I’m up for a hike pretty much anytime, but for a few really good reasons I prefer to overnight hike in the spring and fall, especially the fall. As I tend to “run hot’ the cooler weather and shorter days of autumn are much more comfortable for me. Hiking the trails of Ontario or Vermont in late September or early October ,it’s not uncommon for me to be on the move from dawn until dusk. While I appreciate the cool temps, I also love the fall colors that are on display. Maples showing off their deep reds and oranges, the brilliant yellows and gold’s from the oak trees. Seeing those colours against the backdrop of a bright blue sky never fails to put a smile on my face…and of course there is another reason to smile: hardly any biting insects.
The cooler weather and shorter days of autumn also bring an increase in wildlife activity. My last fall trip to Killarney Provincial Park was highlighted by a 24-hour-a-day wolf serenade The wolves were joined regularly by song birds of all kinds throughout the day. We saw a good number of spruce grouse on our trek, but no bears, other than the one we saw at the highway entrance to the park.
The one major drawback to overnight hiking in both spring in fall is the weather. It can be wet, rainy and really cold. There are lots of things worse than climbing out of a warm dry sleeping bag and walking out into frost covered ground, but not while you’re experiencing it. Standing around, freezing, shivering while your breakfast cooks can turn anyone’s mood sour, despite the pretty fall colors and the song birds and the wolves.
A little trick I learned when I was a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (and from the Hobbits in LOTR) was the concept of Second Breakfast. In the army we would get up, pack up our kit, grab a quick snack and a cup of instant coffee and start walking. After an hour or so your muscles are nicely warmed up. That’s when we break out the ovens and cook a proper breakfast, or as proper as IMP/MRE can be. My back country breakfasts are so much better!
These sweet breakfast muffins are great on there own but I prefer them covered in nut -butter, or Spackle.
- 2 cups quinoa flour, or white rice flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp Breakfast Blend Spice Mix
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1¼ cup 8-10% MF plain yogurt,
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup apple cider
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl or food processor combine the Dry Team; the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and Breakfast Blend Spice Mix. Combine thoroughly. This is where the food processor does a better job. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the eggs well. Add the yogurt, melted coconut oil, cider , sugar and vanilla and blend together until mixture forms a smooth batter. This is your Wet Team.
- Add Dry Team to the Wet Team. Make sure to mix until the batter is smooth.
- Spoon ¼ cup of batter into either muffin cups, or a parchment lined baking dish and bake for 15-20 minutes. Check doneness by inserting a tooth pic into the center of the muffin or loaf if the tooth pic comes out clean.
- Remove from oven when done. Allow to cool.
These can easily be turned into carrot or zucchini muffins. Simply add 1 cup raisins, 2 extra beaten eggs, 3 cups of shredded carrot or zucchini and an additional 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of water (a little at a time so not to make the mixture too runny)