Friday, February 21, 2014

Peeing in the woods by Melinda Palmer

After our familyhike of januari 12th, seen here, I stumbled across an article which regards the female side of natural necessities in the woods. It is an article by a Mrs. Dirty, who wrote about that in her blog. I asked for her permission to share that article, yet received neither permission nor was I denied it.
So I'll just post it anyway. The info and the article are to good not to be share and since I am shortening my "to-be-published-someday-list" I might as well add it today, too...

*update 2014-03-06; just got the confirmation and approval from the author.
Thanks Mrs. Dirty!*

http://thedirtyduo.com/2013/01/03/peeing-in-the-woods/




Peeing in the Woods


" Let’s face it. Whether we like talking about it or not, everyone who has ever ventured into the woods for a significant amount of time must eventually pee in the woods. It’s going to happen…unless you are severely dehydrated, which I do not recommend. For boys, like Mr. Dirty, this is such a small issue that it doesn’t event register on his radar as an issue. Boys are taught to pee on trees from a very young age. In fact, our son – Dirty Boy – went through a stage (when he was 2… not recently) in which he would ONLY pee outdoors. It disturbed the neighbors so we had to put up a privacy fence. For those of us who are less equipped for the situation (read: females), peeing in the woods can be traumatic. The misters who are reading this right now are probably thinking that I’m over exaggerating by using the word “traumatic.” Trust me, guys, I chose that word for a reason. Want an example?
Just this summer, Mr. Dirty & I took Dirty Boy and his friend (shall we call him Dirty Friend? I don’t think he would be offended) on a short backpacking trip to one of our favorite destinations: Panther Creek Falls in North Georgia. The trip was amazing. We pitched our hammocks right beside a large gazing rock that overlooked a small series of falls. It was perfect. Perfect weather, perfect food, perfect setting, perfect company. In summation, it was perfect. Except for the peeing in the woods part. Before I climbed my worn & weary body into my well hung hammock for the night, I had to venture far into the dark woods to pee. Did I mention that the woods were dark? I grabbed my yellow bandana (reusable toilet paper – just wash & dry) and forded a HUGE stream – okay, now I’m exaggerating. I hopped over this tiny stream to find a nice secluded spot, well off the trail and away from the water source, where I could do my business. I found an awesome spot with a downed tree that I could use to balance in order to avoid peeing on my shoes. It’s not as easy as guys might think. JUST as I was unzipping my pants and they were traveling to my knees, from behind me came a low but steady growl. It makes the hairs on my arms stand up when I even think about it! Needless to say, I whipped my pants up and took off running. I jumped that stream like I was Lolo Jones at the London Olympics!! All of the boys on our trip like to tease me about it being a rabid squirrel, but I know in my heart of hearts that it was something much bigger and with scarier teeth than that! After that trip, I made it my mission to find an easier way to pee in the woods.
I researched hiking in skirts – with or without undies. I was all set to go sans skivvies until my lovely mother informed me that I would be quite miserable if I happened to get ticks in places where ticks should never go. Thanks, mom. I had already purchased a few running skirts for my upcoming section hike of the Appalachian Trail. These are awesome skirts. They wick moisture & are quick drying. At the time, I planned to remove the inner compression short so that peeing in the woods would be an easier task. But that was before my conversation with mom – who, by the way, thinks I have lost my ever loving mind.
As I was stalking the trail journal of a female AT thru hiker, I came upon the mention of a certain product that I never knew existed: the pee funnel. Apparently, this is a big industry! A quick perusal of Amazon.com brought multiple options for how to pee in the woods ranging in price from $8 to $30. Being the cheapskate that my mother raised me to be (thanks again, mom), I knew that I had to find a cheaper alternative. Off to Wally World I went in search of a funnel that I could use as my very own pee funnel.
My search of the Wally World shelves made me feel a bit like Goldilocks. The first one I found was much too wide. It was bigger than both of my hands splayed side by side. It simply wouldn’t work. The second one was too long & much too phallic-looking. I could imagine the looks and comments that I would receive with THAT thing attached to the outside of my pack! The third one that I found was – as we all know from the story – just right.
“What funnel did you find, Mrs. Dirty?” you may be asking. Well, in the camping section of my local Walmart, I found Coghlan’s fuel filter funnel… (also available on Amazon.com)!! Let me tell you about this funnel. It is made of a yellow (love it!) polypropylene and is 2.25 inches in diameter. The best part is that it only weighs half an ounce and comes with a handy little chain that I can use to attach it to a small carabineer for hanging on my pack. I didn’t measure it; I promise. I looked it up.

Yesterday, Mr. Dirty & I went out for a small hike at our local state park. I wore my new North Face Cirque-U-Late running skirt – which I highly recommend for its total awesomeness.

When the need arose to pee in the woods, it was magical & completely liberating! What is to follow may be a little TMI for some of you (read: guys), but the ladies will want to know. So here goes. The compression shorts under the running skirt are very easy to move to the side; therefore, enabling the use of the pee funnel. I didn’t need to remove my pack to pee. I didn’t need to expose my backside to bears, bugs, boys, or baneful botanicals (read: poison ivy or poison oak… I needed another “b” word to keep up the alliteration). Another bonus of using the pee funnel, which I have dubbed the shenis (don’t judge, just laugh), is that it cut down on wasted time on the trail. We covered more ground in less time.
I highly encourage any hiker who is feeling emboldened to purchase a pee funnel. Yes, I said ANY hiker. Guys, help your lady hiker friend out… gift her with a pee funnel. Ladies, get you a pee funnel. It’s equal to the ratification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution."

Thoughts on snowshoes

I am no skier... yet, but I do need some (easy) means to propel myself in snowcovered terrain. The easiest way to do that would be with snowshoes. However I do find very little on the subject here in Sweden. Appearantly it is all skis around here, yet some internetdigging brought some interesting iformation to the surface. Gustav Vasa appearantly used them when he was caught by people from Dalarna, while he was moving toward Norway. I found a bit of information about the use of snowshoes in Sweden at around 1500, but other than that information seems to be sparse.... or well hidden.
What I found seems to originate from "Olaus Magnus Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus, bok IV, kap. 13", according to http://blog.svd.se/

I kept looking for images too and strangely enough I found it all at a site called Digitalt Museum.
The following images come from their databank and give some idea on shape, size and materials used.

A snowshoe belonging to the collection of friherre Emanuel Thure Cederströms (1848 - 1920), which he donated to the university of Uppsala in 1918. I could not find anymore information on this type, how it was used etc.
Info on this snowshoe here
A type of snowshoe from the Sundsvall museum. It doesn't look awefully hard to make and I suspect it actually does increase flotation on the snow. No info on how old it is or where exactly is originates from.
I found another, similar one, with more space between the slats and that originates from Uppland 1912
info on this type here
I love the next one!
Appearantly produced between 1850 en 1900 and can be found in the armémuseum, so it obviously has a military origin. The design of the shoe itself is very similar to WW2 snowshoes as used by The Brittish, US and even Germany.
How the ski would make going easier..... I don't know.
Info here
The next one dates from 1940 and was donated to the armémuseum by Försvarets Materialverk, meaning Defence matérialfactory.
It is made from a metal frame with weaved leather strands. Length 780mm. Width 300mm
info
The snösko fm/1968. There are version with a metal frame and bambuframe. The webbing is woven cloth.
If I chose to get snowshoes, and I most löikely will, it will be this type. It seems to provide better floatation, the webbing is not so much prone to damage or distortion by wet conditions and it just seems a better type for negotiating filling and rocky terrain. They do come with cleats, if I am informed correctly.
här
You'll find even snowshoes for horses in Sweden;
Source;

Swedes in Canada




Reflections on my night out...

A memo to me.....

- Sled; worked great and is large enough for trips like this one. I had plenty of room for all the things, but I need to rearrange them. No more framed backpack, because that one ruined the sledcover. If I want to go real wintercamping I will need a bigger one in order to take the sleepingbag (that I will be having), a tent, a tentstove and other extras that a multidaytrip would require. If I'd pile it all onto the little one, it would become topheavy, so prone to topling over and too much weight on a small contactsurface. But first I will start to fix the damages this one has, so I can take it out more often. Maybe I'll just take off the entire topsection of the cloth or even the entire cloth and redo it, if that is possible.
A small sled works good on the rough terrain, but the long poles make it quite difficult to make short turns. I guess these are meant for use with skis, so maybe I'll make sorter ones for use on foot. The poles I have are incomplete and damaged anyway.
- Blankets; Nice on my bed at home, virtually useless in winterconditions. This setup might work in a heated enviroment, but out in the cold not that comfy. I must say that the blankets used feel more like summeritems than winteritems. They are not all that thick and fluffly. Maybe sewing them into tubes, sliding them in one another, adding a canvas cover and a flanel innerbag would increase their insulatingcapacities, so the swagidea is still on the to-do-list.
- Water; the metal canteen next to the fire worked. The water would warm up fast enough to not mess up my stomage. I think I need to carry my canteen on my body instead of hanging it from my belt. Maybe a loop around my neck to hang it in front of my chest? I will want to bring more water with me, but how to keep it from freezing, while on the move? An all steel thermos might do the trick, I think.
The small oval canteen is good for on the move-use, but I really need to get that old British one fixed up! It's bigger and has a flat bottom.
- Use of time; moving, making camp, doing campchores.... it all took much more time than I thought. Actual travellingtime- and distance in winter is at least cut in half.
- Snowshoes; I have a sneaking suspicion that the long traditional (American/Indian) style snowshoes will not work in this terrain; far too uneven and rocky and not enough snow to level that. I fear that travelling this terrain might damage or even cause them to break. Maybe those smaller ovalshaped bearpaw-styled ones might work. Plus traditional ones might get badly damaged when thaw sets in. I dug up some info on Swedish snowshoes researching this subject, but I'll put that in a separate post. far too interesting to do it just here... and it makes it easier to find the info, not just for me.

How did people travel this sort of terrain with skis??

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

All good things come to an end..... A wonderfull morning in the field. Picture heavy!!

This morning I went for, what appears to be, the last hike for this winter.... as far as we have had any winter. In my previous posts you can read why. According to the forecasts this would be the last, true winterday with temperatures of about -6 up to around freezing at midday.
After the kids were off to school and the mss. off to work and gym, I headed out towards the busstop to pick someone up. He is one of the scoutassistants of the scoutinggroup I help out and we were supposed to meet at 08:00. The plan was to both take our cameras along, have a hike around, shoot some pictures and have a warm lunch. I waited untill 08:15, but he did not show up. So I took off on my own.... and knowing from the get go, that I made a wrong decision regarding the clothes... It was no where near as cold as predicted or at least it did not feel like that and those winterboots were a size too big and roomy for my liking, with just one pair of socks. Didn't want to turn back right at the start, so I figured I would just make due.

I walked a short bit along the road next to the lake to the east of us and the sun started rising behind my back. It was a great experience to hike into the sunrise again, seeing the line of light approaching me and then crossing it. I stopped at the edge of the lake to take some pictures..... and got startled as the lake suddenly gave of a loud noice! It sounded like a distant rumbling thunder, yet I could here that thunder travelling through the ice for some distance! Weird... Never heard anything like that before! It did that several times with sounds ranging from the thunderlike one to some moans and groans and an occassional loud crack. The surface of the lake had a strange, wavelike surface. I guess from the thawing and refreezing.






Then I headed toward a known route toward the western lake, but quite at the beginning I decided to do things differently today; I was going to follow the edge of the lake cross country. Never did that before, so I was curious to see what that might bring. It sure would make some great pictures!
The going was a little tougher than I had expected. A lot of the lakeside is made up out of grassy fields, so the underground was knobby en lumpy, covered by refrozen snow and ice. I had to cross some ditches as I went along, knowing or suspecting that there would be icesheets underneath the snow and probably some water underneath the icesheets, so care was to be taken. The icy snowcrust had one serious disadvantage; while it supported my weight, when standing on it, walking across it was troublesome, because the moment I propelled myself forward, the foot, with which I did the propelling immediately broke through the crust, ending up 10cm below the surface.
I came across the usual hare-, deer- and foxtracks, but those were barely recognisable as such, due to the thaw of late. This lake too made noices, but not as loud and more supressed. It made more whoopp-whoopp-like sounds as if someone was bending sheets of metal.
A bit furtherdown the shore I suddenly spotted a darkgreen shape. Turned out to be an upturned canoe and some lobstertraps... all waiting untill the ice would release the lake again, so they could take to the water once more.





I continued to trudge along the shoreline, incidentally veering a bit off into the fields, when the going looked to become treacherous. I did not trust the ice anymore and reports have stated the ice across all of Dalarna was in a general bad shape. A definite no-go!
The western lake has a distinct peninsula in it and I wanted to walk up to the very tip of that, just to see what it was like. From a distance one can see a group of larger pines and birches, but it also looked like those were situated on top of a small hill. Right at the beginning of the peninsula I came across moosesigns; droppings, but older ones. I walked on towards the treegroup, which seemed to be so close, when looking from "our" side of the lake.... Going over land the distance turned out to be a bit longer! yet, when I was getting close, I was starting to feel a bit of a stinging feeling, just below the outerside of the right ankle and I knew what that was... either a developing blister or that patch of skin was being rubbed sore...
When I reached said spot I was pleasantly surprised by its appreance; the trees were indeed quite large, the ground was snowfree and defrosted, the terrain was hilly with large bolders and above all... it was sunny! So I decided to take a break. I took off the backpack, hat and mittens and just sat there for a while. It was so peacefull and silent.... No wait, not silent. I could hear the ice, the wind, a goshawk in the distance, several blue- and greattits, a crow.... and a few minutes later an approaching helicopter, whose rotorsounds boomed across the frozen lake. It flew high, yet very slow, almost in a hover and the tranquil moment was shot to pieces....
With the mood ruined I decided to do a gearfotoshoot, knowing I would be putting most of it away soon.

This gives a bit of an idea of the groundconditions



I can not decide which one I like best...




After the shoot I got dressed again, feeling the still cold and increasing wind. The gentle breeze had lost a bit of its gentleness, here on the peninsula. I kept following the shoreline, knowing it would reach a forestroad later on. There was a small island situated, which, in the light of the sun, would make for some nice pictures, too.

A hidden surprise underneath the snow

plenty of thawwater all around
My favorite picture of the day!!



Ice and frost create amazing patterns

At this point I decided to head "in land" more, heading for a small island of old pines in the middle of younger growth. There is a "road" heading towards that island and encircles it. I had been there before. On the way there I saw very clear foxprints, including the nails. Funny thing is that I did not make an imprint in the same snow, but stayed on top of it, so the tracks must have been older, yet kept their detail in spite of the thawing weather. No pictures, since by now the camera had shown me that the battery was going.... So I wanted to save it, since most know what a foxpawprint looks like.
Upon arrival on said island, my feet were really starting to become a bit of a problem. So I took of my boots for an inspection. The right ankle was quite a bit raw and the left large toe was feeling sensitive too at the point where it touches the boot. I hope I am not growing a corn there!
Then I got this crazy idea of putting my feet on the thawed moss. Well, actually more in.... I sank about 10cm... What a refreshing experience that was! Not just temperaturewise, but the sheer sensation of touching the soft, moist and quite fresh moss was excilerating. It felt so..... I don't know.... good. A bit of a childlike feeling of joy.... My feet were steaming in the sun and putting them into the moss made me feel reconnecting... After I had put my boots back on again, I just remained there, sitting in the sun, replenishing the serious lack of vitamin D and while I was there I had some food and water too.




On the way to and from this little island, there is this steep cliff, covered with old and large pines, between which large bolders and rocks are strewn. I got curious as to what might be up there, so I started climbing. The terrain wasn't the easiest to negotiate, but a challenge everyonce in a while is a good thing. The total hight is somewhere around 20-25 meters. This was not the smartest decision of the day... allthough in part it was too.
On top were more rocks and bolders.... well, actually just rocks and boulders, with nothing but holes inbetween, as if some giant has poured giantsized pebbles on a heap and over time these got covered by mosses and trees. And I found the same sort of ferns growing there upon the rocks, as it does in our backyard.
If the grassy, snow and icecovered terrain proved to be bad for your feet, while wearing loosefitting boots...




The way down was as laborious as the way up and I ended up on the lake's edge again, seeing what probably made that noice in the ice or at least part of it....


An then the battery died......

So there I was, no camera, so no pictures and that was the actual purpose of this trip, along with resupplying the vitamins S and FA (Sun & Fresh Air). It was around lunchtime, yet I somehow did not feel like going through the trouble of making a fire, brewing some coffee and making bacon and eggs...
No one ever accused me of being normal!
I decided to just head back home. I had done what I set out to do and I had enjoyed a wonderfull morning in the open air in peace, basked in sun, lifting that grey gloom of the past weeks.
Going by now however had become very uncomfortable and I was seriously overheating by now too. Allthough the forecast temperature should be about 0C, it was much warmer in the sun. A lesson I should have remembered, when looking at the thermometer on our balcony earlier this week. Yet I was wearing a t-shirt, a thick woolsweater and my anorak. Taking off layers, worked fine between the trees, but as soon as I came out in the open, the still cold wind, which by now had stopped being gentle and breezing, had picked up a notch, thus blowing straight through the woolsweater. I already had switched from Finnish hat to knitted wool hat and from mittens to thin gloves, but all of these now came off, same as the wool turtleneck. The anorak remained in place, as did the sweater. Without either one it was just plain cold.
On the upside I noticed that combining my belt & pouches with a backpack worked surprisingly well. The waistebelt of the pack settled on top of the large pouch and the combined weight rested comfortably on my pelvis.

So to me this surely was a morning well spent......

Monday, February 17, 2014

Winter? What winter??

The weather is seriously messed up this winter as it was last summer. While the latter was much fun, the previous is not. Most definitely is NOT! I guess we maybe had one month of winterweather, but these last weeks was just an alternating series of frost, thaw, snow and rain. And that in THE wintermonth around here. And there seems to be no change coming anytime soon. Most of us had hoped for a bit a real winterweather for the last few weeks, but elas....
Right now the sun is shining brightly for a few hours for the first time since more than a month. Birds are singing and calling and I can hear a duvhök calling regularly too. I feels wonderfull to sit on the balcony, having lunch, sipping hot coffee, looking at the thermometer and seeing it has reached 20C.... 20???
Yep, 20 degrees in the sun! I would've taken off my wollsweater if there would have been no wind, but the breeze kept it chilly.
This morning, when we got up, we were greated by open skies and in the beginning sunrise I could see a bright light. Someone once told me that that was venus, reflecting the suns rays. The kids no longer need flashlights when going for the bus to school. How different that was just 1 month ago! The days lengthen with incredible speed again. A full half hour per week.... And after the kids had gone to school my wife and I watched the sunrise. We saw the line of sunlit trees creeping closer and closer toward the house untill finally the sun rose over the hills to the south and sent its much longed after rays towards us. We felt thrilled like small children and we stood there, faces held high..... feeling that glorious light.... because there was not warmth yet ;)



This approaching spring had started a lot earlier still. Last week, on februari 11th, we had another, short period of sunshine. It lasted for about an hour and a half, but it was enough to abandon the dishes and draw me out of the house. I strolled through the garden, because something had gotten my attention, when looking out the kitchenwindow. There was something different out there; the Bergenia had started lifting its leaves! Plantlife was returning to the north!
I put on boots and coat, grabbed the camera and went out. I looked at the plants in amazement. How they were braving the still lingering winter! and with my eyes fixed to the ground I saw more and more signs of green life; the bulbs are sprouting...

 

Because the weather was so fine, I decided to go and get the newspaper and on my way there I heard the small birds call all around me and I watched them sift through the sky..... untill I reached the mailbox. I heard a duvhök (goshawk Accipiter gentilis) call from quite nearby! It's loud and unmistakeble call echoed across the lake to our east. Something caught me. I dropped the newspaper back into the mailbox and went after the sound. It seemed to come from a group of sprucetrees, just 150 meters from where I was. Slowly I walked towards the group of trees, the mushy and crusted snow making a awefully loud noice, but when I reached the trees all went silent... But not for long! Within a minute or 2 I was being "harassed" by a great tit, which came to within 2 meters, calling and chattering all the time! It was obvious he (assuming it was a he, because of his actions) did not want me there! I just stood there and watched him, calling, fluttering between the thin branches, hopping up and down, back and forth.. 
I decided to let him have his piece and move a bit further down the path, crossing the threeline and there I was surprised to see that there was not a speck of snow left underneath them! The soil was soft... even the frost had gone. I took my camera and as I took a picture I heard the hawk again.... right above me!! His call was so loud and sudden that it actually caught me offguard. And then the bird dashed off. Never got to see it, but its calls came from further and further away. I made my way home, sloshing through the slush, snow and ice. The morning had taken an interesting turn! However there were more surprises to come!
When I climbed the stairs towards the house I noticed something quite unusal between the rocks, underneath the rowan; a large collection of pine cones, concentrated on one side of the tree. I had seen a woodpecker previously, collecting the cones, but had no idea what it was doing with it. It appearantly took the to the rowan and opened them up to eat the seeds. Why not in the pinetree itself??
I wondered off into the garden and found more "cool" stuff...




A fox having left its mark on one of the rocks, right next to the fireplace....

And as I wandered about I foubd another brave and optimistic plant; a sort of fern, growing as it it were spring!

I put the newspaper next to it.
Nice reference for later...
 Insects started to stir as well; this year's first fly. can not say I am too happy about them, but they'll make good food for birds. This one was just by him self and quite sluggish. Today I encountered more of them and they were a lot more lively and quicker!

The backyard around the fireplace as it looks today; very brown with a few hints of green.
The whites are to be found on the lower and more shady places...
Dare I say that spring is just around the corner??
After all it still is februari and if the wind changes direction, winter can be back almost instantly..... yet I some how doubt it. Winter is loosing its grip.
The first reports of the heraulds of spring are already coming in; the first cranes have been spotted in Sweden already! They're still to the south, some 500-600km away, but still..... Also there have been sighting of the northern lapwings in southern Sweden...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Daily doings - nothing special going on.... or is there??

The weather has been grey and dreary for weeks now. Temperature has risen to around freezingpoint and for days now we have low hanging clouds and fog, so uncomfortably cold. I can not remember when I have seen the sun for the last time, but according to some pictures it was on my birthday, january 13th.... That was quite exceptional this winter and there seems to be no change coming anytime soon. This unending greyness is really starting to get to me.... As far as I am concerned may this winter come to an end.
We are having unseasonably "warm" weather too, with the exception of yesterday and today, when temperatures remained just below 0, but we are facing another week with + temperatures and maybe even rain! This means ice on roads and other surfaces.
Yet there are some significant changes going on! There are very noticeable changes in the behaviour of the birds. You can see the bluetit chasing each other throught the air and fighting in midair and I saw 3 magpies locked in aireal combat, dogfighting one another, seemingly for no appearant reason. There was no food involved. Furthermore we witnessed 2 couiples of woodpeckers chasing one another. I guess one couple were the domestic woodpeckercouple and the other one invaded their territory. It all happened in the tree right in front of our kitchenwindow, so we could follow the whole thing up close! Mss. Pecker appearantly isn't the easiest woodpecker to live with, because after the second couple was chased away mr. Pecker got chased about!
I also see the bluetits flying in and out of the birdshouses in our garden and the birds around here have become increasingly noicy. Yesterday I heard great tits sing! Same thing today with the addition of the typical call of a duvhök! Haven't heard that one since summer! And I hear the rest of the birds chattering constantly. Unfortunately we did not hear or see any owls all winter. We heard one hooting in early autumn, but after that  .... nothing.
I also saw the fox again today, but it was the same one as previously. I have not heard them all winter either and january usually should see the start of their matingseason. Does that mean that no mating has taken place yet? Or maybe one of te foxes did not make it through winter. We see plenty of tracks around here, even directly up to the house! Its tracks in the garden are very irratic, up and over rocks, crisscross through the garden with no appearant pattern. I guess it really does follow its nose.

We are also preparing for the next season, nosing through (online)seedcatalogues and making plans for the vegetablegarden. I am also experimenting with regrowing vegetables. I have taken the cutoffs from the carrots we got from the potatoeframer I worked at last autumn. We loved the taste of those carrots, but the farmer could not remember what species it was. I read you can regrow carrots by taking the top (where the greens grow from) you usually cut off and discard and place those in a bowl of water. So I did and yesterday I was able to plant those tops, with rootlets and green shoots, in some old glasses. Those were destined to be recycled anyway and now I can follow the progress of rootgrowth more easily.
The whole idea is to have them regrow far enough to plant them in the garden coming spring, hoping the carrots will bloom and produce seeds, so we can grow carrots from them.

january 13th
today

In order to pass the time a bit I have begun to take inventory of all the projects I have lying around... I really need to get myself organised AND a decent place to tinker! One of the things I did get done, was remove the broken handles from the scoutinggroups axes. They had quite a few of those mishaps. The older axeheads, (armyissue, the 3 on the picture's left) were easily cleaned out, since the handle and the wedges were made of wood. 2 heads however were not wedged in place, but glued (hardwarestore axes, the 2 orange ones)! I think the resin was injected with force or poured in molten, but it was a nightmare to get it all out! I drilled, chiselled and cut untill everything was removed, but the stench the resin left, while being drilled was unbearable! I had a headache all night and the smell remained in the cellar for days!
I also noted that the wedged axeheads stayed in placed, even after the handle had broken. No movement there, but with the glued handles the heads did wobble. The handles did not extend all the way through the head and in one there was at least a 1,5cm thick coat of resin to be drilled out before I reached the handle. All of the axes were manufactured in Sweden by the way.... At least according to the brand.
The top middle one is a stainless steel head I brought with me from Holland during our move, the bottom middle one had no handlebits left and the right middle one had something I suspect to be a selfmade or storebought and selfhanged handle. These heads will make a future scoutproject; hanging and sharpening axes.

It seems we might have a tiny amount of financial room, so that might mean I can get some leatherstring for the wooden lathe. I really want to get that one up and running, especially now that I found some very interesting books in the local library! An internetsearch for them directed me to the municipally's library and I was able to get those books sent over to the local one.
They are Wille Sundqvist's "Tälja med kniv och yxa" and "Träsvarving enligt skärmetoden".
I will do a review of them shortly, but for those of you interested in (traditional) woodworking.... Get a copy of them! I believe they are also available in English.

One of the projects I added to the list was fixing the old rucksack. I took it apart and it looks to be in a worse shape then I thought. I hope to get it fixed and functioning again....
The small leather straps, especially the ones on the lids, are in bad shape; dry and brittle, some a bit broken..
The reddish browns stains on the cloth are ruststains from the frame and on these areas there are holes in the cloth too. Don't know if that is rotten or simply worn through. The bottom od the pack has quite a few blackdotted mouldstains and one of the eyelets along the top edges have been torn out. All eyelets and buckles are rusted.