Firelighting Is A Survival Skill

A BIC lighter is pretty small, isn’t very expensive, and even two or three of them won’t break the bank but could be the difference…


Axes are very useful tools here in the north where campfires, bonfires and wood stoves are a big part of life. Everybody has at least one tucked away somewhere.

Portable Burn Barrel

On a recent half-day ice-fishing adventure with our son, I got to experience some of the benefits of a portable burn barrel that he has been using for the past five or six years. He puts it to use throughout the year, but spring/autumn hunts and hard-water fishing are when it sees pretty consistent use. …

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Camp Fire Cake

Sometimes, you just need cake. I’ve baked this from scratch before, but this is the one time I’m going to advocate boxed over homemade: when you’re deep in the backcountry it’s just too much fuss to pack in all the things you need to make a decent cake. The last time I made this, I …

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Bush Gypsy’s Banquette

Sometimes when you’re in the bush you need lots of calories, but you don’t have lots of time (or energy) left at the end of the day. By prepping the first part of this three part recipe for dinner, you have yourself a hearty, quick breakfast, as well as lunch or dinner the next day …

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The Most Yukonic Night Ever

The Yukon boasts of many iconic landscapes/experiences/situations  and on one glorious night I experienced a few of them. Now in my Southern upbringing, I always thought “deer in the headlights” was just an expression. But, no, no, no! It’s a fact nature. The deer stood paralyzed in the same fear that prevented me from screaming. …

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Hands-On Haute Couture in the Junction

From beading to working with hide and hair, “Textile and fashion endeavours are followed by a huge number of locals,” says Heiko Hähnsen. He’s the director of the Junction Arts and Music, or JAM, an organization that “nurtures the arts”, according to its website, and is hosting Haines Junction’s first Hands-On Craft Weekend. Given that …

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DIY Campfire Treats for Kids

Just building and helping to keep a fire going is great fun for kids of all ages. There is something magical about being near an open fire. A fire is even more of a happy time when incredible edibles are created even by closely supervised toddlers. Depending on what is being cooked, different tools are …

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Chainsaw-chip Fire Starter

We get pretty good at fire-starting if we light enough fires, but there are some ways to make it even easier. Solid-fuel fire-starters work well but kerosene-dampened chainsaw chips are always successful at minimal cost. If you cut your own firewood, you can gather the chips around your saw-buck. If that isn’t possible, everyone has …

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Grilling Salmon

Salmon can be grilled in your oven. Then, it’s referred to as broiling. It can also be grilled on the barbeque, or carefully over a campfire. During our lengthy winters broiling is the usual method at our house, but occasionally I dig the snow off the barbeque and ask myself why I am standing out …

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Cowboy/Camp Coffee

A little research shows me that “camp coffee” and “cowboy coffee” are the same thing, but maybe originated in different locations. Basically, each involves a fire, a pot, some water, and some ground coffee. Even the more intricate efforts involve these basic items. Most people who enjoy this type of brew like it for the …

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Raked Over the Coals

If you like to camp in comfort and enjoy a challenge, take a Dutch oven. Breads, bannock, cinnamon buns, upside-down-cake, succulent meats and baked fish are taken to a new dimension over an open fire. The trick is to keep only a few coals underneath and more on top of the Dutch oven. This bread …

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