Join the adventure. You are invited to backpack and hammock camp on Vulture Island at Stubblefield Lake in the Sam Houston National Forest, Texas. This video provides tips and suggestions for wild camping along with information about the critical role that vultures play to eliminate disease from the environment. The video shows the two vulture species that live in Texas: the American Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus) and the Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura).
If you are interested in learning more about the soda can alcohol stove shown in the video, check-out the many descriptions posted on the Internet. See for example: For information on starting a fire with a ferrocerium “flint” rod and knife see: For information about vultures, see The Turkey Vulture Society: and Vultures Rock:
A BLESSING FOR THE VULTURES by Ken Kramm, December 2011
Before I leave these woods, let me say a blessing for the vultures.
Thank you for allowing me to camp near your roost. This is a special place where few humans are allowed.
You are important creatures, from which human beings can learn a great deal.
You don’t kill, but rather eat what is already dead. Recycling life that has been lost is an honorable role and is critical to Mother Earth.
You eliminate virtually all disease from the environment. Your poop is so clean that it can be used for hand sanitizer. And it doesn’t smell. Too bad the human species doesn’t share this attribute.
You can glide through the air on thermals at 20,000 feet, with hardly a wing flap. You are a model for the fixed-wing aircraft that human beings use.
You have excellent eyesight can see food from miles away. In addition, the Turkey Vulture species has the unique attribute of being able to smell food from great distances. We human beings can express only wonder and awe over these abilities.
You are playful and social, and fun to watch. You communicate by hissing and grunting, and flapping your wings.
You know what you are doing, and you know who is in charge.
When I return in the future, please recognize that I will do you no harm. I promise to watch, listen and learn from your wisdom.