Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Why "Hair of the Bear?"

This is a mountain man term meaning top grade, the best, and of outstanding quality. We should always strive for all our endeavors to be "hair of the bear."

When excellence is an option, why would we choose anything else?

Leave No Trace Poop Pipe

While in the back country and wilderness pristine areas, if you truly want to Leave No Trace, use the Poop Pipe as your portable latrine. It is made from standard plastic drain pipe, with a permanent cap on one end, and a threaded cap that is removable on the other. At the end of your trip, dump the solid waste and toilet tissue contents in a toilet or acceptable sewage disposal. You won't have to dig any cat holes, and your presence will never be seen or uncovered!!!

Leaving your mark is overrated !!!!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wash Tub Cooking System

Here's a complete cooking system that is easy to build and use, and is low impact on the wilderness as well.
The Grill:
The basic unit is a 12 gallon common washtub, with 1/4 inch bolts placed 1/2 inch below the rim to hold the grill. Stand the tub on three bricks so the bottom does not touch the ground. If you want, you can put a disposable foil pan in the bottom to hold the coals. Now you have a grill that can go anywhere, and will not harm the wilderness. By the way, the tub holds supplies such as charcoal on the way to your campground.
As an Oven or Smoker:
Place another tub inverted over the grill to have an oven or a smoker. The tub can also be inverted on the ground, over sheets of aluminum foil, and coals piled up around the sides and on the top to ake an oven. It takes about two hours to have a perfect roast with potatoes and vegetables.
The Perfect Fire Pan:
Set on three bricks, the washtub makes a great fire pan, and allows you to have your campfire without scorching the earth. Campfires on the ground sterilize the soil for many years, and no vegetation will grow. With the washtub as a fire pan, you don't have to worry about rings of stones around your fire, the tub contains it, and the heat radiates from the sides for warmth. Soak the ashes when you are done, and you can even transport them home in the washtub instead of throwing them out into the wilderness.
As a Dutch Oven Table:
Turn the washtub upside down and it becomes a perfect Dutch oven table to keep the coals and fire away from the ground and for a more convenient cooking height. When you leave no trace of your fire others can enjoy a more pristine outdoor experience.

Leave No Trace

"Leave No Trace" is a set of principles and practices that embody proper outdoor ethics to maintain the natural character of the outdoors. Here are the seven main features:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you visit.
  • Prepare for extreme weather and emergencies.
  • Schedule to avoid times of high use.
  • Split larger groups into smaller groups.
  • Repackage food before you go to minimize waste at camp.
  • Use GPS. Avoid use of rock cairns, flags or marking paint.
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Camp on established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grass or snow.
  • Camp at least 200 feet from lakes, streams or runoff areas.
  • Good campsites are found, not made. Avoid altering the landscape.
  • Use existing campsites and trails.
  • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even if wet or muddy.
  • Keep campsites small. Focus activity where vegetation will not be damaged.
In pristine areas:
  • Disperse use to prevent the creation of worn trails and campsites.
  • Avoid places where impact is beginning to show.
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Pack out what you bring, including trash and food. Clean up campsites.
  • Poop in catholes 6 to 8 inches deep, 200 feet from water, then cover and disguise.
  • Better yet: Use a "poop tube" to pack out human waste and toilet paper.
  • Keep dish and bath water 200 feet from streams and lakes. Use biodegradable soap.
4. Leave What You Find
  • Examine but don't touch historic structures or artifacts.
  • Leave rocks, plants and natural objects where you found them.
  • Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species into the wilderness.
  • Do not build structures, furniture or dig trenches.
5. Minimize Fire Impacts
  • Campfires scar and sterilize the soil. Use camp stoves and lanterns.
  • Use established fire rings, fire pans, wash tubs or mound fires.
  • Keep fires small. Use only sticks that can be broken by hand.
  • Burn wood and coals to ash, put out completely, then scatter when cool.
6. Respect Wildlife
  • Keep your distance. Do not follow or approach wildlife.
  • Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife alters their natural behavior, harms their health, and exposes them to danger.
  • Store food securely from wildlife.
  • Leave pets at home, or keep them under control. Keep dogs on a leash.
  • Avoid contact with wildlife during mating, raising young or winter times.
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors
  • Respect other visitors and the quality of their outdoor experience.
  • Be courteous. Yield to others, bikers, and horses on trails.
  • Step to the downside of the trail when encountering pack animals.
  • Camp away from trails and other visitors.
  • Use tents and equipment with natural colors, such as greens or browns.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises.
Leave No Trace Ethics principles are endorsed by the Boy Scouts of America, the National Parks Service, the Game and Fish Department, the U.S. Forest Service and other organizations who value our wilderness and want to preserve it for generations to come.

For more information:

Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics main website: click here

U.S. Scouts Service Project site has a good summary of principles and is a great scouting resource: click here

For help in Teaching Leave No Trace see the official Scouting site, including activities and resources: click here

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Best Knives for Survival

If you are lost in the wilderness, which knife would you want to have? These are my two favorites, so I carry both.

 The most important blade is the "saw" blade. You use it to cut willows or young branches to make shelter and much more.

Mountain Man Rendezvous

The 2013 Mesa District Mogollon Mountain Man Rendezvous was a tremendous success. Scouts participated in over 60 events, such as black powder shooting, archery, tomahawk throwing, fire starting, relay races, and all sorts of crafts and skills. The Service Outpost, headed up by Tres Hombres and assisted by Yuri Burkinshaw and other volunteers, organized 130 teams who cleared tons of brush from around cabins at Camp Geronimo and repaired erosion damage to trails in the forest and pathways in the camp. Thanks for all those awesome efforts to varsity scouts and their adult advisors!!!

It is not too early to begin preparations for the 2015 Rendezvous. Start collecting antlers for knife handles, leather to make possible bags, coats, hats and other "truck" that a mountain man would use. Free support and consultation is available by calling Tres Hombres (his mountain man name).

Jim Jenkins
office: 480-835-1500
cell: 480-334-5605

See you there!  The Mesa District Mogollon Mountain Man Rendezvous is one of the premier Scouting events in America.  Plan ahead and don't miss it.

Showing Eagle Project Leadership

We no longer call it the "Eagle Service Project," and it's not about the scout going out on his own to perform service. Now, it is the Eagle Leadership Service Project. The project is the application of all the skills, experience and knowledge gained by the scout in his scouting career and advancement to the Eagle rank. These are life skills which will carry the scout always in his career, service to others and all worthy endeavors.

The purpose of the project is for the scout to demonstrate his leadership in a service project, not just for him to do work in service to others. A by-product of this change in focus on leadership is that the scout recruits, organizes and supervises others who help in the project, thus accomplishing much greater service in the community and nation.

But how does the scout demonstrate his leadership? Here are a few ideas to use in the planning stage as well as the project write-up:

I demonstrated leadership by

  • Researching and identifying a community need.
  • Working with a worthy organization.
  • Planning and organizing a project to fill the need.
  • Enlisting volunteers to assist in the project.
  • Involving friends of other faiths.
  • Educating others about the community need.
  • Working on the project.
  • Supervising others to carry out the project.
  • Meeting or exceeding my goals.
Mission accomplished !!!

Need Training in Leave No Trace?

Tres Hombres is available!!!

If you would like some training in Leave No Trace, want a speaker to visit your troop, team or crew to teach principles of Leave No Trace, or have appointed a scout to serve as a Leave No Trace trainer in your unit, Tres Hombres will help you at no charge.

Jim Jenkins has successfully completed the Leave No Trace Trainer course by the Grand Canyon BSA Council and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and can help you get started. The Leave No Trace "trainer" is a new leadership position for Star, Life and Eagle rank advancement, but those young men need training and resources. Also check out the Leave No Trace section of this blog site for more information and resources.

Jim Jenkins
office: 480-835-1500
cell: 480-334-5605

Helpful Web Sites for Scout Leaders

Here are some of Tres Hombres' favorite web sites, with info for Scouters.
check out the AskAndy link and others
outdoor cooking recipes, skits, stories, traditions, eagle projects, more

Need help on an Eagle project?

If you need help on an Eagle Scout project:

Jim Jenkins (mountain man name "Tres Hombres") has served as the Eagle Advancement Co-Chairman of the Scorpion Patrol (Citrus Heights Stake) in Arizona for the Mesa District of the Grand Canyon Council, as a Varsity Coach, is on staff for the Mesa District Mountain Man Rendezvous, and is currently a Trainer for Leave No Trace by the Grand Canyon Council and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. He is the bloggermaster of this site.
office: (480) 835-1500
cell: (480) 334-5605
Feel free to call or send an email with questions.

Note to those who call at the last minute ----

Your procrastination is not always
our emergency !!!

Five Touchstones of Scouting

Tres Hombres contends that these are the
Five Touchstones of Scouting:

1. Leadership
3. Service
5. High Adventure

An effective Varsity Scouting program is a key to the Trail to Eagle, and to keeping young men interested in scouting.

These touchstones are all valuable in preparation for missions, fatherhood and a life of fulfilling service and contribution. The five fingers of the hand remind us of the Five Touchstones.

Need More Water !!!

Superstition Search & Rescue tells us that on a rigorous outdoor activity we can lose 1 liter of water in an hour, but can only absorb 24 ounces.

Their suggestion: Have participants drink as much water as possible in the 48 hours prior to the activity, especially in the summer.

See their web site at for some good information on surviving in the outdoors.

Friday, February 05, 2010

Respect for Our Flag

Always show proper respect for our nation's flag. The flag is never "dipped" to any person. It should not touch the ground. Take all efforts to avoid that. If it does touch the ground, it is not necessary to burn the flag. Return it immediately to its proper place of respect, and clean it if necessary.

The flag should not be carried horizontally by marching persons holding onto the sides of the flag in parades or at assemblies. It should always be carried on a proper flag pole, and should be to the flag's own right in lines of flags, or should be carried ahead of other flags.

The union (field of stars on a blue background) is always displayed to the flag's own upper right side.

It is unfortunate that many citizens are unaware of proper flag etiquette, as are many Scouts. Scouts and Scout leaders should pay particular attention to learning proper flag etiquette. Here are some links that will teach you what you should know.

This link has a lot of examples of improper use of the flag:

Monday, February 01, 2010

Top Ten Reasons

Top Ten Reasons Why Your Son Didn't Bring His Shoes to Church-------

10. I forgot my shoes.
9. I don't have my own shoes.
8. I brought my shoes last week.
7. Why do we need to bring our own shoes?
6. I'm saving my shoes and don't want to wear them out.
5. I'll share shoes with someone else.
4. I leave my shoes at seminary.
3. My sister has my shoes.
2. I just use the family shoes.
1. I'll just get shoes from the library.

We wouldn't think of sending our young men to church without shoes, and we seem to have little trouble remembering our shoes, but we often send them without their scriptures !!!