Living simply in the wild

The Hunt is on! Christmas Tree edition.

Going to get the perfect Christmas tree is no easy task. It involves some foresight, a $5 permit, a map (i’d recommend one with road names on it, ours seemed to have missing those important details), some snacks, a portable toilet (which we were also missing), a saw, some christmas music, extra christmas cheer, motion sickness pills, and half a day to spare.

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Now i’m sure not all Tree hunting involves most of these things, but ours sure did.

The first task was getting three boys motivated. This part was easy, at least for the Juniors. You just talk in an extra excited voice about going to get a Christmas tree, possibly bribe them a little telling them we will have popcorn and egg nog when we arrive home. Whatever one must do. Do it. Motivating the Ranger proved a little more challenging, but everyone is bribable.

Piled in the truck with our pre-measured 10 foot lodge pole hanging out the back we headed off.

The map that was given to us was less then vague. There were faint forest service road numbers you might have been able to make a few hundred copies ago. We decided to head off in the best direction we saw fit and finally stumbled upon the national forest land.

Winding up and around the extremely narrow rocky mountain roads we had our heads hanging out the window hoping to spy the Perfect Tree from the road.

After much driving we finally parked in a heavily tree populated area and all stumbled out of the car humming O Christmas Tree.

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The Hunt Is On

We started off down a trail and ended heading into a ravine that was filled with dead carcasses. Ok, so we found one dead deer carcass. That was plenty.

After walking 45 minutes AWAY from our truck it finally hit us that we would have to lug a tree back if we found one.

So back to the truck we headed. Of course then started the “I’m tired…i can’t can’t walk any more…”. Sorry boys, suck it up Mama wants a Christmas tree! You can rest later.

Luckily we had armed ourselves with Goldfish and Fire Cheetos before left. Hindsight told me these were not very good options. But hindsight is a bit of a ‘know-it-all’. I find him quite annoying.

After much more driving, hanging out the windows, and yelling “STOP. I see one! Oh wait, never mind”. We hit a dead end and were forced to head back down…treeeless.

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The Perfect Tree

By this time Ranger had jumped aboard the “Find the Perfect Tree” train. I myself was about to get off the train, but now he was determined and we weren’t going home without the Perfect tree.

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With only about an hour left of daylight we zoomed down the forest service roads until we found another we could hunt on.

We spotted the Perfect Tree. Only one small problem…it rested on a complete verticle hill. After realizing it was almost sheer ice, and we’d be dragging the tree uphill, we quickly decided that wasn’t the Perfect Tree for us. No one wants to meet their death while hunting for a Tree. What a sad Christmas story that would be.

After a few more stops and quick walks in the woods there it was…

“I have to go to the bathroom”.

Both Juniors apparently had their fill of junk food and this wasn’t a quick pee behind a tree sort of deal. So we stopped….for a good long while.

Back on the road, We were losing daylight quickly. Ranger suddenly stopped on the narrow road. He hopped out, ran up the steep hill, and 5 minutes later i heard him yell “I found it!”.

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Cutting Down a Christmas Tree

I ran up to help him lug the thing down. 12.5 Feet. Yes, i think that will do.

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We tag the tree, shove it in the back of the pick-up and head down the hills for the long drive home.

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Is It Tall Enough?

We currently have a 10.5 foot tree sitting inside our tiny cabin. It is taking up its fair share of space, in all its glory. Filling our home with a wonderful sweet smell.

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We’ve strung on the lights and ribbon, popcorn and crandberry garlands, sprinkled on some dried slices of oranges and apples, and topped it off with a Driftwood Star.

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Total cost?
$5 Tree permit
$2 for popcorn and cranberries
$2 for for oranges and apples
$3 tree stand from thrift store
Free Reused ornaments, ribbon.
Free Drift wood and twine
Free guest room curtains for tree skirt
Total for a 10.5 foot decorated Tree $12

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Factor in the hours spent hunting for the tree (and about 1/2 a tank of gas), dehydrating fruit, stringing popcorn and cranberries, and a few needles pricks…it was all worth it.

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This was the first time we cut our own tree. Of course i imagined the magical time we would have, strolling through the woods, easily finding a beautiful tree just a few yards into the forest, and all of us helping carrying the weightless tree back to the truck singing Jingle Bells. Well, real life just isn’t that perfect and glamorous.

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What a boring story it would be if it had been!

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Are you wondering where you can get yourself some of those ridiculously cute threads the boys are wearing?

The boys are sporting Blue Bee Gardens merino wool Long Johns. The Juniors are constantly wearing these. They keep the boys warm on hikes as an under layer and also work great on chilly nights to keep them cozy as they dream away.

Check them out on Etsy to order your own

and on Facebook


Blue Bee Garden Longies


Blue Bee Garden











Blue Bee Garden creates Children’s merino wool under layers (tops, bottoms, hats) and organic cotton clothes. All made in the USA from fibers grown and/or processed in the USA. Committed to sourcing, dyeing, hand sewing some of the finest fabrics that we would love to wear!
They continue to create clothing inspired by supporting local, organic, sustainable lifestyles. Check them out today!

One response

  1. Pingback: How to make different sized Birch Wood Candles - Simply The Wildside

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