Heavy snowfall

Last Friday it started snowing and continued until Sunday evening.  And with gale force winds the snow blew into drifts.  In some places there was no snow on the ground and in others it was up to 2 metres deep.  Teres took this picture as I cleared the snow on Saturday

clearing-snow-garden

and there was at least the same amount again on Sunday!

One problem that I; and most probably many others have when sleeping in a hammock, is that the sleeping mat doesn’t stay in place and I end up with a cold back.

I have tried making several designs to hold the mat in place with limited success

making cover

but recently I found a Halti Travel Sleeping Bag on sale on the internet and though that I could put both my thermarest and sleeping inside it.

Halti Smart travel sleeping bag

Here is more information about the bag; https://halti.com/collections/sleeping-bags-mattresses/products/smart-travel-sleeping-bag

Unfortunately, with both the thermarest and my sleeping bag inside, there was insufficient room.  So I came up with a solution to the problem, and with help of our sewing department at work, they are now making alterations to the bag.  My solution is (on the back side of the bag) to sew a pocket at the top and bottom of the bag and a band of material across the middle, into which the therarest is inserted.  It will only be my sleeping bag that is then inside the bag.

halti-travelbag-modification

The bag is not yet finished, but I will put up some pictures here as soon as it is completed.

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Easy Hammock bushcraft/survival hammock first review

I have tested my Easy Hammock bushcraft hammock a couple of times now and I am very pleased with it.  The quality of the hammock and the workmanship is very good.

easyhammock-bushcraft-2

Here is the information about the hammock direct from the Easy Hammock website.

Description

A hybrid between the classic, and our insulated hammock with all the standard features like integrated bug net (mosquito, midge and fly proof) and suspension. Main feature of this version is the bottom insulation is replaced by a second, loose layer of fabric finished with a side zipper which creates about 2.5cm space between the layers. This can be filled with insulation of your choice to effectively create an insulated hammock. Netting can be stored at the foot end using shock cord loop installed in the foot end hood. There is also another tying point at the head end for hanging accessories like your jacket, pillow, or empty compression sack for storage.
NOTE:
-Unlike classic double layer hammocks this model works quite well with roll mats or self inflating mats as there is actually space for the mat to expand. Also the mat goes in diagonal corners of the underquilt layer holding it in place exactly under your body. Unfortunatelly I can’t guarante compatibility with every mat in existence, you might have to fold a corner to make it fit.
-For bushcraft applications a roll mat, self inflating mat, folded wool blanket or even an old sleeping bag can be used for insulation.
As a survival hammock dry gras, leaves or moss can be used, as well as cardboard or newspapers.

Included with every hammock:
– full suspension with 2 x 4m straps,
– ridgeline organiser,
– cotton storage bag.
As well as bottom insulation, you will need some form of top insulation in the shape of a blanket or sleeping bag, which can be unzipped and used like a duvet for maximum comfort and freedom of movement.
Like all other hammocks a suitable tarp (min 3m long) is required to protect from the elements, especially wind as the botom layer is breathable/wind resistant and not windproof.

STANDARD size:
Weight:
Hammock – 700g,

Bag – 50g,
Suspension – 300g (carabiners-70g + Tapes-230g), Tapes can be cut to size to save weight.

Pack size: Hammock with suspension – 2.4 liters (20cm x 24cm x 5cm).
Hammock dimensions: 3m (10ft) long body, 249cm ridgeline, 270cm from carabiner to carabiner. Fits people up to 185cm height.

The material used for the hammock is uncoated, non-waterproof, breathable, true rip-stop (reinforced, not square textured) nylon.  The mosquito net material is strong and non stretchable.

No.5 zips are used, which helps to prevent snagging and there are two zips.  One to attach the moquito net to the hammock and the other to gain access between the two bottom layers to allow the user to put insulation between.

easyhammock-doublezip

I used a reindeer skin for insulation and it worked very well.

hammock-reindeer skin

The construction of the hammock is a-symmetrical and this allows you to lay flat when sleeping (or on your side).  I had a down back which I opened and had over my body like a quilt.  As it was snowing, I used my infamous piece of Pertex as a tarp.

perspex hammock cover

The first night I experienced some cold spots, but the second night I constructed what I am calling a “hammock skirt” out of lightweight parachute material, which hung between the ground and the hammock to prevent cold air circulating under (it was also a good place to store my kit).

hammockskirt-kevinwarrington

I personally did not like the back that the hammock came in,

20181004_075211-1791677416.jpg

so I designed a new bag which my wife sewed together for me.  This back has an opening at both ends, making it easier to hang the hammock from the bag, and the bag remains on the hammock all the time.

I am unlikely to use the hammock much during the winter, but I will write another review next year when I have used it more.  I will also be working with Easy Hammock to develop my idea of the “hammock skirt”.

I’ve bought a hammock

I have been thinking about buying a hammock and had decided to buy a Warbonnet Blackbird XLC

because it is possible to lay flat in this hammock as it is a-symmetrical.  However, I could not find a supplier here in Sweden, or even in the EU and as the shipping and import taxes would have been very high, I did not want to order direct from the States.

I then decided to buy a Dutchware Chameleon Hammock, but they did not have any outlet in the EU either.

Then a friend told me about a guy he knew who has started making hammocks.  He had been to a Bushcraft UK meet and shown his products and my friend thought they were very good.  The company is called Easy Hammocks and the guy who runs it is called Matthew.

I had a look at his website and liking the idea of supporting a small, growing business, I decided to order a Bushcraft/Survival Hammock which unlike his other models, does not have a built-in under-quilt but instead has two layers of material that allow you to put your own insulation or insulation mat inside.

More information here; https://easyhammock.co.uk/p/bushcraft-survival-hammock

Matt is hoping to get the hammock to me within three weeks, so once I have received it and tested it, I will write a review.

 

Easter weekend at my cabin

My family stayed at home over Easter, but I spent the weekend at my cabin.  I spent some time ice-fishing alone

kevinwarrington-icefishing

and I also spent time fishing with my neighbours

icefishing-lapland

but unfortunately we did not catch many fish.

I was also out and about with the snowmobile (this picture was taken by my neighbour)

kevin-warrington-lapland

When I first bought my cabin, there was forest all around, but unfortunately the majority of forest has now been removed.  I saw no animals at all while I was there.

Here are a couple of pictures of the full moon from last weekend.

fullmoon-lapland

fullmoon-swedish-lapland

I also took some bird photo’s.  These are of Siberian Jay

siberian-jay-lapland

siberian jay-lapland

and Willow Tit

willow-tit-lapland

and finally a male Pine Grosbeak.

male-pinegrosbeak-kevinwarrington

You may recall that I built a sledge earlier in the winter.

20171126_1113221693566949.jpg

I made the seat removable which has meant that it has other uses.  I used it to carry my equipment to the cabin

sled loaded with equipment.jpg

and to collect wood

sled-loaded-logs

 

Bunk-bed work-bench

I have been continuing to develop my work-shop and I have completed to transition of the bunk-bed, into a work-bench.  I began by taking the bunk-bed apart and then re-used the various parts to begin constructing the work-bench

workbench-1

The project did not take long to complete

workbench-2

and I am very pleased with the end result.

workbench-3

Hopefully my workshop will be completed next week and I will be writing more.

We currently have 4 Pine Grosbeaks (Pinicola enucleator) feeding in the garden

and today I have been watching Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) coming to a small hole in the river ice, to drink.

It should be feeling a bit more like spring now, but night-time temperatures are still below -20 and day-time are only at around -10.  This is the first winter since I moved he, that the temperature has not been above freezing during the whole winter.

 

Jokkmokks Marknad 2018

I visited Jokkmokks Marknad  both on Thursday and Saturday.  While travelling to Jokkmokk on Thursday, a juvenile Sea Eagle flew up from the side of the road.

sea eagle-1

and landed in a tree, but it was a bit too far away to get any decent pictures.

sea eagle-2

There were many people at the market. So many, that it was difficult to take photo’s.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-3

There was a Sámi women was very good at making Birch bark containers.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-1

There is a also a Finnish house building company that has moved to Jokkmokk, and they will be selling timber houses from 2019 and they had a sauna at the market to demonstrate to quality of their work.

jokkmokk marknad 2018-2

I bought a couple of tanned reindeer skins for making coffee bags and a thicker skin (not sure from which animal) for making pouches for my new equipment belt.  The fork in the picture below, I use to make the holes for sewing.

leather pouch-1

I wet mould the leather to achieve the required shape.  I had made a pouch for my Leatherman Wave, a pouch to hold a tobacco tin and one to hold my Petzl Tikka head-torch + three spare batteries in the bottom of the pouch.

leather pouch-2

leather pouch-3

 

It just keeps snowing and snowing!!

Every day it snows at the moment and meteorologists have said that we already have as much snow on the ground as we would usually have in February!  After it had rained almost every day during the summer, I thought that we would not get so much snow this winter.

The railway tracks in Gällivare, outside the tourist centre where I wok are kept clear using a snow-blowing attachment, mounted on a digger arm.  The digger has train wheels on it, so that it can drive along the tracks.

snow-railway-gällivare

snow clearing warrington

gellivare tourist centre

I have a new camera which I am keen to test, but as it is so cloudy and only light for a short time, I’m not able to test it.  The camera I have purchased is a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000.  The three pictures above are the only ones I have taken with it.  I had no tripod and I must say that I am very pleased with the results.

http://i1.adis.ws/i/pcec/DMC-FZ1000_ALT01?$PDP-Hero-Image-Desktop$