Category Archives: Field Staff posts

How to Cook Outdoors: Cree Bannock

How to Cook Outdoors: Indian Bannock

Bannock, as many of you will already know, is a traditional Scottish bread that has become a perennial favourite of the outdoorsman. Its popularity has much to do with its relative simplicity when it comes to the ingredients required and the method of preparation. When cooked correctly, the end result is a filling, warming bread that is packed with energy to sustain you on the trail.

There are numerous ways of cooking bannock, with each region commonly having its own take on the standard method. In Australia (where it is referred to as ‘damper’) it is sometimes cooked straight on the embers of the fire; in the far North it is more often cooked in a frying pan. In Northern America, the dish was quickly adopted by indigenous peoples after it was introduced by fur traders. In order to free up cooking equipment for other jobs, the Cree and other First Nations utilised a less common technique of cooking their bannock skewered on a stick, and this is the method we have followed here.

The dish shown in this article served three people.

Ingredients:

  • 4 x handfuls of flour
  • 2 x handfuls of milk powder
  • 4 x teaspoons of baking powder
  • Sugar (to taste)
  • Water
  • 1 x handful of mixed fruit
  • Butter

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Snow, Cake and Cabins

The following post was written by Woodlore Senior Assistant David Southey about a trip he undertook with fellow Woodlore field staff members Steve Corbyn and Rob Bashford in February this year:

“With ice axes and crampons packed, Steve Corbyn and I landed near Inverness to meet Rob Bashford for a long weekend of winter walking, learning new skills and refreshing ourselves before the new course season at Woodlore. After buying our food and settling into our dorm at the Glenmore youth hostel we chatted about the coming activities and caught up over tea.

Day 1:

We were up early the next morning in order to meet Gary, our instructor for the day. We felt it important to ensure our skills were as fresh as possible and, after a brief from Gary and a chat about the day’s aims, we set off for Coire an Lochain with the following tasks in mind to focus on:

  • Use of an ice axe for stability, cutting steps, fall arrest
  • Assessing snow pack avalanche risk using a hasty pit
  • Movement with and without crampons
Digging a hasty pit

Senior Assistant Steve Corbyn digging a hasty pit

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#AskWoodlore – Interview with Sarah Day

Just over two weeks ago we asked you to send us some questions for an interview with one of Woodlore’s Aspirant Instructors, Sarah Day. Many of you took the time to kindly send us your questions, which we then whittled down to the best 10 and Sarah took some time out of her busy schedule to give us this insightful interview:

Sarah Day

Sarah Day taking part in Woodlore’s swift water training

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#AskWoodlore – Sarah Day

Following on from our recent article in which Woodlore Instructor Keith Whitehead answered your questions, we thought we would keep the ball rolling with a new interviewee. This time around we’re giving you the chance to put your questions to Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day.

Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day

Woodlore Aspirant Instructor Sarah Day

To put your question to Sarah, simply post it in the comments section at the bottom of this article. Alternatively, you can post your questions on facebook or twitter using the hashtag #AskWoodlore. All questions must be posted by midday on Friday 1st May, and a selection of them will then be put to Sarah.

The person who asks the best question, as chosen by Sarah, will receive a £20 Woodlore voucher.

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Ask a Woodlore Instructor – Keith Whitehead

In January we invited you all to take part in an interview with one of Woodlore’s Fundamental Instructors, Keith Whitehead. Many of you got involved and kindly sent us your questions, which we then whittled down to the best 10 entries. During a break from preparing for this year’s course season, Keith sat down with us for a chat and gave us his answers:

Keith Whitehead

Keith Whitehead

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How to Cook Outdoors: Hunter’s Stew

How to Cook Outdoors: Venison Stew

When we hunt for our own food, we can rest assured that the animal has led a free and natural life, that has come to an instant and humane end. Deer have been hunted in the woodlands of Britain for thousands of years and, as such, their meat forms a very natural part of our diets.

Venison is one of the leanest and healthiest of red meats, and a casserole provides a great way of cooking it outdoors. The Hunter’s Stew is a hearty, warming meal that is perfect for the cold evenings of winter and early spring. The dish shown here was cooked in a small Dutch Oven suspended over the fire, and served two people.

Ingredients:

  • 2 x small venison steaks
  • 1 x handful of flour
  • 1 x knob of butter
  • 1 x large onion
  • 2 x cloves of garlic
  • 6 x rashers of bacon
  • 1 x handful of mushrooms
  • 2 x sticks of celery
  • 2 x carrots
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel
  • 1/2 bottle of Merlot
  • 2 x bay leaves
  • 1 x sprig of thyme
  • 1 x tablespoon of honey

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Essential Skills for the Season Ahead

The following post was written by Woodlore Fundamental Instructor and Quartermaster, Keith Whitehead:

Last week saw the members of Woodlore’s field staff gathering in East Sussex for their annual training week. After a winter apart, this was an opportunity to meet once again, share stories, reaffirm friendships and get down to the serious business of preparation for the coming year. Every member of the team is expected to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to the subject that inspires us all and we were not left disappointed by the level of professionalism, leadership and skill that is the mark of our team.

Ray teaching during staff training week

Ray spoke to his field staff about the importance of first aid in wild places

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