A cold night

It is -34c as I write this and the temperature will continue to drop during the night.

Last weekend it snowed. On Saturday I went out on a ski tour, which would have previously been in the forest but unfortunately the forest has been clear felled.

I found a fallen tree to make lunch on.

I removed snow from the trunk and placed on it my Bushbox with a Trangia burner and made some soup.

I saw very little sign of wildlife; Hare tracks and a male Grey-head Woodpecker.

Happy New year

Today is the first day for over two months that we have seen blue sky. We can’t quite see the sun above the horizon yet.

Over the Christmas period it has snowed every day and I have had a lot of work to clear the snow away.

We have now completed alterations to one of our bedrooms and are very pleased with the end result.

During the spring I made some Greenland wax and I have been using it now to waterproof my cotton clothing.

The wax has to be heated so that it melts into the cotton.

I have a spoon and a spatula that I carry in my food kit and I have also been thinking about making a tong, but I saw a YouTube video where a guy used a titanium spoon and fork in a special adapter to make a tong so I thought I would try to make something similar.

I found a small piece of spring steel and purchased some heat shrink tube.

I drilled a recess in the handles of the spatula and spoon so that the sink tube would shrink in to them to help hold them in place.

I put the spring steel in the shrink tube and them inserted the spoon and spatula into to ends of the shrink tube and heated it.

And then the tong was completed. I can remove the spatula and spoon and insert them when I need the tong.

The weather is still relatively warm.

Generally the temperatures are still only just a few degrees below freezing. We have more snow now but nothing like the amount we would usually have. The trampoline frame you can see in the picture below is usually half or even completely submerged by now.

I hope that 20021 will be a much better year for everyone than 2020 has been!

Saw blades

I have had some questions about the saw blade I made for Leatherman Skeletool.

There is a spring loaded button on the Skeletool which grips the tools when you insert them. You then press the button to release a tool.

Here is a saw blade before I altered it.

And here is the blade once I have made minor alterations so that it sits securely in the Skeletool.

Finally I put tape around to prevent it from moving side to side.

We have just bought the girls a snowmobile as an early Christmas present.

It is a 2004 Polaris edge touring 340. The girls are very pleased with it.

I will end with a couple of photos I took of the moon and Mars using my mobile phone.

The Leatherman Skeletool

The weekend before last I went on a long walk in the forest

I even spent some time fishing in a local stream but caught nothing. Upstream there was a layer of ice

But down stream there was open water.

Last weekend however the snow and cold weather returned. As I write this it is – 19 outside.

I now have a Leatherman Skeletool which I use at work. It has pliers, wire cutters, a blade, a bottle opener and a screwdriver bits holder for Leatherman bits (two of which are included when you buy the tool). However, I really wanted to have a saw blade, so with just a few alterations to one of my Bosch jigsaw blades and a piece of tape, I made a saw blade

That fits securely into the bits holder

I also wanted to make an adaptor so that I could use standard sized bits (otherwise you have to buy a specialised bit kit). Some people have taken a standard bit holder

And reduced it down so that it fits into the Skeletool bit holder, but in stead of doing that, I divided the bit holder into two parts and found that the steel tube that holds the bits, fits securely over the Leatherman bit.

Crazy weather

People say here that when the snow settles under the spruce trees, it will remain there and winter is here, but that is not true this year. In just a few days we went from this.

To this.

Some days temperatures drop below freezing, but most days it is a few degrees above freezing.

I have completed alterations in the bedroom and am now waiting for my wife to put up wallpaper so that I can install new electrical cables and sockets.

Kelly had her 7th birthday last weekend. How time flies.

Still experimenting with my Firebox Stove.

I’m still testing and experimenting with my Firebox Stove. My last meal was fried chicken and potatoes.

We have quite a bit of snow now, but as I write this it is raining so we will see how much snow remains.

We are currently renovating one of bedrooms. I’m building a walk-in cupboard, we have a new ceiling and we are currently laying a new floor.

We wanted to have a family activity last Saturday evening so I bought 10 sheets of ready-made pastry.

We all choose different fillings to put in them; marmite and cheese, ham and cheese, banana and chocolate spread, sausage meat

We put them into the oven in our woodburner

Once they were baked we cut them up and every one got to taste each others.

Firebox Stove

50 days after placing my order, my new stainless steel g2 Firebox Stove finally arrived.

It’s a heavy stove, but very good quality and easy to light; even with damp wood.

Kelly wanted our first meal made with the Firebox, to be pancakes

And she was very happy with the end result.

I spent last weekend splitting logs. Some with this axe (the best axe I have used for splitting).

And the majority with this hydraulic splitter.

We drove the split logs to the cabin to dry ready for next year.

A fire pit

We wanted to have a fire pit at the cabin, so we decided to move the one we have at home, to the cabin. It is heavy, so I used 2×3’s as rails to move it on.

Once it was lined up with the trailer, I used two more to get it onto the trailer.

I used the same procedure in reverse to unload it at the cabin.

I built a simple bench from pieces of timber we had laying around at the cabin.

We have already spent a lot of time around the fire.

I have also completed the dividing/supporting wall in the shed, that I started building in the spring.

One side is a tool store and the other a wood store.

Using a wall mounting bracket for a T and some off-cuts of wood , I have made a holder for the Biolite solarhome solar panel.

The solar panel can be easily slid in from the side and removed just as easily when we take it home. The TV mount allows it to be moved and adjusted easily to follow the sun.

Club moss

We were at the cabin last weekend. There are some beautiful autumn colours carpeting the forest floor now.

A moss that is wide spread in the forest is called Club Moss.

The yellow tops can be collected and left in a warm room over night they release a lot of spores which are high in natural oils. They have medicinal uses, but we’re also used historically to provide flash lighting when taking pictures. I demonstrated this to Kelly by dropping a cup full of spores over a lighted candle.

Clud moss spores dropped over a lighted candle

I have recently purchased a Biolite Solarhome 620 solar lighting and charging system for use at the cabin.

I was very impressed with the lighting it provided

And after I have tested it more thoroughly I will be writing a review.

Kelly made a boat while we were there which she wanted me to show everyone so here it is.