Bushcraft Sverige (Bushcraft Sweden)

Last Wednesday we had an unusual visitor to our garden; a Great Grey Shrike (It may even be a Siberian sub-species, but I am not 100%). It feeds on small birds and mammals and our bird table was empty for the rest of the day once it appeared.

great grey shrike shrike-2 shrike-3 shrike-4

On Thursday I travelled on the train down to southern Sweden to attend the first gathering of the newly formed “Bushcraft Sverige”.  The journey down took 16 hours, but due to a derailed train, the journey home took 23hrs!!  Fortunately I had booked a bed on the train, which was better for my back.

While waiting to be picked up from the station I visited an Antiques Shop in Strängnäs and found this beautiful Sami salt pot or kåsa, made from bone and cost just £10

bone-salt-kasa-2 bone-salt-kasa-1

My friend Johan Forsberg from Nordic Bushcraft provided me with a bed and sleeping equipment, so that i did not have to carry much stuff in a rucksack.

my-camp-day

I really miss these types of events which are common in the UK, and it was nice to sleep next to a camp-fire again

my-camp-night

Although I  arrived on Friday, the event began on Saturday at 10.  There were about 30 people present and there were different crafts and activities for people to try, such as;

net making

net-making

forging knife blades

forging knife blade knife-forging-2

plant and fungi foraging

plant-and-mushroom-walk

I managed to find just enough Reed Mace to make one little Cattail Doll

cattail-doll

There was a lot of talk and discussion around the camp-fire

around-the-campfire

and on Saturday evening there were a couple of lectures, including one by Dr Lisa Fenton from the UK, about bushcraft and its history and origins.

dr-lisa-fenton

It was a really enjoyable event and I hope there will be more.  Hopefully next time I will be well enough to do some teaching and run workshops myself!

Many thanks to those who organised and participated.

 

 

Hawk Owl and Hen Harrier

Not much to report again during the last week I’m afraid.

We have a Hawk Owl around the house again

Hawk Owl

and on Sunday we had a female Hen Harrier in the garden.  It was one of the few times that I did not have a camera handy, and although it came right up to the house, by the time I had fetched my camera, it had gone.  This picture is from http://www.birdsofeurope.co.uk/HenHarr.htm

The temperatures during the day are up to 18 degrees, but at night it usually drops to below freezing.

Geothermal heating

We currently use wood pellets to heat our house and water

wood pellets naturallore

via a wood boiler

pannrummet

but this is costly to run (£250 worth of pellets every three weeks during the winter) and if we have a power-cut (we have had 51 power-cuts during the last 9 months) the system will not work.  Carrying in pellets everyday is also heavy work and not good for my back problem.  So we have decided to install Geothermal heating and a wood burning stove as back up during power-cuts.

The wood burning stove we have chosen is a MBS Olympus Plus 12kw and has both a small oven and a hob on the top for boiling water.

olimpijaplus

We are going to place the stove in our living room

bild-1

and the flue will go through the garage roof and up the outside of the house

bild-4

Geothermal heating and cooling systems take advantage of the stable temperature underground using a piping system.  Water circulates in the piping loop to exchange heat between your home, the ground source heat pump, and the earth, providing geothermal heating, cooling, and hot water at remarkably high efficiencies.  In fact, geothermal heating and cooling systems are said to be 400-600% efficient and can cut your heating, cooling, and hot water costs by up to 80%.

We will be drilling straight down in to the ground 200 metres at the back of our house

geo-thermal-well

and then the pipes will go under our house

underhuset-bergvarme

to where the new pump will be installed.  It is very costly, but everyone we know who has this system has recouped their money with 6 years.

Installation is planned at the end of October.

Snow Goose Parka

Many thanks to those of you who have contacted me with advise and tips about my future.  i really appreciate it!!

Last weekend we were at the cabin again and I did a spot of fly-fishing.

I caught a perch

perch-kevin-warrington

and a Grayling

grayling-lapland-nattavara

We forgot to take Kelly’s potty with us, so I built one out of plywood, scraps of wood, a piece of camping insulation matt and an old plastic container.

homemade-potty

Kelly was so pleased with it and it worked so well, that we have decided to keep to use as “the cabin potty”.

A friend of my dads sent him a down jacket that he bought in Canada in the late 80’s.

snow-goose-parka-3

It is made by Snow Goose which was the original name for Canada Goose

snow-goose-parka-1

and the style number is 1990.

snow-goose-parka-2

If anyone knows more about this jacket I would like to know more…..was it military issue for example?

I tried to run a tourist business when I moved here 6 years ago and there was very little interest, so I think I need to find something to do that there is demand for up here.  I’m considering going back to education (I left school when I was 16 without any major qualifications) and studying to do something completely different for a job e.g website building.  here is a website that I have built without a great deal of knowledge; http://www.nattavaara.net/.

Ups and downs

I went to the hospital to see a specialist yesterday about my back.  The good news is that he does not want to operate at the moment because there is so much positive improvement with my training (the operation would have been to fuse two of my vertebrae together).  However I have a degenerative disease; inherited from one of my parents which means that the tissue between the disks breaks down and eventually I will have to have the operation.

In the picture below the healthy disks are thick and have much grey colour between them.  The last three disks (especially the middle one which causes most pain) has almost nothing between the vertebrae.

back xrayLast week my employer terminated my employment because I have been sick so much and can’ do my job in my current condition.  I think it will be a challenge to find full-time employment again up here.

Last weekend we were at the cabin.  Teres wallpapered the veranda that I built a couple of years ago

wallpaper-2

wallpaper-1

I had left my fly tying equipment at home, but found a hook, some feathers left over from Easter and some fine fishing line and inspired by an article in the latest issue of “The Bushcraft Magazine” I decided to make a Pike lure.  I had no clamp to hold the hook, so improvised using my Leatherman Wave and a little vice

leatherman fly tying vice-1I was very pleased with the end result, and in fact we caught a 40cm Pike with it, but I dropped the fish before Emma could take a photograph!

leatherman fly tying vice-2

Emma kept both herself and Kelly entertained while in the forest, by crushing up Blueberries and painting stone art with the juice.

emma stone art lapland

emma stone art gallivare

blueberry juice fish

Kelly even made me a stone cake

kelly art nattavaara

On Saturday night the temperature dropped down to -6 C, the first frost of the autumn!

 

The cabin has arrived.

The cabin was loaded on the back of a trailer on Friday

cabin-3

and driven to our new house

cabin-4

On Saturday we went fishing with Teres’ parents.  As usual we made fire and grilled sausage

fika

We have even managed to get my dad into green forest clothes now!

dad eating

Emma caught 4 small Grayling, which we put back again.

emma grayling

and on the way home we saw some Common Cranes feeding

common cranes (1314 x 976)

Cabin on the move. 

I’ve had a busy week and haven’t had time to write before. 

The cabin that I bought a few years ago and put on our garden at the old house 

My neighbour here at our new house has helped by preparing the ground for the cabin 

and another person in our village came with a larger tractor

to lift up the cabin so that we could get under to put more insulation under the floor. 

Tomorrow the cabin will be loaded onto a trailer and driven here to our house. 

More pictures next time!