Foul weather can wreck more than your mood when you’re out camping and hunting moose. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips and tricks that can make a huge difference in the case of unexpected events.
It’s never wrong to make the meat rack in advance. It might be midnight in the rain when you get back with the meat and keeping it dry is important. Make your meat hanging ropes before you head out. Take lengths of sturdy rope (in three, six and seven metre lengths) and tie a loop in one end of each. Use the loop end form another loop around the shank of the quarter, or the knot in the meat bag. One person lifts the bag to hanging level, and the other person wraps the loose end of the rope around the hanging pole at least twice. This wrap creates friction, which holds the bag while you knot the rope. It also keeps the knot from tightening.
Put a loop of shock cord on all the tent loops and some tarp grommets so, in the wind, the stress is taken by the elastic cord rather than the pegs or fastening point.
When you put up a tarp or fly to collect water, tie a light cord to a lowered corner and tie it to a bucket under the corner. Put your axe or a clean stone in the bucket to hold it down until it gets water in it. Sew a loop into the centre of your rain tarps on the “up” side. Then tie that off to an overhead branch or line, so you then have a high point in the center of the tarp to drain off the rain.
Tents and tarps should be placed upwind of the firepit to avoid burning holes in the fabric. Tarps over the fire area can be sloped upwards towards the front to allow the smoke to escape.
The weather (especially winds) can change overnight, resulting in a hole in the boat, or the boat sitting on the bottom of the body of water the next morning. The boat can be pulled further out of the water if you gather wet sticks (beaver logs are ideal) and slide the boat right out of the water on them. The boat should always be tied with two ropes, one from the bow and at least one other on the windward side. I have had great success tying the boat with the bow facing out and the stern on wet wood (floorboards) onshore and one longer rope in each direction out from the bow ring. Of course, sleeping with one eye open and your headlamp available is always a good idea where the boat is tied up on an unprotected shore.
Materials to start the fire, whether commercial or self-made, should always be on hand, both in the boat and at the campsite.