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It turns out that Moo-Cow's not only good at starting campfires, but he's great at cooking over them as well. He showed us how to make a few variations on some campfire favorites.
So, you really want some fresh baked bread to go with your campfire dinner, but you aren't about to try and cook a loaf in a fire pit. How about making some quick and easy Stickscuits instead! Stickscuits are biscuits on a stick, of course, and all you'll need to make them is one sturdy stick and a can of biscuit dough (the kind you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket).Stretch out one of the buscuits and wind it around the end of the stick. Spread it out so no part of it is very thick.Hold your stick with the dough end over the fire (without actually putting it in the fire) and be patient. You will need to turn the stick around to make sure the dough cooks evenly. The dough should slowly brown, thicken and stiffen. Cook until the whole length of dough is like this and then take it from the fire. Once it cools down it's ready to eat!Pigs in a Sleeping BagRoasting hotdogs over the campfire is a classic camping meal. Here is a new and even more delicious twist on that. For this you'll need hotdogs, a can of biscuit dough, and a sturdy stick.
Put a hotdog on the end of your stick. It's best to use a forked stick to hold the hot dog steady and to keep it from falling off into the fire. Roast your hotdog until about it is half done. Since hotdogs are pre-cooked, this is up to your judgment and depends on how you like your dogs.Here's where you turn a regular hotdog into a "pig in a sleeping bag!" Take a section of biscuit dough from the can and wrap it around the hotdog. Roast slowly turning the stick regularly just as you would a stickscuit to make sure it cooks evenly.When the dough is nice and brown your pig in a sleeping bag is ready. You can add any of condiments that you would your regular hotdog.S'morshesWhen you're camping and it's time for deset everyone loves a good s'more. Here's a little variation on the classic treat.Instead of making your s'mores with a roasted marshmallow and piece of chocolate between two graham crackers, why don't you try a peanut butter cup in place of the boring old chocolate!Try to get your marshmallow on to the peanut butter cup as soon as you pull it from the fire. This will help you get nice soft chocolate and it will all blend together better. After the marshmallow is on put the top graham cracker over it and S'morsh it down!We hope you enjoy these campfire cooking ideas. We'll see you by the fire with our roasting sticks ready!Comments2
Camping is one of my all-time favorite vacations. It's not because of the marshmallows, or the rock skipping or tent sleeping. It's because of the sweet, delicious, juicy bugs! If you go camping in a nice wooded area you won’t believe the variety of bugs you can find right around your site! Hundreds and hundreds! I know you might feel a little differently than I do about bugs, but if you're camping bugs are one thing you can't avoid. I thought I would walk around the campsite and tell you about the different bugs that I see.
Oh, here's one right in front of me. See how easy this is? Well, this first one here is a cricket. At night I bet you’ve heard the chirping noise that this little creature makes; it's a lullaby for campers. The cricket has very powerful legs, which it uses for jumping and rubbing together to make its song. For something that makes such a racket they sure are small bugs, but *slurp* they taste like fried rice! Mmmm, that was good.
Here’s another interesting insect that I’m sure you’re all familiar with, an ant. This tiny black creature lives in groups of up to 100,000 individuals! Ants might be annoying when they're getting in your camping food, but they are remarkable insects that use teamwork to hunt for food. They are also very strong and are able to carry 30 times their own weight. I think that ants look like licorice and *gulp* they taste like licorice, too!
Hey—what's that flying around my head? It's a housefly. I know you are familiar with this annoying bug! It might be called a housefly but you'll find it out here in the woods as well. It has claws and pads on its feet that help it walk straight up walls or even upside down. The mosquito, another type of fly, is an especially pesky creature when camping. It sucks blood from animals, leaving an itchy bump behind, and they can spread diseases. I never eat those, but regular flies are okay. *Slurp* Mmm..meatloafy.
And here is a ground beetle. There are at least 300,000 different beetles in the world. They come in all sizes, from those as small as a pin to some the size of your hand. They have a very hard outer shell, but I don’t mind *crunch * it tastes like candy.
You don’t have to eat bugs to appreciate them. Your homework assignment is to find a bug, (not very hard as I'm sure there is one somewhere nearby right now) and watch it. Don't chase it, touch it, or catch it. Just watch it. Notice they way it moves (is it quick and erratic or slow and deliberate?) and watch what it does when it rests. Then let me know the results! And if you happen to notice a particularly delicious looking bug, well, save that one for me!Comments4
I guess I've been volunteered to tell the first campfire story of the trip. I know some people like to hear scary tales around the campfire, but I prefer telling inspiring ones.
You probably think it sounds fun to go camping for a few days with nothing but a tent and some snacks to get you through. But what if you went camping for over two years, and instead of you're tent being on the ground it was way up in the air on the highest branches of a very tall tree? Well, one girl did just that, but it wasn’t just for fun. She was trying to save the forest, and this is her true story.
The girl’s name is Julia Butterfly Hill, and the tree she lived in is named Luna, which means “the moon.” Julia climbed into the tree to protect it from being cut down. She expected to be up there for only two weeks, but she stayed for 738 days (over two years), and never once in that time did she touch the ground.
Luna is an old-growth redwood tree that is hundreds of years old and two hundred feet tall. Trees as old as Luna are rare in America due to heavy logging. Julia went up into Luna on a “tree-sit” to prevent the tree and the forest around it from meeting the same fate. The loggers can’t cut down a tree, or those near it, while someone is sitting in it. So, that’s just what Julia did! Because living in a tree is so difficult and tiring, tree sitters normally change places with each other after awhile so they can rest and relax. After a few weeks in Luna, Julia formed such a strong bond with the tree that she promised not to set foot on the ground until she did everything possible to save that forest.
Now, living in a tree sure sounds like fun, but it is a very hard place to survive. Julia had a small wooden platform on which she lived, cooked, and slept. It was covered with a plastic tarp that kept the rain off her, but it wasn’t any good at protecting her from the cold and wind of the Oregon winters. She also had to go to the bathroom in a plastic bag and save it until someone could carry it down and throw it away for her. She was totally dependent on friends on the ground for food, water, and clothing.
Aside from the physical strain, the loggers themselves harassed her. They wanted her out and tried everything they could to remove her. They sent a tree climber up there to try to physically carry her out of the tree. And when that didn’t work, they tried to starve her out by preventing her friends from giving her food and water. They even tried to scare her out by flying a helicopter very close to the tree, and they constantly shouted and jeered from the ground.
Throughout all this, the tree gave Julia strength. In her book, The Legacy of Luna, she describes the beauty of waking up each day in the tree, calling it a “fairy tale.” She would climb all over the ancient branches, and would even go all the way up to the highest branch where she would sing, dance, and just sway in the breeze.
After all this time, she was becoming quite famous. She had a cell phone with her and got constant calls from reporters, radio shows, and magazines. Celebrities even climbed up into Luna to visit her. Julia was finally being recognized by the world, and help for Luna seemed within reach.
Negotiations with the logging company were long and hard. For many months she was busy working out an agreement with them, but it all paid off. Protection for the area was finally passed, and Luna was safe. Julia was sad to be leaving Luna, her best friend for those two years, but happy that through her total dedication to the forest she had accomplished what she set out to do!
Illustrations by Joda Thayer / Colors by Ryan WilsonComments0
Building a good campfire is one of those things that can seem easy until you actually go to do it. Moo-Cow happens to be a campfire expert, so on the first night of camping he gave us all a lesson that we'll share with you. Before we started Moo-Cow made us all promise that we would always be safe and responsible with our campfires and never build one without permission or supervision from an adult. We promised, and we need you to as well. Okay, good. Now you can check out Moo-Cow's tutorial "Campfires the Cow Way."
1. Before you build a fire you'll need to gather a good supply of dry tinder, kindling and logs.
Tinder is anything dry that will ignite easily and hold a flame. The best tinder is dry grass, leaves and tiny twigs. It's best to get a little of all of them.
Kindling is usually made up of very dry sticks that are the thin enough to catch quickly but thick enough to burn for a while.
Logs are dry sections of tree trunks or very thick branches that can burn for a long time.
Only build your fire in a "fire pit" that is enclosed with rock or a metal ring and never build it near dry brush!
2. Start building your fire by laying down the driest most flammable tinder (dry grass and leaves) in a small, loose mound in the middle of the pit. Then take your smallest twigs and surround this mound with them in a "teepee" style. Leave an opening in the sticks to light the tinder.
3. Light the bottom layer of the tinder.
4. If your flame is not catching well, blow gently on the tinder to help it spread.
5. When the flame really catches lay your smaller pieces of kindling over the burning tinder in the same "teepee" style.
6. Then, when the small kindling is going good, add your thicker pieces of kindling.
7. When the kindling is really burning hot, it's time to add your main fuel. You can use logs if you have them, or you can use very thick branches if that's all you can get (you'll just have to feed the fire more).
8. There you have your perfect campfire! Now it's time to bust out your marshmallows and your roasting stick and enjoy and evening around the fire.
Remember ALWAYS put your fire out (with water or sand) when you're done with it and never leave it unattended. Careless treatment of campfires is one of the leading causes of forest fires, so be smart and safe!
If you don't have a spot to make a campfire, but still want that camping atmosphere, head on over to our MCFC virtual campfire!Comments2