Requirement #2 of the American Mountain Men.

2. Must have spent at least two days and one night in a primitive camp during each season of the year.

This requirement and #1 are both required for advancement to Bossloper

In fulfilling this requirement, I would like to define some of the phrases contained in this simple sentence.

“Must have spent at least two days and one night” means to me, the majority of both days. What it doesn’t mean is come in just before dark the first day, camp overnight, and leave first thing the next morning. Attending a primitive camp is what we do, you are only cheating yourself by not making the effort to spend the time.

“Primitive camp” has a specific meaning in the American Mountain Men. When I started my journey, our party booshway would say “AMM rules apply!”. No one explained the “AMM rules” other than to say the rules are found in the By-Laws and Standing Rules. I am including these camp rules in their entirety with highlights in bold on the items that stand out to me. Personal comments are in italics.

From the “Standing Rules”


A. The fish and game laws of all States, territories and regions shall be respected at all times.
Violations of those laws may be consideration for dismissal. I am afraid this is not taken as seriously as it should be.

B. No loaded firearms shall be allowed in the camp area and the discharge of any firearm,
cannon, or projectile within the camp shall be cause for disciplinary action up to dismissal. This rule is specifically for a National or Territorial Rendezvous. In a hunting camp, I feel it can be disregarded. Safety in handling of firearms is always a top priority and can never be disregarded!

C. The gaming or running of horse or mule in the camp shall be considered as an act as
dangerous as firing a loaded weapon and the offender(s) shall be treated in the same manner
and the same disciplinary action will apply.

D. Any member sponsoring a guest must be a Bossloper or Hiveranno. He shall be restricted to
inviting one guest and the guest in turn may bring only members of their immediate family. The
attire and conduct of any guest shall be the responsibility of the person offering the invitation.

E. At AMM rendezvous, members shall dress and live much as the original Mountain Men did,
having no items in camp that would not have been of a type seen in the possession of Mountain
Men in, or moving to the Rocky Mountains between 1800-1840
, unless specifically excepted in
these standing rules or by the event Booshway. It is the individual’s responsibility to check his
own gear. Each member shall study reasonable sources of authority (journals, trade lists,
museum artifacts, period artwork), to determine whether or not items in his outfit meet this
If an item is questionable, it should not be brought along until it can be verified. When in doubt, leave it home.

Eastern styled breeches, leggins and certain “Long hunter gear” (such as coats,
moccasins, horse gear, etc.) are acceptable
, so long as these outfits are representative
of the woodland styles being adapted to the conditions of the western plains and

Acceptable dwellings and shelters shall include: Tipis, Pyramid tents, Lean-to of the
appropriate historical period, Marquis tent or Wall tent. These may be of canvas and may
be machine sewn. Lean-to’s of natural materials are also encouraged where the materials
are available and where it is legal and acceptable to use these
. Keeping in mind the mobility and limited cargo capacity of the average trapper/hunter in the Rocky Mountains, the smaller and lighter your shelter material, the better.

Cameras and video/audio recording devices, their film and tapes may be used. These
should be camouflaged or concealed whenever possible. Cell phones are allowed in
camp but can only be used as cameras otherwise they are not to be seen or heard while
in camp. (Amended August 20, 2017)
This has been an ongoing issue among the members due to our addiction to these devices and the instant communication they provide. Please wait until the event is over before posting pictures to social media.

Prescription medicines, necessary medical devices, items of personal hygiene, and water
purification chemicals or filters are acceptable as long as they are concealed whenever

Prescription glasses should be fitted to appropriate style frames for the period, if possible.

Trade goods and their method of being displayed shall be appropriate to the period.

All food and cooking supplies shall be contained, wrapped or stored in containers or
materials appropriate to the period.

Cooking and eating ware shall be appropriate to the period

From the “By-Laws” ASSOCIATION CODE (The Code of the Mountains)

A. The following shall be the standard code to be used during all rendezvous, field activities or other special activities:

1. I shall at all times consider a man’s private life none of my business unless he wishes to make it so.

2. I shall at all times strive to be a self-reliant individual, asking help only if and when it is absolutely needed.

3. I shall at all times consider my word a sacred trust, a bond which is not to be broken.

4. I shall at all times respect the personal property of other members, considering thievery an act deserving contempt.

5. Before entering any camp or lodge I shall first make my presence known, then enter only if invited.

6. I shall at no time fire any firearm in camp or give any other false warning of impending danger.

7. During any survival situation I shall be willing to divide any food and water I have and give any other assistance to people found in need.

8. I shall take from nature only what I need or can actually use, practicing good conservation of our native wilderness and wildlife.

9. At any association activity I shall follow the rules set forth by the Booshway in charge or leave of my own free will.

10. I shall at all times Strive to it improve myself, my wilderness abilities and my knowledge of nature’s law.

B. Any member consistently breaking this code or any part of it shall be asked to resign his membership by the Brigade Booshway or Territory Segundo. Should said member fail to do so the Grand Council may be asked to dismiss him as per Article VI, these by-laws.


A. Any game taken by any member for any association test or taken for any association activity must be taken in full compliance with any and all game laws of the area.

B. In accord with the ideals of fair chase, at no time may game be taken from any motor vehicle or aircraft, nor may any type of radio communication be established between members during any hunt.

Game Law compliance is so important, it is listed twice. Both in the Standing Rules and in the By-Laws.

When it comes to “each season of the year”, I offer the following suggestion:

Spring season = March, April, & May.

Summer season = June, July, & August.

Fall season = September, October, & November.

Winter season = December, January, & February.

During my pilgrimage, I did a camp the first weekend in December with a blizzard blowing. Saturday night, the wind slowed down, the snow stopped, and the temperature dropped to -3 degrees. Our party booshway insisted this was a “Fall” camp because it was before the winter solstice. Depending on where you are geographically, your “Spring” camp could have winter or summer weather. Ditto for your “Fall” camp. I have experienced 5″ of snow at a “Spring” camp in May and close to 60-degree highs at a “Winter” camp the end of January in Colorado. We should adopt a definition of “seasons”, so everyone is on the same page.

About Gabe the Shootist

I am retired from public service, a trained gunsmith, pump mechanic, an old pipeliner, passable electrician, carpenter, truck driver, amateur blacksmith, proof reader, experienced hunter, shooter, reloader, avid canoeist, Renaissance man, jack of all trades, all around good guy (with the caveat: I won't be insulted, lied to or laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I require the same from them.).
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