Arctic Bushcraft Course, Swedish Lapland.

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Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
I recently attended an arctic bushcraft course, in Swedish lapland and thought Id share some of the photos.

I arrived mid February, and It was a 'winter spring' with temperatures ranging from a low of -16 to about -5 most days.
Not ideal, as on last years course, I think they had -29 C.

The course was run by Olav [frostytrails.com] who lives with his wife Kristien, between Vuollerim and Jokkmokk, and Rene, of Extra Bushcraft NL, and attended by seven of us, myself, Ralf, Marteen, Jan and Megan, and Eric.

Immediately on the way to the camp cabin, just Rene and Olav and I, saw a number of Reindeeer, and suddenly, a female moose crossed the road right in front of us, stopping to turn and look at us, as we stopped to stare back, only 20 feet away.
[No cameras to hand unfortunately]

I immeadiately felt at home amongst the group, although I was the only Brit attending.
They would sometimes lapse into their native dutch, but mainly English was spoken. I’ve never spent time with the dutch before and I think we were lucky, as they were a really good group of people.
The first day was an induction day in the well established Cabin, [built by Olav and Kristien]

On day one an instructor, from the Swedish hunting federation, lectured us on Traps, and legalities of trapping in Sweden. Mainly concentrating on our targeted species, ptarmigan, but covering other animals as well.

The rules and regulations, on how to make the snares, are quite strict and we received instructions, and paperwork, demonstrations, and after we set our own snares, we were awarded with a grouse snaring card from the state of Sweden, which is a lifetime permit which you attach to your snare line.

There were also detailed lectures on day one, given on hypothermia, etc.
What to do in case you go through the ice, encounter overflow, [pockets of water under the surface of the ice] either on foot, or when driving the huskies, The different types of ice, places to avoid, and how to cross open lakes as a group etc, etc.

It was a winter spring with temperatures ranging from a low of -16 to about -5 most days, -10 on the nights.

The Quinzes were hard work. As you can see, we had to remove the crust first, [which would have been perfect for making an igloo, which we were going to do but didn’t have the time in the end]
We had to build two quinzees from the soft snow underneath. The first two days involved a lot of digging.

The course revolved around a lake, and we travelled up to 20 km around it, always in the boreal forest, travelling on dog sleds and snow mobiles, and on snowshoes.

We slept in a large moskoselkatan tipi, [which an elderly Sami woman came to visit us in, and tell us stories, and answer our questions, and called ours a mountain tent. We had to prepare the floor of the tent for her arrival, as it was a bit of a mess toward the end of the week.]

We also went deeper into the forest and slept under conifers on our own, making our own shelters, sometimes with just half an hour of daylight spare, so we were put under a bit of pressure on how to prioritise our needs.

The course was well laid out, and it was one task/lesson after another. It was a steep learning curve.

My favorite part was making a classic shelter, under the largest conifer, snapping off lower boughs, for fire wood, from my tree, and the nearest to mine. As soon as I cleared the debris and snow from under the tree I had chosen, I saw that there was a very large root, almost the diameter of the tree itself which I would have to sleep on.
[There are 4/5 large roots that are evenly spread out in a star shape, so if you see one, you can guess where the others are]

I dug a nice fire pit, and sitting area, next to the tree, throwing about 10 inches of soft snow onto my sleeping area, going down to the ground for my fire, covering the exposed root, then tramped it down with my snowshoes. [I slept like a king every night, Fast asleep within five minutes]

The majority of water we gathered was from the lake, using an auger and a pipe. Simply holding one hand over the end, and using suctions, to drop the water into buckets.

Deeper in the forest, late at night and tired, I was finding a lot debris, even scooping snowballs into my billy, and in the end used a sock to filter the water into my Nalgene.

A couple of other members of the group, were out of sight, but we knew we were within 100 feet or so of each other. And had whistles attached to us. [Olav told us later that the Sami woman had said she had seen a wolf recently, not far from where we were sleeping.]

The snow was very deep everywhere you went in the forest. Well over a metre. We made our own snowshoes, processed old mans beard into food learning about the Kcal it afforded.

Rene is a keen and accomplished tracker, and there were lots of tracks to read. There was a lot to learn. I think we all really enjoyed it.

Anyway, we shared our photos via wetransfer, and dropbox, and there were a lot to share, so Ive just picked out few at random, and made the slideshow below.

Hope you enjoy it.

[video=youtube;jX7I5aBPqWk]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jX7I5aBPqWk&feature=youtu.be[/video]

Photos courtesy of Megan [Aurora Borealis] Jan, Erick, Marteen, Me, and Ralf.
 
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Ivanhoe

Forager
Aug 28, 2011
169
26
Sweden
Thanks for posting! :)


I am so happy you manage to keep the fascination for the wilderness!

Reading about your adventure made me happy! :eek:
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
Cracking slideshow, you have some great memories there, thanks for sharing. :)

Cheers Martin :) Definitely caught the bug, and want to go back!

I've just promoted this to the front end as an article, thanks for putting it up Dave

here the link http://www.bushcraftuk.com/forum/content.php?r=681&postid=1622478#comments_1622478

Cheers Tony. Seems to be working ok now, not getting forbidden 403 notice. :) Im afraid Ive messed up the article on the front page, as I had to edit my youtube vid! Sorry. If you want to link the new one though it should work fine. :) Cheers mate.


Thanks for posting! :

I am so happy you manage to keep the fascination for the wilderness!

Reading about your adventure made me happy! :eek:

Thanks Ivanhoe!

Nice pictures from what must have been a very nice experience!

It was thanks. :)
 

Dave

Hill Dweller
Sep 17, 2003
6,019
8
Brigantia
Fixed the video, put it in 720 Hi-def, chopped off some peoples heads, and chose a scandinavian song i like.
 
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