WINTER CAMPING WITH SIGMA 3 BROTHERS
One of my last weeks at Sigma 3, I woke up in my shelter to notice a text message from one of the guys who had attended a previous class here with me, Peter. He was wondering about going hunting this fall, but I already had plans to hunt with my dad’s cousin, so we decided to plan a small game hunting and camping trip the end of February. Other guys started hearing about the trip, bumping up the number to 5. When the time finely came, it ended up being just 2 men left… Josiah and Dave. We chose this weekend for the camping excursion since it was the last week in Minnesota for legal small game hunting, and hopefully it would be starting to warm up. The weather was almost too nice. They were lucky because they didn’t get a taste of a real Northern Minnesota winter. Just the week before, it had been a bone chilling -30F, or including windchill, -50F. Over the course of the week, we cut a lot of firewood with an axe (Helko Werk Classic Expedition) , an antique 1930’s crosscut saw I had restored, and a chainsaw. We also foraged for winter medicinal plants and chaga, made wood framed bow-saws, hand drill and bow drill fires, built a super shelter, and spent many long nights around the campfire telling tall tales. One of the days, we hiked a 6 ½ mile loop, with over 2 miles of it bushwhacking. During the hike, we stopped by to look at a wiki up shelter I had built for a submission video for the Alone TV show, and under the bed was a porcupine napping! Since we hadn’t seen any fresh sign of game, other than a few rabbits the whole day, we decided that Mr. Porcupine was looking mighty tasty. Upon noticing us, he came bolting through the wall of the shelter with the speed of a slow-moving storm. We ended up dispatching, cleaning, and turning him into a fine stew. Dave and Josiah each made a highlight video of the trip, which you can watch below.