Posts tagged #1970s

Homemade Beef Jerky

 William Kemsley, Jr. - The Whole Hiker's Handbook, 1979

 William Kemsley, Jr. - The Whole Hiker's Handbook, 1979

What could be finer for a Spring day hike than a Ziploc bag full of homemade beef jerky goodness?

There are no doubt more complicated and involved ways to make it and some of the jerky connoisseurs may frown upon this method, but it was super simple, delicious and was made without a dehydrator. I found the recipe in "The Whole Hikers Handbook - The Definitive Sourcebook Featuring The Best Of Backpacker Magazine" published in 1979 by William Kemsley, Jr.

Jerky Preperation

Jerky Preperation

Jerky is very popular, though I hardly ever take it. If I do, it is not the commercially prepared type. I like the homemade variety. Here’s a recipe for it.

Beef Jerky

1 ½ lbs. beef (flank or round)
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1 tsp. onion powder
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
½ cupWorcestershire sauce
½ cup soy sauce
Remove all fat from meat. Cut into ¼” slices along the grain. It is easier to slice if partially frozen.

Combine dry and liquid ingredient to make marinade. Marinate meat overnight in refrigerator. Drain. Lay meat strips on over rack and place foil on bottom rack to catch drippings. Leave door ajar. Set oven at 150˚F. Dry meat for 6 hours. Turn oven off and leave meat in oven for another 6 hours.

Store Jerky in covered container with holes punched in lid. Makes one pound.
— William Kemsley, Jr. - The Whole Hiker's Handbook, 1979
Finished Jerky 

Finished Jerky 

As my first foray into the world of dried meat I can claim this as a success; it was meaty and tasted of beef, not teriyaki or cracked pepper, which I liked a lot. It was a little heavy on the sodium so some fine tuning will be in order, but I'll be making it again for sure - in time for some Summer hiking perhaps. If you give it a try I'd love to hear about your results or any alternative recipes you have. Happy Spring, FINALLY!

The Tracker

The Tracker

The Tracker

I recently spent a couple of nights in Portland, Oregon. Upon arrival I instinctively headed straight for Powell's City of Books and did some serious damage to their outdoors section. During my spree I purchased a copy of "The Tracker" by Tom Brown Jr. To my shame I'd never heard of him before, but the cover looked awesome and there were three different re-prints of this one book so I figured it must be something special.

It turns out I was right - what a great read. It follows Brown and his friend Rick through their childhood as they learn to live with the woods and develop their skills in tracking and wilderness survival. They are guided by Rick's grandfather, a Native American called "Stalking Wolf,"  and as they unravel his cryptic challenges, each one created to hone their outdoor skills, they learn to become "one with the Spirit-That- Moves-Through- All-Things." 

This book is about learning to live in harmony with nature, Brown states that - "Stalking Wolf often told us that nature would never hurt us as long as we went with it and did not panic. As long as we were in tune with nature we were invulnerable." Following this seemingly simple rule Brown travels the country, living off the land and learning all he can as he grows into one of the countries most qualified trackers and outdoorsman.

"The Tracker" is vividly written and Browns stories are truly incredible and engrossing, I'm excited that he has an extensive list of publications for me to get stuck into. Brown has now helped track and find countless missing people, dangerous animals and fugitives of the law throughout the USA. He founded the Tracker School in 1978 from Pine Barrens in New Jersey where he teaches the skills he learned and developed.

Posted on October 20, 2013 and filed under Books.

Tips from the Archive #008

Harry Roberts -  Movin' Out By, 1975

Harry Roberts - Movin' Out By, 1975

A tip from Harry Roberts' "Movin' Out" first published in 1975. This is only a thin book but it goes into more detail than most, with exhaustive information about what to look for when choosing each piece of kit, delving into the pros and cons of different stitching and seam constructs and the architecture of pack-frames. Roberts was a freelance photographer and writer spending some time in the 70s as the editor of "Wilderness Camping Magazine", he was also a certified cross country ski instructor and examiner.

Tip 008 – A Novel Insect Repellent

For those of you who dislike chemicals with strange names, I offer a novel insect repellent technique I learnt from one of my Habitant kin years ago. Take a garlic bud and slice it up into little pieces. Swallow them whole and wait a while–say a couple of hours. Pop a fresh bud about every twelve hours, and the bugs shun you. Perhaps it alters the scent of your perspiration, but if it does, its not noticeable. That’s all right the USDA doesn’t really know why deet works, either.
— Harry Roberts - Movin' Out, 1975

Interesting stuff, the way I understood it was that bugs were attracted to exhaled breath, which means eating garlic makes some sense. One last bit of foolproof advice, however, is to simply hike with me, I attract mosquitos like no other human, making life very pleasant for everyone else.

Posted on April 28, 2013 and filed under Tips from the Archive.

Tea Chronicles Pt.11 – Alan Hall

Alan Hall -  Wild Food Trailguide, 1973

Alan Hall - Wild Food Trailguide, 1973

This may sound stupid to some more experienced foragers, but I've been hunting wintergreen for some time now - I'm not sure how it eluded me so readily but I never seemed to track any down. I have found a lot of reference to wintergreen in many books but I think "The Wild Food Trailguide" by Alan Hall was one of the best. The book was written in 1973 and is one of the classic guides for the North American forager. I particularly, and understandably, like the expansive wild teas section.

WINTERGREEN Gaultheria procumbens

IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS: This tiny plant is actually a shrub with stems that creep along the surface of the ground or just below it. At interval along the stem, leaf-bearing branches that look like individual plants thrust upward. They are 3 - 6 in. high and have a distinct woody character. The shiny evergreen leaves are clustered at the top of the branches. The leaves are fleshy and tender, pale yellow-green with tinges of red or sometimes almost all red, and smell strongly of wintergreen when crushed; the older leaves are shiny, dark green with lighter undersides, have a tough leathery texture, and are less frangrent.
— Alan Hall - Wild Food Trailguide, 1973
Wintergreen Tea

Wintergreen Tea

The really great thing is that wintergreen grows all year round, due to this I figured now would be as good a time as any to look for it as, there is little else in leaf in its size range right now. Doing a little hiking last weekend I made a point of hunting wintergreen and almost immediately I came across a little patch by the trail head. After that it seemed to be everywhere, maybe I got dialed in. The main thing I checked for was that the leaves actually smelt of wintergreen - the easiest way to make a clear identification.

Wintergreen Tea

Wintergreen Tea

So with the Trangia cranked and the water boiled I threw in a small handful of wintergreen leaves and steeped them for about ten minutes. The resulting brew was great; it had a pleasant but mild minty flavor with a foresty, leafy tang. Very refreshing. Next time I think I'll add a BIG handful and try and eek out some more flavor, but it was an impressive start.

The leaves can be dried but some of the flavor is lost so it's best to use them freshly picked. Hall also goes onto to describe a root beer like concoction which can be made similarly to tea. If I get a big harvest next time, I might give it a try.

"The Wild Food Trailguide" is an excellent book worth hunting out. Hall mentions 16 wild teas in its pages, so you may hear more from this very interesting read.

Posted on March 5, 2013 and filed under Tea.

Vintage Campsite Brochures

Vintage Campsite Brochures

Vintage Campsite Brochures

I was fortunate enough to be sent a collection of vintage American and Canadian campsite brochures from the 60s and 70s.

The collection was sent to me by Justin V. Clark who came across them while archiving the papers of Grady Clay. Clay, now in his 90s, is a veteran American landscape, architecture and urban planning journalist, he has led an extremely illustrious life. He is the author of many books, was a long-time editor of Landscape Architecture magazine and also the former Urban Affairs Editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Clark believes these brochures are from the many cross country trips which Grady took during his research. You can find out more about Clay here most of his books are still available from Amazon.

 You can view large versions of the entire collection here.

Posted on January 6, 2013 and filed under History.

Camp Trails 1977 Gear List

Camp Trails Packing List

Camp Trails Packing List

I came across this gem in the 1977 Explorers Ltd. Source Book. Camp Trails was founded in 1943 by Jack C. Abert, frustrated with the carrying systems of the day he went about designing a pack that was both light weight and comfortable. Camp Trails was born, and went from strength to strength expanding its offering beyond just packs. Although Camp Trails has been bought a few times the name still lives on.

Maps Firepermit Fishing license Note Book Pencil Hunting License Identification - Medical allergies & restrictions Plastic Bowl Plastic of Sierra Cup Pot Tongs Table Spoon Waterproof Matches Sunglasses Lunch & Trail Snacks Quart Canteens (2) Cook Kit Backpackers Grill Stove (if needed) Food bags Extra bags GI Can openner Rubber bands Condiment Kit - Sugar, milk, coffee, tea, powdered juice, cooking oil, salt & pepper Toilet Kit - Toothbrush, toothpaste, soap (hotel size), paper towels, toilet paper Scouring Pad Flash Light - Spare bulb & batterys Airmatress and Repair Kit, or Foam Pad Tarp and Ground Cloth, or Tent, or Tube Tent 30ft. Nylon Cord Underwear & Socks bandanas (2) Wind Breaker Jacket Stocking Cap Rainwear First aid kit Sunburn Ointment Repellent Chapstick Whistle Matches in a Waterproof Case Candle 2 Dimes Needles & Thread Signal Mirror Safety Pins Water purification

Carried on Person Knife Compass Waterproof Matches
— Explorers Ltd. Source Book, 1977
Posted on December 2, 2012 and filed under Gear List.

The Hiker's Bible 1973 Gear List

The Hiker's Bible by Robert Elman 1974

The Hiker's Bible by Robert Elman 1974

This great book by Robert Elman contains a few different lists for different occasions. Lots for 'him and her' and 'how to divide up equipment.' The most concise and relevant for here is one Elman has sourced from a Sears Hillary catalogue for "longer backpacking trips."

Pack and frame 4 lbs. Down sleeping bag 4 lbs. Nylon tent 7 lbs. 8oz . Canteen 1 lb. Stuff bag 6 oz. Short foam pad 1 lb. 4 oz. 1 compass 4 oz. Knife 8 oz. Flashlight 8 oz. Nylon cord (40’) 6 oz. Maps 6 oz. First-aid kit 6 oz. Cooking grill 1 lb. 8 oz. Mess kit 1 lb. 3 oz. Fork-and-spoon kit 6 oz. Can opener 1 oz. Dishcloth 2 oz. Plastic bags 2 oz. Nylon poncho 1 lb. Extra set of underwear 12 oz. 2 extra pairs of lightweight socks 4 oz. 2 extra pairs of heavy socks 8 oz. Toilet kit (including towel, soap shaving equipment, insect repellent, mirror, toilet tissue, etc) 1 lb. 12 oz.

Total weight 28 lb. 2 oz.

If you were to add a one-pound trail ax, a stove weighing about 1¼ pounds, a nylon tent fly, a set of thermal underwear, a jacket and even a pair of walking shorts, the burden would still only come to 35 pounds, and eight pounds of food would bring it to 43. That’s going reasonably light without roughing it.
— Robert Elman - The Hiker's Bible, 1974

Nice list, although I'm not sure 43 pounds would still be classed as "reasonably light."

Posted on September 30, 2012 and filed under Gear List.

Tips from the Archive #003

Dennis Look - Joy Of Backpacking, 1976 

Dennis Look - Joy Of Backpacking, 1976 

A great tip from Dennis Look's "Joy of Backpacking," this is a superb book written in 1976. Look is a passionate writer he cares deeply about the wilderness and everything in this book puts the environment first. The book is still as relevant as it was in the 70's.

Tip 003 – Your Parka Works as a Day Pack.

Have you ever been on a backpacking trip and wanted to take a short day hike? But where will you carry your gorp, water and rain or wind parka? If you didn’t carry a knapsack or hip pack (which most people don’t – too heavy), then it’s rather difficult to hold these items in your hands, or put them in your pocket. Here is one solution

First of all, some type of parka or jacket is required

Lay the parka out on the ground and start stuffing the items you wish to carry inside

When this is completed, zip up the parka, then close the draw cord on the bottom of the parka (this will prevent the items falling out). If your parka has a draw cord on the hood, then do the same

Roll the bottom of the parka over the items which you have placed inside. Make this roll as tight as possible and bind it with the draw cord from the bottom of the parka

Take the sleeves and wrap them around your waste then tie then with a square knot. If your parka is made of nylon this not will prevent it from slipping

Now you have a hip or fanny pack for your trip

One question: What do you do if you have to put your parka on? (stuff the items in the parka’s pockets)
— Dennis Look - Joy Of Backpacking, 1976
Posted on July 21, 2012 and filed under Tips from the Archive.

Harvey Manning's 1972 Gear List

Harvey Manning - Backpacking One Step at a Time, 1972

Harvey Manning - Backpacking One Step at a Time, 1972

It doesn't get better than this. From "Backpacking One Step at a Time" one of the all-time great hiking book, written by one one of the all-time great hikers.

The following list is limited to basics and does not include the myriad nice little items like binoculars, candles, pliers, reading material, playing cards, booze, and the hundred other things individuals may come to consider indispensable for safety or pleasure.

Day Trip

Boots Socks Underwear Shirts and sweaters Parka Trousers or knickers (Shorts) Headwear Rucksack (Child Carrier) (Canteen) Food (Sunglasses) Knife Matches, firestarter First aid kit Flashlight Map and compass (Sunburn lotion) (Insect repellent)

Add for Overnight

Packframe and bag Sleeping bag Sleeping pad Ground sheet (Air mattress) Tarp or tent and accessories (Grate) Stove and accessories Cooking pots and accessories Eating utensils Food container Repair kit Toilet articles

Add for Special Situation

(Gaitors) (Poncho) (Down vest or sweater) (Rain pants) (Mittens) (Ice ax) (Hiking rope) (Snowshoes) (Cross-country skis)
— Harvey Manning - Backpacking One Step at a Time, 1972
Posted on July 16, 2012 and filed under Gear List.

Pacific Crest Trail

William R. Gray - The Pacific Crest Trail, 1975

William R. Gray - The Pacific Crest Trail, 1975

I just finished reading "The Pacific Crest Trail" by William R. Gray, published by the National Geographic Society. This is a terrific book, well worth hunting down. Gray is a gifted writer, mixing natural history, trail history and a diary style narrative as he and photographer Sam Abell walk the trail. There is a strong focus on the people they meet and their stories. Their intention was never to thru-hike, this meant they were able to stop along the way to explore, expanding the narrative. Abell's photographs are exceptional, they are very artistic and complement Gray's writing perfectly.

Gray continued as a writer, editor, and publishing executive at National Geographic until 2001 and now teaches as San Juan college. His other books include "Camping Adventure (Books For Young Explorers)" and "Voyages to Paradise," both are now on my wish list. Abell continues to shoot with National Geographic and has been published in over 20 articles. He has also released several photography books and exhibited his work numerous times. See more of Abels work here.