Archery Freaks

20 Camping tricks & tips

I found these tricks & tips on the Outdoor Life website.

Shotshell Case
In a pinch, two empty shotshells (one 12-gauge and one 20-gauge) will fit snugly together to make a case for matches or other small items.

Feather Attractor
You’ve no doubt seen motorized rabbits that shake all over to help callers attract foxes, coyotes and bobcats. These work, but are a pain to lug around and set up, not to mention the cost of buying your robotic bunny. A simpler, less expensive attractor can be made from a turkey tail feather tied to one end of a notched wooden dowel with a piece of thread. Push the dowel upright in the ground. When the feather blows in the breeze, it will provide just the right amount of movement to help coax wily predators to come in for a look.

Paint Your Horns
For safety’s sake, it's a good idea to spray your rattling horns with brightly colored paint, preferably hunter orange or chartreuse. This may prevent you from being mistaken for a deer by a careless hunter.

Don’t Chalk Box Calls
Some turkey hunters use chalk on their box calls to increase friction, but experts say it’s not needed on a properly tuned call. In damp weather, chalk acts as a sponge, absorbing moisture that can gum up your call. This dampens the ringing tone of a good box call. If your call is constructed from good-quality wood, the call actually will sound better without chalk.

Trail Threads
Here’s a simple, inexpensive way to nail down a good location for your deer stand. Look for deer trails in the area you plan to hunt, and tie a piece of light-colored sewing thread waist-high (or lower) between two trees on either side of a trail. Do likewise at other trail spots. If you return and find a thread broken, you’ll know deer are still using that trail, and you can place your stand nearby.

Hot-Water Heater
To keep hot water handy for use around camp:

*Fill several zip-seal plastic bags with water and place them inside a black plastic garbage bag.
*Lay the bag in direct sunlight on smooth ground. Make sure there are no sharp sticks or stones beneath the bags that could puncture them.
*In just a few hours, the water in the zip-seal bags will be hot.
*Carefully remove a bag from the garbage sack (you might need gloves to hold it), unzip one corner and pour the hot water where you need it.

All Yolking Aside…
To keep eggs fresh in camp, dip them in boiling water for exactly 5 seconds, and then let them cool. This creates a film inside the shell, which makes the eggs airtight. Treated this way, they should keep for weeks without refrigeration.

Zipper-Pull Additions
The little grab-tabs on the ends of zippers can be hard to find and difficult to hold, especially when you’re wearing gloves or mittens. Make them bigger by adding a ribbon, piece of cord, whistle, thermometer, key chain, paper clip or even a strip of duct tape.

Magic Candles
Remember those trick candles someone put on your birthday cake—the ones that stayed lit no matter how hard you blew on them? Because they won’t blow out, these candles make great additions to your fire-starting kit.
Light one with a match or lighter, keep it sheltered in the cup of your hand and use it to ignite your tinder, even when it’s windy or a bit rainy outside. Liberally wet your fingertips to extinguish the candle and save it for another use. You’ll find the candles in the bakery departments of many discount and grocery stores.

Free Fire-Starter
Clothes-dryer lint stuffed in a waterproof container and kept in a pocket or survival kit is excellent tinder for fire-starting. You can pack a surprisingly large amount in a very small container, like a 35mm film canister. It costs nothing, weighs almost nothing and, if you add a few strike-anywhere matches, you have a ready-made kit for building a blaze.

Three Fires for Extra Warmth
In a survival situation, or when you or others are dangerously wet and cold, build three small fires and position yourselves in the middle. This allows you to share the heat and stay warm front and back better than with a single large fire. Also, three fires in a triangle is a distress signal.

Loading A Deer Alone
If your solo deer hunt is successful, you’ll find it much easier to load your deer into your truck if you bring a sheet of 3⁄8- or 1⁄2-inch plywood cut to fit in the pickup bed. 

*Drop the tailgate.
*Slide one end of the plywood to the ground.
*Roll the deer onto the wood.
*Now you can raise the lower end of the plywood sheet and slide it into the truck using your leg muscles rather than your back.
This reduces the risk of back injury and keeps your clothing cleaner, too.

Trail Marker
When hunting or tracking game through unfamiliar country, you might need to mark your trail. Instead of using paint or reflective tacks or tape, carry some bright, neon-colored chalk to leave recognizable signs on trees or rocks. (The color or colors used or special markings will also help you communicate with hunting partners.) The next rainfall will erase your trail markings.

Wind Indicator
A good way to tell the wind’s direction is to use the fluffy seeds from a milkweed or dandelion plant. Place the seeds in a sealable plastic bag, then drop some of the fluff into the air and watch which way it goes. The seeds are natural, so they have no strange smell, like the powders used by some hunters.

Blood Trailing Made Easy
A small spray bottle full of hydrogen peroxide makes it easier to follow a blood trail on freshly fallen leaves. Spray the peroxide and watch for foaming, which indicates blood is present. This technique becomes especially useful when leaves are wet and trailing is difficult.

Curiosity Scent
One popular homemade deer attractant, long used by Southern hunters, is designed to arouse a deer’s curiosity.

*Make it by mixing 2 ounces anise oil, 1 ounce pure vanilla and 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter.
*Keep it in a small sealed container. Dab liberally on a 4-inch-long strip of cloth.
*Hang the cloth over a limb within shooting range of your stand.

Scent Eliminator
To reduce the amount of human scent on your hunting clothes, toss the garments in a clothes dryer with a pillow case or cloth bag filled with fresh pine needles or sagebrush leaves.Be sure the bag is tied shut, and let the clothes tumble 15 minutes or more on a gentle setting before removing.

Whet or Dry?
Contrary to what many people believe, you shouldn't put oil or water on a whetstone when you're sharpening a knife. If you do, metal fragments will become trapped in the liquid, resulting in a ragged edge on the blade. Always keep your whetstone dry.

Camo for Your Stand
Don't toss that old artificial Christmas tree. Use wire cutters to snip off some branches so you can use them to camouflage your ladder stand. Use plastic cable ties to attach the branches to the platform and ladder, then open them up to fill in any gaps.

Dry When You Need It
A 2-pound coffee can makes a terrific toilet-paper holder for your backcountry camp.

- Punch a hole in one side of the can near the bottom.
- Then punch another hole opposite this one.
- Run some wire or cord through these holes, and secure the can to a tree (with the bottom side of the can resting against the trunk) near the latrine. Put the roll of toilet paper in, snap on the plastic lid, and the paper stays handy yet dry.