Biolite Campstove

I actually have quite a bit to write about this time!!

My friend Håkan Nilsson over at  has made me a beautiful knife as a gift. the materials are Sallow root bur and Reindeer horn and half tanned Reindeer leather.


He has even incorporated my Natural Lore mark into the scrimshaw on the sheath


You might recall the saga of the Thermarest Ultralight Cot that I bought, which had half of the parts missing

I have to say that the distributor here in Sweden; Granitbiten have been very good.  They arranged for some spare poles to be sent to me from Thermarest and they also sent me two items from the “Hydro flask” range. A 16 oz True Pint and a 21 oz Standard Mouth.


I am particularly impressed with the flask, because unlike other metal drinks bottles, the contents did not freeze when I left it out over night at -15c.

I have also purchased a Biolite CampStove.The BioLite CampStove generates usable electricity for charging LED lights, mobile phones, and other personal devices. Burning only wood, the CampStove creates a smokeless campfire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes. Setup is easy, fuel is free, and flames are hyperefficient with performance on par with white gas stoves.  This item weighs 940grams.

There are many reviews of this product on the internet, but many of those reviewers have clearly NOT red the instructions.  Before using the CampStove for the first time, it is important to fully charge the lithium battery, which takes about six hours.  This powers a fan that significantly improves combustion.  The orange light will stop flashing once the battery is fully charged.


I have tested the stove and am very impressed.  In this picture, the wood in the stove has just been ignited (note that I have added aluminium tape on the top to help protect it from heat and hot ash, but this may not be necessary)


After about 10 seconds you turn on the fan by pressing a button on the battery pack an in this next picture the fan has been activated to aid combustion


The fan has two settings, depending how much heat out-put you require.  The thermal electric generator mounted inside the battery housing first re-charges the internal lithium battery, but once the orange light turns green, you can then connect a USB device to be charged via a USB port.

The stove took just three and a half minutes to boil a can of water, and during that time it charged my mobile battery by 1%


Some reviews show a small pot adapter included (which I really need), but this was not included in mine.  Instead I received a “USB Flexlight” which helps you see when cooking in the dark.  You just tap the back of the light to activate it and hole your finger on the back of the light to adjust the brightness.


I contacted Biolite about the small pot adapter and they are arranging to send one to me, which is great customer service.

I will write more about this product once I have used it more, but so far I am very impressed.

Tomorrow I am starting a new job.  I will be working at Gällivare tourist centre on a three month trial.  I’m sure I will be writing more about that in the future.


and so it continues!!!

Still not recovered from my lung infection.  At the end of last week the family had a diarrhoea and sickness bug and I thought I had been lucky enough to miss it, but on Monday evening it started.  I was so ill that I ended up passing out on the bathroom floor!!  One of the issues with living in a remote place is that doctors will not come out and when we asked for an ambulance, we we told that “there are so few ambulances in Gällivare at there is little chance that you will get one”.  The recommendation was to ring for a taxi!!  There is no taxi driver that would have been willing to have me in their car in the state I was in!!

So I had to lay in the bathroom for 7 hours until I eventually stopped being sick.

On a positive note, I did manage to go to a job interview at Gällivare Tourist Center last week, and on the 1st February I begin a three month trial working there.

And Teres has made me a pair on Reindeer skin slippers, which are very warm and comfortable



A bad start to the year

Last week I wrote that I was starting to get out and about again, then I got the flu (the whole family have had it) and now I have a lung infection, so i cannot do anything at the moment!!

I thought I would put up a video that we made over Christmas, which demonstrates what happens to boiling water when you throw it up in the air at -33 degrees![user]=12690297&filters[recent]=1&sort=1&o=0


Hope everyone has an enjoyable Christmas……we certainly did.

It is one year since I slipped a disc in my again, and at the time I thought I would not be able to get out and about in the forest during winter again, but that is fortunately not the case.

I do not feel secure enough on skis, so I am now using snow-shoes.


I have only been on a couple of short walks around where we live, but I have already discovered some old buildings that I did not know existed (I wonder who used to live there?).


As of the 31st December I am unemployed again, as my three month job as project leader has finished.   I have applied for several jobs, but have been unsuccessful.  Everyone one wants you to have qualifications, and because I chose to leave school at sixteen and begin work in the field of nature conservation, I do not have a degree or such.

I am considering starting up my business again and running 5 day  wilderness courses at my cabin, so that people can have the same experience as I had when I first came to Lapland.


Thermarest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot review

I have been experimenting with different set-ups for my new “Thermarest LuxuryLite UltraLite Cot”.  The instructions that are included show two alternative set-ups; the first is a lightweight set-up for people up to 79kgs and the second is a standard set-up for people up to 127kgs.

thermarest-cot-set-upI weigh 85kgs and found with the lightweight set-up, that I was laying on the poles underneath the bed.  The bed was under so much tension in the standard set-up, that it was uncomfortable for me to lay on, so as per the instructions on the Cascade Designs website;

Customize your cot to your needs

You will notice there are more pole holes than there are poles in your LuxuryLite®

Cot. This design allows you to place a single bow, a double bow or no

bow in select holes as needed to customize your cot. For the lightest possible configuration for your needs, start with the four required single poles, then

add poles where you feel you need the added support. LuxuryLite Cots provide the most adjustability of any cot

I decided to customise the set-up for my needs.  This is the end result (head at the top and feet at the bottom);


Note that I have used a “double twist bow” at the foot end to give sufficient support.

I have found that my Mountain Hardware combination open and closed cell sleeping mat

mountain-hardware-mattis more comfortable that an inflatable mattress


Last night was the first night I have slept on the cot and I was pleased to find it really comfortable……HOWEVER, when I dismantled the cot, I discovered that one of the poles is already bent out of shape, which is really disappointing considering the amount of money you pay for this item.

thermarest-cot-bent-poleI have today emailed the distributor here in Sweden, to ask if this is a common occurrence and will post their reply here when I receive it.

Granitbiten the distributor has replied to say that if I return the damaged pole, they will send a replacement.