Month: January 2022 (Page 1 of 2)

Permanent Campsites PT 3

Root Cellar Cold Storage

Another part of long term campsites that many have not considered are how to store food without electricity especially in the event of an EMP. Below are several different designs for root cellars made from barrels. Im trying to look at designs that anyone can make without a lot of cost that can also be easily transportable. i like a combination of the below designs.

I have made one of these out of an old fridge to experiment with above ground and was impressed with the results using a solar chimney. The theory is by using the sun to heat the upper stack, the air inside will rise drawing cold air in the lower tube. I would also like to use holes in the bottom of the barrel to remove any moisture.

Ethylene Gas

When Fruits such as apples and pears ripen, they give off ethylene gas. Ethylene gas decreases the storage life of some produce. Ethylene gas can cause sprouting, decay, mold, yellowing, shrinking, toughness, softness, bitterness and other damage.

To combat spoilage from ethylene gas, segregate fruits and veggies that produce excess ethylene gas from those that are easily damaged from ethylene gas. This is a good idea for your refrigerator produce bins, too.

Fruits and Vegetables that may create excess ethylene gas include:

Apples, apricots, avocados, ripening bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, citrus fruit (not grapefruit), cranberries, figs, guavas, grapes, green onions, honeydew, ripe kiwi fruit, mangoes, melons, mushrooms, nectarines, okra, papayas, passion fruit, peaches, pears, peppers, persimmons, pineapple, plantains, plums, prunes, quinces, tomatoes and watermelon.

Best explaination of vent system

How to add a vent

How to make


mistakes to avoid



what to store

Bushcraft Haversack

homemade haversck

What I keep in my bushcraft haversack. I have ended up with a core selection of equipment that I like to carry in my haversack for training courses. Starting with a note pad contained within a water proof zip up cover. Included in the cover are navigation aids for map use. A suunto compass, along with ranger beads and a whistle. Spare glasses, a head lamp, oil skin bag for collecting tinder which is kept in the lid flap. Lastly a bushcraft designed IFAK (individual first aid kit). Containing an olaes pressure bandage, quickclot, triangular bandage, nitrile gloves, soft T wide tourniquet and a snake bite bandage. I also add another smaller oilskin bag containing cordage to save me going back to my main pack while making projects on courses.

compass pouch and notebook
oilskin bag, headlamp, and IFAK, soft glasses case at top
IFAK contents

First aid equipment is from Tacmed Australia


Princeton tec fed head lamp

note book cover

compass cover

Haversack, I made the haversack myself however Id recommend the ones made by swagman outfitters which are double layered. Oilskin outside, canvas inside.

Food Prep Test

Today I opened up two 15 litre buckets of Black Beans after 5 years in storage to check viability. Sealed in Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers the beans showed no sign on insect infestation and seemed as fresh as the day I first purchased them. Will be trying black beans and rice made from 5 year old beans later in the week. This is the only way to store successfully for long term use. In Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers, then sealed plastic food grade buckets with O-ring seals.

sealed buckets
showing mylar bag seled
size of the bag used
beans with oxygen absorber

Permanent Camp site PT 2 Basic Comforts of Home

Ive talked to many people lately that mention bugging out if the system collapses, but not one has considered how to set up a permanent camp site for extended, sustainable long term use. I have already written about setting up a large scale village style water filter system using barrels. Below Id like to touch on the topic of 1) Composting Toilet systems, 2) Hot Water systems, both firewood, LPG and kerosene powered. To cover the problem of sanitation and Hygiene in a long term scenario.

There are three hot water systems in links below based on a donkey rocket boiler that use either wood or kerosene and a joolca lpg system. A Bush toilet system using buckets and composting bins. A barrel designed system, along with a composting system made from wheelie bins Thats without even getting into waste water ie grey water disposal. Theres more to consider than just camping out hunting game. Especially when larger groups are involved.

Something to think about. Check out the research below. I hope theres something there for everyone and it gives people a different perspective.

Bush Toilet

Wheelie Bin Toilet

Barrel System Toilet

Humanure Bucket System

Gravity Fed Kerosene Hot Water system

Crestwood Wood Fired Hot Water system

Rocket Stove Heater Explained

Adobe Rocket Heater

LPG Powered Joolca

Homestead Articles


Ghost Hoodie

I had been looking around and researching for several years trying to find a good camouflage system and everything seemed either too heavy or too hot for Australian use. Then came across the Ghost Hoodie system made in Germany.

It seemed ideal for Aussie use being lightweight and able to use a layering system of clothing underneath for varying weather. I purchased the Hoodie Poncho to break up my pattern for hunting in beige and the Recon Net in brown for sitting under as a temporary shelter or game hide.

These are good colours for where I lived However I probably should have purchased the green variation in the Hoodie for use along the East coast. The Beige blends in the best with multicam trousers which is what I wear in conjunction with the hoodie.

List of Reliable Aussie Retailers

This is a list of stores in Australia that I regularly do business with, where I dont get DICKED around. What these guys dont sell, I then shop around for the lowest price.

The kit Bag


Aussie Batteries for lithium and solar

Survival Supplies Australia


Aussie Storm Shop

Tactical Gear

Re Australian Survival Supplies. Al and Jeremy were the only ones willing to give me an affiliate link. Id appreciate it if you add the following link to any purchases. It helps me out on a disability pension. I usually end up having a chat to these guys when I call up with suggestions to their site or questions on purchases. Great guys to deal with. cheers.


Biochar Water Treatment System for Permanent Campsites

I came across this youtube clip of a village in Thailand wanting clean water from chemical runoff and thought what a great large scale system to set up for a permanent campsite location. Its an old method of using Gravel in various sizes, then sand, to remove larger particles, then charcoal to filter water. The charcoal removing impurities by absorption, adhering contaminants to the charcoals surface. This is the first time Ive seen it developed for large scale use such as for a village.

I thought i might bring it up at the next mens shed meeting if anyone wanted to try making it as a group project. Olive oil barrels being perfect for this use.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

The good thing about growing your own plants and writing a blog is that it helps learning about a plant by having to research what your doing to make the best choice in seeds and how to grow correctly. I was looking at purchasing garlic to grow and came across so many variations the process became bewildering. So I put together the following information in case anyone else had the same problem in choosing a variety to grow. Full articles in links below. Ive chosen two types to grow a Printanor (softneck) and a French Creole (hardneck) variety based on the climate, length of storage and flavour.

Soft Neck vs Hard Neck what to look for in choosing

Softnecks varieties are more suited to warmer climates with low humidity and dry summers.

Hardnecks are more suited to cooler climates.

There are two very common types of softneck garlic that you’re likely to come across:

Artichoke: These varieties can be grown in a variety of climates and usually mature early in the season. The cloves tend to be relatively large and flat with a mild flavour, and will store well for six to nine months.

Silverskin: More suited to warm climates with mild winters, these varieties mature later in the season. They’re some of the easier varieties to grow, reliably producing high yields of cloves with a hot flavour. Bulbs storing well for up to 12 months. Silverskin garlic is the variety most often sold already made into braids.

Common Types of Weakly Bolting Hardnecks

There are four main types of weakly bolting hardneck garlic, although each group can have several variations within it.

Asiatic: An early maturing type suitable for warm climates, producing large cloves with a good flavour. Storage time is typically five to seven months, though cloves can sometimes start to sprout earlier than that.

Creole: A type that prefers warm climates with mild winters. Matures late, has a hot, rich flavour, and can be stored from eight to 12 months. Perhaps most appreciated for its cloves’ vibrant, rose-coloured skin.

Middle Eastern: Not a popular type of garlic in Australia, as it is suited to cold winters and warm springs. The resulting bulbs have a mild flavour and a medium-to-long storage period.

Turban: A fast-growing, early-maturing type with a hot flavour when raw, turning mild when cooked. Can be stored for three to five months.

Common Types of Strongly Bolting Hardnecks

Garlic varieties in the strongly bolting hardneck group are mainly found under the following categories:

Purple Stripe: Slow maturing type with a rich, strong flavour and medium storage qualities. Purple stripe garlic is thought to be one of the earliest ancestors from which other common varieties have descended.

Glazed Purple Stripe: A late maturing type with a good flavour. Not grown widely in Australia, it is mainly found as a heritage or heirloom bulb.

Marbled Purple Stripe: A type suited to cold climates. Again, this variety is not widely grown in Australia due to its poor storage qualities, but will reward gardeners with large, well-flavoured cloves.

Rocambole: A type suited to cold climates; matures in the middle of the season. The bulbs have a rich, sweet flavour that many feel is the finest of all garlic types, but its sensitivity to overwatering makes it a little temperamental to grow. Each bulb contains eight to 12 cloves in a single layer. Can be stored for four to five months when properly dried.

Porcelain: A type that’s well suited to cold temperate climates. Closely related to Rocambole but easier to grow. Produces four to six large, strongly flavoured cloves in each bulb, and has a storage time of five to seven months.

Garlic Varieties

Variety Type Comments

Australian White mid season Californian type, large white bulb and cloves, selected in South Australia.

California Early mid Popular for temperate climates until recently. White bulbs, flat base allows easy cleaning. A number of selections available.

California Late variety for southern areas, very good storage ability, large bulbs, many small cloves with dark pink skin, less popular than previously.

Creole early Rarely grown after the 1980s comercially.

Cristo late A later variety, white and large bulbs.

Glenlarge early Queensland selection of local garlic with large well-formed white bulbs, 6-12 cloves. Similar to Southern Glen.

Italian White mid Older popular variety for temperate climates. Many selections. Good storage ability.

Moulinor mid Likely to be second to Printanor in Australia. Large white bulbs of a fairly symmetrical nature

New Zealand Purple mid Small bulbs with few cloves, cloves are high quality larger- sized and with purple tips. Rarely grown today.

Printanor mid French origin and proving to be most popular in Australia and New Zealand. 95% of all New Zealand now grows this variety and the percentage is increasing in

Australia.Southern Glen early Queensland selection with large white bulbs, 12-15 cloves, some purpling of clove tips.

Taiwanese strains early Suitable for warmer climates (Queensland), has been replaced by Glenlarge and

Southern Glen, little-grown nowadays


[Garlic Australian White] ‘Australian White’ is a soft-neck, non-bolting type with a white skin and occasional purple marks. It is a medium to large bulb. It requires a cold temperate climate with cold winters, a warm spring and a hot dry summer. Suitable for Victoria and southern NSW and cooler, inland areas further north.

[Garlic Glenlarge] ‘Glenlarge’ is a soft-neck type with a purple skin, selected by Gatton Research Station as being suitable for Australian conditions, from the Atherton Tableland to SA. It is a top-setting, early, day-length neutral garlic, which makes it far more suitable for warmer areas, than other garlic cultivars.

[Garlic Italian White] ‘Italian White’ has a creamy white skin, and forms a medium to large bulb with up to 17 cloves per bulb. It is a softneck garlic which does not produce a flower stem. Do not plant the small, inner bulbs of softneck garlic as they are unlikely to do well. When the garlic bulb is mature the leaves begin to die back.

[Garlic Monaro Purple] ‘Monaro Purple’ is a hardneck or top-setting variety which usually produces a flower stem in early summer. It is mainly suitable for cooler areas. It is also called a ‘rocambole’ variety from the habit the flower stem has of looping over on itself to produce a distinctive twist. Rocambole types have a sweet, nutty flavour with 6-8 cloves per bulb. They are ready to harvest when the coil twist in the flower stem begins to straighten and the flower stem begins to soften. [Garlic Red Rocambole]

‘Red Rocambole’ syn. Creole ‘Rojo de Castro’ is a hardneck or top-setting garlic variety which usually produces a flower stem in early summer. Worth buying just for cooking, this organic garlic is a powerhouse of flavour, definitely one for the gourmet. The silvery white bulbs are smaller than some types but the cloves are a good size with a beautiful and distinctive crimson skin. This garlic has recently been relabelled as a Creole type which makes it suitable for a range of growing areas.

String and Salt Practiculture Workshops

Mushroom Identification and Pig Butchery as per below information and links

Mushroom Foragers TOUR

Saturday 30th of April 2022, 9am

Saturday 14th of May 2022, 9am
with Natasha Vorogushin

$185 a ticket

Ever wanted to be able to tell a Milk Cap from a Slippery Jack or simply the nasty from the nice in the world of wild mushrooms?   Free, fresh and foraged foods are a joy to cook if you know how to identify what’s good to eat and the best places to find them.

Nothing makes our always resourceful resident foodie Natasha happier than growing, and foraging her own food. Join Natasha and avid citizen micologist and the String & Salt team for a bus ride around West Gippsland with a frypan, a pepper grinder and a willingness to jump a few fences.

You will learn where to locate and how to identify the best safe wild mushrooms, wild herbs and roadside fruits and nuts.

After exploring farmland, pine forests and roadsides enjoy a wild feast, a glass of wine, good company and whatever weather the day brings

This tour will commence  from and return to String & Salt in Warragul. Refreshments and snacks provided. 

Please note: This class includes off site activities and is not suitable for people under 18 or with mobility difficulties. The tour goes in all weathers, so bring a coat and suitable footwear and a small basket for collecting produce. 

Big Pig Weekend 

Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th of June 2022
with Dave Cann, Trevor Perkins and Joel Young

$490 a ticket

The ultimate weekend of butchery, charcuterie making topped of with a pork themed degustation at Hogget Kitchen!

Our  highly anticipated pig weekends have become String & Salt’s flagship class, booking out year after year. We’re delighted to be bringing together our favourite friends and experts for the ultimate nose-to-tail charcuterie and pork cookery experience over two days.

Day one will focus on breaking down the pig, basic butchery, terrine making and preparation for the following day of sausage and salami making.

In the evening enjoy a shared table at Hogget Kitchen and be treated to Chef Trevor Perkins renowned house-made charcuterie and terrines and a selection of dishes using many cuts of pork.

On day two, you will  be joined by some special guests for a day of making homemade salumi and sausages. The day will be spent seasoning and filling a variety of sausages and salami and discussing the finer points of air drying and curing at home.

By the end of the weekend you will have gained hands on experience butchering, making terrines, bacon, prosciutto, coppacollo, salami and sausages.

Both days will include a substantial and hearty lunch and refreshments with all equipment and ingredients provided.


Mangelwurzel (Betavulgaris). I had never heard of this plant before and had come across it in my research, it reminded me of Jon Pertwee in Wozel Gummidge. The plant itself can be used for not only a fodder crop for stock but also for for eating when young, for people. The roots are like burdock a potato substitute and the leaves can be lightly boiled and used like spinach. I grabbed some seeds from the Seed Collection site and am looking forward to growing them for the first time. Im always looking out for alternatives to potatoes and can also be used to make beer.

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