My little Norway Trip, the highs and woe's. Pic heavy

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kard133

Full Member
Mar 20, 2010
616
28
Bristol
My little tale begins in early March, I was feeling down, stressed and that my life was going nowhere. and after thinking about it, wrangled some time of work and decided to go for it, a trip to the Nordmarka. I was intending to visit Ivan and the gang for his and Andy's birthday bash, but the time I could take and the fact I wanted to get as far away from my problems as possible curtailed that plan, and for that I apologise to those who were looking forward to me clanking into Camp with a load of sharps and kit for them to play with.
I have followed Twodogs, MartinK9 and Muddy Boots posts, and helpful advice Skaulkraft and others posted in numerous threads and felt reasonably prepared for such a trip, with a few purchases which will be included in my kit breakdown at the end of this tale.

I booked my flights on Norwegian Air Shuttle, researched the trains and downloaded several useful apps on my android phone, one of the most useful being the Norgeskart app, whiche stored the maps on my phone. This, with the built in GPS on my phone gave me a reliable backup to my map and compass, and the trail markings on the trees, which were a case of follow the Blue banded tree road.
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There were red bands on some trees, which based on the trails along that path I surmised as being ski trails.

The other apps were for for the trains and Norwegian air shuttle, not really useful except for checking times and travel details.

Anyway, to the trip.

I hitched a lift to Gatwick in the early hours of Monday morning with a friend, after staying the night at their house, the soft toys in the following picture are his wife's, kept in the spare room where I did my final packing.
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The big orange thing is a cover I made for my Vulcan and sleeping mats to stop the straps catching at the airport. This worked well, even though it is a thin nylon, with two webbing grab handles and a paracord closure. I chose orange for high visibility on the carousal and for use as a signal in an emergency. The other bag is my carry on, a Karrimor that folded up nicely into a side pocket when I arrived with a small weight penalty of around 500g. This is important, as it gives you some idea of the first problem I built into my trip, to much weight spent on unnecessary equipment. I ended up carrying 26 Kilo's on my back, not in itself to arduous but coupled with the conditions I found myself in something that contributed greatly to the low morale that became my undoing.

After an uneventful trip through security, declaring my lighter (an Imco fluid lighter, backup for my ferrorod) I had a pleasant flight out with some spectacular views from the aircraft window.
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After landing I negotiated Gardermoen Airport, also known as Oslo lufthavn AS, and made my way to the automated ticked machines for the train into Oslo, I took the regular train rather than the airport express, with a cost of 190Nok return. I then stumbled around until I found the T-Bane, their mass transit Metro, and took the number six out to Sognsvann, the sun was shining and I was in high spirits at this point, just a little thirsty as I had finished the bottle of water I purchased at Gatwick before boarding the train.

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I arrived at the Sognsvann stop and began walking, marvelling at the snow, and thinking my two and three quarter year old nephew would have loved it. This scene should have set warning bells off in my head, what would the conditions be like in less travelled areas?

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Look familiar?
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After a few minutes walk I arrived at the lake, this was the first time I had seen in person a completely frozen over lake, and the sight was inspiring, and made me realise that my plan A for gathering water was looking less likely. I had intended to chip away ice until I got to liquid, but after seeing a foot of snow on top of the ice, and that people were skiing across it I was weary of digging down (If I had thought to bring a snow shovel, although I could use my mess tin in a pinch) and compromising the integrity of the ice causing some poor Norwegian to get a soaking or worse.
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After a few minutes walk, thirst beginning to pray on my mind, I spotted a stream, which I thought would give me easier access to water without risking somebody stepping through the hole.

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After chipping at it with my Mora for a minute or so, I discovered how thick this ice was, and resorted to using my GB wildlife hatchet to carving out a depression, which rapidly filled from below. I used a cup to fill my bottle. I risked a few gulps, refilled it then popped in a chlorine dioxide tablet and put a self heating hand-warmer in the bottle cover, and left it to work.
While it was still light I gathered some deadwood, there was an old shelter someone had set up beneath a tree, It had collapsed and was obviously abandoned so I scavenged the dry wood and twine and set up my honey stove. After breaking the wood down, setting up a platform on top of the snow for the stove and filling my mess tin from the stream, I used the jute and some cotton wool to get a small fire going and cooked some chorizo and mash.

I then encountered the first bit of miss-planning regarding my shelter arrangements. I had packed my Luxe Mini Peak II, not anticipating that the snow would be three feet deep and powdery. With no snow shovel I would have expended a lot of energy digging or compacting the snow enough to set up the centre pole, let alone burying objects with the guy lines attached, and at the time I didn't see an alternative except for stringing my poncho between the trees. Since the skies were clear I settled for laying out my original space blanket with my two foam mats on top ( I sleep very cold, in my garden with temps of one centigrade my back felt cold on a downmat 7 UL, which after an encounter with a Staffie Pup I considered to fragile for field use. I thought it was snowing when he burst it after jumping on me to say hello. I captured as much of the expelled down as possible and re-stuffed it and patched it with shoe glue) and put my Carinthia defence 4 inside my army bivvi bag. Here I found the second flaw in my plan, if I sat down the snow compressed, making it awkward to get into the bag without ending up folded in half. The third flaw was the powdery snow getting everywhere.

With night setting in I settled down for the night.
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More to follow..
 

Andy BB

Full Member
Apr 19, 2010
3,290
0
Hampshire
Nice one - look forward to the rest!

So when you reached the lake, I'm guessing you turned right? (As if you were going anti-clockwise around it?)
 

kard133

Full Member
Mar 20, 2010
616
28
Bristol
Nice one - look forward to the rest!

So when you reached the lake, I'm guessing you turned right? (As if you were going anti-clockwise around it?)

Yes, anti-clockwise and trying to avoid the joggers while I gawked at the view :)
 

Andy BB

Full Member
Apr 19, 2010
3,290
0
Hampshire
Yes, anti-clockwise and trying to avoid the joggers while I gawked at the view :)


Great - looking forward to more details of where you pitched camp! I was originally going to go that route when I first planned a trip to the Nordmarka, but was persuaded that going to the lake above Songsvann was a better idea. It was certainly more tiring!
 

Ivan...

Ex member
Jul 28, 2011
1,771
0
Dartmoor
Hi Darren, looks fab mate, hope you are in a better space, i too am looking forward to the rest of the report and pics.

I have a few smaller meets planned over the next two months, so i will pm you dates etc,and hopefully it wont be too long before we are sat around a camp fire drooling over your sharps.

Atb.

Ivan...
 

kard133

Full Member
Mar 20, 2010
616
28
Bristol
Part Two:

After a quiet but cold night, as the sun crept over the horizon I broke camp and began walking north towards where the map said the path to Lille Aklungen and beyond lay,
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As I ambled along I decided to quickly test how visible my Mora Bushcraft Orange would be if I dropped it:

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Any Clues?

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As a side note, I can say this knife is a beast, 3.2mm thick stainless blade, razor sharp, strops easily and really comfy to hold, as well as being difficult to miss and non tactical, so reasonably sheeple friendly.
After reaching the the most northern point of the lake, just past the public toilets, I eventually spotted the path. Here was where my planning went further awry, I had not anticipated the snow being this deep, and walking on the compacted snow requiring so much attention. Stepping to either the left or right meant sinking up to my knee, from here on out, the trekking pole I had brought along was invaluable beyond its original dual role of also being my tent pole. The pole came from Wilkinsons and extends to 145cm, and while cheap is quite good quality if you looking for one.

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The trail was mostly uphill, with some stunning views for this city boy. Some parts of the trail were difficult to negotiate with a heavy pack, steep inclines of powdery snow crushed smooth by foot traffic, I slipped twice before I got into the rhythm of identifying the most stable footholds and using the pole.

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Shortly, with some swearing, gritting of teeth and readjusting the pack straps, I arrived at Lille Aklungen.

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Here, as at Sognsvann, the ice was really thick and snow covered, and I again cursed my foresight in not bringing a lightweight collapsible shovel. As my water supply was down to under half a litre, I decided on plan b, melting snow. All the snow I could see was covered in pine needles, which as far as I am aware, were non toxic, but I still walked out onto the lake to gather the cleanest snow I could, bundling it into my shemagh for carrying. Firing up the honey stove I poured a little of my remaining water into my mess tin and began melting small chunks.

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There was plenty of downed pine and birch in the area, a few minutes work with the Bahco and the battoning with the mora, in addition to the twigs, supplied me with plenty of fuel. To start it I used birch bark which was peeling off the trees along the way, a little grinding in hand and it readily took a spark.

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I used my snood as an impromptu filter to prevent the few pine needles present in the water getting into my bottles, all water was brought to a rolling boil for a few minutes.

View back along the lake:

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After I had filled the bottles, a time consuming task as you need a lot of snow for a small amount of water, I set of towards Store Aklugen.

To be continued...
 

sycamour

Forager
Dec 10, 2012
117
0
south east
Great report with some pictures of stunning scenery, hope the trip had the necessary outcome for you,
now waiting for the next installment.
 

Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
you have us all in suspense for the next installment :)

How well did the honey stove perform? I use mine a lot but always take a wee trangia meths burner to slot in just incase i have trouble with finding dry wood

and any idea what sort of temperatures you had?
 

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