FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Caterpillars & Camp Echo

For our latest Vlog I took Logan up in to the mountains for a bit of a day camp:


It was the first time I've shown him how to set up and use the stove and he had an absolute whale of a time.

On the way up the mountain we noticed quite a few Processionary Caterpillar nests, it seems to be quite a bad year for them on the south side of the mountain they were everywhere, here is one of the nests that wasn't too far from the trail so we managed to get a close photo

Processionary Caterpillar Nest
The processionary caterpillar is one of the most destructive pests for pine and cedar trees, and as if that was not enough they can also be harmful to humans and animals. The caterpillars overwinter in tent-like nests high in pine trees, and which proceed through the woods in nose-to-tail columns, protected by their severely irritating hairs. The hairs on the caterpillar  cause sever rashes and irritation, and 5th stage larvae can actually eject their hairs when stressed or threated, the harpoon shaped hairs then penetrate and irritate all areas of exposed skin nearby with an urticating protein, which means they essentially give you hives!

Processionary Caterpillars leaving the nest
Luckily we know better than to tangle with these creepy critters! We carried on our way until we were almost at the top of the mountain before stopping at a clearing that we have since named Camp Echo because of its awesome acoustics. Here's the view from Camp Echo:

Spectacular Views

Where the forest meets the side of the mountain

Where the Wild things are
We quickly got the stove set up and Logan had the choice between Lemon Cake or Choco Mint for his hot drink, Lemon Cake was the winner this time.

Lemon Cake Tea?!?!?!

Crusader Cooking System
We were using the Crusader Cooking System which we showed you before on our 10 C's of Survival series.
The stove in the base unit was one of the DIY Penny Stoves that I think everyone should have a go at because they are easy and fun to make and cost literally nothing.

Waiting for the water to boil

Logan Goofing around

Always happy outdoors

I think spending time outside in the wild with your kids so that you can bond away from the distractions of modern life is paramount to their well being, not to mention teaching them valuable skills.

Father Son Photo time!

Who needs a chair when you can sit on a rock?

Camp Echo, it has everything you need to have a good time.
I started to teach Logan how a compass works, he was super impressed with the Vintage Style Brass Compass that I keep in my kit bag. It's these basic skills are missing in life these days, but certainly won't be missing from my kids lives. Teaching them these sort of things is not only education and great for bonding but its heaps of fun, keeps them out of trouble and you never know when it might come in handy to be able to light a fire, purify water, tie a proper knot or read a map and use a compass.

Playing with the compass

These photos were taken a few days ago, since we're using an alcohol stove we're probably still waiting for it to boil right now, but that's OK, we're not in a rush!

Goodbye until next time!



  1. What a fantastic way for you and Logan to spend time together, having fun but learning some very useful life skills, just great!

    1. it's nice to be able to give him 100% of my attention as well instead of always keeping an eye on his terror of a little sister

  2. Love the mellow vibe on the video, really relaxed and natural, great stuff! Keep it up!

    1. I reckon that's mostly down to the music, guess I'm just lucky to have talented friends that let me use their track :) Glad you like it though, I hate it lmao Don't like the sound of my voice on camera and feel like I Um and Er all the time. I'll get better at it I'm sure

    2. If you did I didn't notice that at all and normally I pick up on that type of thing. Nothing wrong with your voice, I've heard far worse!

  3. All right---I want to be adopted by you guys (even though I'm a grandma!!!!)
    Cripes, what lucky kids to have parents that spend time teaching them what they really need to know. Good on you guys!

    1. Sue I thought we had already agreed that I was going to move in to your potato patch? :D

  4. Great post, you two are a couple of handsome guys! The video is a great way to really see your land. I've never heard of that kind of caterpillar. Sounds very nasty.

    1. I'm a little biased (OK a lot biased!) but I do think I make beautiful children. I'm sure every parent thinks that about their kids but I really think mine are the greatest things I ever made

  5. Boys need their fun together, not sure who had the best time.

    1. Definitely me! I say I'm taking him up their to teach him but really it's just boys playing with their toys :D

  6. You shaved off your beard! I do that once in awhile, but I think it makes me look older. I already look old enough. Glad we don't have those caterpillars here, seem we have every other kind of insect pest, but not those.

    1. Every now and then I give in and shave it off, but I think it make me look younger when I don't have a beard.

  7. A great time together! Lemon cake tea sounds good to me, but so did the other one! Those moths sound quite scary, hope they don't cause you any issues.

    1. Luckily we don't have any pines or cedars on our land so we just have to keep our eyes field when we are hiking in the wild

    2. Luckily we don't have any pines or cedars on our land so we just have to keep our eyes field when we are hiking in the wild


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