A very windy weekend at the cabin!

By the time we arrived at the cabin on Friday evening, it was already getting dark, so I did not get any work done.

It was a bright sunny morning on Saturday and the temperature reached a high of 12 degrees.  Unfortunately there was a storm in the mountains  and this meant that we had very very strong winds.

I built a new saw-horse

saw-horse (Medium)

and spent the majority of the weekend sawing up and splitting logs.

While sitting and drinking coffee in the veranda I was amazed to see the boat which Emma had built the previous weekend, floating past on the lake.

Emma boat (Medium)

Teres’ father needed help at his cabin lifting up a new wind turbine to generate electricity for his cabin (which wasn’t easy in a such a strong wind).

wind generator (Medium)

He then came to our cabin to help me remove  a damaged brake cable on our trailer.

removing brake cable (Small)

On Saturday evening as it was starting to get dark, 6 Northern Long-tailed Tits appeared feeding in the trees.  Unlike last weekend, this time I managed to get a photograph of one.

northern long-tailed tit (1125 x 849)

On Sunday morning I worked with Teres’ father again.  This time we felled some trees and built a new board-walk to the fresh water spring where we go to collect water.

board-walk 1 (Small)

board-walk 2 (Small)

board-walk 3 (Small)

We are hoping that we will get at least one more weekend at the cabin before more snow comes.

The room is completed

I spent most of last weekend painting all the wood work in the cabin with a white wash (oil and white paint mixed).

kevin warrington painting (Large)

I rained a lot over the weekend but between the rain and painting I had time to build a shelter with Emma, using branches from a Spruce tree that we had felled the previous weekend.

spruce shelter-1 (Small)

spruce shelter-2 (Small)

spruce shelter-3 (Small)

Not much more to report I’m afraid……..apart from the mosquitoes!!  It’s the worst year for many years for mosquitoes.  There are so many and when you are outside doing something you are covered in them!  I wonder how much blood I lose every day?

A long weekend at the cabin

I worked on Friday which was a bank holiday here in Sweden, so I took Monday as a bank holiday instead and had three days at the cabin.  There isn’t that much to write about really because most of the time was spent inside the cabin completing work in the living room.

We have a corner now where we can wash and clean our teeth.

washing corner (Large)

I have made wooden architrave frames around the windows

window frame (Large)

and cut and fixed up architrave around the ceiling and around the top of the panel.  This wasn’t easy because nothing is square in the cabin and I could not just cut 90 degree angels in the corners.

cabin room completed (Large)

inside cabin-2 (Large) inside cabin-1 (Large)

My neighbours came to help me remove some tree roots from in frint of the cabin

removing tree roots (Small)

and we felled a large Spruce tree that had become rotten in the centre.


felling a large spruce (Medium)

Lapland autumn 2009 – 24th September part 1

The morning started with me sanding cups and Teres sewing leather bags

making cups and leather bags (Large)

The temperature was -2 degrees and it had been -7 in the night but at least it was sunny

sunny morning (Small)

After cleaning the cabin (as it would be our last day there) we decided to go walking in the forest, to the peak behind the cabin.

out walking (Small)

The forest is so quiet for birds at this time of year but is very peaceful listening to the wind in the trees.

walking into sun (Small)

and from time to time we could see back across the lake

a view to the lake (Small)

As we walked further we noticed that the berries and leaves had been stripped from the ground flora which is apparently typical of bear feeding.  A little further on I looked to my left and saw a fallen spruce with the root plate raised vertically

bears den in forest (Small)

at the base of the root plate was a large hole in the ground which was a bears den (bjorn ide in Swedish).

Bears ben (888 x 668) (Small)

I got to about 30 metres  from it but could not get a clear photograph and unsure if the occupant was at home I was unwilling to get any closer!!  You can see part of the hole slightly right of centre in the picture below.

Bear den closeup (592 x 445)

You can learn more about the Scandinavian Brown Bear here

Winter in Lapland 2009 – 7

I headed off into the forest again along a scooter trail.  The temperature was -16 degrees.


It was rather cloudy and the sun soon set but there were still some nice views.



The trees are mainly Pine (Tall in Swedish), Spruce (Gran) and Birch (Björk).

Later in the afternoon I decided to stop for a brew.  I headed off the scooter trail into the forest in thigh deep snow, collecting the lower dead branches from the Spruce as I walked.


This seemed like a good location to stop with a stump to rest on/against and somewhere to keep my kit out of the snow.


I needed to dig down into the snow to make my fire directly on the ground, and lacking a shovel I used my Crusader cup

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I used some Birch bark in the Spruce branches and my firesteel to get the fire going.  The resin in the dead branches makes them burn well.


I melted a small amount of snow in my cup and then continued to add snow to the water to melt it.


Once I had a cup full of water I put the cup lid on and waited for the water to boil.


While sitting enjoying a hot cup of chocolate I had the idea to carry my Crusader cup in my soft leather possibles pouch but unfortunately it wouldn’t quite fit in so I decided to make a larger pouch once I got back to England…but more about that soon!

As I headed back it was almost dark and so peaceful.


Lean-to shelter

There are many adaptations for the lean-to shelter, depending on the circumstances and materials available.

In this case I used a horizontal ridge pole supported by two trees at either end with dead leaned against it and a piece of parachute material secured over to wick away any rain. The bed is made of spruce boughs.

Here we used Spruce boughs as thatching for the roof and this created a very effective waterproof cover. The bed is again made of Spruce boughs. The two logs across the front of the shelter prevent the occupant rolling into the fire when sleeping.

Here we are using leaf litter as covering for the roof, held in place with a second layer of dead wood.

The most effective type of fire-lay for this shelter (particularly in cold weather) is the long log fire.

With this lean-to which I used on a survival course in Canada, I have incorporated a raised bed, lined with Spruce boughs. In this case I was sleeping in this shelter at -22 degrees, without a sleeping bag.

Stripping Spruce roots

Today I’ve been experimenting with different methods of removing the outer sheath of Spruce roots. By far the most affective and simplest method was to find a reasonably strong branch and placing the Spruce root over the base of the branch, pull the root from side to side while applying downward pressure. It is incredibly quick and easy.