It is ironic the amount of time, money and thought the outdoorsman puts into outfitting himself with the latest gimcracks, but values so little his personal hygiene, most often leaving it last on the list and very often off of the list.
When it comes to your teeth, maintaining oral hygiene is paramount if you intend to keep you and your choppers healthy. Not brushing your teeth can lead to other short term and long term health issues.
I remember suffering, once, from an impacted wisdom tooth that was so bad, it literally was knocking off my equilibrium. I had to go in for emergency surgery to have it removed. Another time, I had a cavity that hurt so much, I didn’t want to eat. These two incidents, had they happened in the back country could have really spelled disaster.
The following article, while it doesn’t address how to deal with the incidents that occurred to me, it does share personal oral care for those times when you have no toothbrush and toothpaste
The outdoorsman can be very innovative in meals they cook while out of doors, often times dazzling their buddies with their campfire cooking.
One of the trail staples of many outdoorsman is campfire bread, or bannock as it is more commonly referred to. But what of this trail bread? Where does it come from? What is it’s history?
Here’s an interesting and fascinating article, sharing both the Scottish History and Native American History of this trail bread.
In Canada, there is a long and ancient tradition associated with Bannock. Before Europeans settled North America, the First Nations peoples made two types of Bannock; the first was unleveled dough from ground nut and seed flower which was wrapped around green branches and cooked over an open flame alongside freshly caught fish.
One of the greatest difficulties a woodsman will be faced with is that of starting a fire in the rain. The ability to do so, with found natural materials, is quite the accomplishment. Knowing how to do it with found wet wood is a true path to being the accomplished woodsman.
I still remember my first, as if it was yesterday. I can’t speak for what others have felt during their first experience, but mine was both priceless and humbling.
Here is an article of someone sharing their experience of Starting a “One Stick Fire” in the rain
Because of my difficulties getting a fire going on the last trip, I set myself the goal to go over the basics once more, but in order to challenge myself I made things “a bit” harder. I was going to make a “one-match-fire” in soaking wet conditions, using only what was naturally available in my back yard.
Yes I know the title is sending shivers down your spine, but Beef Fat Pudding, or Suet pudding as it is commonly known, though not a common staple in the 21st century, and diminishing beginning in the early 20th century, was a fairly common desert with a history tracing back to the 14oos, though at the time it was used more as a preservation technique… Think Pemmican! Yeah you’ve probably not hear of it before, but if you’ve probably heard of “Christmas Pudding” which is essentially the same thing, you know what it is. All that said, Suet pudding is still fairly common in other parts of the world, and kind of a tradition. In fact Suet pudding is still available over seas under the brand name “Spotted Dick”.
In true fashion, Suet pudding was just another way to make sure no part of the animal was laid to waste.
In the tails of the old west, Cookie would sometimes whip up this delicious dish for the cowboys out on the range. A cook that could whip up delicious meals was truly a respected and protected asset amongst the boys.
As the temperatures start to drop, more people start to turn to their fireplaces for warmth. Around here—Southern California—the temperatures haven’t dropped significantly, at least where I’m at, but sometimes you just have to turn on the fire place for ambiance.
A few years ago, I was turned on to pine cones that burn different colors. It was quite magical actually. It was like there was a firework display going on in the fire place. Those colors are enough to add a bit of magic at any holiday festivity. But, like all things, it can get a bit expensive to burn these all the time. Fortunately, however, they are easily made at home with readily available material.
You’ve probably seen these pinecones in stores around Christmas time, you get various pretty color effects when they are thrown on the fire. Problem is they are usually pretty expensive, BUT, they are actually really easy to make yourself and here’s how!
One of the plants I look forward to foraging when I am hiking about is wild onions. They are just what is needed to give your wild salad a little zip. At home, however, one can hardly argue the delicious flavor of caramelized grilled onion on a steak or in a burger.
As is often the case, many people start preparing a dish only to find out they are missing an ingredient. Oh the satisfaction to know all you have to do is walk over to your garden to grab that wild ingredient. This time, however, your garden is sitting on your window sill.
Growing onions is very easy and straight forward. In fact, for apartment dwellers this is one of those edibles that you can easily grow indoors.
This is a fun project for kids as well and the by product is you get something you can eat.
Today, millions of people across the U.S. will be making the mad dash to the grocery stores for Thanksgiving. If you are the lucky few who raise your own turkey and grow your own vegetables, perhaps you’ll be making the dash to your backyards.
Most people know what they’re going to make for Thanksgiving, but far less know what they’re going to do with the leftovers. Blasphemous, I know. Mom spends all day cooking in the kitchen pouring her love into every dish only to be let down by leftovers getting cold. How about this year you let mom have Friday off and you whip up something special for her?
Here are 5 ideas for what to do with your leftovers
Though no one really knows where the stew got its name, it was fairly common fare for cowboys, cooked up by cookie, out on the range. Though its name was “Sonofabitch Stew”, it was just as common to name the stew after those who cookie or other cowboys disliked. One story of how the stew got its name goes as such:
Two cow hands rode up to the chuck wagon when the cook was preparing dinner. Sniffing the air of all the combined odors from the various pots and skillets, one of the cow hands said, “I see y’u're goin’ to have a son of a bitch for dinner”. The cook already weary and tired from other visitors coming in gave the cowhands a withered look and replied, “Yeah a few more drop in an’ we’ll have a crowd of ‘em.”
Though the stories are as varied as a snowflake, one thing that can be agreed on by all of ‘em… NO vegetables, such as corn, tomatoes, onions, etc. To do so was to spoil the dish.
Many times, wild plants alone are fairly bland in taste. Knowing how to combine different plants to flavor a meal is crucial to making your meals, well, palatable. For those in the know, often times these plants are a stroll away.
Society Garlic is a very common ornamental, that really is one of those plants that imparts a great flavor to other foraged edibles. It can be quite humorous to see me and the other foragers grazing on this wonderful plant. This plant is so common, you may already have it in your garden and didn’t even know it was edible.
Rather than an entire article by me, Greene Dean has done a wonderful job of describing the virtues of this plant.
Because I am asked about it all the time I decided to do an article on it: Yes, you can eat Society Garlic… well… most of it, maybe all of it.
This past week, I spent five glorious days in the desert, of which three days it rained. Suffice to say, the entire group had cold wet feet, and there was not dry footwear to be found amongst them. Try as they may, they were cold, wet, and tired and their wet footwear made matters them even more miserable. On the final day (Friday) I shared a small tip with them on how to dry their footwear when the had a chance.
As a longtime woodsman, I’ve learned I will inevitably get my feet/shoes wet, no matter how careful I try to be. Sure, I can wear waterproof boots that will keep my feet dry, but what of my Bates that are so well broken in their soul is connected to mine?
For years, well over 25, I’ve used the dryer to dry my boots. Most folks will simply throw their shoes in and turn on the dryer, but the inevitable banging and clanking of the footwear being thrown about is enough to drive the insects from the house. There is, however, a little secret to drying your boots in the dryer without a clank or a rattle… Hang them from the door on the inside.