Segebaden pulka

I have written before about using a pulka or tabogan to carry equipment.  The two pulkas I have are made by a company called Segebaden (they also make pulkas for the military)

The first pulk I aquired is made of timber and has a canvas top.  In the picture below I am using it to transport the weekly recycling.

My second pulka is made of fibreglass, also with a canvas top

Both pulkas have ridges running along the underside to help ensure the pulka travels in a straight line

Recently I used it to transport tools and materials to a cabin we have, about 15 minutes walk from our house

On this occassion I was dragging the pulka using two ski poles, but there are two different yokes you can buy for the pulka; one for a person to use and one for a dog to use.

With a temperature of -33 the cabin was very cold

I quickly got a fire going and after about 1 hour the cabin started to get warm

I was there to construct a floor for the veranda

which will enable guetes to sit out and watch the nature and Northern Lights from the veranda.

Boulder Outdoor Survival School

My name’s Juliet Michael and I’m writing on behalf of BOSS, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School.  I’ve found much value in Laplander’s Natural Lore Blog and I thought your readers might be interested in this:

BOSS, the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, is the oldest and largest survival school in the world (website, based in southern Utah since 1968. Courses range from 3 to 28 days long and teach a wide range of wilderness skills. What sets BOSS apart from other programs, however, is their dedication to “primitive technologies” — teaching people how to enter the wilderness with a minimal amount of modern gear. Instead of backpacks, sleeping bags and tents, course participants sleep in wool blankets and ponchos. Fires are made by friction rather than with matches. The curriculum highlights the wisdom and skills of traditional cultures, inviting people to step back in time and re-connect with nature and themselves. It’s an incredible empowering program.

BOSS just launched a new website and they’ve asked me to help introduce people both to it and their school. As an incentive to get people to visit, they are offering a 10% tuition discount on all courses offered in 2011 (except the Slidrock Gathering) to anyone who registers using the code “BOSSadventure10”

Enjoying the spring sunshine

We have been out and about enjoying the spring sunshine.

We found some really nice rodent tracks in the snow

I imagine they are a vole walking between holes but I am not certain…any help appreciated.

With a bit of practise I have regained my firelighting skills

We cooked some coffee

and cooked sausage

First weekend at the cabin in 2011

In addition to my current lung problem I have now hurt my back again!!  We had intended to ski to my cabin last weekend but it was impossible for me to travel on skis.  Ingvar and Anki were staying at their cabin and Ingvar offered to take us to the cabin on his snow mobile.

There was much snow at the cabin.  Here for example is my sauna

We soon had a fire going to get the cabin warm and went for a walk along the scooter trail (where the snow is compacted and easy to walk on).  I have a second pulka now given to me by Ingvar and Anki.

On Saturday we walked to Anki and Ingvars cabin

Anki cooked a really nice meal

with sliced Reindeer, meat, onion, garlic, noodles, mushrooms, cream, herbs and spices

On Saturday evening there was a full moon and it was really nice to walk in the forest with the moon shining through the trees and onto the snow

and here are some pictures of the cabin by moonlight

Lapland in early spring

Nature is becoming more and more active here now with all the beautiful sunny days we are having with temperatures around 0 degrees.

I have been spending some time out and about.  The other day I was out collecting the outer layer of Birch bark now being shed by the trees, for use in demonstrating fire lighting later in the year

The Blue tits, Great Tits and Willow Tits are singing in the forest, the Woodpeckers are drumming and the Crossbills have nests with eggs and will soon have young.  The Siberian Nutcracker appears to have left us now and has probably commenced his journey back to Siberia.

While out walking I noticed what looked like recent activity by the Beaver who lives near our house.

On closer inspection I found much fresh activity

and fresh wood chips on the snow from where he had been gnawing

There was also a clear trail in the snow where it had been dragging branches (seen here in the middle of the picture)

which led me to this hole

situated on the edge of the river bank. allowing the Beaver access under the ice and into the river, to carry its food across to the lodge.

You can see disturbance in the snow around the edge of the hole caused by small branches as the Beaver drags pieces of Birch down the hole.

I have spent a couple of evenings laying out in the snow until well after dark, waiting for the Beaver to appear

but so far I have not seen it.

Clearing snow from roofs.

As the weather continues to be above freezing during the day (but still -30 at night) there is an increasing chance of an avalanche of snow descending from a roof if a door is closed to hard or from movement inside the house.

So now is the time to remove the thick layer of snow (up to 1 metre thick) from the roofs.  A friend showed me a very useful tool he had made for this purpose and which can be used from the ground instead of having to climb onto the roof.  His was very professional looking but due to lack of funds, I needed to make mine from whatever I could find laying around.

I decided to use an old scraper used for cleaning windows and floors.  It consists of a metal from with two rubber blades.  The first thing I did was to remove the blade section and turn around so that the rubber blades were facing back

Between the blades I inserted a long piece of plastic, held in place by four screws through the rubber blades

I secured a long piece of Pine as a handle

and it was ready to use.

The metal head is pushed up under the snow and as the snow releases, it slides down the roof on the length of plastic

Here is a picture of some of the snow cleared from the roof

A set of drain rods would be ideal as a handle as you could extend or shorten to suit your needs but unfortunately they do not use drain rods here and so it is impossible to buy them.

Back from another visit to the UK

I arrived back yesterday from another visit to the UK.  Unfortunately I am still not feeling so well and so did not do all the things I had planned, but I did manage to meet up with all my green woodworking friends at Bradfield Woods.

It very quickly felt like I had not been away for one year.

Some of them were busy installing a second stove for cooking and heating,

everyone spent much time eating and talking, and some were even doing some green woodworking!!

I arrived back hereto find that spring has suddenly arrived.  When I left on 28th February the temperature was just above freezing, and it has been the same every day during my absence, with much sunshine also.  The trees have lost their thick white coating of snow and ice and are green again, the surface snow on the ground has melted and that makes it much easier to get around now.

Last night when I was out just after dark, I was treated to the most spectacular display of Northern Lights I have ever seen.  The whole sky from west to north to east was full of colour as the green, blue, yellow and red light danced across the sky.  Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me but you can see for yourself what it was like via Arctic Color.  Here are the images taken from webcam number 3 three yesterday and these images show particularly well what I was seeing!!