Our recent trip to northern Quebec was fantastic. We had amazing weather, good company, great food, and more than enough laughter for our 8-days in the bush. I had the good fortune to have Ben McNutt, Lisa Fenton, Matt Upson and Steven Hanton from Woodsmoke, a bushcraft and wilderness survival school in the UK, on the trip. We had some great talks about the business and shared comedic anecdotes from courses over the years. It was pretty amazing that we’ve come to many of the same conclusions about this business even though we’re on different sides of the Atlantic and operate in different ways.
We made the drive up in two days, spending the night near Quebec City. When we arrived at David Bosum’s camp, we had a great dinner of moose and bannock, then fell into a restful sleep. We awoke to unseasonably warm temperatures and rain, so we decided to spend the day exploring Ouje Bougoumou and Chibougoumou instead of snowshoe in the rain. The following morning dawned crisp and cold, and we snowshoed the seven miles to our base camp. David had built the camp the week prior, and it consisted of wall tents with interior frames made from peeled poles. We feasted that first night in camp on Anna’s doughnuts and moose.
Our week was filled with a variety of traditional subsistence activities. We cut, hauled and split firewood. We set an 80 meter gill net under the lake ice. We set snares for snowshoe hare and traps for beaver, lynx, and marten (and caught and skinned some of each). We ate a variety of wild foods, including moose, fish (pike and walleye), lynx, canada goose and snowshoe hare. We learned about the bush medicines of the Cree, and listened to David and Anna’s stories about the Cree history and legends. And we did it all in a bush camp with an incredibly high level of comfort while the daytime temperatures stayed below zero F (-17 C) for most of the trip.
Eventually it was time to go so we said our good-bye’s and headed south once again. Just before we left, David gave me a pair of Cree snowshoes. They’re shown in the photo above, along with the skins of lynx, marten and beaver.