OK, time for the first fall recipe of the year! It’s fall time now, my favorite season, and being a seasoned foodie it’s definitely my favorite time of the year for cooking AND camping. It’s time for pumpkin-spice EVERYTHING. But the warming euphoria of the aroma of cinnamon, sage, pine, and other holiday staples is what really drives the fall season mood in my opinion, and we’re going to use a couple of those here.
Boneless country style pork ribs are my personal favorite. It’s super tender and easy to grill. But any cut of pork will work just great. If you’re using pork chops, make sure they’re at least an inch thick. And this will be a double cooking process. Follow along…
3-4lbs preferred cut of pork. Boneless is best
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced/diced
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup finely shredded/chiffonade sage. Must be fresh sage; no dried stuff from plastic jars here.
1 cup dried cranberries, or 1 ½ cups fresh ones (roughly chopped)
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
Start by grilling the pork just until all sides are browned and you have some nice grill marks on all sides. Make sure you coat the pork in a little olive oil and salt and pepper first. You don’t need to cook it all the way through here. The second part of this is done in foil pouches. Pour a little olive oil on the foil and lay the pork down on top. Then simply add the garlic, onion, sage, cranberries, butter, and chopped walnuts over the pork. Seal it up but leave a slight opening for venting. Let that hang out over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pork from the foil to a plate to cool, but don’t you dare throw all that wonderfulness in the foil away. No no no… Drizzle the contents over the pork and serve. Sagey goodness abounds. Happy Fall!
Questions/comments/requests/suggestions/limericks/thoughts on life/childhood stories? Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are few things more enjoyable during a night in camp than staring at the night sky. Now you can be a celestial expert and dazzle your camp mates with your night sky knowledge. There’s lots going in the November night sky, so grab your telescope and your tent and get out there!
November – Rosetta Comet Landing. The European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft is scheduled to release its Philae lander some time in November. Philae will attempt to land on the surface of a comet known as 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. The lander is named after Philae island in the Nile river, where an obelisk was found that was used to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics along with the famous Rosetta Stone. The Philae lander will spend about a week studying the comet. It will send back images from the surface and try to determine what the comet is made of.
November 5, 6 – South Taurids Meteor Shower. The Taurids is a long-running minor meteor shower producing only about 5-10 meteors per hour. It is unusual in that it consists of two separate streams. The first is produced by dust grains from Asteroid 2004 TG10. The second stream is produced by debris left behind by Comet 2P Encke. The shower runs annually from September 7 to December 10. It peaks this year on the the night of November 5. Unfortunately the full moon this year will block out all but the brightest meteors. Those with patience may still be able to catch a few good ones. Best viewing will be just after midnight from a dark location far away from city lights. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Taurus, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
November 6 – Full Moon. The Moon will be directly opposite the Earth from the Sun and will be fully illuminated as seen from Earth. This phase occurs at 22:23 UTC. This full moon was known by early Native American tribes as the Full Beaver Moon because this was the time of year to set the beaver traps before the swamps and rivers froze. It has also been known as the Frosty Moon and the Hunter’s Moon.
November 17, 18 – Leonids Meteor Shower. The Leonids is an average shower, producing an average of up to 15 meteors per hour at its peak. This shower is unique in that it has a cyclonic peak about every 33 years where hundreds of meteors per hour can be seen. That last of these occurred in 2001. The Leonids is produced by dust grains left behind by comet Tempel-Tuttle, which was discovered in 1865. The shower runs annually from November 6-30. It peaks this year on the night of the 17th and morning of the 18th. The waning crescent moon will not be much of a problem this year. Skies should be dark enough for a good show. Best viewing will be from a dark location after midnight. Meteors will radiate from the constellation Leo, but can appear anywhere in the sky.
November 22 – New Moon. The Moon will be directly between the Earth and the Sun and will not be visible from Earth. This phase occurs at 12:32 UTC. This is the best time of the month to observe faint objects such as galaxies and star clusters because there is no moonlight to interfere.
After a few good uses, the faithful sleeping bag begins to get a little on the raunchy side and your trusty tent is showing signs of dirt, birds, and campfire smoke. Wash or don’t wash—-that is the question. Sure you can wash them.
The main thing to remember for washing a sleeping bag is to use a NON-AGITATING machine. If you don’t have a front loader or newer non agitator type top loader, go to a Laundromat. Use the GENTLE cycle and a detergent with no perfumes or dyes. Make sure to use liquid and NOT powder. If the bag is synthetic, it will only take one dryer cycle. Don’t forget to use the LOW setting, as the bag could melt if on a higher setting. Down sleeping bags require a tad more care. You can opt for a down detergent or use Cheer Free liquid. The dryer will also be on LOW, but you’ll dry the down bag a lot longer, say 4 or 5 cycles. Throw three pairs of CLEAN balled up pairs of socks in the dryer along with the bag to beat the down feathers apart. Bag is dry when it comes out looking like the Michelin man! Camping clothing can be washed like regular clothing, but most are synthetic, so watch that dryer setting.
Tents (backpacking size, not family camping tents) can be washed on GENTLE and spun dry in the washer. They must be hung out on a line to dry; DO NOT place them in the dryer. The same goes for the rainfly. Good luck and Happy Laundry!!
Now that we’ve shared tips for tending to the needs of your sleeping bag and tentin previous newsletters, it’s time to turn your attention to the rest of your gear. Granted, it’s a drag to come back from a camping trip exhausted and have to immediately clean and sort through all your stuff, but well-maintained equipment will reward you with years and years of active duty. When you have a three-day weekend on the way, there’s no better feeling than having all your camping stuff in one place, clean and ready to go. Keep your stove, lanterns and other gear ready to go with these tips:
• First, make sure everything is off. Camp stove, flashlights, headlamps, GPS—anything you have with a shut-off switch should be shut off. You should also remove the fuel from your stove and batteries from electronics if your gear is going into long-term storage.
• Dry all your stuff completely, and if it doesn’t already have a protective case, store in a sealed plastic bag. Your camp stove won’t turn into a Gremlin if it gets wet, but the likelihood of corrosion or rust will be reduced if you can store it as dry as possible.
• Clean your camp stove and utensils thoroughly with warm water and soap. Make sure to get all food residue off the inside and outside of the stove, or you could have an ant party on your hands.
• Store your cooking stove fuel in a cool, dry location where it won’t be tormented by extreme heat or cold.
• Store a self-inflating sleeping pad loose, not rolled up. This will keep it well-aired and springy.
• Give your hiking pack a thorough cleaning when you have some downtime between outings. Use a vacuum on the inside of your pack, and then wipe down the outside with a damp cloth and mild soap or chemical-free detergent. Hose it off with cold water until no soap remains, and hang-dry your pack upside down in a shady or well-ventilated spot out of the sun.
• Don’t use a washing machine on your pack unless you’re faced with a global mildew crisis and have no other options. If you absolutely insist on using modern technology, wash on delicate in cold water with a chemical-free detergent. Don’t use a dryer—hang upside down to dry for a few days with a fan nearby.
Well maintained and properly stored gear will ensure years of reliable service. From tents to hiking boots, taking the time now will make sure future trips are not plagued by gear problems.
since I lasted posted anything, so I thought I would take a moment to share what is new at PahaQue these days. Let me start by asking if you’ve ever had one of those days were you start work, look up at the clock, and it’s already 5pm and time to go home? (In our case it’s usually closer to 7pm….) That is pretty much how is has been around here since around mid-April.
Ever since returning from our Spring Desert Guided Tour in April, its been foot on the gas and take no prisoners! I have always said that in this business we are the same as farmers – business is seasonal, and total dependant upon the weather. And as everyone knows, it has been a crazy, and oftentimes scary year around the country. But despite facing hurdles just as every business does – especially these days – we have been quite busy and it has been an exciting year for us.
Working in partnership with Green Supply in Vandalia, Missouri, we have eliminated the inventory issues that plagued us over the past few years, we have expanded our product line to now include mid-price family models, and super-lightweight backpacking tents, and we have totally revamped our website to include the most current photos, specs, dealer listings and more!
We are excited about the upcoming September issue of Camping Life Magazine which will feature a story about our Spring Guided Tour and the joys of backcountry desert camping. We look forward to this trip each year with much anticipation, and we hope you will consider joining us next year. This year we had folks from as far away as Michigan, Las Vegas, Tucson and Phoenix join us, and we all had a great time exploring old mines and mining roads, hiking on the desert and enjoying the awesome sunsets and desert night sky. We will be announcing our plans for next years trip over the next few months.
We are currently preparing for the annual Outdoor Retailer trade show in Salt Lake City, where the entire outdoor industry comes together to buy and sell, and show off the new products that will appear on the shelves in 2012. It should be an exciting show. The industry overall has been down the past few years, but 2011 has been a year of improvement and growth so the mood should be positive at the show as we all look towards 2012. We really enjoy the face time with our dealers, and the chance to meet new folks and see what new innovative products are being developed.
Here at PahaQue, we are proud that our products continue to be well-liked by our customers and dealers alike, and that through hard work and dedication we have ‘weathered the storm’ that has affected so many of us over the past few years. We have never had to sacrifice quality or our reputation, and can say that we are as dedicated as ever to providing you with the very best camping tents and shelters, and to stand behind our products with rock-solid customer service.
If you haven’t already checked out our YouTube page, you can do so by clicking the link on our home page. You will find helpful set-up videos, demonstration videos, and even a few attempts at humor. Also check out our Facebook page – if you become a “Fan” you will receive occasional sales offers, contest notices, gear giveaways and more. Visit our home page www.pahaque.com for these and other helpful links, as well as a complete look at what is new at PahaQue this year!
So until next springs Desert Camping Tour, I will have to settle for 2 and 3 nighters in the local deserts and mountains, where even a brief trip is a welcome break from our busy in-season schedule. And when we’re not camping, we’ll be making hay!
Hope to see you around the campfire sometime soon!
It was sometime during the summer of 1986 that the idea of exploring old west ghost towns first entered my mind. I was visiting the store of a friend who sold old west and other historical memorabilia. It was like a museum with everything for sale, although I never could afford to buy the kind of things he sold in those days.
As we were talking about our common interests in history and the outdoors, he mentioned that occasionally he would take a trip over to Arizona or Nevada to explore and photograph ghost towns. I was instantly intrigued, it had never really occurred to me that there may still be old, abandoned towns that hark back to the pioneer days. How fascinating, I thought. He showed me a photo album full of images of various abandoned towns and I knew I was going ghost town hunting.
Jump forward to 1990. After a few years of locating, exploring and camping in some of the more accessible ghost towns, a friend and I are starting to search a little deeper into the backcountry for the more hidden, and less vandalized sites. There really are some amazing sites out there if you are willing to push your skills, and your vehicle beyond your comfort zone. I’ve repaired many flat tires, and hiked out for assistance on more than one occasion. For me that is half the fun. I enjoy the challenge and the risk. As with most things, being prepared is the key.
While passing through the remote mountain town of Crown King, AZ., nestled atop the Bradshaw Mountains west of the Verde River, we stopped to talk with a Forest Ranger who was parked next to the General Store. He looked like a veteran, someone who might know this range and some of its history. We talked about mining, railroads, ghost towns and history. He had been a ranger in the Crown King district for over 40 years. I think he could tell we were genuinely interested in the history of these sites, and not just artifact collectors or worse, vandals.
After awhile he just kinda shook his head and said “sorry fellas, but I think you’re 25 years too late to find what you’re looking for.” He then proceeded to tell us a story about how in 1976 they caught two vandals using their truck winch to pull down the top story of the old hotel in the ghost town of Oro Belle, just to see how strong their winch was. At that time there were no laws against such actions, and so there was nothing they could do.
So what time and weather hadn’t destroyed. people had. But still I thought, there had to be something left to show what had happened in these pioneer boom towns. So we persisted in looking anyhow, and oftentimes were rewarded with more than we expected.
Most of whats left are the scars on the land from the mining and railroads that brought these towns into existence in the first place. Usually some “jackass” prospector (miners who carried their gear on a donkey and walked the hills in search of gold) would locate a placer deposit or a vein of gold, silver, lead, copper or a combination thereof. If the claim proved valuable, it didn’t talk long before the rush was on. Soon the hills were crawling with prospectors. Next came the promoters, hopefully the investors, and before anyone knew it they had a booming town growing up around the mines. When the mine deliveries became large enough, some enterprising railroad promoter would build a line to the mines or mill, and then the boom was really on.
But as often was the case, as soon as the veins pinched out, or the mines flooded, or the value of gold or silver dropped, the mines shut down, and the town slowly died. Oftentimes in the desert, where milled wood was scarce, buildings would be dismantled, and re-built in the next boom town. Once the buildings were gone, all that was left were the glory holes, railroad grades, and eroding adobe buildings and foundations. But there is more. Find the old trash dumps, and you can find wonderful old lead-glass bottles that have turned aqua or blue over the years. Broken tools, dishes, even old boots. All garbage to be sure, but an interesting glimpse at the life and times of that area. Find the old cemetery – every old town had one, oftentimes referred to Boot Hill – and you find a very human connection to the struggles of life on the frontier.
When you see the grave of a little girl who only lived for 1 month, you realize how difficult life really was back then, in that very spot.
Arizona Infant Grave
Nowadays there isn’t much left to see of the really old pioneer towns. But they are still there, or at least the scars still are. And when you do stumble across some reminder of the old days, the pioneer days, and if you can imagine in your minds-eye the events that may have occurred there, you can, for a moment, leave the modern world behind and feel the silence telling a story of a time gone by.
We are excited about our upcoming guided trip to Arizona at the end of March, so far we have over 30 folks registered and are sure to have more before we depart. But lately its been nose-to-the-grindstone getting through the slow season, and ramping up for spring.
So far the winter has been pretty mild here in San Diego, so theres no need to wait another 5 weeks to get out and camp. So its gonna be one of those spur of the moment things, throw the gear in the truck and head out to a favorite backcountry spot were there is no noise and no people.
Its the only way we know to develop new and useful gear. Designing camping gear in the boardroom just doesnt cut it. And besides, every trip is a gear testing trip, which sure keeps the ideas coming. And it gives us a great excuse to camp as often as possible!
Welcome everyone to the CampingExperts blog, brought to you by the folks at Paha Que’ Wilderness, Inc, manufacturers of high-quality camping equipment for 15 years!
What makes us the CampingExperts you ask? Good question. Seems that everyone is an expert when it comes to camping, camping gear, and camping techniques. And I guess we’re no different than anyone else.
But what we can and do bring to the party is a combined 80 years of camping experience, along with over 15 years of intensive product design and testing. And most importantly – listening to our customers insights, complaints and compliments.
In our never-ending quest to design better gear, we’ve seen just about every piece of camping gear ever invented. We think we know what works and what doesn’t. We personally test our gear in the most rugged backcountry and weather conditions.
In our blog we will be sharing input on equipment, remote camping spots, and camp stories and more. We hope you will participate and contribute your insights as we all search for the perfect camping experience!