June 20, 2011
Whether it's an expedition for elk in the Rocky Mountains or a quest for a woodland whitetail in the wilds of Virginia, a canvas wall tent camp, completely with a wood heating stove and a couple of like-minded friends to share the tarp-motel, is as fine a base for adventure as you'll find anywhere. Here are some tips for a better wall tent hunting camp
1. Throw a slick fly, like a poly tarp, over your tent. It'll keep you dry and shed snow, which adds extra weight to the tent frame.
2. If firewood isn't available where you camp, bring it from home. Scrap lumber works fine.
3. In freezing weather, keep coolers on the inside of the tent by the sidewall away from the stove. They'll stay cool but unfrozen.
4. Shovel an inch or two of dirt in the bottom of your stove before firing to protect the bottom from excessive heating.
5. When building a pole frame, save work by tying an end of the ridgepole to a standing tree instead of building an A-frame.
6. Invest in good lanterns and plenty of fuel. In the short days of November, your camp will spend plenty of time in the dark.
7. Keep a hammer, a selection of various-size nails and a length of wire with your camping gear. It's amazing what you can build or repair with these simple items.
8. Take a couple days' extra food along. It'll come in handy if you get stranded or wind up with extra mouths in camp.
9. Provide some cards, books and games. If the weather keeps you in camp, you can enjoy yourself instead of feeling frustrated.
10. Keep a camp notebook. Make notes for next year's camp and a list of needed items while they're fresh in your mind.