Pale Corydalis in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Pale Corydalis in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Pale Corydalis, Corydalis sempervirens, is a native plant found in the northeastern half of Minnesota. This pink and yellow flower can be found in the BWCA, as this one was. This photo was taken in late July of 2012. During late summer, thin green seedpods are produced, which later turn brown and release seeds. In the photo below you can see that the seedpod has turned a light brown, but has not yet released seeds.   Pale Corydalis, also called Rock Harlequin, blooms in the spring and summer from May – September. It is a member of the Fumitory family (Fumariaceae), a family that also includes the charming plant Dutchman’s Breeches. This plant is not edible. It contains a narcotic alkaloid and can have a hallucinogenic effect when digested that can...

How to Build a Quinzee

How to Build a Quinzee

A quinzee is basically a hollowed out pile of snow that you can use for a survival shelter in the winter, or as a sweet fort in your backyard. It is not nearly as complicated as building an igloo, and can be completed with a solid afternoon’s work with two people. I have slept overnight in these structures while winter camping in northern Minnesota, and they can keep you relatively warm, especially if the temperatures outside are well below freezing. How to Build a Quinzee Step by Step 1) Determine the location of your quinzee. It will have an entrance hole, so it’s helpful to make sure that’s not facing directly into the wind. If, for example, you are going to build it on an island in the Boundary Waters like we did, you probably wouldn’t...

d.light S10 Solar LED Lantern Review

d.light S10 Solar LED Lantern Review

This d.light S10 Solar LED lantern provides a lightweight, renewable source of light. The solar panel charges easily in the sunlight, making it a great item to take camping, or to have in case of a power outage. d.light S10 Solar LED Lantern Solar powered lanterns are a great alternative to kerosene or propane. I have a propane powered lantern as well, but I prefer the renewable option of solar power, and this lantern is much more lightweight. It is not as bright as the propane lamp on high, so if you are looking for a lantern to light up a whole outdoor area this will not do it. However, it lights up a tent or a table area just fine and has two brightness settings. After a good charge it lasts a full night on the low setting (around 8 hours). I’m quite the...

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock Review

Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock Review

The Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock is a great inexpensive option for a lightweight travel hammock, and is also useful if you are just looking for something that packs up small for convenient storage. Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammock (Forrest Green) It’s important to note that this is an inexpensive hammock, so it is not the highest quality you will find out there. For the price though, and if you pay attention to the weight limits, it is a decent option. As with any fabric hammock, I would caution against leaving this out in the sun and rain for extended periods of time, as this will weaken the fabric. This hammock comes with ropes and hooks on the ends. I’m personally not a big fan of hooks, and would rather use good knots or carabiners. The ropes that...

How to Use an Emergency Fire Starter

How to Use an Emergency Fire Starter

Emergency fire starters are typically made with magnesium, and most have built-in blades or knives. Basically, you will first need to shave bits of magnesium off the fire starter with a knife onto some tinder. The flint from the fire starter is then used to create sparks, which should ignite the flammable magnesium as well as the tinder. From there, it’s your job to keep the fire going! Read further for more detailed instructions.   This emergency fire starter, for example, has a striker with one serrated edge rather than a knife. The serrated edge is used to shave off the bits of magnesium, and then the flint is struck with the other side of the striker. How to Use an Emergency Fire Starter – Detailed Instructions Before you even think about...

Venison French Onion Soup Recipe

Venison French Onion Soup Recipe

Onions and venison complement each other tremendously. I hadn’t seen a recipe for this before, but I like to make French onion soup at least a couple of times per year, and with a deep freezer full of venison, I’m always trying to think of new ways to utilize it. And so, my version of venison French onion soup came to be. Ingredients 4 onions, thinly sliced 1/2 cup butter (if you use salted butter, just add less salt at the end) roughly 2 tablespoons minced garlic (to taste) about 1 pound of venison, cubed (you can use tougher meat, since this will cook in a crock pot for many hours) 4 – 6 cups beef broth (add more or less depending on the consistency you like) 1 cup red wine (I like the flavors of Shiraz with this) venison seasoning (if you...

Early Morning in the BWCA

Some peaceful scenery. Sit back, relax, and imagine yourself into the...