NEW BOOK ON EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT DUTCH OVEN COOKING

The Lodge Book of Dutch Oven Cooking By J. Wayne Fears

http://shop.lodgemfg.com/cookbooks-and-videos/dutch-oven-cookbook.asp

On April 29 and 30, 2017 during the National Cornbread Festival in South Pittsburg, Tennessee I will be at the Lodge Outlet Store autographing my new book The Lodge Book of Dutch Oven Cooking. With me will be members of the Tennessee Dutch Oven Society cooking some of the recipes from the book for you to sample. I would like to meet as many Dutch oven enthusiasts as possible those two days so put the date on your calendar.

A series of F4 tornados knocks out the electrical transmission lines, cell towers and local power lines in a five county area. For two weeks or more the area faces life without electricity and basic communications.

A small rouge nation has three “in place” radicals in the United States who rent small planes, fly to 15,000 feet above three preselected locations and each simultaneously set off small nuclear devices, an EMP attack. Everything electrical in the United States is fried. Within an instant we are living in the 1300’s.

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A&R KORSAR TACTICAL KNIFE

When I hear the term tactical knife I have come to expect to see a very large black knife with a blade designed for limited special use. This was what I was expecting when I had the opportunity to field test a Russian made A&R tactical knife, model Korsar. When the knife arrived I was very pleasantly surprised. The knife is very attractive as it has a highly polished blade, stainless heavy duty guard, stainless pommel and a handle made from Birch bark. 

A&R has been in the cutlery business for some 150 years and they are noted for making a wide variety of knives from a Russian high alloy stainless steel, called 95X18, which is considered by many blade smiths to be one of the best materials in making forged blades. This is the steel that is the heart of the fixed blade Korsar knife.

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REDISCOVER THE BAKER TENT

Base camp looked as inviting as a five star resort. We were fishing the headwaters of a Blue Ridge Mountains creek and each day we left the comfort of the tent camp to fight the tangles of brush to fish a little known rushing creek that offered fishing adventures few in today’s world know. At the end of each day of fishing we returned to our camp which consisted of a large baker-style tent located in a post card setting on a high hill overlooking the creek. The big white tent offered roomy sleeping comfort for two with room for gear storage. The front awning served as a protected area for cooking and simply lounging. Our campfire, the heart of the camp, was located just in front of the awning and it was there many fish were cooked; stories were told and on cool evenings a reflector fire was built to keep the interior of the tent warm. The camp would not have been the same with any other style tent; the almost forgotten baker tent was perfect for this trip, as it has been for countless other backcountry adventures.

The Name

If you want to start a heated campfire debate with a group of seasoned backcountry adventurers then offer an opinion as to when the first baker tent was used or where it got its name. I have seen shouting matches among friends that went on into the night when these subjects were debated.

Baker Tentsmiths Baker Tentsmiths[/caption]First about the name and how it came about. According to my research, the name “baker tent” was most likely given to the tent sometime back in the 1800’s. Many logging and survey camps back in those early days used the “Yankee baker oven”, reflector oven as it is called today, to cook meals for hungry work crews and since the tents they used had the same profile soon the tents were called “baker tents”. The name stuck and today most still call this style tent the baker tent.

Not everyone agrees with this as there are writings that state that the name “baker tent” came from World War I, where cooks and bakers used a large lean-to style tent to prepare meals for the troops. It is said that the troops came to call the tents “baker tents” as it was where much of the baking was done. I could not find any verification of that.

However even today the modified lean-to style tent is not called baker tent by everyone. Some campers refer to it as the “campfire tent” because it is ideal for building a fire at its front to reflect warmth into the tents interior. The same fire can be a pleasure to sit by after a full day afield and the same fire is convenient for cooking. The late, well known, wilderness canoe adventurer and writer Bill Mason used and wrote about the tent in his excellent book Song of the Paddle calling it the “campfire tent”. Because of that the tent still has a following that calls it the “campfire tent”. Since Mason made some modifications to the basic baker tent design you can find some references to the tent as the “Mason tent”.

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THIS TWO-POUND KIT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE

Those who go into the outdoors prepared rarely need rescuing, but when they do it is usually not a disaster story. Most that are lost or stranded in the backcountry of the lower 48 states in the U.S. are found within the first 72 hours, provided they do a few things correctly.

Several years ago I was on a search for a lost hunter who had been missing two days. We found him the third day. It was pouring rain when the smoke from his fire was spotted. Arriving at his survival camp we found him to be very comfortable and, while totally lost, we found him in good spirits and in good condition. He used his survival kit to build a comfortable camp and wait for rescue.

Go on outdoor adventures prepared to spend three extra, unexpected, days in the backcountry. To do this, you need to take with you items that will give you quick protection from inclement weather, retain body heat, enable you to start a fire, provide you with safe drinking water, keep you safe from biting insects and give you at least two methods of signaling for help beyond a cell phone or two-way radio. These items make up your personal survival kit. When combined with your belt knife they give you the edge you need to survive.

The survival kit is important not only for its life-saving merits, but for comfort on those outings when a night must be spent in the woods or streamside, unexpectedly. I have been forced on many occasions to spend an unexpected night or two in the woods, I didn’t plan on, because an outfitter was late picking me up, climbing down a mountain in the dark was too dangerous, a motor conked on my boat, a rain swollen creek blocked my return, etc. Each time, my two-pound survival kit provided me with a comfortable camp. Without it the wait would have been cold and dangerous.

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