How to preserve fresh fish in warm weather

Trout fishing
Purviance’s stereographs, W. T. Purviance, 1870?-1880?, trout fishing.

With warm weather upon us, this article about how to preserve fresh fish in warm weather seemed useful. It comes from “The Sportsman’s Hand Book” by Col. Horace Park, 1886. If you have any tips or insights, please post them in the comments.

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The watch as a compass

Compass
Illustrated catalogue and price-list of drawing and tracing papers, sun print papers and equipments, drawing instruments and materials, surveying instruments, accessories, etc. / Kolesch & Company.

This tip was found in “The Way of the Woods: A Manual for Sportsmen in Northeastern United States and Canada,” by Edward Breck, 1908. I have been trying it out all week and it seems to work. Let me know your experience with it. It works differently depending on whether you are in the northern or southern hemispheres.

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Camp recipes for fish chowder

camp life
Picture from Camp Kits and Camp Life by Charles Stedman Hanks, 1906

Hopefully I’ll come across more camp recipes this summer like these for fish chowder. The ingredients all seem to be portable without much hassle except for the milk. It seems like water can be substituted for milk when you don’t have access to refrigeration. These were found in “Camping and Camp Cooking” by Frank A. Bates, 1914

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Camp bedding – how to make a browse bed

camp
Photo from “The Book of Camping and Woodcraft: A Guidebook for Those Who Travel in the Wilderness” by Horace Kephart, 1906 p.46

Many a night camping has been spent tossing and turning. And that’s when you don’t pitch your tent over a prairie dog hole – but that’s a story for another time. I was surprised to find that there were air mattresses available in the early 1900s.

campers blow bed

The better option, it seems, and one where you don’t have to tote an air mattress around is the browse or bough bed. This excerpt comes from “The Way of the Woods: A Manual for Sportsmen in Northeastern United States and Canada” by Edward Breck, 1908.

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Mountain travel: the usage of signals

Salmon River Canyon
Start of the trail at the end of the road. Heading into the Salmon River Canyon. Reconnaissance party of Oscar Risvold, 1945, C&GS Season’s Report Risvold 1945

In this last installment about “mountain travel” from “Mountain Scouting, A Hand-Book for Officers and Soldiers on the Frontiers” by Edward S. Farrow, U.S. Army, 1881, Farrow points out the usefulness of signals in communicating over long distances. I’m used to being able to pick up my phone and sending a text or email, but without that convenience, having a system of signals worked out surely would have been a great advantage. Although technology is ever present (how else would I be writing this entry), I’m jealous of a lifestyle where society wasn’t as “connected” – where the use of signals etc. was even a consideration. It’s also a reminder of how things have changed to hear Farrow mention “savages” and that he believed them to have a “superstitious nature.” Also, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be as easy to pick up a dog to relay your messages these days.

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The original preppers – researching lost information

Lebbeus Hammond Mathews (1815-1900) - one of the original preppers
Lebbeus Hammond Mathews (1815-1900)

The man pictured above – you could call him one of the original preppers – is my great great grandfather, Lebbeus Hammond Mathews. He was a gentleman farmer (or dirt farmer… vegetables and later broadleaf tobacco that was sold for use as wrappers in Cuban cigars) and lived on a homestead in Elmira, New York. A knowledgeable horseman, he was a harness racing trainer. In the generations that have passed from his time until mine, the vintage skills needed for everyday survival have vanished.

Visit Archives

I’ve been digging up old resources pertaining to survival, outdoor skills, and general know-how from the 1800s to early 1900s. It’s my intention to pass along interesting finds in the hopes that they reach a greater audience and don’t get lost to the past.

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What to do when you are lost in the wilderness

Green River Canyon
Green River. Canyon of Lodore, unidentified man standing with foot on dead tree, hat in hand, side view, with the river behind him and the canyons rising on either side of the tree.

Having never been truly lost while hiking, I imagine that it’s terrifying. In the world of GPS I have an artificial reliance on technology to keep me on the straight and narrow.  The entry below is the second part of 3 having to do with navigating mountains and wilderness from “Mountain Scouting, A Hand-Book for Officers and Soldiers on the Frontiers” by Edward S. Farrow, U.S. Army, 1881. Near the end of the explanation Farrow explains through numbers how to calculate your escape. Math is not my strong point so lets just say it took several readings for me to grasp what he was saying. In the coming days I’ll be researching the next and final entry in this series about mountain travel covering ways to signal for help when you are lost in the wilderness.

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Mountain travel

Cumberland Gap
General Burnside’s Army Occupying the Cumberland Gap, Harper’s Weekly, October 10, 1863

I’ve always been fascinated by mountain men and how they knew the backcountry inside and out. Men like Jim Bridger and Jim Baker. The next couple of posts are going to be about navigating the mountains and various techniques for knowing your general whereabouts and what to do when you get lost.

I found this initial entry in “Mountain Scouting, A Hand-Book for Officers and Soldiers on the Frontiers” by Edward S. Farrow, U.S. Army, 1881.

Edward Farrow sounds like he was a good guy to have around in a tricky situation. Enjoy!

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A unique method of tree stump removal

Felling snags on fire line around the Coquille CCC camp, Siskiyou National Forest, California.
Felling snags on fire line around the Coquille CCC camp, Siskiyou National Forest, California.

This unique method of tree stump removal comes from “The New England Farmer; A Monthly Journal Devoted to Agriculture, Horticulture and their Kindred Arts and Sciences,” 1855. The funny thing is, I thought about doing this once but figured if it was this easy, no one would pay a tree service to come out and remove their tree stumps this way. Now I wish I had at least tried.

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