I saw a television cooking show episode where the host was making his own beef jerky. He sliced the meat very thin and marinated it in soy sauce and other seasonings. The step that surprised me involved an air conditioning filter. He placed the meat slices between the folds of a plain AC filter and left it out in the sun for several hours. The filter allowed air to flow around the meat and dry it evenly.
I think I would be more likely to use a food dehydrator if I ever wanted to make my own jerky, but apparently the marinade protects the meat from spoiling as it sits out in the open air.