Chocolate raisins and whisky

Last weekend I went to the cabin

travelling to cabin

I was concerned that there might be a large amount of snow on the roof and when I arrived, I was that I was right.

snow on cabin roof

After getting a fire going in the stove, I cleared a path to the wood store

clearing snow to wood store

and then to the toilet.

clearing snow to toilet

I decided to make some lunch before beginning work.  I had with me some sausage, bread, butter, whisky, cheese in  a tube and a packet of hot chocolate + some chocolate raisins.  I also found a tin of frozen Baked Beans in the cabin, so for lunch I had sausage and beans.

food supply

After that, It was time to get up on the roof and start removing the snow.  Fortunately my father-in-law was nearby and called in to say hello and helped with the snow removal.


It took about three hours to remove the snow

snow from roof

To give you an idea of the snow depth, the next-box in this picture cannot be reached during the summer without a ladder!


After my father-in-law had had a coffee, he headed home.  It was starting to get dark, so I kit the oil lamps and started making a leather pouch for my 8×24 Opticron binoculars.  My evening meal to accompany me while working, was chocolate raisins and some whisky.

whisky and chocoöate raisins

By the end of the evening I was a little drunk, but very pleased with my pouch.

leather binocular pouch

The next morning I made Chaga tea and fried sausage and made sausage sandwiches for breakfast.

sausage breakfast

After breakfast I made a pouch to hold my First Aid kit.

first aid pouch-1

For the closer on the pouch I made two holes in the lid and two holes in the front of the pouch and then threaded a match through the holes.

first aid pouch-2

After lunch, I headed home again.



A long weekend ruined by such unusual summer weather!!

Myself and my friend Tommy had planned a long weekend fishing trip to the mountains last weekend from Thursday evening to Sunday evening.  The weather forecast in the mountains was strong winds and heavy and so Tommy decided we would instead stay at his cabin in Killingi where we could fish the river Kaitum.

It has been usually cold and wet this summer and there is much more water in the rivers and marshes than there would normally be.  The level in the river we planned to fish was one and a half metres higher than usual.  Here is a picture from August 2011 when myself and Teres were at Tommy’s cabin

killingi 2011and here is a picture I took last weekend

killingi 2015There is nowhere to stand and fish along the edge of the river now as the river water extends into the forest, so we had to fish from Tommy’s boat.

tommy in boatOn Thursday evening and Friday morning the weather was fine and we were able to fish.

sunset killingiOn Thursday evening I caught a Pike and a 2kg Sea trout, but unfortunately the Sea trout managed to get off the hook once we had it near to the boat!

Here is a picture I took at midnight in Killingi and as you can see it doesn’t get dark even now.

midnight in KillingiOn Friday morning we travelled 5kms upstream to fish. We had caught nothing at lunch time, but fortunately I took a large rump steak with me to grill over the fire.

tommy by fireI made a set of tongs from a forked Birch to turn the steak and it was cooked to perfection!


After lunch I caught nothing, but Tommy caught a 2kg White Fish (Sik in Swedish).

tommy with sikwhich we smoked when we returned to the cabin.

Later on Friday it began to rain with a strong wind and this continued Saturday and was forecast to continue on Sunday, so we decided to cut our fishing trip short and head home early.


Family visit to England

I haven’t written for a while because I have been on a family holiday to England for two weeks.

During our visit we visited London and saw some of the site such as,

Buckingham Palace

buckingham palace

Houses of Parliament and Big Ben

houses of parliment

The London Eye

london eyeand St James’ Park where we saw many birds

heron st james park

We went out on a boat trip along the river Nene with my aunty and uncle

boat-1and saw Great Crested Grebe

great crested grebeCormorant

cormorantand Mute Swan

mute swan-2 mute swan-1

We went swimming

kelly learning to swim

and spent some time at the sea side crab fishing and sunbathing.

sunbathing crab fishing

A brief visit to my cabin

Last year I failed to reach my cabin during the winter because the snow was so deep and powdery, but this year I had no problem……..because my friend Erik (who has a cabin near to mine) was there to plough the track to our cabins with his Swedish Military Valp.  He has built an hydraulic plough attachment that fits on the front and is very effective at clearing the snow.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Erik ploughed to about 1km from our cabins and Erik’s family and I drove behind the plough

The final kilometre was not ploughed (making it impossible for others to drive there), we all climbed into the valp and drove through the snow to the cabins

There was 80cms of snow on the roof

and it was dark by the time I had finished removing snow.  I was working following morning so unfortunately could not stay at the cabin.

Solberget Vildmarksbyn


Yesterday I began working as a tourist guide at Solberget Vilmarksbyn as part of a work experience scheme with the local job centre.

Yesterday we took guests out on a ski tour around the local marshes.

We could not travel across the marshes because the ice was thin and there was water under the snow.

Water on skis freezes immediately and has to be removed.  Fortunately Dirk had a gas burner in his rucksack

We heard and found much evidence of Willow Grouse (Lagopus lagopus).  In the picture below they had been feeding on Birch buds

Willow Grouse have feathers on their feet so you cannot see toes in their tracks

In this picture a Willow Grouse has landed in the snow (you can see the wing pattern) and then run away.

We also saw many Red Squirrel tracks

After three hours, we returned to Solberget Wilderness Village

After the Reindeer had been fed this morning

we headed off into the forest on another ski tour to the top of Solberet (Sun Hill translated to English).

We skied uphill for about one hour until we reached a cabin and fire-watch tower

Once inside the cabin we made a fire

and had lunch

After lunch we returned to Solberget.

Guiding in Muddus National Park-2

We were up at 7am next morning and after breakfast I helped Dirk pack and weigh the bags for the Reindeer.

At 9am we began our next part of the journey to another cabin 9kms away.

shortly after I took this picture

one of the reindeer got away from the person leading it and ran off into the trees carrying our guests sleeping bags and food.  I ran after him but was unable to catch him and eventually he ran off across the marshes.

We decided to return to the cabin where we had stayed the previous night.  I would stay with the guests at the cabin and Dirk would take some reindeer pellets and try to find the reindeer.

Dirk disappeared into the forest (to return 4 hours later with the reindeer) and I made coffee for the guests.  After an hour or so the guests were a little bored so I decided to do a firelighting demonstration.  I began with flint and steel and because everything was so wet, it was a bit of a challenge to make fire.  I used Willow from the log store to make a bow-drill set and make fire, I demonstrated the firesteel and talked about how to make fire using the bottom of a drinks can and a condom.

Another method of firelighting I usually demonstrate is with wire-wool and a 9 volt battery, but although I always carry wire-wool in my tinder kit I do not carry a 9v battery.  However, it occurred to me to try a different method using two AA batteries and my knife

Here’s how I did it….

Vodpod videos no longer available.

More soon…..

Guiding in Muddus National Park-1

Last week I was working for my friend Dirk from Solberget Wilderness Retreat as a wilderness guide in Muddus National Park for a rainy 4 days.  We had eight guests with us from Germany and three of Dirk’s reindeer to help carry food and equipment.  We unloaded the reindeer and equipment

Secured pack-saddles to the reindeer

and then the packs containing food and equipment

then we were on our way

We rested after a few kilometres

and the reindeer enjoyed eating reindeer lichen

We walked about 11kms to a cabin where we would be spending our first night

It was a really nice cabin with a woodburning stove 6 beds inside.

There was also a smaller cabin with 4 beds, and an observation tower which towered over the trees

with some fantastic views

The evening was spent reading and playing cards by oil lamp light

There was also a nice view of the moon over the lake briefly before the rain returned again