Tapping Birch Trees in the Spring.

Its that time of the year when for tapping birch trees. 

Winter is trying to release its grip on Northern Europe, with the odd slip of a frost and recently a lot of rain coming of the land and flooding the river valleys.  

It is also the time when nature starts to wake from its winters sleep and life starts to flow through the veins of animals and plants. Continue reading “Tapping Birch Trees in the Spring.”

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Breakfast in the forest using a Frontier Stove

Mod for the Polish Army Lavvu (Sauna)

An off the hoof decision meant we where heading out for Breakfast in the forest using a Frontier Stove yesterday.

breakfast using the frontier stoveI had planned to head into the woods to do some foraging for fungi as it had been quite foggy and had been raining for two day anyway but when a friend contacted me we decided to head into the forest for a fry up.

Down to the Forest

When we arrived at the location I had realised I had my frontier stove in the back of the car so we decided to carry that down into the birch and use that to cook breakfast off.

Breakfast in the forest using a Frontier Stove
Frontier Stove by www.anevaystoves.com

As mentioned in a previous post I’ve had this stove made by Anevay for over 8 years and love cooking of it.

The only downfall is its heavy to carry along way but sharing the load we dragged it into the forest.

We ended up in a secluded area of birch and pine where we started to prepare for our breakfast.

Firstly my friend needed to hang his Basha to dry so he set this up and I showed him some methods I use to hang a tarp.

He realised the benefit of using a 3m x 3m tarp compared to a Basha.

I have 2 tarps both made by DD Hammocks a super light and a normal both 3m x 3m.  I really like using a tarp as there is so many different configurations you can use depending on environment and weather.

Once setup and firewood collected I started a fire using birchbark, piece of flint and a steel striker.

It take a little while to get this stove up to heat but after 15 minutes it was hot enough to place the pans and the eagle kettle on to start cooking and heating water for a brew.

Using a skillet, frying pan and the camp kettle we cooked up breakfast and brewed some coffee.

We sat eating and chilling listening to the deer rutting in the marsh behinds us for the middle of october it was still really warm as we where both sitting in t-shirts.

Any Fungi?

I didn’t find many fungi just one lonely Bay Bolete but loads of Amantia Muscara around.

Slight downfall was the welds on the stoves door had finally given way but after eight years of use I’m not complaining.

betweenthetrees.xyzOn another note I have started uploading more weekly videos to my youtube channel so please take a look, comment, like and subscribe see what you think and let me know.

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Foraging for edible Fungi

A day out in the woods after a very damp couple of days means foraging for edible fungi if conditions are good you are sure to find some fungi.

foraging for fungiBefore I start this isn’t a post to help you identify fungi, I know what I know and I keep to that.  If you are not sure then leave them in place.

If you want to learn about edible fungi then get on a foraging course, buy a book and ask for assistance on some of the Facebook groups or online forums.

I stick to what I know and keep to that.

A day off means walking the Dog and doing some king of micro adventure, today was foraging and a great day it was.

Perfect conditions, rain recently, damp and warm over night meant there was fungi everywhere.

I started off in an area I have been foraging for fungi previously and I had seen fungi there a couple of days previously.

Straight away I was onto Slippery Jacks.  Its really frustrating when you find a perfect looking fungi only to cut it and find it maggot riddled.

So the trick with fungi is to harvest them as early in the day as you can.

Walking deeper into the Birch forest I started to see hundreds so started to carefully select the best.

There was also some Penny Buns around, I love the smell of these and they can grow quite big.  So after filling the cloth bag full I decided to harvest some fatwood from a stump and get a brew on the go before heading off back home for the daily chores.

Searching for edible fungi

If you are interested in foraging for edible fungi there are plenty of videos on Youtube but I cannot stress enough the need to be 100% sure what you are picking.

Please have a look at some fungi identification books.

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Micro Adventures

We are all limited with time due to work, family and other time consuming things, so utilising what precious time we all have to spending it with our families which then gives great memories and also teaches the little ones a thing or two.
I have recently been spending more of the little spare time I have more effectively by creating little micro adventures for us all to enjoy.
Micro adventures are a great way at utilising time for yourself giving you more time to really relax and unwind by doing things instead of wasting that precious time.
So I plan micro adventures for myself and also for the family. Not every member of the family will enjoy the same adventure. So as I work shifts I plan ‘me time’ when the wife is at work and the kids are at school.
Turn a dog walk into a lunch and a coffee in the woods or on the beach.
Even if you haven’t got a dog a walk out will do great for your mentally. I have a Day bag I use which houses everything I need for a micro adventure. I carry a tarp, fire lighting kit, wood gas stove, pot, water bottle, coffee making kit, snacks, length of paracord, knife and my wood carving tools.

I’ll then walk the dog and spend some time just relaxing between the trees making a brew and pretending that I’m good at carving.
Even throw up a tarp and practice fire lighting skills, the last dog walk out I took my youngest and we lit a fire using Birch bark and a fire steel so he learnt how to use natural tinder to light a fire.

Micro adventure can be anything really: geocaching, foraging, animal tracks, wood carving, paddling down the river, outdoor cooking etc.
We regularly go to the beach after school and will cook our meal on the beach just to be outside.

Fishing is a great way to get out and spend sometime outside. I will carry a fishing bag and walk the dog along the river and spin for pine whilst walking along. It’s not always productive but get to see loads just standing there and walking along the river

A jetboil in my bag and some coffee adds a little more to the adventure.

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Mushroom hunting

I am lucky to have been shown a few safe mushrooms to pick by my wife. My wife is Polish and in Poland it is very normal to go out picking wild mushrooms and utilising them into diet.
Mushrooms in Poland are normally either dried or pickled for storage.
Now I only pick what I know and if I’m not 100% sure I leave them.
I took a wander through an area I’ve seen a few cepps before and I was really surprised to find loads so I only picked what I needed.

I stopped with the dog and had a brew using the Swiss army stove and took the shrooms home and dried them in the dehydrator

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