Author Topic: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness  (Read 2126 times)

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Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« on: July 07, 2016, 02:52:46 PM »
Good times near the Missouri-Arkansas border :D. I hope I get to do this again in the autumn in cooler weather.

This article is rather long to post here, so here's the link:
https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/2016/07/06/5-days-backpacking-the-irish-wilderness/
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/

Offline zammer

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2016, 03:17:01 PM »
Sounds like a good trip, thanks for throwin up some pics of the area  :cheers:
"big fish like to live in bad places, that's how they get to be big fish"

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2016, 05:08:30 PM »
Oh, to be young again!  Good job, NEB!
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2016, 05:44:19 PM »
Found this in the Ranger Station earlier today, a letter from Aldo Leopold to Bob Marshall:



The typewriter print makes it is a bit hard to read for the near-sighted, so here's the text -

'Dear Bob:
When I visited the "Irish Wilderness" of Missouri in 1929 there was nearly a county of woods substantially roadless. I have recently seen a map of recently constructed and projected state and federal highways in this area. The largest remaining fragment is 14,000 acres. This is officially labelled as a wilderness area and turkey refuge. I hear it is being fenced.I need hardly point out to you that aside from the Superior and the Porcupine - whose history I need not recount - this was the only large wild spot in the Upper Mississippi Basin. There must, of course, be pros and cons in this question which I am unfamiliar with, and cannot easily find out about. Except as a private citizen, it is also none of my business. On the surface, though, it looks like another case of chopping up a wild area and then labelling one of the chips as wilderness. I don't want to burden you, or Lyle Watts, with a report on the question I have raised. I don't even expect a letter. I would, however, like to make sure that somebody with a sympathetic view of all the conflicting interests has has given these plans a "once-over" to make sure that the road engineers have not been running wild. I have a special affection for this area, and to an old Service man it is disquieting to feel that conversation into a National Forest or Park always means the esthetic death of a piece of wild country.
Yours sincerely, Aldo Leopold'
« Last Edit: July 08, 2016, 05:57:20 PM by NewEnglandBushcraft »
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/

Online wolfy

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2016, 06:03:19 PM »
Well, there's a piece of history!  :thumbsup:    Nice find, NEB......THANKS for showing it to us. :)
The only chance you got at a education is listenin' to me talk!
Augustus McCrae.....Texas Ranger      Lonesome Dove, TX

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2016, 08:46:07 PM »
Well, there's a piece of history!  :thumbsup:    Nice find, NEB......THANKS for showing it to us. :)
Yeah, I had no clue Mr. Leopold visited the Irish! You learn something everyday :D
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/

Offline Sarge

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2016, 11:45:26 AM »
Good stuff. I especially enjoyed the history of the area. You've got me interested in your stove. I've been using an alcohol stove and am looking to try something else. Friends on my recent trip had pocket rocket style stoves and a couple different wood gas stoves. I might try one - or both options. Anyway, I'm always curious to see gear, trail food ideas, etc. from others. Thanks for sharing.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart

Offline Dabberty

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2016, 01:48:52 AM »
Nice trip and especially the letter :-)
My outdoor & DIY blog:  www.dabberty.com

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2016, 03:53:17 PM »
Thanks, guys :D.

Sarge, if you get those larger 220 gram canisters, they will last a good length of time. The one I used wasn't even half empty at the end of the trip...then again, most of the cooking occurred no more than twice a day.

I like some of the boil-'n-bag meals (as I call them), but after a few days, they can become a bit boring. I always try to "mix it up" with a gorp/trail mix bag, a few energy bars, and other options such as the tuna (or salmon) packets with the corn tortilla - something that doesn't involve cooking. In the heat and humidity of summer, a hot meal all the time isn't always a pleasant affair, and even though you're just heating up water for the boil-'n-bag meals, it takes time....stuffing your face with gorp/trail mix or an energy bar or two requires no prep.
I try to go for 100 calories (or more, but preferably no less) to the ounce for almost all the food I take with me, except for "comfort" foods like tuna packets (about 70 calories per ounce), dehydrated fruits, and beef jerky. This way you get a decent energy for the weight ratio.
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2016, 07:10:09 PM »
You might consider a gasifier twig stove as a backup to your canister stove.  They can be had on eBay for about $20  and would let you burn pine cones, needles, twigs, etc, if you ran out of gas or if the Chinese stove gave up on you. They are made of stainless steel and are fairly lightweight.  They can also be used with an alcohol stove.  Link here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Light-Weight-Portable-Outdoor-Camping-Wood-Stove-Cooking-Survival-Burning-Camp-/381232834471?hash=item58c33f67a7:g:y4sAAOSwPhdVQqEy

Or here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Light-Weight-Wood-Gas-Backpacking-Emergency-Survival-Burning-Camping-Stove-/291782117010?hash=item43ef91c692:g:KdoAAOSwLnBXXhhW

Even an Esbit hexamine stove would make a good back up.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2016, 07:20:47 PM by Quenchcrack »
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
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Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2016, 07:19:17 PM »
Sorry double post
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline Sarge

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2016, 07:14:45 AM »
I'm with you on getting bored with the boil-in-bag meals, NEB. Except for a couple snacks, I took a sack full of dehydrated meals on my 3 day, 2 night trip and got tired of them. I'd really want something else on a longer trip like your 5 day trek. Some are really tasty, some are just ok. But they cost about as much as an entr?e in restaurant. I'll explore some other options for my next trip.

Good info, too, on the butane canister. I had no idea how long one might last.

Thanks, QC, for those links. I looked at a couple of those type stoves on amazon but they are cheaper on those links. I'll probably get one of those gasifiers and a cheap pocket rocket style stove to test against the alcohol stove. I've tried the Esbit tabs; I'll play around some more with them, too.
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2016, 10:42:12 AM »
I found Coughlan's tablet stoves on clearance at Academy yesterday.  They were $4.95 so I bought two.  I did not realize they were so much bigger than the Esbit stove.  I keep these stoves in my BOB's and day packs as a back up.  They can be used with tablets, alcohol stove, or twigs.  For emergency rations, I rather like the Spam Singles and some of the Rice or Pasta side dishes that can cook in the bag.  Tuna and Salmon Singles are good too but lack the fat calories needed to keep you warm.  Like I need to be kept warm in Houston.......98F today!
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2016, 12:20:51 PM »
I made a DIY Esbit stove design from a 3 oz cat food can....better IMO than a lot of the Esbit burners on the market which are either too heavy for what they are, or they cost too much. Here's the link for the article if you're interested - http://bladesandbushlore.com/index.php?topic=12408.0
I like to use Esbit/hexamine fuel for winter camping - alcohol stops functioning efficiently at the freezing point, and just below 20 F, it won't work at all...at least, not for me, even with direct flame contact. Esbit, on the other hand, has worked for me as low as 9 F without any issue. I'd be interested to give it a go in sub-0 temps to see if the fuel tablets have a limit. I'm not sure why some people have said that Esbit tablets "don't work in cold weather"....my observations and experiences differ greatly.

I do have an Emberlit, the standard stainless steel model...a bit heavy at 11 oz, but I wasn't willing to spend twice its cost on the titanium model. But I know there are a few other titanium versions out there which cost less, so I may go ahead and save some ounces.

Sarge - There are a lot of food variety options out there, fortunately :). A lot of it depends on how much time you want to spend preparing and cooking the meal. I don't mind spending half an hour prepping and stir-frying foraged greens with Chicken-of-the-woods, but that's something I'd be more willing to do as a dinner meal, when camp is set up and the hiking done for the day. Brekkie can be either a "grab-'n-go", facilitated with a homemade trail mix/gorp, or it can be a "take your time" affair with old fashioned oats, perhaps some coffee, tea, or a hot cocoa. Lunch and in-between meal snacks for me are usually quick munches of energy bars, more trail mix/gorp, or dehydrated fruits.

Perishables can be really nice, but they won't last too long before spoilage...maybe 3 days (more if winter camping :D). Some bags wild salmon at the market come prepackaged inside. That can be REAL comfort food, just remember to freeze it before taking. And if you really want to have the capability to add extra calories to a meal, take a small bottle of olive oil (or save the packets from some of the boil-'n-bag meals :)). For brekkie calories, peanut butter (also can be saved from boil-'n'-bag meals...I know each Backpacker's Pantry Pad Thai has one packet) is great. It can be a nice addition to an otherwise boring oatmeal, along with some dehydrated apple slices, dried cranberries, or foraged fruits. Walnuts can also be really good for extra calories - about 185 calories per ounce, actually, with 18.5 grams of total fat, and a bit of potassium to boot :).
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/

Offline Quenchcrack

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2016, 02:02:09 PM »
Strangely, the alcohol stoves depend on conducting heat from the flames back to the alcohol to vaporize it efficiently. Brass works best, aluminum is very good, stainless steel is poor and titanium is very poor.  Watch out for brass plated aluminum, it is not as good as solid brass.  As for salmon, I have found it right next to the tuna single serving envelopes for about $1 each.  They come in a variety of seasoned sauces and no refrigeration is needed, just like the Spam Singles.  Carry a 1 gal Ziploc bag to put all the bulletproof envelopes in when empty or every bear within 100 miles will be on you like stink on poop.
I guess he'd rather be in Colorado.
-John Denver

Offline Sarge

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2016, 08:51:49 PM »
Thanks again for all the info, links, etc., guys. I ordered a $17 wood gas stove, a $6 trangia style alcohol stove, a $10 butane canister stove, and have made a soda can stove with the jets on top rather than the side. I'll do some tests at home (and share the results) and decide which one(s) I want to try on my next outing.

We always joke about taking tuna into bear country ... And trying to catch trout in bear country. Craziness! Haha
"The man with the knapsack is never lost." Horace Kephart

Offline NewEnglandBushcraft

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Re: 5 Days Backpacking the Irish Wilderness
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2016, 02:48:57 PM »
Thanks again for all the info, links, etc., guys. I ordered a $17 wood gas stove, a $6 trangia style alcohol stove, a $10 butane canister stove, and have made a soda can stove with the jets on top rather than the side. I'll do some tests at home (and share the results) and decide which one(s) I want to try on my next outing.

We always joke about taking tuna into bear country ... And trying to catch trout in bear country. Craziness! Haha
I look forward to the test :D
"Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe." ~ Abraham Lincoln
My blog, https://newenglandbushcraft.wordpress.com/