Posts Tagged With: Knives

A day at the cabin (part 1)


On the way in!

Sometimes, in the dead of winter, you get 2, 3 or 4 really kick-ass days that let you know that the world isn’t freezing you to death. You know the ones; where, after a week or more of relentless snow dumps, rotated with ice storms and more snow dumps, you get a forecast of “Holy Shit, it’s gonna be 7° C (which in real terms is almost 45° F), so we should go to the cabin and chill and stuff”.

It’s like falling in love, or seeing Guided By Voices play live as often as you want, hanging with Bob, Doug and the lads. It’s pretty freaking amazing.

Side-note: Nobody asked me if I wanted to switch from Imperial to Metric, and I’m still traumatized by the whole event. Would you prefer to hear it’s 17° or 64°? I know which I prefer. Metric blows goats. The warmer it is, the higher the numbers should be, FFS!!!!!! Anyhow.

This weekend is one of those wickedly brilliant times. Family Day weekend, 19 Feb 2017.

We had originally thought of taking the dogs with us, spend the night, have a blast. But what we did not know was the condition of the way into the cabin once we got to the end of the cleared road. It’s a 2km hike in, once you stop at the school bus turn-around circle. In lots and lots of snow.


Riding the snow-shovel down a hill on the way into the cabin.

Sure, it’s sometimes packed down by ski-doos or ATV’s, but ya never know. So we left the amigos behind today, and made a half-day trip of it for us. Just to see the Burrow, tell Her we loved Her, and to attempt a few challenges.

Don’t get me wrong here; the cabin is just that, a cabin. Not a beach house with hydro and running water. It’s completely off-grid, as are the other cabins around us. It’s a brilliant adventure, even when we can drive in via the goat paths that lead to Her. But today, after all the crazy weather of late, we did not know if the dogs could actually walk through whatever snow was there. A Bassador, short and stocky, a Lurcher with long, spindly legs, and a Spanish Galga; same legs as the Lurcher. It might have been a total disaster.

We hit the road, drove for an hour, with a coffee pit stop, arrived at the stopping point for wheeled vehicles, geared up and headed forward.


That’s a lot of snow for a plastic kid’s shovel!

Another side-note: I’m recovering, still, from a mis-diagnosed broken ankle from over 2 years ago. 2 surgeries later, I’m just recently at 8% Dorsi-flexion….which is at the bottom level of normal human walking range. My PT consists of (trying to) walk like a normal person; without limping. Fun. Not. Snowshoes however, make life a whole shitload easier.

We managed the entry hike in 45 minutes (I think it’s mostly more downhill than on the way out).


Yeah, that’s the BBQ! Sigh.

Once we actually made it to the cabin proper, we stripped off snowshoes and jackets, and got down to the fun task of shoveling the accumulated snow from the steps and part of the deck, so we could actually get to the door and open it. Trust me, it was a bit of a chore!

Once enough snow had been cleared away, we greeted the Burrow as we usually do, with compliments and expressions of love.

We chatted with a few neighbours who either skied in or walked in, and got the 19th century cook stove going….after I had to dig out the chopping stump to build up our firewood supply for the day, dig out the fire pit for a couple of really cool and uncommon fire-starting challenges (more on that in part 2) and my partner snow shooed a path to the outhouse. Good times!


Re-hydrated gruel!

We had lunch, a first test of a real dehydrated meal (we have made jerky, dried apples, kale chips, dried peppers, etc; but never anything substantial). It rocked. Dehydrated ground pork, corn, chickpeas (garbonzo beans), rice and separate salsa to add flavour.


Dried Gruel!!

Yes, the video I watched showed how to make everything together in the dehydrator, but I  didn’t totally trust the presenter on his YouTube channel. No I won’t name him, or others who give shit or dangerous info, in this post. That is a totally different blog post. Just be careful what you learn from YouTube. Lots of dangerously stupid people have computers……

Lunch consisted of 2 home-dehydrated beef jerky (bottom round roast) flavours, spicy and curried, dehydrated Mexican, cheese, dehydrated apples, trail mix, chocolate and water. Nothing spectacular, but frigging amazing.


The sides.

As it’s February in Canada, water for dish-washing was provided by melting snow in the over-sized kettle. Gotta love simplicity. Dishes were washed in the main room, where the stove is, giving us a bit more warmth. Water was disposed of outside in the snow, away from the cabin, and certainly not down the sink as we do in good weather. No point in messing around with a frozen septic bay, is there?

With the fire dwindling in the stove, we got dressed again, to head out and commence our fire-starting challenges, which will appear in A day at the Cabin (part 2). Prepare to be amazed and amused, folks, because now is when everything gets pretty damned wicked.


Curious? You should be!





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

The day the Gatineau Line fell (part 1)

(Ported over from a page on this blog in 2015, when I had no clue how to blog properly)

It all starts somewhere. Some event that brings chaos and other big words. Take this as you will, but remember, a metaphor is no replacement for being even remotely prepared. You are the first responder for your family. Keep them safe.


The Day the Gatineau Line Fell (Part 1)

Shit. It never fails. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, they did. My cell rang bedside, 0240, 16 October 2015. “Really? WTF”, I thought.  The number was vaguely familiar, but when I heard my supervisors’ voice and her statements, I wished I never answered the call; but if I hadn’t, you would not be reading this:

“Bob”? “Yes, Diane, uh, wait one, ugh, what’s up”? Long pause. “Bob, you know your interest in odd shit; undead, camping, homesteading, prepping, and, um, fuck me, uh, zombies”?  WTF, AGAIN? “Yes, Diane. Why a call now, at this time of night? I have enough problems with the Frat House behind me”.

“Bob, there seems to be a problem just over the river in Gatineau”. “Nobody seems to be able to put a name to it, but it looks like you were right, in some messed up way”.

I had yet to clear cobwebs; trying to maneuver a dog off my one good leg while trying to not wake my partner. “Ma’am, why are you calling me? No-shit answer, please”.

Very long pause. “Bob, from what Higher has shared down to us, there seems to have been some sort of outbreak; I don’t know what, but our channels tell us that people are not dying after being shot by police; worse yet, hospitals are reporting folks who are VSA, yet get up to attack staff”.  Heavy Silence.

“Bob, we are calling a Fan-Out, all pers to report to the office” “Gatineau Police, Ottawa Police and the RCMP have requested Canadian Forces assistance, Aid to Civil Power”.  A very long pause on my end. Very damn long. “Bob”? “Bob”? “This is an order from on High”. My reply was simple; likely even ingrained from the age of 12. “If this is what you describe it as, and if this isn’t some kind of joke, and IF it’s what I think it is, going into the office is the worst thing we could do. Let Higher set up a response team in Petawawa. It’s 2 hours away; it will give them and us a chance”. Pause. “Diane, if you or I go into the office, we’ll be dead in less than 12 hours”. “All it takes is one person who’s been bitten, IF this real, and the entire building is lost. Hell, the office is less than 10 minutes away from Gatineau, we have no way to defend ourselves; it’ll take days for the Chain of Command to issue us our weapons and appropriate ammo. Jeez, we are not a line Unit”.

“Give me an hour to get my shit together, dress, check bus schedules, see what the News has to say and let Stephanie know what’s up, then I’ll get back to you”. A very pregnant pause from Diane, then “Is it possible?” “Is it real”? I told her I didn’t know; I’ll get in touch in an hour.

I never spoke to her again. I tried over the next few hours and days, both cell and work phones. Nothing.

You do the math.

I swung my messed up leg out of bed, checked CBC News, and didn’t like what I saw. Shabby video footage, from reporters, choppers, people-on-the-street. All the same. None of it good. I checked CTV News. Same, but different footage. Footage of people apparently rioting. Footage of people attacking everyone else that wasn’t like them. The last CTV feed I saw showed a woman being bitten, screaming, being attacked by more people who did not appear to be behaving normally. The camera-person rushed in for a closer shot, and the light of the camera or breathing, or noise caught their attention. The very last scene showed teeth, heralded screams from the camera operator, then snow.

I shook Steph, gently, then more so. She looked at me with sleep confusion, blurred and blundered; “wha, ugh, hey, what, why”?

I replied simply: “Check your phone news feeds. Looks like an outbreak of some kind in Gatineau; people are biting one another, dying and getting up again. This is for real”.

Her reply, simple and perfect: “Seriously”? “You serious”? “Your hobby real”? “Shit”.

I kissed her quickly as she got out of bed and stumbled off to the john. Damn well figures. Something I’ve thought about, readied myself for for years, studied via pop culture and fellow fans, discussed over many beers long into the morning actually happens; not far away, not to be watched from a great distance via CNN or CBC or BBC or Al Jazeera, but right literally in my backyard. Less than 45 minutes away, depending on traffic.

I swung back to my side of the bed and reached for my crutches. Of course it has to happen now, when I’m a tripod, waiting another couple of weeks to see if I can start standing again, then the slow process of learning to properly walk, move and eventually run, hopefully. All because the Military medical system missed that I was walking on a broken ankle for a year.

So, despite everything I knew, thought I knew, and the steps I had taken to ensure we had some semblance of a chance in case of a disaster or emergency, I was no longer an asset. I was a liability, something to slow everyone else down.

That’s not even the worst part. My son lives an hour and a half south of Ottawa. I can’t drive right now; drive like I need to, to get him, fight like I need to, to protect him.  I can’t even properly protect my current location, can’t drive, can’t contribute, except for words. I can’t get to family or friends in various areas near Ottawa. Not alone. I just seriously hope folks I know were listening when I shared tidbits of “odd info” and Zombie related lore. Because right now, we are all we have. We are survivors, as long as we can get our shit together.

Echoing Steph and her perfectly simple musing of not even two minutes ago, “Seriously”?

More to come…..if I’m not bitten. Stay safe, Ottawa. God save you, Gatineau.

Categories: wwz, zombies, zombocalypse | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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