Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Camping, fishing and outdoor recreational activities. Tips, equipment, accessories, hiking and outdoor cooking.

Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by meek » 04 Jan 2014, 4:50 pm

Hi guys,

I'm after some advice on maintaining pelts for a few days when camping without ice or refrigeration.

I normally get out for the long weekends or 3 days over Friday-Sunday, time periods like that, and want to start taking a few pelts for home.

Usually no ice on these trips. I know salt is the usual tool for the job but is that all there is to it? Just bang on some salt?
Remington 700
another Remington 700 :lol:
User avatar
meek
Private
Private
 
Posts: 50
New South Wales

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Chronos » 04 Jan 2014, 4:57 pm

Yeah mate. Salt every bit of the flesh side of the pelt. Fold it flesh side to flèche side then roll it in hessian so any moisture drains away. Resalt it the next day again then on the fourth day if you're still away.

Stay away from plastic bags if you can. It's important the moisture can get away.

Chronos
User avatar
Chronos
Second Lieutenant
Second Lieutenant
 
Posts: 2083
New South Wales

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Klem » 04 Jan 2014, 5:43 pm

Non-iodised salt is apparently important too for some reason?

Just remembering something I read somewhere though, can't remember why :lol:
User avatar
Klem
Private
Private
 
Posts: 65
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by tom604 » 04 Jan 2014, 7:14 pm

yeah plain salt, i cant remember why either :) as chronos said salt, flesh to flesh, lean them up against a tree, bush whatever so that the juice can drain, when you get them home you can freeze them until you are ready to start tanning 8-)
User avatar
tom604
Warrant Officer C2
Warrant Officer C2
 
Posts: 1052
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Aster » 04 Jan 2014, 8:23 pm

The things to really avoid are heat and moisture.

Either of these will make pelts go bad with a vengeance. 3 day old fox pelts don't exactly smell like roses if they're not kept, if you know what I mean...

Keeping them cool, dry and ventilated will keep the bacteria at bay.

On the subject of the salt, I bookmarked this a while ago from a taxidermist named Bruce Rittel on taxidermy.net

it really doesn't matter whether you use iodized or non-iodized Salt. For tanning however, the non-iodized type has always been preferred, because in bulk its usually much cheaper. The Iodine simply has no effect on your tanning.

In Iodized Salt, because it was intended for human consumption, it was added simply to prevent Goiter problems.

There's a new additive out too, call Yellow Prusaite of Soda. Its an anti-clumping agent the manufacturers are adding to their Salt. It wont affect your tanning - but you have to be mindful of your Ph. It slightly raises it, so your solution may be a bit higher. As long as you're aware of it, and can compensate for it, you should be OK.

When you buy it's always best to ask for 100% Salt. If it says anything less, check it for an additive. Happy Tanning. Bruce


So there's one Taxidermists opinion on the matter.

The last bit's the bit I follow, just stay away from salts with listed additives.
See you on the firing line.
User avatar
Aster
Moderator
 
-

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Hercl » 04 Jan 2014, 8:44 pm

Aster wrote:The things to really avoid are heat and moisture.

Either of these will make pelts go bad with a vengeance. 3 day old fox pelts don't exactly smell like roses if they're not kept, if you know what I mean...


Now that's good eating!
What is this "too many rifles" you speak of?
User avatar
Hercl
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 247
New South Wales

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Hercl » 05 Jan 2014, 8:22 am

Hercl wrote:Now that's good eating!


That made me gag for a second :lol:
What is this "too many rifles" you speak of?
User avatar
Hercl
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 247
New South Wales

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 09 Apr 2021, 9:07 pm

Just regurgitating this old thread.

I'm in the same situation as the OP. But sometimes away a few weeks and the fridge is not available. (SWMBO would cut my balls out if I used the van freezer :shock: )

It was recently suggested to keep scalps in a bucket with salt, what do the more experienced think?
Last edited by Oldbloke on 10 Apr 2021, 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by ZaineB » 09 Apr 2021, 9:15 pm

as others have said, salt, lots of it, on the sticky side, roll it up or peg it till dry, job done till you can get it home and do the rest.
ZaineB
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 156
Other

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Tiger650 » 09 Apr 2021, 9:19 pm

Reckon pool salt would be the go.
Tiger650
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 370
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Skinna » 10 Apr 2021, 12:14 am

Im regularly away for 5 days at a time & keep the fox pelts...
Lay them out & salt them up real well, stretch out the edges of the skin & make sure EVERY part has a covering.
I pour salt in the ears from the outside, as well as fill them from the inside, although its better if you remove the cartilage straight away then you need much less salt in the ears.
From there, either lay them out (i lay them on the old Pollie signs/election corflute posters, or, i fold all the sides up with legs in to body, then head & tail in to body, then fold over again & put it in a pillow case. As long as its not in hot weather this will keep for a good amount of time.
I actually prefer to do that with them because i dont get as good results if i have to rehydrate them before fleshing & tanning.
However, if its hot weather i just leave them out & let them dry, or keep the folded & wrapped up pelt as cool as possible with good airflow around it.

Keep in mind, it will weep a heap of moisture in the first 12-24 hrs.

Another thing ive done that does work but again have to watch the heat, is salt them up as above & put in cotton bag, then put them in a bucket but sitting up on rocks or a brick so the moisture can drain away from the pelt. This is fine in SA/VIC winter if youre travelling around.

Any areas without salt will slip...period...!!
And any salt will do...i actually prefer the bigger crystal size rather than fine salt...for me the fine stuff seems to cake up more & hold the moisture, which is fine if youre in a position to be able to change it regularly, but a PITA if travelling...
Skinna
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 236
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Apr 2021, 8:47 am

"again have to watch the heat, is salt them up as above & put in cotton bag, then put them in a bucket but sitting up on rocks or a brick so the moisture can drain away from the pelt. This is fine in SA/VIC winter if youre travelling around"

This could be a solution for me. Yes, I'll be traveling around. And after a few days of salt staple them to a small board for a week or so?

Problem is the dam things stink so much. I only need to preserve a few i might whistle in to get the $10. Just want a simple convenient solution. I have plenty of coarse salt.
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Skinna » 10 Apr 2021, 9:08 am

Plenty of salt helps absorb a bit of the smell too i rekon.

I dont stretch them out initially--its not necessary as you rehydrate them when you tan/pickle them anyway, but stretching out will dry them quicker.
Most of the smell is in the arse end of them--there a re a couple of glands next to the ring'ole you will see if you skin properly, cut them off carefully--its just at the stage before you peel the tail off the bone--you should see them, one either side of poop hole.
Once in bag all salted up they dont stink too much, but the best way to minimise the stink is actually to skin them without gloves...the smell gets in your skin & clothes & you get used to it by brunch the next morning... :lol:
I know im laughing, but im serious at the same time..!!... :lol:

As for stretching them out to dry, ideally the idea is to do this asap...but you are travelling so a bucket with lid might be the go for you.
If you lay them out immediately on a board, have the board on an angle as there will be heaps of liquid drain off in first 12 hrs.
If you have them in a bucket you can tip this liquid out, but i wouldnt have the lid sealed for any amount of time unless in real cold weather--they need to breathe to let go of moisture.

Salt fold & wrap them in cotton bag & place on rocks in a bucket & drain liquid after 10 or so hours, then lay them out when you get home or stationary for a few days.

They will last in a cotton bag--i still have 7 wrapped in a pillow case from 2.5-3 weeks ago & they are fine...theyre well salted & just take a while to dry.

You will have a squelchy wet spot of the fur where its all drained, but dont let that worry you as long as youve salted well they should be fine...just dry em all out asap.

The best way to dry in my experience is to just let the flesh side go a bit crispy, but still have moisture in the skin...this way the flesh peels off pretty easy with a pressure cleaner...i find it much harder if its dry all the wway through the skin.
Skinna
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 236
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Apr 2021, 9:37 am

Thx Skinna

"Salt fold & wrap them in cotton bag & place on rocks in a bucket & drain liquid after 10 or so hours, then lay them out when you get home or stationary for a few days." :D

This looks like the best option.
Almost get away with an ice cream container.
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Skinna » 10 Apr 2021, 10:43 am

Geepers...how much icecream do you eat...??!!!

I doubt you'll get more than one in a container this time of year...in fact i wouldnt get a large fox properly salted in that size container & allow room at the bottom to drain so its not sitting in a pool of its own liquid...they are all full grown now...
Skinna
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 236
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Apr 2021, 11:39 am

Mate, its only for the scalps.
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 10 Apr 2021, 11:45 am

acceptable-body-parts_fox_v2_640.jpg
acceptable-body-parts_fox_v2_640.jpg (279.52 KiB) Viewed 899 times
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Skinna » 11 Apr 2021, 11:52 am

Fcuk Really...!!
I wrote all that & its only for scalps...FFS...
Where did you say that...?
Everywhere i read refers to pelts, which im sure would be interpreted by most as the entire pelt...
Skinna
Lance Corporal
Lance Corporal
 
Posts: 236
South Australia

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by bigrich » 11 Apr 2021, 2:06 pm

Skinna wrote:Fcuk Really...!!
I wrote all that & its only for scalps...FFS...
Where did you say that...?
Everywhere i read refers to pelts, which im sure would be interpreted by most as the entire pelt...


skinna me ole mate , you still making those "daniel boone" fur hats out of cats :P
User avatar
bigrich
Major
Major
 
Posts: 2885
Queensland

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Oldbloke » 11 Apr 2021, 3:07 pm

Skinna wrote:Fcuk Really...!!
I wrote all that & its only for scalps...FFS...
Where did you say that...?
Everywhere i read refers to pelts, which im sure would be interpreted by most as the entire pelt...


I was wondering what you were on about. I was clear in my first post. Lol. Changed it to bold yesterday. Said it twice I think?

I'm going to take a very small bucket and some salt. Staple gun and a small board about 300mm square.

3 or 4 days of salt then on the board for a few days. Should do the trick. And keep SWMBO happy. Not sure how much hunting I will do but want to be prepared this trip.
Good manners are free. Hunt safe, look after the bush & plug more pests. :thumbsup: The greatest invention in the history of man is beer. :drinks: Text alone does not convey the full message. Practice good hygiene.
User avatar
Oldbloke
General
General
 
Posts: 7124
Victoria

Re: Keeping pelts fresh for a few days camping

Post by Diamond Jim » 03 May 2021, 3:35 am

Pool salt from the big hardware store is very cheap. Use lots to draw the mositure out. Shake it off and use more.
Listing your firearms is as good as a fingerprint. Why supply a DNA sample?
User avatar
Diamond Jim
Corporal
Corporal
 
Posts: 269
Western Australia


Back to top
 
Return to Camping, fishing and outdoor recreation