All across the nation, tucked away in the wilderness are hunting camps. Often referred to as deer camps, these are usually simple wood framed buildings, may have a propane stove and propane refrigerator, a wood stove, a room with beds, or in the case below a single room with a couple of bed frames. The beds are for people who do not want to sleep in a tent, do not want to get a hotel room in a nearby town or do not have an RV.
Electricity for the deer camp is usually by way of a generator. Water is usually pumped from a nearby stream or creek and stored in a raised tank. The camp might have a septic system and the toilet uses the water from the raised tower to flush.
The purpose of the deer camp is a place for hunters to stay, a central place where hunters check can check in their deer, show off wild hogs trapped or shot, tell stories and socialize. This is where memories are made and the American hunting heritage is passed from one generation to another.
For one reason or another the camp might be abandoned and/or relocated. The main building unable to be moved is left for nature to take back.
While hiking through the rolling hills of southeast Texas I happened upon an abandoned hunting camp. I came across a barely visible road that looked more like an overgrown 4-wheeler trail, than a fulled sized road vehicles could take.
While looking through the building I found two DYMO labels with the dates ’63 and ’64. Then there were some boxes with the date of 2007 on them. From 1963 to at least 2007, 44 years is a good run.
How can these abandoned deer camps play a role in your overall prepping plans? If you plan on bugging out to the wilderness after a complete collapse of society happens, these abandoned camps could perhaps be used as a staging area.
Depending on how long the camp has been abandoned the road going to it may be overgrown. The camp I found had a barely visible, overgrown path going to it. In a few more years trees will grown up in the road that will block vehicle access. Smaller vehicles such as 4-wheelers and side-by-sides will be able to access the camp, but the trees are so close together truck and trailer will not be able to make the journey.
Off the beaten path, no visible road, no power lines, no city water or city sewage, nothing to give away the abandoned camps location.
Wooden walls, floor, probably a metal roof, windows, it sure beats living in a tent. Maybe some kind of covered porch, or area outside the building where people could gather and sit.
Some abandoned camps may have a porch, or even a screened in porch.
A good number of hunting camps are located near water. Camps that are being used will have a generator and a water pump to pump water from a stream to a raised holding tank. Gravity gives the water in the tank enough pressure to flush toilets, and provide running water to wash dishes, take a shower,,,,, etc. Chances are when the camp was abandoned the water tank was brought to the new camp. But the steam did not move.
Safe drinking water is essential to the survival of mankind. Having a water source nearby that is not downstream from a human population can be beneficial. Water for drinking, bathing, sanitation, growing crops,,,, etc.
Possible Septic System
Not all hunting camps have a septic system but some do. This is usually a classic septic tank system with a field line, and not anything that requires electricity. This is a big plus for sanitation and disease control.
There is nothing “wrong” with crapping in the woods. But the feces is a breeding ground for flies, which then fly back to your camp carrying poop on their little feet. The flies land on your food, now you have traces of human feces on your food via fly transmission. Flies also regurgitate whenever then land.
Keeping human waste underground in a septic tank, and away from flying pest can help prevent the transmission of disease.
Stuff Left Behind
At the hunting camp I found there were some outdoor grills left behind, a 55 gallon drum that had the top cut out of it, wiring, nails, paper, bed frame, mattress, chairs, cardboard, propane tank, propane stove, propane refrigerator, shelves, even a first aid cabinet with a couple of things still in it.
These abandoned hunting camps deep in the wilderness could possibly make a viable bug out location option. But then again, how many people in the area have the same plans? Who is to say if you bug out to the camp that there will not be someone already there?
- Maybe make a few trips to the abandoned camp a couple of times a year;
- leave a note asking if anyone else is going there;
- go camping at the location and leave evidence that you were there;
- leave something at the camp that other people would like to have, and see if it comes up missing;
- leave a cheap knife inside the camp, go back in a few months and see if the object has been moved?
Do “something” to figure out if other people are visiting the camp without making things too obvious.
Does Not Belong To You
Keep in mind that the property does not belong to you. Treat the camp and the land around it with respect. Do not leave trash behind, do not cut trees down, do not do anything to harm the property. Leave no trace, except maybe if you are trying to figure out if someone else is visiting the camp, that you were ever there.
If you are caught on the property, you are on a nature walk, just talking pictures and apologize. You meant no harm.
If you know who owns the property ask permission to visit the camp. If the answer is no, then do not trespass. Respect the landowner and their wishes.
Stay away Before And During Hunting Season
A couple of months before hunting season starts hunters will start heading out to the woods. The absolute worst time to visit one of these remote camps is right before and certainty not during hunting season. People pay good money to have access to the hunting lease, do not screw it up for others. Respect that others have paid to use the land while you have not.
Follow this article in the forum – Using Abandoned hunting camps as a bug out location.