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Snow Walker

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Everything posted by Snow Walker

  1. The Ostrich Fiddlehead Fern Earlier this spring I came home with a bunch of Ostrich Fern Fiddleheads. It's the time of year to see them popping up and I wanted to take advantage of it. Within an hour I had more then enough for the wife and I. They don't taste like "Chicken" lol, but do have a slight spinach flavor. Alot of people are mistaken thinking that all Fiddlehead ferns are the same, but this isn't true. Hopefully, for those interested I can do a good job of explaining with the help of some pictures I took while collecting them. The type that I picked yesterday are safe. They are called the Glossy form of Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead. (Matteucia Struthiopteris) They have some brown flaking on them, the stem has a deep u/v that runs the entire length which faces the center of the cluster. They don't grow straight up, instead they grow up, out and curl back in. River bottoms are ideal locations to find them as are along old forest roads. The clusters grow up out of a single brown colored bulb. Some might have three in a cluster while others might have as many as eight. You should NEVER pick them all from the cluster. For ex...If there are 3 in a cluster I will only take one and if there are eight I will only take 4. Be kind to the plant by doing this and it will pay you back next year. Also be VERY careful when picking because it is very easy to step on smaller ones you can't see. As far as cooking goes please google seeing that everyone has different ideas. We cleaned ours under cool water and went through the process of blanching them, then made them like spinach. The "Ostrich" name comes from what some people think the actual fern plume looks like...An Ostrich plume of feathers. In the photographs you can see this in the brown ferns from last year. I will place some photos below showing the things I explained above and then post about the ones you want to avoid after that also followed by some photos. Please note in the pictures below the deep u/v in the stem facing inward, the brown flaking scales, glossy green color/smooth texture, brownish bulb it grows out of and the way the stem grows up, then out and then curls back in again. These are the characteristics you want to look for. Keep in mind though that I would not recommend eating them raw and that people could have allergies to them just as people do to things like peanuts and strawberries. Here are the pictures of what we eat and found to be safe and after that I will post on what you should avoid. DISCLAIMER...BE RESPONSIBLE AND SAFE, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH ON WILD EDIBLES! The books I gather most of my wild edible information from are also shown below.
  2. Simple and to the point...jute dipped in wax. I have been using this one for years and it has never let me down especially in the rain. In fact, it reacts very violently in the rain so be careful. Just dip some wax in jute and fray it up when needed. It will catch a spark in a heart beat. In the outside pictures below I have it in a puddle and believe it or not covered it with water after I frayed it, but you would never know. When waxing it make sure to hold it under in the wax until most of the bubbles stop coming up then remove.
  3. I've heard this called other things, but I call it a char tube. It's an effective way of having charred material on you all the time and takes a spark very easily. It's also a very cheap if not cost free project that will probably out last you and I. All you need is some tubing...I used a small piece of brass and 100% cotton cord. I found some old clothesline and removed the nylon core. Simply cut to the length you want and tie a not in one end, push the knot free end through the tube until it sticks out and char with a lighter. From that point on it will remain charred from using it. To use just push out the knot free end and hit with a spark, use it as needed and pull back in to put out holding a finger over the end.
  4. Advice Needed!!!

    For a VERY long time now I have had major issues sleeping at night! When I do sleep I wake up feeling like I never slept. It's getting to the point where I could sleep all day and still feel tired. I'll be going into the Docter, but wanted a heads up if anyone else has ever dealt with this. Any information is appreciated!!!!! Sleepy Snow Walker
  5. Do any of you carry this in your pack? The reason I ask is because I do and I found out by applying it to a deer fly bite a few times it stopped the pain. Either I'm crazy and just convinced myself it worked or it really did help. It was a small 2.5oz. bottle of the Germ-X brand...I'm sure their all pretty much the same.
  6. My DIY Turkey Calls

    Thought I'd share some pictures of my DIY turkey calls I made a few years ago. One is made with Cocobolo...it is a double sided call, one side glass the other slate for some close up sweet nothings. :loveu: The other is made from Bocote...this one is a sweet sounding single sided slate with a glass sound board. I used a Dremel tool to etch the turkey track on the back. The strikers are made from hickory with corn cobs gathered from our field. The other one in progress will be made from cedar with the wood burning of a turkey.
  7. Anyone plan on winter camping this year?????
  8. New Hobby...

    Well, I decided to take the plunge and go for something I've always wanted to do. I'm going to start pursuing my dream of outdoor photography. I will be taking some classes this spring...soooooo much to learn, but I love it! Here's the camera and a couple pictures. One is the shore of Lake Superior at the base of the Porqupines and one of the numerous waterfalls in the area. I was using a neutral density lens and playing with my exposure speed to get that foggy water effect. It was my first time out with the camera.
  9. Campfire Talk

    Thanks guys, I definately play things safe. I'm confident in my skills, but I NEVER take things for granted. Confidence is a good thing, but being over confident in my book is asking for trouble and no different then underestimating your opponent.
  10. Campfire Talk

    Almost forgot...here's the site. www.rootcellarresort.com
  11. Campfire Talk

    I'm heading out to the Porqupines Thursday and will be camping with me, myself and I until Sunday. I'll try to get some good pictures of the area. Who knows what the weather has in store. I'm prepared for mild weather, rain and yes SNOW. You never know what Lake Superior is going to send your way. My first night will be spent at this place...It's new and only $25 dollars per night. Check it out, it's called the Root Cellar on Lake Gogebic in upper Michigan. After that it's sleeping in the mountains. Talk to everyone later.
  12. bushcraftmyway

    Welcome from Wisconsin...I'll have to check into some of your videos.
  13. New Hobby...

    Yes, it was my first time out, but I did have my nephew helping me...he has been doing this stuff for awhile. By the way, nice pictures for those who added some. Any advise is always appreciated.
  14. Campfire Talk

    It's definately one of those hidden beauties worth checking out!
  15. Campfire Talk

    Just wanted to say hi to everyone and I hope all is going well. I had to take a break from alot of things to put some things into perspective and alot has changed for the better. I found a new stomping ground for my outdoor adventures in Upper Michigan called the Porqupine Mountains. It's a little bit of a drive, but well worth it. I can honestly say I have fallen in love with the area. If anyone is ever interested in checking the Porqupines out just let me know. I also want to add I really like the new looks of the forum!!!!
  16. There are so many materials out there to use for the bow and drill depending on where you live of coarse. Last year I was walking a field and picked up some corn cobs to try out. I scraped off the corn and let them dry out. I used a cedar drill and two corn cobs tied together with birch bark underneath to catch the ember and it worked great. I didn't try it, but I think using a corn cob for the drill would also work.
  17. Hopefully this little tip rubs off on some of us who don't already have something similar along with anything else like allergy issues.
  18. Crafter's Workshop

    Nice work Watcher! I'm not a carpenter, but have built enough things to know those routers can be DANGEROUS no matter what the size of the project so be careful!
  19. Super fun survival kit post

    You make a great point! I'm trying to work on getting my winter gear together and I have numerous things that fall into this category. Chap stick, sunglasses, snow goggles, skin lotion/sunscreen etc...winter is not the time to let your guard down with sun/wind protection not to mention keeping hydrated. In fact, dehydration will get you just as quick if not quicker compared to the summer months! Going through and updating your gear is a great idea. Familiarization with your equipment is often over looked by so many people.
  20. I wanted to post some information about an insulation called Reflectix. It's cheap, has numerous uses, easy to find, easy to work with and all you need is a scissors and metal tape to make numerous items. I have made a sleeping pad with it for under the sleeping bag, pot cozies, flat liners for the bottom of my winter boots and bottle insulators. If you want to see how well this stuff works just make a tube out of it with an opening at each end and stick your hands in one on each end...it's awesome!!!! Here is a video from a really good guy on the pot cozie making process. I hope some of you can get some use out of this.
  21. Photography in college

    Where did you find it for that price Watcher? Is this the one your using?
  22. The Man Cave

    I'd like to take her winter camping
  23. I'm truly amazed at how fast they grow. Tell her I said Happy Birthday and enjoy every moment you can!
  24. Campfire Talk

    Just wanted to say good morning to all. The past 3 days have been busy! Have I missed anything good around here?
  25. Trade Offs

    Travel Light Freeze At Night...I'm sure most of us have heard this one so I thought it would make a good idea for a topic. Everyone has reasons for what they carry and it's just that, a personal pref. so there really isn't a right or wrong answer. So let's hear some of your reasoning as to what you carry and why for different situations. Like I said there's no right or wrong answers here, but if we all take part we might pick up on some things or advice we never thought about. I guess you could call it a "Big Think Tank" you might say. When it comes to packs I would rather carry a pack made of heavier duty material such as cordura seeing that 95% of the places I roam don't have trails and a light weight pack made of lighter material would be ripped to shreds. I also don't mind carrying a heavier pack if it carries comfortably because of a good suspension system. Pictured below are my two favorites. One for short term one for long term even though the larger is just as compact as the smaller with small loads. The first is a Mystery Ranch Big Horn in multicam (3000 cu-in) and the second is a Eberlestock G4 Operator with a built in gun scabbard. (5000 cu-in) Compass...there are numerous compasses out there, but I prefer my old military compass. For me I prefer this because it's all I've ever known and I have a sense of security with it. I also like the fact that it contains tritium which lights up the compass without the need of an outside light source saving my night vision. I do carry a small wrist compass also as a back-up however. Head lamps...I own an older headlamp I love, but it's on the heavy side so when I'm on a short trip I leave it home and carry a head band made by Nite-Ize which weighs next to nothing and will hold my small flashlights like my Feniz LD-20 or my Mini Mag-lite. Another thing is comfort. I firmly believe a little extra comfort weight such as a comfort food or item is a good thing to. Survival is so much about Psychology and sometimes a little comfort item can do wonders for you if something happens. What about a switching off once in awhile for just getting excercise. One time out heavy one time out light.