Biolite Campstove

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

My friend Håkan Nilsson over at https://nilssonslojd.wordpress.com/author/nilssonslojd/  has made me a beautiful knife as a gift. the materials are Sallow root bur and Reindeer horn and half tanned Reindeer leather.

kevin-warrington-knife

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

natural-lore-knife

You might recall the saga of the Thermarest Ultralight Cot that I bought, which had half of the parts missing https://naturallore.wordpress.com/?s=thermarest&submit=Search.

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.

granitbiten-kundservice

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.

biolite-campstove-1

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)

biolite-campstove-2

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

biolite-campstove-3

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%

biolite-campstove-4

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.

biolite-campstove-5

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.

http://www.bioliteenergy.com/

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.

 

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A little bit of luck

This is as close as we get to seeing the sun at the moment.

almost-see-the-sun-lapland

The weather has been very strange for the past week, as it has been above freezing and temperatures have even been as high as 9 degrees C, with some rain.

I was working up on the house roof over the weekend, designing and building a platform for the chimney sweeper to be able to inspect the flue we have put up.

chimney-platform-2 chimney-platform

I was incredibly lucky because on Monday all the snow came down from the roof and if I had still been working on the roof at the time, I would have gone with it!

snow-fallen-from-roof

The stove installation is now complete and we used the stove for the first time yesterday.

new-woodburnerI made cheese and pickle toasties for everyone, in the oven (tonight it will be pizza’s).

toasted-sandwiches

I have constructed a wooden box, which I have mounted on to a plastic sled, to use for fetching wood from the shed.

wood-sled

On Tuesday the missing poles for my Thermarest cot finally arrived.  I thought I would at least receive an apology for the inconvenience, but the only thing in the packet was the items and a business card.

thermarest-cot-cascade-designs  For the first time, I have tried using a sewing machine to make a leather bag and I was pleased with the end result (hand sewing is much more relaxing though)

reindeer-skin-bagFinally, I would just like to wish all my friends and readers….

christmas-card

Fish Trap

I have been asked by one of my readers to provide a little more information about a fish trap which I use at the cabin.  This particular trap is called a “Mjäder” and I first used it when I visited the cabin before I even owned it

mjädar fish trap

From the top it looks like this

mjadarThe fish can swim in but they cannot find their way out again.  Some people say that you must cover it with Spruce branches so that the fish swim in to it for protection, but I have never found this necessary.

 

fish in trap (Small)

The frame is made from steel wire, and then the frame is covered with chicken wire.  It can be very effective at catching fish.

perch in trap (Small)

There is a small door so that you can reach in and remove the fish.

You can see here that there are many different designs.

https://www.google.se/search?q=mj%C3%A4rde+fisk&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwifnfHog9LPAhVG2SwKHbhACngQ_AUICCgB&biw=1366&bih=604#tbm=isch&q=mj%C3%A4rde+

Snow Goose Parka

Many thanks to those of you who have contacted me with advise and tips about my future.  i really appreciate it!!

Last weekend we were at the cabin again and I did a spot of fly-fishing.

I caught a perch

perch-kevin-warrington

and a Grayling

grayling-lapland-nattavara

We forgot to take Kelly’s potty with us, so I built one out of plywood, scraps of wood, a piece of camping insulation matt and an old plastic container.

homemade-potty

Kelly was so pleased with it and it worked so well, that we have decided to keep to use as “the cabin potty”.

A friend of my dads sent him a down jacket that he bought in Canada in the late 80’s.

snow-goose-parka-3

It is made by Snow Goose which was the original name for Canada Goose

snow-goose-parka-1

and the style number is 1990.

snow-goose-parka-2

If anyone knows more about this jacket I would like to know more…..was it military issue for example?

I tried to run a tourist business when I moved here 6 years ago and there was very little interest, so I think I need to find something to do that there is demand for up here.  I’m considering going back to education (I left school when I was 16 without any major qualifications) and studying to do something completely different for a job e.g website building.  here is a website that I have built without a great deal of knowledge; http://www.nattavaara.net/.

Ups and downs

I went to the hospital to see a specialist yesterday about my back.  The good news is that he does not want to operate at the moment because there is so much positive improvement with my training (the operation would have been to fuse two of my vertebrae together).  However I have a degenerative disease; inherited from one of my parents which means that the tissue between the disks breaks down and eventually I will have to have the operation.

In the picture below the healthy disks are thick and have much grey colour between them.  The last three disks (especially the middle one which causes most pain) has almost nothing between the vertebrae.

back xrayLast week my employer terminated my employment because I have been sick so much and can’ do my job in my current condition.  I think it will be a challenge to find full-time employment again up here.

Last weekend we were at the cabin.  Teres wallpapered the veranda that I built a couple of years ago

wallpaper-2

wallpaper-1

I had left my fly tying equipment at home, but found a hook, some feathers left over from Easter and some fine fishing line and inspired by an article in the latest issue of “The Bushcraft Magazine” I decided to make a Pike lure.  I had no clamp to hold the hook, so improvised using my Leatherman Wave and a little vice

leatherman fly tying vice-1I was very pleased with the end result, and in fact we caught a 40cm Pike with it, but I dropped the fish before Emma could take a photograph!

leatherman fly tying vice-2

Emma kept both herself and Kelly entertained while in the forest, by crushing up Blueberries and painting stone art with the juice.

emma stone art lapland

emma stone art gallivare

blueberry juice fish

Kelly even made me a stone cake

kelly art nattavaara

On Saturday night the temperature dropped down to -6 C, the first frost of the autumn!

 

Grass of parnassus

Before moving to live here in Lapland, I managed Chippenham Fen National Nature Reserve where we spent much time, money and effort to re-establish a plant called “Grass of Parnassus Parnassia palustris”

Grass of Parnassus

which grew there until the late 1980´s, but we never succeeded in getting it back again.

Here it grows very commonly.  We even have it along the edges of the track to our house (the above picture is taken at the edge of our track).

I have only noticed it growing there because we bought Kelly her first cycle and we now go out with her at least twice a day.

kelly with new cycle

It’s not been an easy time for Kelly during the last few days, because she has thrown her dummies in the river, to give to the baby fish!! and now has to sleep without her dummy.

kelly dummies

Kelly enjoys fishing, though soon gets bored when she does not catch anything.

kelly fishing

I have mad her up a special fishing set.  The rod is really an ice fishing rod and i bought a small reel for it.

kelly fishing rod

It works so well that I have one myself now, as with my back problem it is not so easy to cast a full size rod.  I cannot cast so far out, but as many of the fish are nearer to the edge, this is not a problem.  I have caught 2 1kg Rainbow trout with this set-up.

My dad has settled in now and is really enjoying spending time with Kelly and the rest of the family.

kelly and grandad

 

A surprise visitor

This week we have had a fox cub coming to visit our garden.  I first saw it in the meadow

fox cub-2

and called it in towards me

fox cub-3

The closest it ha been, is one metre from me

fox cub

I have also found and picked and eaten the first Cloudberries (a relative of the Blackberry) of the year, which is incredibly early!!

cloudbery

I am grateful to Teres, Emma and my in-laws who spent last Saturday painting the outbuilding that I built last year.

outbuilding painted-2 outbuilding painted-1