Archive for July, 2009
Bannock is an age old staple of the outdoorsman’s diet. You can prepare the mix before you leave on your journey, it is relatively light and easy to carry as you don’t add water until you are ready to cook it. And, there is the added bonus that if you fancy something a bit different you can always add an egg and a little more water to make a pancake batter.
Bannock lends itself as a good base mixture in which to add all manner of ingredients. You can make savoury bannock by adding such things as onions, sun dried tomatoes, ramsons, cheese, bacon etc. You can also make fruit or fruit and nut bannock by adding sultanas, apple, peach, cherry, blackberry, raspberry, walnuts, hazel nuts etc. some of these additional ingredients you can carry with you, others you can forage.
Summer is here, well rumour has it anyway. Although the sun seems to have disappeared in the last few weeks and we are getting fair amounts of rain wild foods are still abundant at this time of year. So let’s take a look at a few of the wild edibles that can be found in the fields, woods and hedgerows over the coming weeks.
Up until quite recently a single person or solo tent would mean a shelter which quite frankly resembled a coffin. You would have to wriggle through the door and get yourself into your sleeping bag, there you would lay until it was time to rise, sleeping with the tents inner fabric only an inch or so from your face. There was invariably little room to move let alone enough space to sit up or dress and undress within the protection of the tent. It was never a joyous occasion to wake up to the patter of rain and realise you would have to unzip the tents door, wriggle from your sleeping bag, out of the comfort of your tent and into the elements when only then could you manage to don much needed clothing.
Now with the development of new lightweight materials and improved flexible poles this has all changed. Solo tents are now small and light when packed yet spacious and airy when erected. The MSR Hubba HP is one such tent, a three season free standing shelter. This newly developed solo tent weighs less than its predecessor the MSR Hubba, yet offers increased protection.
In the first article, entitled Know your prey we looked at the different categories of fish predator, prey and mixed. We also looked at where these fish may be feeding and what they were likely to be feeding on. Now, let’s take a look at some of the techniques and equipment which we can use to catch fish. When I say equipment I’m not referring to the huge array of fishing tackle which can be found on offer in tackle shops around the country. Ray Mears once said “most tackle and lures you find in fishing shops are there to catch one thing… Fishermen”. I think he makes a good point.
It’s fine to have a blow-out in a fancy restaurant,
With terrapin and canvas-back and all the wine you want;
To enjoy the flowers and music, watch the pretty women pass,
Smoke a choice cigar, and sip the wealthy water in your glass.
It’s bully in a high-toned joint to eat and drink your fill,
But it’s quite another matter when you
Pay the bill.
It’s great to go out every night on fun or pleasure bent;
To wear your glad rags always and to never save a cent;
To drift along regardless, have a good time every trip;
To hit the high spots sometimes, and to let your chances slip;
To know you’re acting foolish, yet to go on fooling still,
Till Nature calls a show-down, and you
Pay the bill.
This hilarious story was doing the rounds via email a couple of years ago. Recently it was brought up again on a bushcraft forum I frequent. I don’t know who the author is or if the story is fiction or fact. Whichever, I think it’s a great tale and has me crying with laughter every time I read it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
As I sit here behind this laptop, I now realize that this definitely wasn’t the brightest idea I have ever had. I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.
The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.
I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope.
The Arctic is the area surrounding the earths North Pole. The Arctic includes parts of Russia, Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Lapland and Norway (including Svalbard), as well as the Arctic Ocean. The 10°C (50°F) July isotherm is used to define the border of the Arctic region.
The Arctic is also known as the land of the Midnight Sun as it within the Arctic Circle.
The name Arctic comes from the ancient Greek ??????, meaning ‘bear’, and is a reference to the constellation of the Great Bear and the Little Bear, which are located near the North Star (which is actually part of the Little Bear).
Back in the old days, Bear had a tail which was his proudest possession. It was long and black and glossy and Bear used to wave it around just so that people would look at it. Fox saw this. Fox, as everyone knows, is a trickster and likes nothing better than fooling others. So it was that he decided to play a trick on Bear.
It was the time of year when Hatho, the Spirit of Frost, had swept across the land, covering the lakes with ice and pounding on the trees with his big hammer. Fox made a hole in the ice, right near a place where Bear liked to walk. By the time Bear came by, all around Fox, in a big circle, were big trout and fat perch. Just as Bear was about to ask Fox what he was doing, Fox twitched his tail which he had sticking through that hole in the ice and pulled out a huge trout.
Well… Weasels are w’easily recognisable and Stoats are stoatily different! Yes I know it’s an old one and not particularly a good one considering that it’s actually quite difficult to tell the difference between these two similar animals in the ‘real’ world. So, what are the main differences between the two and how can we indentify them?
Although they look similar – one way to tell the difference between a stoat and a weasel is that unlike stoats, weasels do not have a black tip to the tail.
Weasels have a very slim, cylindrical body. There are two sub-species, the Northern European pygmy or snow weasel, and the common weasel, found further south. In general, the body size is smaller in northern populations.
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System has been available for a few years now and has overtime proved itself in the field, becoming very popular with all manner of outdoor enthusiasts, from back packers to sea kayakers.
So, what is a Jetboil PCS? Basically, it’s a one litre aluminium cooking pot (mug), fitted with an extremely efficient burner base. It comes with a built in pietzo ignition system that will allow you to light the stove with a simple press of a button. Most interestingly, the Jetboil packs well; all its components including the fuel canister are packed easily within the cooking pot for simple carrying and portability.
Over the past three years I have carried a Jetboil quite regularly. What follows are my observations after using the stove in the field in all weathers and seasons.