also not much for freeze-dried dehydrated meals, while I expect to have water I don't expect to have enough of it for meal re-hydration.


I raise chickens and have a fresh supply of eggs, we consume around seventy eggs a week as a family, and you can bet I'll be taking a rather large amount of these treasures with me. At an average of 60 to 70 calories per egg I'm planning on consuming at least five of them for breakfast each morning, along with a goodly sized portion of bacon or sliced thick country ham. I'll add some chopped peppers and tomatoes to this as well as some shredded cheese, making a crazy western omelet of sorts. Complete wild guess here but I'm thinking between 900 and 1300 calories for breakfast.


No surprises, I'm a fan of meat, and I don't like pastas. I'm a protein centrist and avoid carbs when I can for the most part. I'm figuring on 1200 to 1500 calories for dinner. Each night the main protein will be either steaks, venison, or thick sliced country ham. With this I'll have potatoes, baked or mashed, or steamed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower), .

With the above in mind here's the tentative list.

30 eggs
2 pounds bacon
3 pound smoked ham
3 thick sliced venison backstrap cuts
2 t-bones

The above comes out to roughly 13,765 calories. Projected to need between 18,000 and 22,000 calories for the full seven days.

Also to be taken;

6 oz pepper jelly
6 oz honey
6 oz peanut butter
2 rolls medium summer sausage
2 rolls ritz crackers
1/2 box graham crackers
6 apples
6 sweet & salty almond granola bars (160 calories each)
4 Peppers (large bell)
3 Onions
1/2 pound celery
1/2 pound broccoli
1/2 pound carrots
1/2 pound cauliflower
1/2 pound beans
16 oz shredded cheese
1 pound coffee

I believe between the list of primary calories and the above ancillary calories I've more than reached the expected caloric needs for the seven days.

I know that's a lot but this ain't no lightweight backpacking trip, I've got plenty of time to review this list and adjust, looking for any and all suggestions.

04 October 2013

Hot Tent on the Cheap

Not cheap because I have to, but because I want to see what I can do with the cheapest tent stove I could find.

Initially I had decided to not hot tent for the Adventure in December this year, at first I was just planing on a tarp/super shelter combo set up with camp fires. After some discussion I decided to go ahead with the hot tent which means luxury in the backwoods provided you can handle the weight in and out. Since the Adventure in December is focused on the wolf I didn't want tired sore back and uncomfortable accommodations to detract from the focus of the foray. So hot tent it is!

$39.00 for the stove, that price included FedEx Shipping to the lodge here. It arrived today shortly before I got back from Denver. Having some daylight left I threw it together and got a fire going in it. I knew from the reviews I'd found online, particularly youtube, that the stove wouldn't be perfect. For $39 I don't expect perfection. I figured I'd be making some modifications, including burning off the factory paint and redoing it with a better quality. Tinkering with the door latch and a few other odds and ends.

At that price the worst case scenario would have been me using the core to make my own, reality is I'm not going to have to do much at all to have this stove fully functional.

I was actually surprised when I assembled it, heavy duty materials and it went together just fine with no fitting issues. Door has the slop but it was cut correctly, all I'll need to do here is modify the handle or just wedge it as you'll see in images below, that worked just fine.

So I know I'll have some minor things to do but not a lot, within ten minutes of getting it out of the box I had a decent fire going. Maybe I got lucky on the draw, I don't know, but this one isn't bad at all and doesn't have the issues that most folks were complaining about, and rightly so in their cases.

Measures: 18" long × 10 1/4" wide × 11" tall
Stands 26 1/2" with extension legs
Weight 30 lbs

Everything breaks down and can be stored inside the stove, the top sides of the rack fold up into a carry handle for transport.

Since I'm using the sled or the mule to get this into a base camp with the canvas tent, 7 days of supplies etc, I'm not concerned about the weight. Thirty pounds is NOT backpacking weight for sure. It's plenty big enough to heat my wall tent and cook on. 

Hope to get a few more updates done this weekend along with another scout of the area.

Moose Toe Bone Firesteel

My el cheapo tent stove came in today, and knowing I've got work to do to it to make it woods worthy for winter time hot tenting I set about burning it in today. In fact it's still burning now and will be long into the night. I'll update the stove progress this weekend.

While letting the stove burn I took the idle time to make another firesteel. The handle for this one is a Moose Toe Bone, the firesteel is set about 2" in and epoxied in place. The firesteel blank is the 'Moose' model from Goinggear.com

Technically, it is the Long Pastern bone, specifically.