A new construction project

Each spring we clear away the snow from the end of the house, so that we can sit out and enjoy the spring sunshine.


I have now built a new veranda at the side of the house for us to sit on.  Using stones and blocks I first built and levelled in the foundations.

Then I screwed on the decking

and finally I built some steps to get onto the garden.

steps swedish lapland

During the last week or so there have been quite a lot of mosquitoes, but during the rest of the spring and summer we have not had any.  Unfortunately, this emergence has come to late for the insect eating birds.  There were very few insect eating birds that arrived here this year, due to the very late snow melt, and those that did, do not seem to have reared young.

It has been predicted by scientists that due to climate change, insect eating birds will disappear from this area over the next ten to fifteen years, due to lack of food!

Well done Alpkit!

A few weeks ago I bought an Alpkit Pipedream 400 down sleeping bag for use during the spring, summer and autumn.  I used it at the Morakniv adventure this year.

inside my shelter morakniv

This summary is from the Alpkit website;

“PipeDream 400 Hydrophobic down sleeping bag

In June I received an email from Alpkit;

We have become aware of an error in the supply of our down. The batch of sleeping bags which included your PipeDream 400 Hydrophobic has not been manufactured from Nikwax Hydrophobic down.

The hydrophobic properties of a sleeping bag are just one factor that run alongside other equally important factors such as fill power, construction, fabrics and shape to keep you warm and cosy on your adventures. The down in your bag is RDS certified and it is the same high quality down we have been using in our sleeping bags for years. The comfort rating, fill power and compressibility are all unchanged. “

And they added;

When we find out something has gone wrong, we own up and do what we can to put it right.”

I think their honesty is to be commended, but of course I was a little disappointed to find out that the product was not up to the standard I had paid for.

I decided to contact Alpkit for more information and this was the reply I received;

“…..I would like to assure you that the bag is treated and its thermal and constructional properties are all as you initially expected as these were all tested by our independent lab before putting them online. The treatment used was just not the standard that we expect. The hydrophobic properties are also just shy of being hydrophobic. The shake test requires down to last 40 mins to be classed as hydrophobic. In our independent testing, the batch in question lasted between 34 – 50 mins, so although we cannot class it as hydrophobic in every instance, it is much more hydrophobic that normal down.

The only instance where you would need the full hydrophobic properties are in arctic conditions where if you got your bag wet, then there would be a little more defence to keep you warm. But then again, nothing is warm and wet apart from a jacuzzi!

As this bag only has a rating of -6 degrees I will never be using it here in “arctic conditions”, so although they Alpkit were happy for me to return the bag and they would pay P&P plus I would receive a full refund for the bag, I decided to keep it and they have now kindly sent me a couple of free products.

The products I have received are their MYTIMUG 400 and 650 titanium mugs.  The 400 holds 400ml and weighs 74g and the 650 holds 650ml and weighs 94g.  I have made a leather pouch to keep them in, which I can hook onto my belt.

reindeer skin pouch

and the 400 fits perfectly inside the 650.

alpkit mytimug 650

Inside the 400 mug I have another leather pouch with coffee and stock cubes in it.

alpkit mytimug warringtonalpkit mytimug 400

I am very pleased with the customer service I have received from Alpkit.


Boat trip

It was a nice day on Sunday and I was not working, so we decided to drive to our friend Tommy’s cabin at Killinge.  He had promised to take Kelly out in his boat so that she could do some fishing and as you can see, she was very happy.

kaitum boat warrington

She was even happier when she caught a large Pike!

kelly catching pike

Which we took back to Tommy’s cabin and smoked

smoked pike lapland

and then ate with bread and butter.

smoked pike gällivare

We also visited the falls to look for Salmon jumping, but for some reason the Salmon are late travelling up river this year, so we did not see any.

Work, work, work….

I am working 10 days in a row now.  Some days I leave the house at 07:30 and get home at 20:15 and some days I leave at 11:00 and get home at 22:00.

I moved here thinking that I would work less and spend more time at my cabin and doing things that I enjoy, but the reality is that I have to work more and have less time to spend at my cabin than I did when I lived in England and this summer I have not not been fishing at all.

I did visit the LKAB underground mine with my job last week.  I travelled with some tourists who were on our mine tour.  The mine produces Iron Ore of a very high quality.


The weather changed during last weekend from warm and sunny to cold and wet.  The forecast for tomorrow is only 5 degrees and rain again.

It is a very strange summer.  We have very few insect eating birds here this year, and quite a lot of those that did arrive, are leaving because there are no insects (almost no mosquitoes this year).  In the mountains, some paths that would have been open at least three weeks ago, are still blocked by snow.

I am not working Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so hopefully I will have some things to write about next time.

Here is the view from my back garden last week.