A day at the cabin (part 2) FIRE!!!

After some post-lunch chill time, we got down to completing some challenges: making fire. No, not with a lighter or matches. Old School methods: the Ferro Rod and a Flint and Steel kit.

Every other month, I receive the APOCABOX


2 of my 3 boxes (so far)!

from Creek Stewart. Creek is a Survival Instructor, Survival Host and author, as well as running the Willow Haven Outdoor center in central Indiana. Just FYI, I’ve never met him and have no affiliation with him, except to receive the box I mentioned earlier.

There are literally hundreds of subscription boxes out there, but  we can’t get a lot of them in Canada. Why not? They include firearms parts and accessories which are mostly restricted here.

Besides, when SHTF, and batteries run out, lighters die and gasoline gets extremely scarce, how do you plan to stay warm, build a shelter and feed your family? Trust me, having the upper receiver for a weapon you can’t legally own, or a thirty round magazine will not help you.

On the other hand, good old fashioned knowledge and know how will get you a lot further along.


Flint and Steel, Ferro Rod

This month’s APOCABOX (February 2017) is titled IGNIS, and is all about fire making. The December 2016 box was titled TAIGA, and was based on Russian trappers and hunters, and featured the tools and kit they use to hunt and survive (it even included a non-commercial trapping hatchet, based on Russian design). Pretty cool, USABLE gear in every box.

We started out by me finding, then clearing out the fire pit while somebody stayed warm and cozy in the cabin, reading in her Adirondack chair. How did that happen?


It’s cold out, and there are Eastern Coyotes after me!

Next, we charred the char rope (furniture piping from a craft store) that came in the Flint and Steel kit, in our cook stove.



Charring the char rope

Neither of us had done this before, and I admit, I think I cocked it up a bit by opening the tin to look at it, which made it far more brittle and less likely to catch fire. It was the same colour as depicted in the demonstration video, but not as robust. I now know for next time.

With the Ferro Rod, all we had to do was scrape the black matte covering off before striking. In the early 1900’s, the  Ferro Rod was created by an Austrian inventor, while percussion fire-starting has been around since the dawn of time. From the Iron Age forward, Flint and Steel (until matches and lighters) was the most common method of creating sparks.

I was going to upload videos of this fun, but I’m using the basic (free) package, which does not support videos. Don’t worry; if you want to watch us light fires, you can see them on  my YouTube Channel. It’s brand new, and will deal with things talked about on this blog.

Stay safe, stay tuned, and most of all, get out there! Adventure Awaits!!!!!!


Categories: Cabin, Hiking, Knowledge, Learning, Off grid food, Respect the Old Ways, Science, survival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dehydrating Yogurt. Seriously.

So, we had chatted about a dehydrator for a while. Made sense. Went and checked them out at Cabela’s in Ottawa, not knowing much more than we had Googled. We lucked out. The staff member we spoke to in that department owns a dehydrator (either that or she talks a damn good game, but we suspect she actually owns one). Zero-pressure to buy. All questions and weird-Harold queries were answered.

We learned that a very popular thing to dehydrate is yogurt. Yeah, you heard me. That stuff. Sunday morning breakfast, mixed with granola or trail mix. That Stuff. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really cotton to the idea, but smiled and nodded. My partner, on the other hand……she was all over it like a hiker on a mountain in the ADK ’46 range. Which she is. Oh, and she has completed all of them, and is currently working on the Saranac 6. And travelling the world between romps in NY State. You can read more about her here: stephthewaywardpilgrim.com.

Turns out, as common sense would dictate, that taking yogurt out for a walk in the middle of July or late January does not usually work out. It either goes off due to heat or freezes; leaving it as dead weight in your pack. And you don’t want to carry more than you need. You also really don’t want to eat spoiled or frozen dairy due to the result of you having a bad episode of gut rot, or worse, the squirts. While on a mountain. In the high heat of July. Or the other one, the low lows of January. On a mountain. You get the drift, especially if you are a lover of grand trails, the outdoors, survival, homesteading, Military or living off-grid. You can read more about our travels off grid here: tinycabinbigdreams.com. I digress.


Before, 2 of 4 trays.

I cracked the tub of yogurt and spread it out over parchment paper, put it on the racks and slapped it in the dehydrator. There are literally thousands of variations on dehydrating yogurt, but I went with the simplest one: Spread it thinly on parchment paper, dehydrate for 4-6 hours (depending on which guide you follow and at which temperature you choose per the guide), and flip it off the parchment paper for the last hour or two.


After, bark

I didn’t know what to expect exactly; either fruit leather (like a fruit roll-up), or fruit bark (paper thin, fragile and crumbly). We got the latter, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The only drawback is that you have to put it in a solid plastic container (or something like that) instead of a plastic sandwich bag (to prevent it becoming powder in your pack).

Turns out, it’s pretty good, if a bit sweet for my tastes (I prefer plain, thick yogurt, where I can add what I want and control the extra chemicals and sugars, to a degree, going in). This is another item we will be doing more of in the future.


Categories: ADK, Back packing, Dehydrated yogurt, Food, Hiking | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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