Korpijaakko

– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

Wood smoke and breeze under a tarp

Last week I returned from the autumn hike of the Wilderness Guide course that I’m participating. We did a six-day hike in the Muotkatunturit wilderness area in Lapland North-West from the village of Inari. Most of the Muotkatunturit area is nice and friendly with easy-going terrain, open fjell areas followed with dwarf birch forests and sheltering valleys growing old pine woods. Most of the water crossing in the area easy except for some big lakes.

For some of the guide students this was their first time in Lapland and the longest hike they had done so the daily distances were kept relatively short while planning the hike. In addition we needed to have some extra time for “daily guide” duties and teaching tasks as this was not only a hike but also a learning occasion. I would have wanted to cover more distance to get a good overview of the area as this was my first time in Muotkatunturit. On the other hand, I had a very pesky flu on the first three days of the trip and easily got out of breath, so maybe it wouldn’t have been that good idea to do long days. But the hike was very enjoyable none the less.

Wood smoke, tarps, ptarmigans and things

The trip started early in Wednesday morning with a longish drive towards the North. (Why is Lapland so far away?) We spent the first night up North in nice cottages at the Youth & Holiday centre Vasatokka. The evening was spent doing some last-minute gear decision with the help of a scale that H, one of the students on the lightweight side, had brought with him.

Views from the Vasatokka.

The rucksack was a bit on the heavy side heavy. Do I really need rain pants? Or do I really need two knee braces? This lead me accidentally leaving both of my knee braces at the car but luckily I didn’t encounter any serious knee problems on the trip.

It was nice to notice that several of us had relatively light backpacks despite some heavyish group gear. My Pinnacle was around 15,5 kg, over 6kg of this being food. In addition I had 2 kg of camera gear on my waist and about 2 kg of worn clothing. H’s pack was even lighter and he had everything crammed into an old Golite Breeze. T’s rucksack was a bit heavier – but it was pretty good taking into account that the pack itself was over 3kg weighting bomb-proof military pack with only 40 liter capacity! And some of the girls had also quite light rucksacks. The infection is spreading! 🙂

The group at Muotkanruoktu and still smiling. Notice the crop of the daily leader. 😉

The hike itself started in Thursday morning from Muotkanruoktu were we left the cars. It was cloudy and chilly, as it would be for most of the trip. The thermometer said +3C and we had no reason to disagree. For most of the first day we followed a river-side trail to a small cottage called Lahtisen kämppä. On the way we had an “educational” swamp crossing but we managed to cross with dry feet. (Well, toes of my right foot got a bit wet in my trail runners.)

One of the very few swamps we had to cross. And all of them were relatively dry.

This small cottage was the last human built thing we saw for days (excluding some old fire places). The wilderness was really a wild place. (In the pic T is placing a 3kg weight disc in S's rucksack!)

From the hut we had only a short stretch of off trail walking to our first camp at Ylempi Harrijärvi. The camp was very nice in the setting sun but also windy and chilly. Afterwards it’s easy to say that there would have been a lot better camp side at the shore of Alempi Harrijärvi: more sheltered, more level spots for sleeping, more pine for fires.

Tarps being pitched at the first camp.

I was sharing food with my mate S and for a dinner we had really nice moose fry with instant potato smash. We prepared the meal on open fire as we had fires every day in every camp – and occasionally on lunch breaks too. I spent the night in my Golite ShangriLa3 with S. I had a good night in the warmth of a borrowed sleeping bag (Thanks Harri!). S managed to swivel his way out from the shelter and was awaken by the rain drops hitting his face…

The first morning in the wild started with an overcast, a slight breeze and chilly weather. And of course included bacon and scrambled eggs. We took a high route via the summit of Peltoaivi fjell. The views from the top were very nice but it was even better to see some Rock Ptarmigans on the way down. They were not too eager to fly away but after I got too close with the camera, I got the shot that I wanted.

The first morning in the wild.

S admiring the views from the top of Peltoaivi fjell.

Rock Ptarmigans fleeing as I'm approaching them with a camera. (Click for a bigger picture.)

We had a nice and long lunch break at the shelter of some dwarf birches on the lower slopes while making our way to the shore of lake Peltojärvi. On this lunch break we introduced the so-called “Course Spoon” with S, T and H. This meant a group of people spooning up for a nap or just for the comfort of the extra warmth provided. The spontaneous Course Spoon proved to be a popular concept later on the trip. Warmth is comfort so why waste it? 😉

Spooning under an Erätoveri tarp on the third day. Really cozy and comfy. Highly recommended!

After the lunch I did some extra walking with H back to the lunch spot to retrieve his forgotten monocular. While we were enjoying the walk and some more Ptarmigans on the way others had pitched the camp near the shore of Peltojärvi. S had decided to sleep under an Erätoveri tarp with some other guys so I decided to sleep under H’s old Golite tarp (probably Cave 2, original Ray Jardine desing) which proved to be a good idea. I’m a convert now: Tarping is great! And in certain conditions it will be my first choise for a shelter. The camp lacked a good supply of fire wood but we managed to put up a small camp fire for the evening.

The third day started once again with an overcast, a little bit of wind and relatively cool temperature but no bacon and eggs this time. After the morning meeting by the fire we hiked over Oravamorosto fjell and saw a largish herd of reindeers in the way and enjoyed the beautiful scenery of the valley were the Alempi Honkavuoma river runs.

Reindeers. We saw quite many of them but rarely from a close distance.

S adopting the local ways.

There was also plenty of lemmings out there.

In the afternoon we had a short shower of real rain instead of the usual misty rain. The light was beautiful as the rain passed by. As we were going to spent the following two nights in the same spot, we spent some time looking for a good place for the camp around Honkavuoman latvajärvi lake. After an hour of scouting we found a really nice sheltered area with good spots to pitch shelters, plenty of firewood and running water nearby. The smoke smelled like tar as we burned some old high resin pine wood in the camp fire. And as we had a good fire going, it was good time to make some pancakes on the fire. I spent the night again under the simple silnylon tarp which was again great.

This picture doesn't do justice for the magnificent light but it's the best I could do...

Insanely good fire wood!

Rain isn't a problem when you are sheltered and have a fire going.

The next day was to be different. We had first planned to do a 27 kilometer day hike to the Kuarvikozza fjell and back with a small group while others would have stayed in the camp doing their own things. We woke up at 0600 am to see clouds hanging on the slopes meaning poor visibility. There was not much enthusiasm for a long push. I think that most of us just wanted to crawl back into the warmth of our sleeping bags and after a unanimous decision we did exactly that. On the morning meeting we rearranged the day a bit: For first half of the day H teached us some very interesting techniques and skills useful for nature observation and hunting and on the latter half of the day we did a short trip to nearby fjell Bealdoaivvas and to a canyon called Luolikkokuru.

Views from the slopes of Beldoaivvas.

You don't even want to know. 😉

After dinner me and two other guys decided that we would go for a swim into the nice little lake near the camp. The water was seriously cold but the swim was good. I had borrowed S’s Crocs for swimming shoes but despite that, got a small cut to my right heel as some sharp rocks rolled under my foot. The bad thing was that I didn’t notice this because I had lost all sensation from my feet in the cold water. In the evening I walked several hours without shoes or socks in the camp and only noticed the wound in the next morning while putting on my shoes. Luckily, I didn’t get any nasty infections, only a sore heel for the next few days.

Nice place for a swim.

In the evening  we had once again fire going on and when it came dark, the clouds moved aside revealing the starry skies! I held a short lecture about the Solar system and things you could see on the night sky but when people started to fall asleep while lying on their sleeping pads, it was time to call it a day.

An evening gathering by the fire.

As the weather seemed good, I decided to sleep under the stars near the fire. This felt like a great idea as nothing is better than falling asleep under the Milky way with a faint scent of tarry smoke in the air. Some hours later it proved to be a bad idea as I was woken by a shoe thrown at me! S was sleeping under an Erätoveri tarp next to the fire and wanted to tell me that it was raining and my sleeping bag was getting all wet. I was sleeping so well that I hadn’t even noticed it. It was time to pack up things and head to the shelter of the tarp. The outer of the sleeping bag was a bit moist but it dried nicely during the rest of the night.

On the fourth morning it was time to leave the “basecamp” behind and start the hike towards the road and civilization. We had a nice walk via a fjell top and a nice little rocky canyon and had an excellent sunny weather for the lunch break!

S looking for extra food supply in the little rocky canyon.

Excellent weather for a lunch break! Notice the sleeping bags airing out.

We found a great spot for the last camp in a pine growing forest, next to a river with good supply of fire wood. For the evening program we had some water crossing training and some demonstrations about different types of fires including the rakovalkea (two big logs on top of each other that theoretically should burn through the whole night). Lots of hot drinks, some pancakes, fires and tarping with good company. Is there anything better?

H demonstrating a safe way to cross a stream.

A rakovalkea fire in the last camp.

All good things come to an end. After the last morning’s tea and Poptarts it was time to head back to the troubled world of mundane concerns. No more sheer simplicity and joys of the wilderness. I was acting as a daily guide with T and we opted to take another high route instead of walking through swamps and old-grown forests to get one last glimpse of the area we had to leave behind. The walk was easy and we had only few short breakes before arriving back to Muotkanruoktu.

The world of mundane concerns somewhere in the distant horizon.

It was a good hike but felt like it ended all too quickly: There would have been so much more to see and experience. I have to go back when I have the time. There are so many views to be seen from so many hill tops, so many sheltered valleys to walk, great spots to camp in and small lakes to swim in. I highly recommend the Muotkatunturit area for those who enjoy wild but relatively friendly places without much human made trails or structures.

The Grub

I’ve no picture of the food I was carrying, but I was carrying quite a lot of it: over 6 kilo for 5½ days. But the food worked really well and I really liked it. For breakfast I had some rye bread & cheese, Poptarts, about one liter of tea and a fresh apple. I really like an apple for a breakfast but it’s even better to see the expressions of others while eating fresh food out there. 😉 And speaking of fresh food, for the first morning me and S had bacon and scrambled eggs. I had less snacks than I’d usually carry: only two chocolate bars (á 50g) (for each day!), some honey roasted peanuts (my new favourite) and home-made moose jerky. I could have eaten more snacks but didn’t really need more. For lunch I had a Flapjack or a protein bar and a bit of salami. And as the lunch breaks were long (from hour to hour and half) we also made some tea or coffee and often had some bread with the salami.

S pondering what to have for lunch.

For dinners we had either pasta with some smoked reindeer meat or rice with home-dried kebab, except for the first evening when we had the moose fry with smashed potatoes. The portions were of decent size (around 150-200g of dry ingredients per person) but I could have easily eaten more. In addition we had some dessert for every evening ranging from Finnish leipäjuusto (certain sort of cheese often fried in butter) to chocolate chip cookies. And of course some cowboy coffee! Despite being a lot heavier than instant coffee, real coffee is real coffee after all. We ran out of coffee on the last evening and had to borrow some for the last morning but other than that, we had adequate food supplies. When we finished the hike I had one tea bag, one sugar cube, some honey, some butter and the last day’s lunch in my bag so I consider the amount of food I had to be spot on. I knew I would loose some weight on the trip and it seems that I lost around one kilo of body weight which isn’t a problem for me, actually quite the opposite.

The Gear

All the stuff I had with me, including some extra I left at the car. I swapped the shared cooking kit to the shared shelter to make everything fit nicely.

For gear I had only tried and true stuff with me. I would have liked to have some new stuff for test but without a regular income (or incomes at all) I have to really think where to spent my money. I had my Pinncale (Which needs a little modifications to become even better.) lined with heavy but durable Ortlieb PS17 drysack, full-length Ridgerest as a virtual frame and for sleeping. As I don’t have a decent 3-season sleeping bag or quilt at the moment I borrowed a Marmot Sawtooth from a friend. I have owned a similar bag so I knew it would be warm enough for the trip, despite being a bit on the heavy side.* I carried my Golite SL3 but slept only one night in it so it was mostly dead-weight. Rest of the nights I slept under H’s silnylon tarp. And I’m going to get one for myself! Tarps are great for trips like this one!

For cooking I had a 1,4 liter pot and the Optimus Crux Lite stove with a lot of gas (a big 450g canister) shared with S. With the amount of camp fires we had, we would have managed without a stove or at least with a lot smaller gas canister. In the future I can leave the gas canister at home as I will be using a wood stove instead. Mr Newton had a BushBuddy Ultra with a nice titanium pot for sale and luckily H convinced me that I really needed one. H was cooking with a similar setup on this trip and it proved to be very good. I just need a bit bigger pot when cooking for two. Our cooking setup was supplemented with a 0,5kg frying pan which was a bit heavy but the pancakes were worth the weight. **

Evernew titanium pots are really hot! I'll be getting one too.

For footwear I had a brand new pair of the brilliant LaSportiva Wildcats. I really love those shoes! The footwear system also included Inov8 socks and gaiters and woollen socks with plastic bags to be used in camp. Most of the time I was wearing old Haglöfs Climatic cargo pants, merino wool briefs, a merino shirt and the Rab eVent jacket to protect me from wind and drizzle. I had a synthetic Haglöfs shirt that I planned to use for walking but I soon ditched it as changing a shirt every evening and every morning felt like an unnecessary task. One merino shirt is enough. For extra warmth I had a Finnsvala powerstretch shirt that I really like, a Marmot down vest (soon to be replaced by a better one) and long merino under pants. All these saw regular use as did the Buff during the days and a fleece beanie while in camp. I also had a pair of spare socks, spare under pants and rain pants. I didn’t use these too much or at all but probably would take them again for a similar hike.

Yours truly in his typical walking outfit.

For photography I had my Canon EOS 550D with the magnificent 24-105 4 L IS lens carried in a waterproof Ortlieb pack on my waist. A wide angle lens would have been occasionally nice but otherwise the 24-105 4 L IS is a great all-around lens well worth the price. I had three batteries with me that I have been using since the school started in August and I have shot probably some 1500+ pictures with them. Two of the batteries died soon after the start of the hike and I was a bit worried but the third had enough juice for me to shoot up the whole the 16Gb SD card.

More pictures

For those interested, more pictures in my gallery.

– – –

* Recommendation for a good 3-season (down to -5C) quilts and sleeping bags are welcome!
** Has any of you dear readers used a titanium frying pan? Do they work for pancakes, bacon, eggs and stuff? Would be a lot lighter than the cast iron ones…

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19 responses to “Wood smoke and breeze under a tarp

  1. -maria- 03/10/2011 at 23:07

    Now this is what I like! A nice trip report. I like especially those parts that make this trip different from any other trip – the combination of weather/gear/company/what you saw and experienced during the trip/what worked, what did not/how you felt… Not just the cold facts, but those tiny happenings during the trip.

    If I had seen you guys spooning under an erätoveri or posing shirtless on a fell I would have thought someone is filming a Duudson type of a film 😉

    I think it was you who recommended me the Polish Cumulus sleeping bags. I have been very satisfied with my Panyam 450. A bit too warm for the hottest summer weather (but still usable as a blanket), but for three seasons just great. Maybe that would be a good choice? I think of buying a quilt for summer use (although I don’t like the idea of a quilt in colder weather) and then maybe a proper winter sleeping bag (if I find winter camping doable at all!), but like you, I’m a student with a limited outdoor-gear-budget at the moment and need to think carefully what to buy and when.

  2. korpijaakko 04/10/2011 at 00:24

    Thanks Maria! I’m trying to learn how to express and pass on the atmosphere and the, mmm, spirit of trips in English instead of just reporting the facts. Doing that gets quickly boring. Writing in Finnish would be easier but I prefer English even though it involves soem extra work.

    I have a Cumulus serious-winter-bag and would have a Cumulus Lite Line bag for 3-season use but those are too way narrow for my 186cm and 100kg. Maybe MT or Panyam models would be wider and thus better. I’m seriously concidering a beefy synthetic quilt that would take me below 0C with some extra clothing but I’m not sure about the idea. Especially if tarping, because then a sleeping bag provides some shelter from he wind and with a quitl I mgiht need a bivvy bag which would make things too complicated in my opinion.

  3. Yeti 04/10/2011 at 08:34

    This is the content I like to see on your blog. I really enjoyed reading it while drinking my morning coffee. Good photography and interesting writing. The short gear notes were also nice and better than the typical gear presentation reviews.

    Keep ’em coming!

  4. Khap Parka° (@khapparka) 04/10/2011 at 08:55

    “Where’s the motivation?” – Then you write stuff like this. Great work and thanks! Was a fun read. But I don’t know about the group spooning… 😛

  5. eräsmies 04/10/2011 at 11:55

    I was left with a strong feeling that the topless pic was a snapshot taken from the dream you (all) were having while having your loving spoonful of a nap… 😉

    But seriously, great report, again!

    I have heard virtually no praising comments on titanium frying pans. Burnt in the middle, nothing happens in the sides. If course, this is strongly dependent on the flame pattern. When in need of a pan, it’s usually a case of (kind of) gourmet or a treat

    And for the quilt, I have been very happy with my GoLite -7 C. It’s small, light and warm. What more could one possibly ask for a quilt.

  6. eräsmies 04/10/2011 at 12:01

    …too fast fingers… The pan-case was unfinished: When in need of a pan, it’s usually a case of (kind of) gourmet or a treat, and therefore I have given myself the permission to go heavy. Steel pan with (relatively) thick base is what you need if you want to fry something properly. Don’t want to burn that trout I spent so many cold hours catching…

  7. korpijaakko 06/10/2011 at 21:42

    “If I had seen you guys spooning under an erätoveri or posing shirtless on a fell I would have thought someone is filming a Duudson type of a film ;-)”

    The film we were shooting was Brokeback Mountain 2… 😉

    Khap Parka: I can work on will but the burning desire and driving inspiration are still missing. But maybe these times just come and go and I will cheer up after the first snow. As the winter is always great!

    Erämies: I agree about the frying pan. It’s a “luxury item” for “luxury food” but it would have been nice if there would have been well working lightweight options. I have a Primus Gourmet pan with thick base but what I realy like is a Muurikka Leisku style cast iron pan. Real luxury. And of course I can always fry my bacon around a stick on a fire.

    Thanks for the nice comments! More stuff coming up later on the week.

  8. Gaute 07/10/2011 at 18:41

    I have a Rei Tiware cookset (http://www.rei.com/product/764178/rei-ti-ware-nonstick-titanium-cookset) which I think is made by Evernew. The frying pan is useless though, it is too thin and my eggs & bacon burns very easily.
    I think the best frying pans are either cast iron (heavy though…) or aluminium with a thick bottom.
    Ikea Steka was tested by some norwegians and they gave it a good rating http://www.friluftsliv.no/turutstyr/ikea-steka.html (its in norwegian so try google translate if you need to)

  9. korpijaakko 07/10/2011 at 19:45

    Thanks for the insight Gaute! I was pretty sure that titanium pans just don’t work (poor heat conductivity and very thin material). I manage to understand some Norwegian with my moderate Swedish skills but I really should learn the language. Would be very usefull for Nordic outdoor stuff as Norwegians do (carry out, write, film, etc.) a lot of great stuff. The Ikea pan looks quite nice and is quite cheap. I’ll concider it when (if?) I visit Ikea the next time.

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  11. m 10/10/2011 at 09:16

    “I’m trying to learn how to express and pass on the atmosphere and the, mmm, spirit of trips in English instead of just reporting the facts.”

    Thats something i like, passing the feelings and atmosphere, as it seems that mostly in blogs etc, its all about kilograms, degrees, grams,water pillars, and other tech listing which does not grab the reader by the neck with you on the actual trail. But a story like you shared now, actually does, hats up. Wishing that i could do better writing too.

    Hey i saw you visited the Lahtisen Kämppä. Are you fan of thse old everymans right cabins etc ? That specific cabin, in example has nice story too.
    http://personal.inet.fi/yritys/muotkanruoktu/lahtihis.htm

    Also i noticed that youre using Opa’s small skillet, or should i say paistinpannu. Did you like it?
    There arent much better ones in my mind. Its not that heavy,and its rugged,plain and simple and wont melt in woodfire, unlike some aluminium pans seem to do. Maybe its nothing in the eyes of UL enthusiast,but hey you can always drill 123 holes to it, with 13mm drill : ) to lighten it up…kidding. I like to see UL freaks packing gear thats still very traditional instead of overly priced stuff thats all cut down just for the sake of weight. Just as you mention the instant coffee and real coffee. To me at least, its obvious that i carre atleast enough food and it should be tasty too,especially things like coffee. To an adult grown man it should be a reason to cry, a bag of real coffee,weighting nothing, and instant coffee that (IMO) does not taste even close as good as the real deal, but weights 1/3 of it. Atleast i, like to enjoy a good meal while outdoors no matte rwhat it weights,and ive done relatively long trips too,in same area where you went. But, i am not bitching, dont get me like that, as theres the freedom for every man do hike as he pleases and we all should be buddies, untied hikers instead of enemies in our small minded camps.

    One last thing.
    I saw a rakovalkea there ? Did you get a bought landwood permit ? Our group could not buy it from metsähallitus for some weird reason. That theyre trying to reduce the hiking use of that area so they werent selling maapuu permits…but, whos to see there.
    Have you seen the word “long fire” used as a translation to rakovalkea ? I think its something similar.

  12. korpijaakko 10/10/2011 at 18:25

    Thanks for the long comment!

    Good that you linked the history of Lahtinen hut. I know the story but forgot the link. I really do like the traditional open private huts. (Psst, there are some nice open kammis at Paistunturit area!) Oh, I was also told that Muotkanruoktu would be for sale as the owners son died last year and the man himself is getting old. So, if you are looking for new business/life there would be a cool option.

    It was the first time I was using the Opa skillet. I’ve uset Leisku Muurikka previously (and liked it a lot as it’s “ready to use”) and suggested buying few for the school but as there are moving parts (the folding handle) we opted to take the “indestructible” version. It worked pretty well but I think that for future use I will have to take few small iron nails or screws with me to secure the handle because it got loose occasionally because of the thermal expasion. It’s a nice pan and as said, skillet is sort of a luxury item so it can be heavy. If I want to go very light, fast and far I will not be taking it anyway. As I wouldn’t be taking real coffee or “real food” (jälkiuunileipä, voi, omenaa, kunnon perusruokaa). But for the hike like the one we had, the light baseweight enables some luxuries to be taken on the menu. It all depends.

    Actually we didn’t get to buy the permit either. I was able to buy it the last January for Vätsäri area but now it was not available. But our school has some sort of special agreenment with Metsähallitus so in our teachers opinion we had the right to use also some bigger landwood (maapuu). To save wood we made only small rakovalkea, about one meter long or so. And usually we also had only one common fire in every camp. Haven’t heart the termlong fire, but it sounds good.

    PS. Atm we are having a very nice course about food preparation on open fire. For a second day in a row I’m really stuffed with good food and there are still two days coming. The last days have been fish-centric but now we move to meat and game. 🙂

  13. m 11/10/2011 at 22:48

    If youre about to use a nail on the opa pan, use stainless, its far more durable and does not bend as easily as normal nail. And sometimes screws and nails are hard to remove after using the pan,especially if youre not carrying a multitool etc, with pliers and/or screwdriver. I have changed, to carry a L shaped hook screw,use dto hang paintings on wall. It does not require any tools, to remove it from handle. Just about any hook with threads will do,try it.

    We had an arrangement with metsähallitus once, too. But it wasnt enough, when we had to drop down, fell a fully grown pine, to make a rakovalkea, a BIG one, to keep few sick guys warm, in ball deep snow in lapland ski trip. We made a bigger lean-to, from erätoveri’s and tried to make their misery a bit comfortable, over the night, as in the morning the military’s border chopper picked em up, and took em to hospital. I think that an old skill of making different campfires for different needs is highly underlooked, and it should be mandatory skill for everyone about to hike. I bet that you will have some sort of wilderness skill test too ? ( erätaitonäyttö ? ).

    yes i do remember my own fish & game & natural food making course well. We had everything, we made smoked moose tongue, beaver ribs, rabbit stew, everything ! For my luck, there was supposed to be 14 participants but only 5 showed up, so there was like far too much food that had to be made,so much that i even took 3 bags of it home,and feed em to our dogs as we got fed up to deer,reindeer etc. One of the best days ever 🙂

    I wish i could seriously buy something like Muotkanruoktu,but i am unemployeed now,and its hard even to pay rents and repair my own little 4 x6 cabin near seitseminen park.¨

    Catch any fish ? theres usually plenty of it in small streams, its worth the weight too,to carry a small packrod and reel.

  14. korpijaakko 14/10/2011 at 21:48

    Screw hook is a brilliant idea! Thanks!

    To my knowledge our arrangement with Metsähallitus covers only dead and fallen tree gathered from the ground, not still standing “kelopuu”. I agree about the basic wilderness skills. Despite wilderness guides becoming more and more “adventure providers” with snow mobiles, rope descents, etc. knowing the basic wilderness/bushcraft skills should be part of the requirements. We do have a wilderness skills test at spring and wilderness skills courses in autumn and winter. I’m really looking forward to the winter course! I like winter. 🙂

    Your food course sounds even better! We had out stomachs full every day but not that much extra (some salmon (salted or “cooked” with lemon) to eat for supper).

    Couple of us had fishing kit at Muotkatunturit area but didn’t get any. We used fish traps (katiska) to get fish for the food course and that worked well: a lot of small perch (to be smoked, fried, dried, etc.) And we had some hooks (iskukoukku) on wilderness skills course and cought few pikes.

  15. markswalkingblog 17/10/2011 at 00:00

    Hi Jaakko, I have been catching up on your recent posts. I have really enjoyed these with lots of good information and comments. I noticed on your most recent post that you have a TN Laser 20L backpack on order. I was out with mine today and I think you are going to like it. Probably the most comfortable pack I have worn. I will post up soon.
    Keep posting!

  16. korpijaakko 17/10/2011 at 12:21

    Thanks, Mark! The Lase 20 seemed to be a perfect pack for me, I jsut have to hope that the fit is good. Light, good details and most of all: genious water bottle pocket placement (the ones in older Osprey Talon 33 suck!). Looking forward to your post on the pack!

  17. markswalkingblog 17/10/2011 at 12:36

    Jaakko. It is light, comfortable and I found it easy to get to water bottles (500ml mineral water & 750ml Travel Tap sports bottle).

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