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Old 12-10-2017, 01:11 AM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Looking to setup a winter camp for trapping in the wilderness. This would be a 30 day venture on public lands in the northern parts of the U.S. I have all of the licenses for trapping, taking small game and fishing. I am putting together this packing list below. Some of the things I already have, others still need to be acquired. I'm working on a budget here... The idea is to setup and run a trapline for a month. I'll be bringing pemican, rice and beans with me for sustenance, supplementing my diet with whatever I can hunt, fish, or pull from the trapline. For shelter, I'll have a hot ten + wood stove combo, with a few tarps as backup. I'm hoping someone on this forum has done something like this before, a long term winter camp for trapping purposes. Trapping isn't what it was in the last century, or the one before it, so most of the literature I've found on setting up a camp and trapline was written in the 1800's... Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

Here's my packing list (doesn't include clothing or guns):
-Molle II Rucksack
-Duffle bag (for hanging food)
-M-1950 Tent
-Pulk Sled
-TMS Portable Camp Stove
-Water tank (attaches to stove flue)
-Extreme coldweather sleeping bag
-1 quart canteen w/ steel cup
-2 quart canteen w/ strap
-Traps (conibears & footholds)
-Snares
-Pogo Stakes
-Trapping Tools (Trap setter, pliers, shovel, stake driver, etc.)
-Scent / Lures
-Tannin
-Headlamp
-Maglight
-Extra batteries (lithium)
-550 cord
-Twine
-PLB (ACR)
-First aid kit
-Ferro rod (plus matches and an extra ferro)
-Magnesium shavings + vaseline-coated cotton balls
-Knives (for different purposes)
-Axe
-hobo tarps (3)
-Yoga mats (2)
-Wool blankets
-Dutch Oven
-Cast Iron Skillet
-Cutlery & Utensils
-Fishing Gear (extra line, hooks, fake bait, etc.)
-Hand Auger
-Tip ups
-Pemican
-30 lbs rice + beans
-35 lbs dog food
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:46 AM
Offrink Offrink is offline
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You will want a cot. Sleeping on the ground in the cold sucks. Maybe some sort broad/flood light, like a coleman lantern. A single burner coleman stove would be nice too. Plus fuel.
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Old 12-10-2017, 09:08 AM
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Hick Industries Hick Industries is offline
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A lot will depend on logistics. How you will get your gear and grub, in and out of the Bush.
Can you can reliably get a loaded 4WD pickup to your site? Are you planning on a snow machine?

Here is a prior post where I linked to the story of an eighteen yr old kid, trapping the first time in Alaska.
It's a great read for anyone planning on a long term wilderness trip.
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...945&highlight=

Ps, I would bring enough food to last the entire winter, just in case you get stuck there.
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Old 12-10-2017, 10:31 AM
ljcygnet ljcygnet is offline
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If it's cold enough that food will stay frozen, I would just take some cheap meat rather than pemmican or expecting to forage or fish in the dead of winter. Pemmical is survival food and gets ... old ... after awhile. Useful in summer when food preservation is an issue, but in winter? Nah.

True story: I just spent a week stomping around the woods in an area close to my house, elk hunting. I know the area like the back of my hand, including where the elk like to bed down during the day. I had a cow tag, so it should have been super easy. 99% of the time I could find you an elk within a few minutes. Could probably hop on a quad right now and go find elk.

I got ONE shot off in that entire time and killed a tree at 30 feet as the at-a-dead-run elk passed behind it. Whoops. My gun jammed on another elk that was just standing there, at a should-have-been-a-sure-thing shot at about fifty yards. Other than that, I saw all bulls, which is unusual, because the ratio of bulls to cows up here is about twenty to one. Also saw just about every other critter in the woods. No cow elk.

The night after the hunt ended, I pulled into my front yard and there were elk in it. The day after the hunt was over, I saw 24 elk cow along the road.

Sometimes, life just doesn't cooperate with your plans ...

Anyway, I would take sufficient food with you to cover yourself in case things don't turn out as planned.

OTOH, veggies and cans of food WILL freeze unless you have a way to keep them warm, so you need to factor that in. Since it will presumably remain below freezing, that's easy enough and cheap enough to do.

My menu would probably look something like:

Sufficient cheap meat for a month: Pork loins, chicken, hamburger, etc. Some packs of bacon. You may elect to supplement your meat with what you trap, depending on what you're after, but I wouldn't count on that.

Freeze dried or frozen potato shreds and sliced potatoes
Freeze dried or frozen onions
Freeze dried or frozen corn
... You get the drift. Go raid the frozen veggie section of the local grocery store and pick out some of your favorites, or send an order to Honeyville or another company that has freeze dried stuff.

Corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, maybe some bread crumbs. That way you can bread your meat before pain frying it, you can make lard bisquits, and you can make cornbread in a dutch oven.

I would also have some hamburger helper, ramen noodle, regular noodles, rice, instant oatmeal (and brown sugar and dried apples or raisins).

You'll need fats for cooking and for keeping your energy levels up in the cold. Butter and lard are your best bets. It's a bit hard to pour congealed cooking oil out of a bottle if it gets that cold, but you can always chip a bit of lard out of the bucket and throw it in your frying pan.

Roma tomatoes freeze well enough; the texture is about like a stewed tomato when they thaw -- leave the skins on and they'll stick together less. I'd probably take a gallon bag of romas along and use them for cooking.

Don't forget salt, pepper, garlic, etc -- whatever spices you like. I personally would probably take a bag of frozen roasted chili peppers too. They can be diced up while still frozen and thrown in with stuff.

I might also some bricks of cheese (they're edible if frozen, though freezing doesn't always help the texture -- but still okay to grate and throw in chili or over your eggs or whatever), some plastic tubs of salsa from the deli section of the grocery store (Canned/bottled salsa will burst, but these would be okay frozen and then later thawed), etc.

Most of this is fairly cheap. You could probably put together a month's worth of food for under $200, depending on how much meat you include.

Oh, protip -- if you want beans, you can get precooked and freeze dried beans from Honeyville or similar vendors and they cook MUCH faster (like in minutes) rather than all day for dry pintos. Saves on having to sit around camp tending a fire to keep the pot of beans bubbling, or hauling in propane for a camp stove. Otherwise, consider lentils rather than beans as they'll cook much faster than beans and taste about the same.

Here is a very easy recipe for pork and beans, however, that you can also use lentils or precooked beans in, which is filling and high in calories because of the salt pork. In cold weather you need that fat.

1 pound beans
2 gallons of water in a large stock pot
1 lb of salt pork, soaked and rinsed and diced into cubes
Couple of onions
Couple roasted chili peppers, to taste
Garlic, to taste
A pound of roma tomatoes

Cook the beans until soft, throw the rest in and cook until the salt pork is done to your preference.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:10 AM
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I don't know what wood stove you have but I would want the biggest stove I could get into camp there. Small stoves have to be fed with small wood that burns fast and hot so often it is too hot in the tent but the fire burns out quickly and things cool down and you need to feed it again often. With a larger stove you can put in larger pieces so you don't have to get up as often to feed it. A 15 gallon barrel with a stove kit would be light enough to pack in but still large enough to keep a good bed of coals going.

If you plan to bring rice and beans I would suggest practicing with hay box cooking. Basically you put the food in a pot, bring it up to a boil and then stick it in a box full of hay(or blankets) then go about your day, the food will continue to cook for hours while you are gone. When you get back all you need to do is warm it back up.(If cooking beans adding a bit of baking soda help them to cook quicker(it also make them foam and turn red)

Also for cooking rice and beans I would suggest bringing a stainless or aluminum pot. Cooking them in cast iron often turns them purple/black and gives them an odd taste.

How far is your camp going to be from where you park your vehicle?
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:17 AM
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Having some lights becomes reallly important in winter with the long nights. Right before Thanksgiving I was out camping with my dog. I set up a white canvas tarp behind the fire to reflect the heat, but it also reflected some light which was very cheery while hanging out in the dark.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:24 AM
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Cot and trail bed would be nice, otherwise a trail bed will be better than a bed of pine limbs. A sleeping bag rated for -50*F or lower will also be nice and a good one will be rather heavy, weight wise. I would think you'll be using a snowmobile - you'll need to carry tools and a few spare items for the sled - then what will you be pulling? a large toboggan of sorts? If you're going to the various locations via pickup - then having chains along is a must. If this is your 1st rodeo at extended winter camping a ways from your home base - bring along some money, I'd say something in the realm of $1,000.00 as if you don't - chances are you'll need it - if you do bring money, chances will improve a bit that you won't need it. Enjoy the experience, some will repeat it, some won't.
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Old 12-10-2017, 11:53 AM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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I do have a cot, but wasn't sure if it'd be worth the extra space. I suppose I could attach it to the outside of my ruck. It wouldn't definitely beat sleeping on the ground. Lantern isn't a bad idea either, although I've been trying to avoid items that require fuel.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a bear named smokey View Post
I do have a cot, but wasn't sure if it'd be worth the extra space. I suppose I could attach it to the outside of my ruck. It wouldn't definitely beat sleeping on the ground. Lantern isn't a bad idea either, although I've been trying to avoid items that require fuel.
A modern Coleman lantern will run 16 hours on a single tank of fuel(about a quart) If you filled the tank and brought a gallon of fuel about 2 hours of bright light per night(bring along extra mantels)

In addition to light it also produces heat. And if you are in an emergency situation and need a fire you can pour some fuel from the lantern onto your wood and get a good fire started when you otherwise would have a hard time.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:04 PM
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You need a "Cooler" not to keep things cold but to keep things from freezing, open it when your tent is warm close it when leaving, making coffee etc in the morning is much easier if the water is not frozen. if you get a strong enough one you can sit on it.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:07 PM
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If your laws are like here in Canada, just because you have the right to camp there and hunt doesnt mean you can trap, you could be in an area with an established trap line already. good luck I hope it works out for you.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:07 PM
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Lots of alcohol to keep warm and a book or two to read.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:26 PM
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x2 on the books! The nights are long. Your list looks good.

Take pictures! We'll all want to see a write up !
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:26 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeJ View Post
I would think you'll be using a snowmobile - you'll need to carry tools and a few spare items for the sled - then what will you be pulling? a large toboggan of sorts?
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How far is your camp going to be from where you park your vehicle?
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A lot will depend on logistics. How you will get your gear and grub, in and out of the Bush.
Can you can reliably get a loaded 4WD pickup to your site? Are you planning on a snow machine?
I do not have a snow mobile I might be able to get one for around $500, but wouldn't rely on it too much not breaking down in the bush. That $500 is already going towards the tent (last expensive item to purchase). Hopefully next winter with a little extra cash saved up this summer I'll be able to buy a snowmobile. There are three lakes within two miles of where I'll be camping, so fishing shouldn't require much travel. But having to walk everywhere means I'll be able to travel far less ground checking traps. I'll have to see when I get there, but I'm hoping I could cover a two mile radius with the trapline. It sucks, but I don't have much money left.

As far as entry / egress, rather than leave my vehicle on the side of the road for a month sparking the curiosity of forest rangers, I was going to get dropped off with my dog and gear at a distinct location (north side of a big lake) with pickup at the same spot 30 days later. I'll have a sled to pull gear, and my ruck + a duffle. I might need to make two trips, leaving the duffle behind until I set up camp. The area I've been looking at is 3-5 miles south of the main road where I'll be dropped, and about 2 miles from the nearest trail. If I get lost, I can head either north or east and hit the same trail that'll bring me back up to the main road. The guy dropping me off will pick me at the same spot 30 days later with instructions to notify authorities to go retrieve my frozen corpse if I don't show up lol... If I need early extract, there is a lodge / resort on the north side of the lake where I get dropped off.
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Old 12-10-2017, 12:30 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Quote:
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If your laws are like here in Canada, just because you have the right to camp there and hunt doesnt mean you can trap, you could be in an area with an established trap line already. good luck I hope it works out for you.
Just south of the border actually! I have verified I can trap and hunt there and stay up to 30 days, but need to move camp after two weeks.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:02 PM
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If the area has snow of any significance, I’d bring snowshoes. I think you are low on food items. I’d add some variety. The cot is a great suggestion. I’d bring a saw for cutting wood, and if your trapping for meat, you will need something to saw the frozen meat. Bring something to keep your axe and knives sharp. Be sure to read the link Hicks posted. Good information.

Have fun and post pictures upon your return.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:14 PM
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I'm going to follow ljcygnet's suggestion and skip the pemican and bring meat instead. Might as well. Adding some veggies for variety, and cornmeal, flour and baking powder. I'll throw some salt, sugar and cayenne in my pack as well. Snowshoes are a must, forgot to include that in list. I also have a sharpening stone and a compass that I forgot to include as well. I'll figure out a way to secure that cot to either the sled or my ruck. And I'll pick up a Coleman lantern, as I don't think they're too spendy.

I'll definitely post some pictures! I have a gopro and was thinking about documenting some if it on there as well. If so I'll upload it to youtube for you guys to check out.
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Old 12-10-2017, 01:16 PM
a bear named smokey a bear named smokey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hick Industries View Post
Here is a prior post where I linked to the story of an eighteen yr old kid, trapping the first time in Alaska.
It's a great read for anyone planning on a long term wilderness trip.
https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...945&highlight=
That's actually one of the first threads I viewed on these forums when I first registered. Now was a great time to go back and review it again! Thanks for posting.
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:27 PM
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Be sure you bear bag your food, BTW -- for a long term camp, I'd run a rope between two trees about twenty feet up, and then hang the food mid point between the trees. This keeps not just bears out, but most other critters 'cept for maybe squirrels, and in the middle of winter that far north, squirrels may not be a concern.

In Arizona in the lean part of winter, I'd attach pie plates to my ropes too, to keep the @%#$!!!!! wood rats from getting into my food, but you may not have that particular issue. If you do have wood rats or the local equivalent, or particularly aggressive mice, you may wish to bring a few snap traps along, as well as protecting the lines on your food. Even if your food is securely stored they could ruin your pelts and I have to say being climbed over by a rodent of unusual size in the middle of the night tends to be startling, at best.)
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Old 12-10-2017, 03:38 PM
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If you don't have your tent yet. Check out this guys youtube channel. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPzvwf1VNtE He has videos showing how to make a tent and stove on the cheap(probably less than $75 for everything) I have camped in something similar in the winter and my only revomendation would be to have a larger stove.

I would also recommend having someone check on you more-often, if nothing else a radio check in every night. If they don't hear from you every evening they come out to look for you.

I would also plan to resupply after a few days. That way once you are set up you can learn what works and what doesn't and can have other items/food brought in to make the rest of your stay better.

I am assuming you plan to make several trips in to get everything into camp and several/many trips out when you are done depending on how many furs you have to pull out.
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