Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy to be Here

Hello All,
I just wanted to post a quick note and let everybody know what's happening here at Northeast Voyageur. This is a bit difficult for me to talk about so please bear with me. A couple of weeks ago, while at work, I experienced some chest, shoulder and arm pain. Less than an hour later I was having a severe heart attack and getting a helicopter ride to the closest cardiac care facility.
One of my arteries was 100% blocked. During the procedure to clear the artery I went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated. It was a close call and I owe my life to the medical professionals who treated me.
One thing the experience has made me realize is that it can happen to anyone. I am 41 years old, in good shape and have been exercising regularly and eating healthy for months. I had quit smoking, junk food and soda last year and had lost over 20 lbs. In short, I was doing everything possible to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
Through the miracle of modern medicine, a healthy diet and a cardiac rehab program I should be as good as new in a short while. Until then, I am limited in the amount of time I can spend in the outdoors. For now I am spending time with my family and finishing up some writing which I will hopefully publish soon. Until I get back out and about, I have asked a few friends to do guests posts for me. I hope you enjoy them.
As soon as I am recovered, both my wife and I have plans to take a wilderness first aid course and update our CPR certifications. I encourage everyone to do the same.
Thank you all, I'll see you soon and I hope that someday our paths will cross in the woods.
Chris (N.E.V.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A few of my favorite Trail Food Recipes

Here's some of my favorite trail food recipes. They are all easy to make and portable. No refrigeration is needed but I keep all my food in a cool place and out of the hot sun. We'll start with some homemade energy bars.

Homemade Energy Bars

Peanut Butter

Put equal parts Peanut Butter and Honey in a bowl and microwave for a minute until they easily mix together. (Please be careful as this mixture can become extremely hot) mix them together adding Oatmeal until it becomes very hard to stir. Press into a cake pan lined with wax paper and refrigerate for an hour or more. Once it has setup in the fridge, cut into bars and individually package in zip close bags.
I like them plain but you can also add a handful of peanuts or trail mix, sprinkle them with some coconut. Dropping some chocolate chips over top of them and pressing them in the bars before cooling them works really well.


Bannock is a traditional camp bread, because it uses no yeast it can be a bit heavy but I really like it that way. Here's the ingredients I use.

1 cup of Flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
A pinch of salt

Mix all the dry ingredients together and add water as needed I keep it in a plastic peanut butter jar and mix it up with water when needed in a small plastic bowl or sandwich bag. It can be pan fried with a small amount of oil or butter or if mixed very stiff, cooked over an open fire on a couple of green maple sticks. Adding sugar a teaspoon at a time sweetens it up. You can add some extra flavor by mixing in a package instant cup of soup or some powdered bullion. It can also be used as a breading for freshly caught fish. A handful of fresh blueberries or raspberries picked along the trail and mixed in make an excellent breakfast. I like cutting up an apple and adding it for breakfast in camp.


Hardtack has been around a long time. It is basically a very hard, very dry, very simple bread. You too can enjoy the same kind of meal our forefathers cursed at. Here's the simple recipe.

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt

Mix that together with very little water and knead into a thick dough. Roll out the dough about a half and inch thick and cut into 2x4 inch squares. Poke each square four or five times all the way through with a fork and place on a dry cookie sheet. I then bake mine at around 350 degrees or until the edges start to brown. The important thing is to be sure all the moisture is baked out and they are completely dry. When you're done you should have something that resembles a warm, flat rock. Now  I know that doesn't sound all that appealing but try dropping one or two into a pot of soup or camp stew and letting it soften up for a few minutes and "Taa Daa!" instant gourmet pot pie. Ok... Maybe not gourmet but certainly good. You can always do as our civil war soldier ancestors did and soak it for a few minutes in your morning coffee to soften it up.

There you have it. Three of my favorite trail and camp foods. I hope you give them a try. Until next time, enjoy your time outdoors.