How to make Brunswick Stew


Mt. Ampersand from Round Lake, Adirondack Mountains, 1902.
Mt. Ampersand from Round Lake, Adirondack Mountains, 1902.

This recipe for Brunswick Stew comes from “Canoe and Camp Cookery: A Practical Cook Book for Canoeists, Corinthian Sailors and Outers” by “Seneca” 1885. It mentions that “This is a favorite Virginia dish, of which the compiler of this book has eaten, but which he has never cooked. The recipe here given is said by an old Virginian to be reliable.” I would imagine that chicken could be substituted for squirrel.

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How to make a pair of moccasins

Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858-1860. Painted by Alfred Jacob Miller. By the time Miller saw the fur trade, several famous personalities were involved, such as Jim Bridger, “Bourgeois” Walker, and Kit Carson. Of that group, it is interesting to note, Miller painted a portrait only of Walker. There are various other portraits of members of Stewart’s group, such as Pierre, a seventeen-year old French Canadian and one of Miller’s favorites. Dressed here in his buckskin shirt, his hat decorated with turkey feathers and a fox-tail brush, and holding his treasured pipe, Pierre is apparently deep in thought.

After reading this article about moccasins, I find myself wanting a pair. Fortunately, instructions are given on how to make your own in case there isn’t a mall around the corner. I can imagine any squaws that read this will be madder than a Wampus Cat in a rainstorm that the author thought they didn’t have “mechanical skill nor the appliances” to make good moccasins.  This description is taken from “Camping and camp outfits. A manual of instruction for young and old sportsmen” by G.O. Shields, 1890.

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The watch as a 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

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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