07 August 2011

Bannock, Berries & Big Birch Trees

The skies were threatening from the get go. Spitting rain off and on, still I had to get out. Strapping some rain gear to my pack I set out in spite of the ill looking skies.

I generally check my trail cameras about every 14 days. One of the cameras was due to be checked so I headed there first. Ordinarily I'll just take some empty 4GB SD cards and swap them. I've been wanting to do it a bit differently.

In a recent trade with a forum member at BushcraftUSA.com, Rattlesnake_Wrangler, I came away with a HP Mini-notebook. 250gb HD, wireless capable, multiple USB ports and a SD card reader. The intent for this thing is field use. Fill it up with maps, field guides, use to get the pics from the trail cameras and so on, it'll make my next trip to BWCA where I'll use it as a type of journal, recording each day's events. So today was it's maiden voyage if you will. Thanks again Rattlesnake, it's exactly what I was looking for.

Some scenery along the way.

Our berries are ripe now. Everywhere you look we've got 'em. Dewberries, raspberries and my favorite, Thimbleberries. I posted some picks in another thread but they were not quite ripe in those pictures. This is what they look like when ripe, and man let me tell you there is nothing so sweet on this planet.

I also found a couple Saskatoon Serviceberry trees. This is what I call them, and I believe the identification to be correct. I can't find anything else that matches up. I know they were delicious. If someone knows that these are not Saskatoon Serviceberry Trees please speak up.

Between the raspberries, thimbleberries and serviceberrys I had quite a haul.

This little fella was hiding out.

More scenery.


Giant Birch.

Time to make Bannock.

Dug this hole out with a rock. I wanted to get the fire low, put some pieces of wood over the fire to set my pan on. It's been raining quite a bit and everything was pretty wet. Still got the fire going no problem.

Hole dug and some wood collected.


My bannock is simple, the usual ingredients but I do add cranberry and walnuts along with other berries found along the way sometimes. That's a smallish cast iron skillet, about 7" diagonal from corner to corner. Works great and isn't overly heavy.

By putting the wood across the fire hole as seen below, it keeps the scorching to a minimum. I didn't really have time to let it burn down to coals so I did this to be able to cook it quickly.

Bannock is served!


  1. I've never made bannock. Is your version soggy or dry on the inside?

  2. Dry.

    Doesn't take long to cook, I think my trick is keeping it relatively thin and cooking it on cast iron. I also flip it frequently after the initial side has firmed up.

  3. Thanks for your reply. I keep thinking that I'm going to try it.

  4. Here's my recipe if'n you want to try it.
    3 cups all-purpose flour
    2 tablespoons baking powder
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 pinch salt

    Add dry contents to a ziplock bag, throw in a handful of cranberries and a handful of walnuts.

    Add the liquid stuff. Shake it up. Toss in the cook kit. Spread thin on cooking surface, flip twice, check for satisfactory done-ness.