I have just returned from a lovely camping trip in the Old Wood. It was bitter cold at -10F which made for cold but manageable camping. I am eager for my deep subzero sleeping bag (on order) to arrive, but doubled lighter sleeping bags and a good fire and shelter made the camp pleasant nonetheless.
I took my faithful Australian Shepherd with me and we had a lovely quiet night by the fire. Dinner was beer sausages with onions and peppers, hobbit food! And a bannock cake with maple, hazel nuts and dried cranberries for dessert. Breakfast was baked potato hashbrowns–easy to make. Just set a few potatoes near the fire to slow bake through the night and in the morning they are cooked soft. Then cut up fine and cook a sausage and cook the potatoes with onions and garlic in the grease till golden brown. Hot and hardy–perfect to start a day of hiking in icy sub-zero winds.
I found a glade of old birch woods that is so full of chaga I should call it the Black Scab Wood. Plus, even more dead standing trees with oyster mushrooms. From a single chaga knot I harvested 6 lbs and still left a substantial portion of the knot–that will last months (and I know where to find more), and then we hiked for another couple hours, scouting places for the winter camping course and tracking wildlife. Rabbits are abundant this year–odd I have not yet come across any wildcat tracks. But it tends to take the cats a year or two to catch up to the rabbit numbers.