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  1. #1
    Member Dice's Avatar
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    Ranch on the Great Salt Lake

    Took my HH Super Shelter out for the first official over-nighter last night and thought I would share my experience.

    It was time for our monthly camp out with the Boy Scouts and heading up into the snow covered Wasatch Mountains again just didn't sound all that enticing!

    Luckily, our rancher buddy let us use one of his gorgeous fields right on the Great Salt Lake. Sadly, I forgot my camera... Sorry.

    One of the first lessons you learn trying to hammock camp in the west, is that just because there are trees, doesn't mean you can get to them! The field we were using was surrounded on all four sides by huge River Birch. From a distance, I was stoked! I thought for sure I would find the most beautiful grove nestled between two friendly trees that would offer great protection from the nasty wind that had picked up. However, up close, it was a completely different story! If you know anything about river birch, then you will know that the smaller branches, are covered in 1-2 inch spikes as their natural defense. The other thing about River Birch, is that they have A LOT of those small spiky branches! The massive trunks of the mature trees are usually completely surrounded by spiky undergrowth.

    So, much to my dismay, there was not a single spot that I could use... But! As all Scouts do when they must! I improvised! I found ONE nice tree that I could get to on the side of the field, backed my Infiniti QX4 up to the tree and proceeded to turn one set of tree huggers into "cargo-rack" huggers! Yup! One side hanging from the tree, the other side hanging from the rack on top of my vehicle! Worked great!

    This was the first time I have used my HHSS and was debating whether I would even need it as the forecast was only calling for low 40s overnight. But I was excited to use it, and man was I glad I did!

    The wind picked up early in the evening and only got worse as the night came on. My thermometer registered 37 degrees overnight, and that was not counting for wind chill. The HHSS with supplied underpad and one of my emergency blankets did a masterful job of keeping the wind off of my back side. The wind was really roaring most of the night.

    We are pretty used to that out here on the flats next to the lake. The wind comes ripping off the lake and right into town. It can really make a mess of things. (it literally wrapped our trampoline around a telephone poll once!)

    I took along my new 0 degree bag just in case as well, and again, I'm glad I did. My biggest learning from the trip was wind can really do you in. In my case, the wind would come ripping under my hex tarp and right through the no-see-um netting, across me, and back out the other side. I spent most of the night tucked completely inside my bag as it was doing a great job of keeping the wind off of my top side. I'm still not sold on the top quilt idea. I still like the idea of being enclosed in my bag and protected on all sides, so if there are other arguments besides weight, I would love to hear them.

    Otherwise, since we were car camping, we thought we would treat the boys to a nice, dutch oven, culinary treat. For dinner we had seven bone roasts with potatoes, roasted carrots, and caramelized onions, with fried potatoes and chunked bacon on the side. Dessert was individual apple turnovers sprinkled with brown sugar and cinnamon. We had extra apples so we threw them into another oven, peel side down, and simply sprinkled them with the leftover cinnamon and sugar. Simple and super good!

    Breakfast was a potato, bacon, onion, and cheese souffle with warm buck skin bread to wash it down! (Sugary hand made bread dough, spread out in the dutch oven, sprinkled with lots of cinnamon, sugar, and butter! Yum!)

    All in all, it was a nice trip. The wind was nasty and cold, but the boys had a blast running through the thickets and trying (unsuccessfully) to not get wet in the fresh water natural sleughs that surrounded the fields (hence the River Birch).

    So, how did the SS do? It performed fantastically well in these conditions. 37 degrees, horrible wind chill, nice toasty back-side!

    Roll the bones!
    Roll the bones_00

  2. #2
    Alamosa's Avatar
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    Sounds like a great trip. Always enjoy some fine ingenuity. A good night sleep and some good cooking makes for a great outing.
    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
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  3. #3
    Joey's Avatar
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    Using the car for an anchor works! Glad the SS worked as well. The smorgasbord of grub sounded amazing! Made me hungry!! Never heard of buck skin bread. Going to have to give that a try sometime!

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. #4
    Member Dice's Avatar
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    Pleasure! It was a fun trip!

    I'd never heard of the bread either before the trip. It was really easy, and dirt cheap!

    First, get a dutch oven heating. We used a 14" and placed 10-12 briquettes on the bottom. Make sure there is plenty of oil in the oven or the bread will stick.

    Then mix in a bowl:
    4 cups flour
    1 cup sugar
    2 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp salt
    You can add cinnamon to the dough if you want. (I would have, but I forgot!)

    Add about 2 cups of milk to the dry mixture and start mixing/needing until you have a pretty good ball of bread dough. Water can be used too. You may need to add more flour or milk to get to the right texture.

    place the dough in the dutch oven and loosely stretch it out until it fits the oven.

    We used a little more than a cup of sugar mixed with 3-4 tsps of cinnamon (to taste) for the topping.

    Once you have the bread spread out in the oven, shake the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top until it is covering the bread. Place some pats of butter randomly around on the top of the mixture, this will help it melt.

    Put the lid on, and put lots of briquettes on top. You definitely want more heat on top than on bottom. We probably had 20 or so on top. As soon as the sugar has melted and the bread feels firm to the touch, it is done! 30 minutes or so. Slice it right in the oven like a pizza and enjoy! The consistency was a little denser than a coffee cake. A great experiment that turned out great!

    You can leave out the sugar from the dough and just make it a regular dense bread if you don't want it to be sweet.

    Bon apetit!
    Roll the bones_00

  5. #5
    Senior Member MuseJr's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your trip. I don't think it gets any better than a dutch oven dinner, warm drinks and dessert followed by a night in the hammock.
    Sounds like you needed the over cover to go with the SS. That thing makes a big difference in the wind.
    "I'm a connoisseur of BACON." - Anyways - 6/9/13

  6. #6
    Member Dice's Avatar
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    I hear you there! Go dutch oven!

    I really thought about the over cover, but I tend to get a little claustrophic in there anyway, so I'm leary of covering everything up like that. It might be too much for me... Thanks for the suggestion though!
    Roll the bones_00

  7. #7
    Whoooo Buddy)))) Shug's Avatar
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    Whoooo yeah ...the wind can do that. I remember my first hammock trip the wind got me ....I added doors to my tarp not long after that.
    Terrific briefing.
    Shug
    Whoooo Buddy)))) I Love Onions, Grits, Greens, Livermush, NC Style BBQ, Potted Meat, Anchovies, 'Naner Puddin", Peanut Butter Pie, Red Velvet Cake and Cocoa and Straaaaaawwwwberrrry Milk and Coffee Crisps....
    I Hope Heaven has a Bakery!!!!



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  8. #8
    Member Dice's Avatar
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    I must correct my original story. They weren't River Birch's at all! Russian Olive. Sorry, brain cramp...
    Roll the bones_00

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