Unwelcomed visitors

Last Thursday (30th October) I drove to the cabin to drop off the trailer.  When I got out of my car I noticed part of the door frame laying on the  veranda floor.

broken door-1

On closer inspection I saw that my cabin had been broken in to!!

They had gone through all the draws


and containers


They found the keys to all the doors, but destroyed all the doors and locks anyway.

broken door-4

There were 5 other cabins that were also broken in to, including Teres’ parent cabin where they also broke 2 windows.

They took a variety of tools and cans of petrol and diesel + my neighbours grandson’s snowmobile!

We spent the weekend at the cabin, but instead of a relaxing, fun weekend; I spent the weekend cleaning and repairing doors.

door repaired door repaired-2

On Saturday it snowed heavily, but we got out ok with the cars on Sunday.

snowfall lapland


Easter at the cabin

Last weekend we were at the cabin for four days.

We spent most of the time fishing

ice fishing at cabin

and enjoying the sun

mettajavi 2013

There was also a lot of coffee cooked and sausage grilled over the fire

family around fire (Medium)

I also used the Swedish Fire Torch to cook coffee

swedish fire torch

I caught 8 large Perch


Sebastian and myself also spent time driving snowmobiles with his grandfather and our neighbours

snowmobiles (Large)

on top of a hill (Large)

Testing a new ice fishing rod/reel

Today I have been out ice fishing (surprise surprise!).  I wasn’t just using my reindeer horn ice fishing rod, I was also testing a new ice fishing reel/rod that I have made using an old snuff container, which I call “The pocket fishing kit” (will be writing a tutorial to make this next time).

pocket fishing kit

The snuff container has a winder on the back to reel in or out the fishing line.

snuff container fishing rod

But did I catch anything……….?

Of course I did!!  I caught a nice Arctic Char with it and a Rainbow Trout and Arctic Char with my Reindeer horn rod.

arctic char

To cook coffee on the lake, I made a Swedish Fire Torch using four pieces of Birch.

swedish fire torch naturallore

The fire burns between the four pieces and your cooking pot is placed on top.

swedish fire torch kevin warrington

Once you have finished cooking, separate the four pieces and lay them down to stop the fire burning, and when you want to cook again, stand them up and start the fire again.

stopping fire torch burning

A snowmobile can’t swim!!

I had planned to take the family ice-fishing today, and because we have had a lot of snow recently I decided to drive the snowmobile to the lake yesterday afternoon to create a path to drive on.  Emma wanted to come with me so we headed out at about 3pm.

It was 10kms to the lake and it wasn’t so difficult driving conditions as I had anticipated.  When we arrived at the lake, I left Emma at the side of the lake and decided to drive around the lake to press down the snow.  As I drove out onto the lake it became obvious that there was quite a bit of water laying between the snow and ice.  As I tried to turn the snowmobile around it broke through the ice!!

The skis at the front of the machine were still on snow and ice, but the track that drives the machine was in a half metre of water.  I do not have any winter waterproof boots, only insulated leather boots, so when I climbed from the snowmobile into a half metre of water, my feet got very wet.

Fortunately there was double ice on the lake and the snowmobile had only broken through the top layer, but when I tried to drive the machine out, it would no move!

I walked through freezing water and up to where I had left Emma in the forest (it was now starting to get dark).   I explained what had happened and was sure she would start to cry (she is 6 years old), but instead she said “Ok, I will dig a hole in the snow and collect wood so we can make fire”.  I was so amazed and pleased with her response.

I walked back to the snowmobile and called a friend to ask advice on how to get the machine out.  He said that I would need to collect a lot of branches to put under the front of the snowmobile to drive on and then lift the back of the snowmobile up onto the ice (this I could not do).  I then called another friend and asked if he could come out and collect Emma because I was worried that she would be scared.

I returned to the forest to collect branches and help Emma make fire.   She had dug down into the snow with her hands and prepared the fire sight.    It did not take long to get a fire going.

fire in the forest

I told Emma that someone was coming to collect her, but she said she was not scared or worried, because she felt safe with me in the forest and was sure I would get the snowmobile out of the lake.

I left Emma to keep the fire going and returned to the lake with the branches.  I started the snowmobile and found that I could drive it backwards a little.  Then I laid down the branches and standing at the side of the snowmobile I tried to drive it forward.  The machine moved about a metre and then stopped because of snow collecting at the front of the machine.  I put on my snowshoes and pressed down a path in the snow where I could drive the snowmobile.  I  removed the snowshoes (by now my feet were freezing cold) reversed the snowmobile again and then drove it forwards.  It started to move and the back rose up out of the water and as I walked at the side of the machine it continued to move.  Just as my friend arrived I jumped onto the snowmobile and drove it onto the edge of the lake (I was so embarrassed that he had driven so far for nothing!!).

I picked up Emma and we drove home.  It was 6pm when we arrived home.

Due to the conditions on the lake, my family did not want to fish today, so I went there with my neighbour again.

ice fishing kevin warrington

We also made fire and cooked reindeer meat and coffee.

arctic lunch

I caught one Arctic Char and Folke caught three.  We left the snowmobiles at the edge of the lake!!

P1010393 (Medium)

Busy weekend

The temperature was -22 on Saturday, but it was a lovely clear blue sky, so I decided to head out on the snowmobile.

snowmobile nattavaara

In the forest and along the rivers edge the sun was shining on the tops of the trees

rane alven nattavaara winter

On the marshes the sun was shining brightly!

winter marshes nattavaara

On Sunday it was cloudy, but only -6 degrees, so we decided to go ice fishing.

kevin warrington snowmobile

It was also a chance for Emma to try out the new kelka I am building, so that she can come with us when we go out on the snowmobile

kelka naturallore

It’s not yet completed because I do not have enough money the buy all the materials and so the back section in made from scrap pieces of wood.

skoter och kelka

The inside is lined with reindeer skins so that it will be warm inside.  I will write more about it once completed.

reindeer skin

This was also a chance for me to try out my homemade ice fishing rod

kevin warrington ice fishing

Emma also fished and Teres made fire

emma fishing

We cooked coffee and grilled cheese sandwiches

coffee and grilled cheese

I learnt a valuable lesson while fishing……I actually caught a nice sized Arctic Char, but I picked it up to remove the hook I dropped it and watched helplessly as it disappeared back down the ice hole!!!!  The lesson is to move the fish away from the ice hole before doing anything with it!!!

Christmas trees

Myself and a neighbour have been out with snowmobiles in the forest looking for  a couple of Christmas trees.

We have been having some very strange weather here for over a week now.  The temperature has been above freezing for over a week now and it has been raining.  This makes it a little more difficult to drive the snowmobile because it sinks in the snow, we managed to get around without getting stuck.  We found two nice trees on land that we own.

We saw a group of Reindeer that seemed to be on their way south to the Arctic Circle!!!!

Christmas tree

I had my first chance to get out and about on the snow mobile on Friday, driving about 50kms in total.

Here’s a picture I took at midday and shows quite well that the sun is now only just appearing over the horizon (but at 7:30am we have blue sky)

Knowing that I would be cooking coffee later in the day I collected firelighting material in advance.  The temperature was only -13 so this Old Mans Beard lichen was a little damp.

I put damp firelighting material in my shirt for at least one and a half hours and my body heat helps to dry it, so when I was ready to make fire the material was dry

One of my tasks while out was  to find a Christmas tree (Jul gran in Swedish) and after a lot of searching I found a nice shaped tree

The tree looked really good once Teres had decorated it


Roe Deer!!!

Emma was keen to see the Reindeer, so we set off to look for them, using her “spark”

Many people use these here.  They have two thin metal runners and either a chair or basket on the front.  Emma sits in the chair and I stand in the back and move the spark along the ice by pushing with my foot on the ground.  You can move very quickly, but of course it doesn’t work in deep snow.

It was not long before we spotted the first Reindeer

As we sat quietly and watched the herd gradually moved closer and closer until they eventually crossed in front of us.

and more

We also had a very unexpected find while we were out……

Roe deer tracks!!

Emma wanted to travel further into the forest to look for animals so we headed off on the snowmobile.


Easter weekend – part 1

We spent the weekend at the small settlement of Sammakko (meaning frog in Finnish) with Jenny, Hasse

and the children where we hired two small cabins for the weekend.

On Saturday we were joined by many other people who had come to watch or participate in the annual snow scooter drag racing competition.

The competitors have to race two at a time from a standing start along a distance of about 50 metres.

The winner goes through to the next round until finally 1st, 2nd and third place winners are achieved.  Each competitor pays 300 Swedish Krones to enter and this is the prize fund.

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In the evening myself and Hasse went out with the snow scooter for a couple of hours at dusk, listening for owls in the forest.  Hasse heard an Eagle Owl call briefly but I heard nothing.

Out for a drive and a walk

Enjoying my new freedom to be able to get out and about in my car, I decided to drive out to an area of forest to see what I could find and hopefully film and photograph Reindeer.

I have now purchased two sets of military ski’s from my friend Toby but until my ribs are better I cannot learn to ski, so for now I have to use scooter trails (they have compacted the snow) to get about.

although if you step to far to the left or right you drop down to the top of your thigh or even higher

I found numerous tracks of a large canine which were too large for fox but did not seem quite large enough for an adult Wolf at least, but I can see no reason for a large dog to be traveling around so much in the forest on its own.

There was also a pair of Siberian Jays in the trees from time to time

I never managed to find any Reindeer but typically as I drove home, two ran alongside my car!!