Wednesday, February 8, 2012

OUT - First time out in september...

september 2011

My second "walk" since I got here. Time to refresh some of the knowledge I had.... or thought I had.
Today I wanted to have a go at making camp or build a shelter at least. I do not haul my shelterhalf around for nothing. I'm also making a warm lunch again, but that might prove to be a bit of a challenge, since the last 12 hours or so were quite..... humid. It hasn't stopped raining all night, last night.
But first a walk through the woods. God, this feels good! I took an old lumberjack's path. It has started to become overgrown again, but is still passable.
Because of the pressence of the still grey clouds, the woods had a dark and gloomy atmosphere, but, against all expectations, it started to clear up. I was planning on experiencing a day in wet conditions, but I will not complain!

The "dark and ominous" woods

In the direct vicinity you can find numerous of these holes. They are old miningshafts full of water. The people here used to mine them for iron, zink, copper and/or silver.

How can you not love this land?

One of the landmarks we named "Freaky Tree"... Guess why??


After that I left the paths and told myself to go 100 passes and then make camp. Just to see what I could make of the terrain; I ended up here: a small clearing in the woods, between tall, thin birchtrees, strewn with rocks.

The first thing I had to do was getting the backpack off, but keep it off the ground, since that was still soaking wet. Then I had to do something about those *&*%* mosquitos and flies! I also needed to make a dry spot fast, because the clouds were darkening again!

I always find it a bit hard to get a poncho up and taught. I didn't have any real rain, just some drops here and there.... more here then there... The Nordic Summer works excellent! (Thanks Lurch!) It keeps all that flying, stinging and biting vermin at bay! The scent is a bit different from the latest AXE-variety though!

While I was at it, I also wanted to try out some of my nostalgic gear; my German breadbag and my US Boy Scout messkit.

I have to say that the bag is a lot more spacious than I thought. I could get in enough supplies to last me a full day and have some leftovers, too. For this trip I had; Some pieces of hard bread, coffee and sugar, an egg, a piece of saucage, an onion, a piece of cheese, an apple, a small jar with lard, 2 wooden spoons and in the rear pocket my waterfilterbag and there was still room to spare.
The messkit rattles a bit, so I need to look at that.

I then started working on my shelter. Poles and pegs were manufactured locally, but I noticed that one of the guyropes was missing. Offcourse I did nor bring any spares with me..... With a bit of fiddling I managed to keep the shelterhalf upright, though.
After that I cut down 2 firs. I looked for places where there were some too close together and I cut one down. I used 2 different locations for that. That was a good way of testing my selfmodified kukrimachete and it did well all day!
I cut off the greens to make my bed. In hindsight I could have done with more, because I could still feel a bump or two, but I didn't want to cut down an other tree. I had enough room, but I need to do something about the blanket. Wool and firneedles don't mix to well...

Since I was busy, I altered the position of the poncho, so that it covered the area in front of the shelter. I was able to hook up 2 of the bungeehooks into the centrering of the poncho and one of the buttonholes of the shelter. This way they connected.

I just finished and it started to rain a bit harder, but no worries! Everything works fine!
The wind, which had picked up too, didn't give me any trouble. Behind the shelter was a thickly grown patch of firwood and the high birches around me broke the wind, too. Time for a warm lunch and hot beverage!
This was easier said than done. I wanted to make a fire in style, by using the firesteel, but found that difficult. I couldn't find any dry tinder (I need to think off that, while walking the next time!), so I tried birchbark. I didn't know I could peel it off so thin! It caught a spark once, but after that...

This meant I had to "cheat" a little by using a match. That did work, but the twigs and other material were hard to keep going. Lots of smoke, lots of hissing and a lot of blowing by me! But I prevailed!

With the help of the rocks I could balance the fryingpan just above the fire with toom to spare for the small kettle.

Time for a BC-lunch and coffee!
I put all ingredients together. First I melted the lard, than I added the chopped up onion, then the saucage and finally the egg. Add some hard bread with cheese and a kuksa with coffee.
The sun played along nicely....
ahhh heaven!!

I found a way to take eggs with me, without the risk of breaking them and making a mess of things. They fit inside a plastic herbs jar with lid!

Smaklig måltid!

The fryingpan is soaking in hot water already, so I can scrub it out with a twig later on.

After saying thanks for Mother Nature's gifts I left the place almost the same way as I found it.

A final picture befor I head home again.

When I came home, my family could smell me befor I entered!
That Nordic Summer stuff works brilliantly, but it also gives you a strong "outdoorsaroma", especially when combined with a thoroughly smoked backpack and clothing. Even after a shower and seperate hands washing I can still smell it on my hands. I don't really mind, but my "housemates" think otherwise!

The steel scout messkit worked great. That's a keeper. I am also happy with the breadbag, which will come with me too the next time. It takes some getting used too, carrying a shoulderbag with a backpack, but I can easily reach for an apple when I'm walking.
Building the shelter/camp took me about 2 hours, but I kept getting distracted and stopped to listen to the sounds of the woods regularly.

Many a lesson (re)learned!!

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