Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fondling with my stuff....

Hah!! Now that title made ya look, huh. Or at least wonder.... An alternative title might have been "Back to bushcraft", but that's not as..... ehmmm..... catchy...
The past week I have been busy with my outdoor gear again; planning, packing, using, unpacking, cleaning up, planning and packing again. How come?
Well, for starters there was the first national meet from Bushcraft Sverige last weekend and next weekend I'll be heading off to Norway, to spend some time up in the mountains with my buddy Odd.
What was there to plan, you might ask? Conditions for both weekend could not be further apart, I think. The meeting I attended was located in the south of Sweden, on a scouting group terrain with lush deciduous trees in starting autumn colours with balmy early autumn temperatures and clear skies. The trip to Norway looks like it's going to be similar in the way that there is no rain forecast either, but there will be no trees and certainly no double digit temperatures!
On the meeting last weekend I brought a tent, stretcher and sleeping bag, for Norway I'll leave tent and stretcher at home. I'll also go for a different sleeping bag this time.
Let me start with the bushcraft meeting.
During the planningstage it looked like it might be grey with a possibility of rain and I figured that a gatheringplace in case of rain might be a good idea, so I opted for my large army tent. That way I could bring a fieldcot, so I could sleep decently and practice in erecting the tent. There were others who were interested in sleeping in it, so it seemed sensible to use it. Turned out that I ended up using it all by my self.....
Among the other things I brought were 1 new comer, being an army cookingset in stainless steel and the backpack from the 1930's. I had given that one a try after my test/review of the ST and I liked it, so now I wanted it to use it in earnest. I ended up carrying it from the car to the tentsite (10 meters) and from there to the campfire area (another 30 meters).
The stainless steel messkit performed absolutely great! I prepared soup in it and a mixture between chili con carne and pasta with sauce. The latter got a bit burned/caked on the side the heat was, but it was not all that bad, when I cleaned it up. With the aluminium version you really have to stay on top of things in order to prevent this!! The amount prepared was sufficient to provide 2 adult males with a decent and filling meal. So it actually is too large for one person.
Other than that I spent a few hours in my mancave, going over my stuff, thinking about what to take, inevitably getting distracted and carried away. But it was fun to do and it sort of rekindled, or at least wetted my appetite, to go out and use it again.
Something similar happened after I got home, when I started unpack and clean up the things I brought and used (ended up not using quite a few things). I also had an unpleasant surprise, when I started unpacking. I left my gear in the car at night after I came home and when I opened the trunk in the morning I noticed a very distinct smell; burner fuel. I had some fuel left in the burner of the messkit, when I packed up and this had started melting the rubber ring in the lid of the burner, causing the fuel to leak into my backpack! I had to wash and air out quite a few things. Good thing was that the cloth around the mug absorbed most of it, preventing some real damage. But this was the second time this happened to me, so I have to rethink the use of the fuel and burner. I also noticed that the lid has a common defect; cracks along the edges.
After I had washed up everything and was busy putting it all away, I got distracted again and started going through my things again, wondering what to take for the Norway trip and trying to figure out whether or not I should opt for just one cookingsystem and if so which one.
Before I knew it I was busy sharpening some knives. Haven't spent that much time in there in ages....

Next step was to figure out what to take to Norway. We'd be staying in a cabin, temperature was forecast to hover around 7C, mountain weather can be unpredictable, we'd probably be active with hiking, maybe some hunting and shooting as well.
I am thinking about taking the ancient pack again with the same basic things, although I will probably have more use for a daypack. Then the camera and its bag, which I need to finish in that case. Add an extra clothing layer, some thin finger gloves might be a good idea. Maybe wool blankets instead of a sleeping bag, just for fun?

Now the big question is;"Why is it so much fun to fondle with your stuff?"
Answer; it let's you relive all the fun things you did while using it or it makes you dream about the fun things you are going to do with it......
It is a real feel good moment, takes you to a world of your own, let's you daydream and makes you relax. And the weird thing is that you only think of or remember the good things, even if you had bad experiences. Somehow even those get turned around to memories to cherish, because in hindsight, even those were positive in a way.

1 comment:

  1. Or there is joy in holding things that are well made and useful in anticipation of more good memories to make.

    Sounds like so much good adventure!