Finland

Myself and Kelly have just returned from a three day trip to Finland.

We visited the Santa Claus village in Rovaniemi where kelly got to meet Santa

kellly and santa

and his reindeer and calves.

 

We then travelled to Ranua to visit a wildlife park.  The wildlife park has many animals and birds from Northern Europe including;

Brown Bear

europeanbrownbear-kevinwarrington

Wolverine

wolverine

Grey Wolf

europeanwolf-kevinwarrington

Muskox

muskox-kevinwarrington

Honey Buzzard

honey-buzzard

and it’s the only place in Europe (and possibly in the World) where polar Bears breed in captivity

polarbear-kevinwarrington

We had a great time and fantastic weather and will be visiting Finland again.

 

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Jokkmokk’s Christmas Market

Last weekend it was Jokkmokk’s Christmas Market, which is a much smaller and low-key event than the “Winter Market”.  There were just a few small stalls there selling bread and other home made products.

jokkmokks-christmas-market

Kelly was really happy because she got to ride in a traditional Sámi sled pulled by a reindeer.

reindeer-ride-jokkmokk

Here is a picture that I took looking from our house to my neighbours house the other evening.  The snow is now  about 50cms deep.

winter2019-lapland

Snow has arrived

During the last 48 hours about 30cms of snow has fallen, and before and after work I have been busy clearing away the snow.  I do not have any nice pictures unfortunately because it is dark when I go to work and it is dark when I come home.  The sun no longer appears above the horizon so we only have a couple of hours of good light, and at the present time I am working inside at my work, building structures to hold new signs for the ski tracks and snowmobile trails.

sign structure

My daughter is very happy because last week she went to see Father Christmas/Santa Claus and gave him her Christmas list.

fatherchristmas_lapland_kevinwarrington

He has promised to come and visit us again on Christmas Day, just like he did last year!

father christmas

Back again

The internet is finally back again, but we can not be sure for how long.

The weather is just crazy here.  We still have no snow!  This is the view of our garden at the moment.

lapland-november-2018

I have been out in the forest with Teres and Kelly, looking for a Christmas tree.  In the forest there a a thin covering of snow where the sun doesn’t reach.

teresandkelly

Kelly found a small structure under a Spruce tree that is convinced was once a Troll’s home.  She covered it with new Spruce branches

kelly-shelterbuild

and made a Spruce bed inside, just in case the Troll returns.

troll

And of course as usual we made fire and had a cup of hot-chocolate.

coffeebreak-swedishlapland

We have had a large full moon, and I thought I would finish with a couple of pictures of that.

More soon…if we still have internet!!

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”.

29.5 degrees

We currently have a heat wave her in Lapland and today the temperature reached 29,5 degrees.

Last weekend we were out fishing and grilling sausage of cause.

summer-lapland

Today I have been working in Killinge, which is a very beautiful area along the Kaitum river.

Where the Salmon are in full migration, jumping up the waterfalls and rapids.

I have now built the stairs up to the second level in the tree house/ playhouse, so we now need to get some furniture to put in there.

treehouse-stairs

Heat wave

As I am writing this, it is 8am and already the temperature is 19 degrees C.  Just about all the snow has melted during the last few days and there is a lot of flooding now in this area.  It must be summer, because the girls have set up the trampoline.

building trampoline

and we have been cooking our meals outside over an open fire.

grilled moose meat

I have now completed Emma’s new knife and sheath

emma-knife

And I have a new friend called Alf, who is a master craftsman and has already taught me a lot.  Here is some of his work.

alf-slöjd

Last Saturday I attended the annual gathering of ornithologists in Hakkas.

birdwatching-hakkas.jpg

There were much less birds than usual, and I did not get any really nice photo’s, but here are a couple; a Capercaillie and a White Wagtail.

Now the girls have new knives, there mum also wants one, so that’s what I will be working on this week.