Tag Archives: camping

Recipes sought: Wheat berries

I’m looking for camping recipes (or recipes that could be modified for camping) featuring wheat berries.

Parameters: I’m not partial to sweets and prefer savory one-pot dishes.

If you can either provide recipes or direct me to recipes of this nature, please share.

Thank you!

Because of Louis L’Amour

In the Westerns I devoured as a teenager, the good guys made a point of leaving the trails they traveled in a better condition than they found them: moving a branch off the trail here, settling a rock into place there (provided, of course, that they weren’t grievously wounded and/or being pursued by the bad guys at the time).

The lesson has stuck with me: the portages I recently traveled have been left in better shape than I found them. Thank you, Mr. L’Amour.

Quiet Magic

Quiet Magic by Sam Cook, with illustrations by Bob Cary

University of Minnesota Press

This book is exactly what it promises: quiet and magical.  It’s a collection of stories and essays the author wrote for the Duluth News-Tribune, grouped by season.  Each piece is 2-4 pages in the book: a nice little morsel.

Each piece is 2-4 pages of observations and experiences related to the north country, the people to be found there, hunting and fishing, canoeing, etc.  Cook’s gentle humor and perception make for a delightful few minutes of reading per story.

I find myself continually returning to Loomis Lips for the chuckle factor.  Without spoiling it, I’ll just note that it’s about human nature.  Oh, and fish.

Ely Echoes

Ely Echoes by Bob Cary
(c) 2000
Published by Pfeifer-Hamilton

Rating: * * * * *

“Jackpine Bob” Cary, journalist and long-time editor of the Ely Echo, has collected a series of observations, escapades, and spoofs spanning his Depression-era youth through his golden years into an anthology of several-page stories infused with his trademark humor and energy.

My absolute favorite of these – and let me assure you it was not easy to select just one favorite to write about – is Second Time Around, a hilarious chronicle of Cary’s less-than-smooth wedding and honeymoon trip at age 76 with 64-year-old longtime friend and new bride Edith.

Adventurers in training

As seen in the park:

Two little kids, one with Heidi-of-the-Alps braids and the other with a hat that meant business, outfitted with tyke-sized backpacks (complete with carabiner clips), and walking sticks. They set out on an exploration of the park, leaving no stone or garter snake unexamined. Love it!

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide

(c) 2013 by Creek Stewart.  Published by Living Ready Books

Rating:  * * * *

With frequent references to the materials Katniss and the other characters in The Hunger Games use to survive, this book provides the reader with an overview of survival techniques using the resources at hand to build shelters, find and purify water, forage for food, navigate, perform first aid, etc.

I really like this book because I expect it will grab the attention of readers who would not otherwise pick up an outdoors book. Each section is quick to read, full of references to the trilogy of books with which the author is clearly familiar, and contains photos for illustration.  While not exhaustive, the book goes into enough detail to spur interest in exploring the survival techniques further.

The author stresses that while The Hunger Games aren’t real, occurrences like getting lost while hiking or car breakdowns on rural roads – outside cell phone coverage areas – are.  A little knowledge can go a long way in preventing hypothermia and other adverse outcomes.

Death on the Barrens

Barrens

Death on the Barrens:  A True Story of Courage and Tragedy in the Canadian Arctic

by George James Grinnell

First published January 1, 2009 by North Atlantic Books

Rating:  * * *

The author, one of six young men on an ill-advised, poorly planned Arctic trip in the 1950s resulting in the death of the trip leader, recounts the experience from the distance of 50 years.

This is a memoir, not an autobiography.  Rather than focusing on the events of the trip, the book is about the participants:  their hubris, expectations, hopes, fears, anxieties, and reactions to the changing conditions throughout the journey.  As should be expected, the author’s experience is front and center, with descriptions of the other participants adding context.  Grinnell strays into rants from time to time, but since the chapters are all quite short it’s easy to move on.

This is a quick read that will leave you shaking your head.  I recommend reading it.

If you like this book, you may also like Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer.

The Last Savanna

The Last Savanna by Mike Bond

Rating:  *

Ian MacAdam, a white man who has lived most of his adult life in Kenya, joins a group to hunt down ivory poachers.  Learning that the poachers have kidnapped an archaeologist with whom he had been involved several years prior, he strives to save her as well as capture the poachers.  Meanwhile, the poachers’ story – their clan relationships, the circumstances that led them to poaching, what they hope to gain – is told in alternating chapters.

Bond touches on the “beauty of [Africa’s] perilous deserts, jungles, and savannas” (from the publisher’s description).  The poachers and their pursuers travel vast distances through a multitude of ecosystems, encountering wildlife as varied as hyenas, elephants, and scorpions.  And don’t forget the domesticated camels.  These elements are fascinating.

Despite that, I did not enjoy this book.  The publisher indicates this is a story of “the deep, abiding power of love.”  I find no indication of abiding love, or in fact even fleeting love.  Instead, it’s a story of men squabbling over women they want to own; jealousy that the other might be the first to rape a woman of the wrong skin color; and the ingrained belief that women are entirely evil and that their only worth is in providing service and children to men.  The two women in this book (Dottie, MacAdam’s wife; and Rebecca, MacAdam’s mistress) bow to the narrative of the men in this book.  MacAdam views the poacher-hunting as a way to re-capture love (or perhaps purpose) in his life, but to do so he spurns his wife who has begged him to re-engage with her.

Slap any label on it that you wish:  freedom, religion, the urge to live life to the fullest.  In the end, it boils down to pure selfishness.

I received an advance reader copy through NetGalley.

Jailbird by Heather Huffman

Jailbird by Heather Huffman

Rating:  * * * *

A young woman convicted of murdering a socially connected young man escapes from prison after 10 years behind bars and re-learns how to hope, dream, plan…live. She meets Charlie and his daughter, who help her define normal. She is reunited with relatives she hasn’t seen since her conviction. She soon learns that the family of the man she killed is close to finding her and returning her to prison. With the help of good friends and lawyer Charlie, she is able to evade capture.

Huffman writes about social justice issues, but writes them in a non-preachy, very readable style. This is the second of her books that I have read. It comes complete with the expected happily ever after, but the happiness doesn’t come without cost. Social injustices and attitudes are highlighted, but not dwelt upon ad nauseum. A little simplistic perhaps, but palatable for that very reason.

Lip Smackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’

Lip Smackin’ Vegetarian Backpackin’ by Christine & Tim Conners

Rating:  * * * *

The original Lipsmackin’ Backpackin’ is my first and most-used camping cookbook (5 of 5 star rating), but this is a close second. The at-home and at-camp instructions are clear and concise. Recipes range from extremely simple to quite advanced, and also range from no cooking time at all to requiring several hours to prepare. Useful tips and tricks are included.  Serving size and nutritional info are included.

I use these recipes for both canoe camping and car camping, as well as lunches for work.

If you like this book, you might also like A Fork in the Trail by Laurie Ann March.

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