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Thread: Most creative thing you've done to burn time while stranded in the tent?

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    Default Most creative thing you've done to burn time while stranded in the tent?

    A lot of us know how cabin fever can set in pretty quickly staring at the roof of your tent when you planned on being out chasing critters. I know a lot of people bring a book to read in case inclement weather moves in on a hunt...but I'm curious what sorts of other things people have done to burn a few days (or weeks?) when a book was left behind...

    I'll start it off with one of mine...

    On a sheep hunt a few years ago, fog, rain, wind, etc. moved in on day 1 and stranded my dad and I in the tent for 4 days. After reading the hunting regs cover to cover a few times, we decided to cut out squares of all the blank white spaces and make a deck of playing cards (would have been convenient to bring an actual deck!). We had a roll of duct tape in the Cub so we taped the backside of them so we couldn't see through them and they all looked the same while face-down. We stayed fairly well entertained by playing cribbage until the weather cleared.

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    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
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    most creative thing:

    pretty sure my baby boy was conceived in either a remote ice fishing house, or a tent. Hope he doesn't ask mom or dad why his middle name is "River"

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    Quote Originally Posted by AK Predator View Post
    A lot of us know how cabin fever can set in pretty quickly staring at the roof of your tent when you planned on being out chasing critters. I know a lot of people bring a book to read in case inclement weather moves in on a hunt...but I'm curious what sorts of other things people have done to burn a few days (or weeks?) when a book was left behind...

    I'll start it off with one of mine...

    On a sheep hunt a few years ago, fog, rain, wind, etc. moved in on day 1 and stranded my dad and I in the tent for 4 days. After reading the hunting regs cover to cover a few times, we decided to cut out squares of all the blank white spaces and make a deck of playing cards (would have been convenient to bring an actual deck!). We had a roll of duct tape in the Cub so we taped the backside of them so we couldn't see through them and they all looked the same while face-down. We stayed fairly well entertained by playing cribbage until the weather cleared.
    Thats pretty dope

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    Count squares in the fabric...

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    On a fly out caribou trip years ago the weather kicked up and it poured rain for a couple days with no animals moving. We were dropped on a regularly used site out by the Mulchatna River. We found a handfull of electrical staples (the kind used to secure electric wire to studs in a house) in the trees and pulled them out. So, under a tarp we sat tossing mini horshoes at some sticks we poked in the ground. We also studied the regs repeatedly as we didn't have a book.
    BK

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    Stranded in a cabin with over 1/4 inch of solid ice on everything{ It was clear enough to see through and slick enough that you could not stand on} we whittled some dice from some wood in the cabin and made up some rules for a game that entertained us for about three days.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    In 2009 we were hammered by a nasty cold front on an early August sheep trip. Temps were at or below freezing for several days and the view looked like this:




    My dad had recently read a journal of a early Alaskan explorer than mentioned a form of braided tundra plant that would burn with a flame "sufficient to make a cup of coffee". Since we were half frozen, we scrounged some up and and tried it. Sure enough, it burned like it had been soaked in diesel....



    The drawback was that the smoke was like AWFUL. It was like trying to huddle around a burning tire for warmth.

    So the second day we found a crack in a big rock and walled it in to try and create a chimney. Despite our best efforts (and we had plenty of time) it leaked smoke from every single crack and was of dubious heating value.



    The third day, we created a small "stove" from flat rocks with a rear exit chimney. That kinda worked as long as the wind was blowing the right way. Anyway, between gathering fuel and tinkering with the fire design, we were entertained and the fire kept our toes from freezing and falling off.


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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    Yellowknife, way cool pics and post. Do you know what tundra plant you used? I am seeing some labrador tea in the one pic but can't tell if it was just in front of the fire naturally growing or not.

    Most creative thing we have done when stranded in a tent was make birch bark baskets. I still have a cool woven one my daughter made for my birthday early May when breakup forced us to evac to high ground.

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bushrat View Post
    Yellowknife, way cool pics and post. Do you know what tundra plant you used? I am seeing some labrador tea in the one pic but can't tell if it was just in front of the fire naturally growing or not.


    Mark,

    I'm not sure what it is, and I've made several efforts to find out. I don't believe it's Labrador Tea.

    It's a fairly common plant in the alpine and on the north slope. Looks almost like a low some kind of dwarf evergreen at first glance, but it's actually a vine type plant. On close inspection the leaves grow in such a way that the appear "braided" along the main stems. Does this picture help?



    It seems to have a very high oil content, and burns quite hot. If your stove breaks down above treeline, a ball of this would certainly make a hot meal.

    Yk

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Thats really cool YK. I dont know the name of that plant, but I know just what it is. I'll file that one away in the back of my head for some future time...

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    Member highestview's Avatar
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    Eat junk food and nap.
    Born in Alaska: The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:6

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    Member pa 5-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Mark,

    I'm not sure what it is, and I've made several efforts to find out. I don't believe it's Labrador Tea.

    It's a fairly common plant in the alpine and on the north slope. Looks almost like a low some kind of dwarf evergreen at first glance, but it's actually a vine type plant. On close inspection the leaves grow in such a way that the appear "braided" along the main stems. Does this picture help?



    It seems to have a very high oil content, and burns quite hot. If your stove breaks down above treeline, a ball of this would certainly make a hot meal.

    Yk
    Incredible tips and tactics like this little gem are the coolest thing about forums such as this. This little tip from Yellowknife, via his Father, could literally save someone's life. I could have read 1000 books about alpine hunting and never learned about this "flammable" plant. I greatly appreciate the tip Sir.

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    Member bushrat's Avatar
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    The closeup really helps. It looked like labrador tea in the other photo but not in the closeup. And in the closeup, can't tell if those are little round berries associated with the tops of the stems, similar to juniper type berries? Can't seem to find it in our plant books. Great info, amazing sometimes what you can use out there for heat.

  14. #14

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    Bell-heather - cassiope - tie in knots about the size of your fist. Burns hot even when wet. More than enough heat to make tea in small tin can. My old friend showed me last fall.
    Wes
    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowknife View Post
    Mark,

    I'm not sure what it is, and I've made several efforts to find out. I don't believe it's Labrador Tea.

    It's a fairly common plant in the alpine and on the north slope. Looks almost like a low some kind of dwarf evergreen at first glance, but it's actually a vine type plant. On close inspection the leaves grow in such a way that the appear "braided" along the main stems. Does this picture help?



    It seems to have a very high oil content, and burns quite hot. If your stove breaks down above treeline, a ball of this would certainly make a hot meal.

    Yk

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    Default rain dance to keep warm

    Cold, wet, out of gas (in the boat), waiting on shore for gas to arrive. I do my best rain dance imitation to keep warm... then decided to stomp out a 20 foot high SOS in the snow on the bank so rescue boat could see my spot better. Was so engrossed in my rain dance I didn't even see the cop drive his boat up to me until he was just 20 feet or so away. Pretty sure he thought I was a bit nuts the way I was dancing. (I thought no one would see. )

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    Member Yellowknife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wesleyM1990 View Post
    Bell-heather - cassiope - tie in knots about the size of your fist. Burns hot even when wet. More than enough heat to make tea in small tin can. My old friend showed me last fall.
    Wes
    I believe you are right, it does appear to be a form of Bell Heather. Good call and thanks for the information.

    Yk

  17. #17

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    14 hours in a very hot antelope blind...sunup to sunset without ever walking outside or standing upright. Sweat droplets running from 9 am to 5:30 pm....I had a running conversation with the cold drinks in my cooler. I used a twig to pull sweat drops into patterns. I read my hat label 6 times backward. I photographed beetle dung close-up. I put my watch on the wrong arm so it was hard to read and looked later than it really was. I emptied my billfold and read everything in it 3 times. I even discovered I was an organ donor. I was a little crazier every day by the time the hunt ended...5 days of endless sitting.

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    14 hours is just a long nap... Lol. Try 120 hours of heavy dense cold rain and fog, couldn't hunt, plane can't get ya, stuck in a tent that barely fits one let alone 2 guys and the only book was my hunters book the federal list...lol

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    Premium Member Wyo2AK's Avatar
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    On the same goat hunt I recently referenced in another thread, with the goat dead on Day 1, myself and Packer #2 started into our Crown reserves around noon (or maybe earlier) on Day 2. Weather was bad on Day 2 so we had plenty of time and no rush getting off the mountain. Crown kept myself and Packer #2 entertained. The tag holder decided to take a nap instead. About the time Tag Holder woke up from his nap woke up, Packer #2 and I were done with the Crown and went to bed. Tag Holder stayed up and tied all of his 550 cord into a big knot. It was about the size of a softball when he was finished. haha

    I always bring a book into the field, specifically a paperback of no sentimental value that I have no qualms with burning. I like to read and have passed a lot of down time doing so. Even better if your hunting partner brings a different book so you can switch. Just choose a hunting partner who has a similar taste in books!

    Cribbage is a good one, too! While stuck in the NWT on a caribou hunt for a couple days with my dad, I went about stir crazy while a couple other guys in camp passed the time in good cheer playing cribbage. That was the day I vowed to learn how to play.

    Cheers,
    Rich
    Pursue happiness with diligence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyo2AK View Post



    Cribbage is a good one, too! While stuck in the NWT on a caribou hunt for a couple days with my dad, I went about stir crazy while a couple other guys in camp passed the time in good cheer playing cribbage. That was the day I vowed to learn how to play.

    Cheers,
    Rich
    HA that sounds like a similar reason I learned to play... We were stuck in camp during the fires due to smoke and most were having a ball playing so I got tired and bored of watching and learned....

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