I’ve been thinking about doing a different kind of trip than the standard trips that we at Couch2Trail have taken in the past. You know, the kind where we drive for two or more hours to get to a location that we want to hike in. I decided instead to just venture out my front door and see what I could find within walking distance.

A different kind of trip…

I labeled this type of trip “Bushcraft(ish)” for a couple of reasons. One is that I wanted to report this and future similar trips using a style that I have seen done frequently on the Bushcraft USA Forums. Also, for these trips I will use either an alcohol stove or a DIY twig stove to do any cooking or water boiling, and will at least enjoy a cup of coffee or hot tea while I’m out. The focus of these trips won’t be the hike or the destination, but I will slow down and take in my surroundings, take pictures of things I find interesting or pretty, and really “see” what I’m walking past, through and on. Also, I hope to work on some of my outdoor skills, like fire making. All that said, while there may be some similarities in style and content I’m certainly no bushcrafter, so I don’t want to give the wrong impression.

On today’s trip, we walked through our neighborhood and then cut through to nearby Noonday Creek. Here we needed to cross so I stopped and zipped off the legs of my convertible pants and put on my water shoes. I slipped and fell going down the bank haha! Gryff and MoJo didn’t have any problems.

Once across we struck the sewage easement that runs alongside the creek.

We weren’t the only ones who walked through here!

We came to bridge at a four lane road that crosses over the creek. Safest bet was to go under the bridge.

Again, someone else had the same idea. Once we got to the other side we continued along the easement for a bit. We actually saw a deer crossing the trail about 25 yards ahead at one point.

Parts of the creek were really pretty.

I thought about leaving my pack here while I explored, but ultimately I decided to retrieve it and carry it with me.

The deer know a good crossing spot when they see one! We crossed here.

The far side of the creek was a bottoms type area that was fairly navigable so we continued on that side for a while.

We saw some interesting mushrooms.

I gathered some birch bark from a downed tree in hopes it would come in handy when it was time to start my lunch fire. (It did!)

Neat tree.

There was a path adjacent to one of the neighborhoods along part of the way.

Not for people only!

The end of the path. Time to cross the creek again! Once again I slipped down the bank and fell haha!

No easy way up on the far side. I gave the dogs a boost, tossed up my pole and pushed up my pack and followed as best I could.

Back on the easement and still alive!

Familiar territory. I actually wandered these environs as a wee lad.

A likely lunch and hammock spot. I wasn’t the only one who thought so, someone had a fire here recently. I used the charred area for my fire.

I hung my pack, and collected and processed some firewood.

I used a fire starter I had brought with me to get the birch bark going, then started adding my twigs. It was pretty easy. Spam anyone? I have to say that Spam is pretty good roasted over an open flame like that.

Next I put the water for my coffee on and gave the dogs some treats.

My prototype worked well and I’m satisfied with the design, but it was a one hit wonder!

Tools of the trade. From left to right, my Mora knife, my Vargo Ultimate Fire Starter, and my CKRT Minimalist Bowie knife.

I call this hammock “Buddha’s Golden Palace.” =) It’s simply an extra large table cloth with whipped ends. Great for lounging! After a hammock break and cup of coffee, it’s back to the ranch.

I left the processed wood for the next guy. It might be me!

Not many flowers at this time of year but I found a few.

A really big log blocking our way back. Must have been a magnificent specimen when it was alive.

I crossed the creek one more time,and slipped and fell one more time! The last bushwhack before civilization.

I was out for over six hours and only did about five miles. This trip reminded me of some of the jaunts I used to take as a youngster, no particular place to go, just out for a walk. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to do something like it again soon.

Lessons learned:

1. My old ALICE pack is very uncomfortable without its frame.

2. I should have done a little homework with Google Maps beforehand. I ended up having to hop a couple of fences on the way back.

3. Spam is really good roasted over a word fire!

4. It’s a struggle for me not to rush. Still need to work on that.

5. My twig stove prototyping is complete. I’m ready to make the final product.

Thanks for following along!