Finnish Bushcraft

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
Here are the specifications for two different type of purilaat as drawn by Wehrmacht from Finnish originals. They should be made out either of birch or spruce wood.4

 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
Everytime I think I have found every little piece of information or a clue to traditional Finnish bushcrafting, I will find something new and interesting. Similar to pemmican, Finnish hunters carried with them only flours and fat in addition to what they could catch during their travels. This was proven by Väinö Voionmaa in his 1947 book Hämäläinen eräkausi.

Did you know that Finnish word for wilderness, erämaa, is constituted of words erä (part, portion) and maa (ground, land) meaning that each family had their own area to hunt and fish. Male members of the family carried their own food supplies when they left for hunt. Fat and flours stay good for some time and you can prepare a number of food from them in addition to foodstuff collected the nature: mämmi, talkkuna, porridge etc. The oldest mämmi receipe I have seen (from year 1700) requires a birch bark container which is again an item you can make yourself at the forest with ease.

Interesting is that there were still few people living during the time of aluminium and iron containers who could make a birch container tight enough to retain and boil water. I am afraid my skills in building bark containers are not that good yet!
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
If you're tired of towing an ahkio, try kelkka! This is one of those projects that I have kept dreaming for a long time. Here is a translated German description of how to make one.

d. Construction of Hand Sled

The light hand sled (Model Army Training School for Mountain Warfare) (Modell Heereshochgebirgsschule) has proved to be very useful on the Eastern Front in snow of medium depth. (See figs. 80 and 81). It can be drawn by men, dogs, or horses and is made of old skis and other easily procurable material. No metal parts are used at the joints. The sled must be flexible and mobile, and the front part should be more lightly loaded than the rear. It has a weight of 9 to 11 pounds and can be drawn by one or more men, or by dogs. It can be used in trackless terrain. When drawn by skiers, the weight of the cargo should not be more than 80 kilograms (176 pounds); when drawn by dogs, not more than the total weight of the dogs.

A double shaft, which also serves as a brake, is used to tow single or tandem sleds. A towrope (preferably with a breast or waist belt) is used for sleds drawn by one or more soldiers or by dogs. Braking ropes are used in hilly terrain. The materials necessary for construction are one pair of skis without bindings, or two old unusable skis, and hardwood for the frame. For the lengthwise slats in the middle, softwood will do. As a substitute for hardwood, dried branches (birch or ash) can be used, but stability and carrying capacity will be reduced. Other materials are four leather straps, about 10 inches long; rings or eyelets with screws for fastening the straps and to the runners; two rings for the towing device, and two rings each for tandem and braking ropes; two poles (for a tandem); four poles, 6 feet 6 inches to 7 feet long, for shafts; one barrel hoop (two hoops for a tandem), 24 inches in diameter; ropes for towing and braking. The contruction time required is 1½ hours for a carpenter and one assistant.

A similar sled used in Siberia is shown in figure 82. This sled is well adapted for towing by skiers, and may be used for transporting the wounded. The ski-shaped runners are 4 to 5 meters (13 to 16 feet) long. The width of the track should be about the same as that made by a skier (in no case more than 24 inches). The height of the sled is 28 inches; the height from the runners to the carrying board, 12 inches. The carrying board is flexibly fastened to the upper rails of the frame with ropes or cords.​
Fig. 80


Fig. 81


Fig. 82
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
Some important days to follow if you happened to live in Finland during the old days; from Kustaa Vilkuna's book Vuotuinen ajantieto.

- The latter part of January: The best time to fell down trees for bows, firewood etc.
- The first part of March: The best time to fell down birches for skis.
- 14 April: Summer starts. Mending of fur clothing and storing them for winter.
- 1 May: Construction and repair of bird nests used for egg collecting.

- 3 May: Beginning of black grouse season.
- 29 June: The best time for removing birch bark from the trees.
- 24 August: Beginning of the game bird season.
- 29 September: The end of summer. Fur clothing season starts.

- 14 October: The beginning of the winter
- 21 October: Beginning of red squirrel season.
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
Finns are proud to present you the Leather™, Wood™, Steel™ and Linen™! The latest technological advances using the state of the art machinery and minds of the century have allowed us the develop methods to survive in the harsh enviroment of the taiga. Available in store near you soon. Using this technology might develop symptomes, including or not including, such as mosquito rash, cabin fever and fanatical intrest on Finnish culture.





 
Last edited:

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
This is a Finnish Defence Forces portable "stove" that I think was meant to be hanged from a goahti (as in the photograph). According to tests carried out in 1928, it could warm up a tent from outside temperature of -20C to +5C in around an hour. The recommended fuel is dry birch logs. The numbers: Diameter of the grill: 50 cm. Height of the grill (a): 8 cm. Length of the supporting chains: 33 cm. Diameter of the chain attachment circle: 40 cm. Length of the uppermost chains: 23 cm. Weight: 5½ kg.
 
Last edited:

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
Some 10th century bowls from Veliky Novgorod dig site in Russia. The area was mostly inhabited by Finnic people and there are many birch-bark and wooden items that I would say were made by Finnic people living in the city. Illustrations are courtesy of book "Wooden Artefacts from Medieval Novgorod" by B.A. Kolchin.

 

Mastino

Settler
Mar 8, 2006
651
1
57
Netherlands
Just to get an impression what was it like to earn the living in Finland before the Wars I have gathered here some photographs from different fields.



2. A Karelian man from Aunus during 1890s.

Wait a second... isn't this Chuck Norris in disguise?

Thank you for this very informative and interesting post!
 

Gcckoka

Settler
Nov 13, 2015
810
87
Georgia
My cousin is going in Finland for one week , can you guys tell what can I tell him to bring to me ? (Something bushcrafty) maybe clothing , cookware , maybe even a knife if transporting it on a plane won't be a problem and etc.
 

Martti

Full Member
Mar 12, 2011
915
13
Finland
My cousin is going in Finland for one week , can you guys tell what can I tell him to bring to me?
Where to? Something easy to transport that comes to my mind:

- Kuksa made out of a birch burl.
- Puukko either with curly birch or bark handle or perhaps an antique axe head, if you like tools.
- Finnish Defence Forces' surplus clothing, if he is around larger cities.
 

Gcckoka

Settler
Nov 13, 2015
810
87
Georgia
Where to? Something easy to transport that comes to my mind:

- Kuksa made out of a birch burl.
- Puukko either with curly birch or bark handle or perhaps an antique axe head, if you like tools.
- Finnish Defence Forces' surplus clothing, if he is around larger cities.
Will there be any problems transporting a knife in an airplane ?