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.
Before 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.
I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing my 3×3 tarp with a DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp. A tiny bit smaller but weighs in at 460gms.
A perfect tarp for backpacking to keep the weight down. The DD Superlight Tarp has 19 attachment points like their other tarps which allows it to be set-up in literally hundreds of different ways (see my post on Tarpology)
It can be used as a hammock tarp, set-up on the ground as a ‘tent’, group shelter and many more uses!Weighing only 460g and packing up very small it is ideal for anyone looking to cut their pack weight down to an absolute minimum.
Made from strong ripstop nylon with PU 3,000mm coating (completely waterproof even in the heaviest storms). Like all of their tarps it is fully waterproof and taped along the central seam.
The Superlight Range is more expensive than their other products due to the higher cost of using the lightest materials.
Size:3m x 2.9mColour: Olive Green, Coyote Brown, Sandstorm Yellow and Sunset Orange.
(exc Pegs & : 4 x Pegs & Guy Lines, Stuff Sack).
Ive used this tarp a few times now and it has replaced the standard 3×3 DD Hammocks tarp in my Day Bag due to weight and size. Also it goes in my multi day bag as an alternative to pitching a tent.
The DD Hammocks Superlite Tarp is used if I get caught in the rain for a shelter to make some food or a brew. I carry 4 lightweight pegs, a ridgeline and 4 guy lines if I’m in the forest.
If I’m hiking along the coast then I will take hiking poles to help erect a shelter. Carrier Bags can be handy on the beach to fill with sand / pebbles to help with the guy lines.
Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents. I like the idea of having a choice of whether to hang between the trees or ground dwelling when there are no trees or weather and environment puts you on the ground.
You have the ability to adapt and also being lightweight you are not carrying items that you won’t need.
To be able to deal with these scenarios my kit is as follows.
This then gives the ability to hang or ground dwell. In the hammock setup you won’t feel the cold on your back as the sleep mat will be used in the hammock with the sleeping bag.
In the ground setup with your can setup a a-frame tarp using a ridge line if you have anything to tie too or you can use your walking poles and guy lines.
Another option for Lightweight multi use hammock and tarp tents is the hex peak setup but this leaves the tarp open on the front but utilising the poncho as a door you can overcome water egress. In this setup there is plenty of space in side to keep out of dripping rain but it is vitally important to setup with the rear of the shelter facing the wind.
There is an option for a fully enclosed tarp tent, this will stop any water egress apart from running water underneath but down fall is it will heavily condensate up due to no air flow.
So using this setup you have the ability of both hammocking and ground camping. If you had the DD jungle hammock you could lose the poncho as the base of this hammock is waterproof but I like the idea of having the poncho if the heavens open whilst walking, using it as a temporary shelter whilst stopping for lunch etc or using it as a door with the hex peak setup.
This setup with the rest of your lightweight kit shouldn’t bring your weight over 10% of your body weight.
I always say try to fit work around your life and not the other way around and with me working a shift pattern which is different to friends that enjoy the same mentality towards life and same interests it is rare that we get the time to catch up and head out for a micro adventure.
This night was one of those rare occasions when the planets where inline and we could do a Micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
So a late start we got the beach around 19:00 with a few dog walkers still about we assessed the area to find there was a bit of ground swell and the tide had been nearly up to the cliff so sleeping on the beach was a no go.
A little while later we had found a space within the bracken that we could setup our tents and get stuck into our micro adventure wild camping on a beach.
Micro adventure wild camping on a beach
Camping on the cliff
I had planned to hammock camp but brought a sleep mat on the off chance I would be able to hang so used my 3×3 tarp to make a shelter to sleep in.
This setup is really versatile but does leave the opening at the front open to the weather.
I had thought about this the other day and quickly had a go at developing a door using my poncho which worked really well so I am happy to use this setup whilst walking the lakes later in the year.
I thought I would take this opportunity to try a product I was sent from a company in Sweden called Sjö och Hav that produces eco friendly products such as mosquito repellent, soaps and shampoos that are perfect for use in an outdoor environment actually in any environment as they are all biodegradable.
Bobotie is a very old South African dish with probable origins in Indonesia or Malaysia. The name derives from the Indonesian “bobotok,” and the dish was likely adapted by Dutch traders and brought back to the region around Cape Town.
Somewhat of a national dish, every South African cook has his or her own favorite version, some very simple, others quite elaborate.
Bobotie is a very simple dish to make in a Dutch oven over an open fire or as I have done utilizing my Frontier stove from anevay.co.uk
The great thing about this dish is that it is really just a one pot dish (apart from preparation).
Oil — 2 or 3 tablespoons
Onions, thinly sliced — 2
Ground beef — 2 pounds
White bread, crust removed and cut into cubes — 2 or 3 slices
Milk — 1 cup
Vinegar or lemon juice — 1/4 cup
Raisins — 1/2 cup
Sugar — 2 tablespoons
Curry powder — 1 or 2 tablespoons
Turmeric — 1 teaspoons
Salt and pepper — to season
Bay leaves — 5
Eggs, beaten — 2
Heat the oil in the Dutch oven over medium heat ( a flat bottomed Dutch oven is best but I have a three footed Dutch oven and to get the heat I remove the metal plate to get more heat into the Dutch oven.
Add the onions and saute until translucent and just starting to brown. Add the minced lamb and break it up while sauteing until cooked through and crumbly.
Remove from heat, drain off and discard any excess fat.
Put the bread and milk in a bowl and soak for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the bread and squeeze it dry, adding the squeezed milk back into the soaking bowl.
Add the soaked bread, vinegar or lemon juice, raisins, sugar, curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper to the bowl with the cooked meat and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings.
The meat should have a pleasantly sweet-sour flavor.
Pour the meat mixture back into the Dutch oven and smooth out the top. Lay the bay leaves over the meat in a decorative pattern and press down lightly to make them stick.
Place the dutch oven back onto the frontier stove or over the fire and place the lid onto the Dutch oven and add some coals onto the lid.
Beat the eggs with the reserved bread-soaking milk. After the meat has baked for 30 minutes, pour the egg-milk mixture over the top of the meat and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the custard is set.