– my personal views on all walks of outdoor life

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Quality kit for sale

As usual big expedition are not good for your bank account. And to avoid personal bankruptcy I’m selling some kit I’m not using enough to justify owning it. Most of it is winter kit but as you know, the winter is right around the corner and now is a good time to stock for the colder season.

Unrelated scenery photo from the Greenland crossing expedition.

I can send items to anywhere in Europe but buyer pays the shipping (unless you buy in bulk, then we can negotiate). Payment preferably by bank transfer but Paypal works also. Questions and reservations via comments or e-mail to jaakko_heikka@hotmail.com.

Photos of each item can be found from my gallery.

Cumulus double sleeping bag

A tailor-made double sleeping bag system from Cumulus made of the top materials with great quality. Nothing unnecessary making it incredibly light for the warmth.
Excusitic 1200 down sleeping bag, lengthened by 16cm making enough room to store kit in the footend for 180-190cm user. Slim fit, 186cm/100kg man still fits inside but there’s not much extra room. 1890 grams with 1280 g of down. Used for 6 nights.
– Tailor-made Climashield Apex filled synthetic overbag. Synthetic overbag with perfect fit over the down bag to add warmth and help control moisture. Pertex Endurance outer, 2x67g/sqm Climashield Apex filling ans Pertex Quantum inner. Full length two-way YKK zipper. 980 g making it nice stand-alone summer bag. New & unused with tags.
– Prices for new bags 580 euros + 205 euros. My price for the set 600 euros.

BC ski boots

Alpina BC1550, size 41. Used for about 100km, great conditions. 80 eur.

BC ski boots

Madshus Glittertind, size 48. New & unused with tags. Good fit for size 46-47 feet with warm double socks creating very warm combination. 120 eur.

Sold! Sole insoles

New & unused Sole insoles, sizes 41 and 46. 10 euros per pair.

Sold!  Down trousers

Nahanny Down Trousers, sixe XL, yellow&black. Used a few times, good as new. Tailor made super warm down trousers suitable for serious Arctic expedition or high mountains, or just for the dead of winter in Lapland. Waterproof/breathable fabric both on the outside and inside. Zipped kangaroo pocket, separating two-way side zips (i.e. drop seat function), etc. 150 eur.

Sold! Insulated skirt

“The Manly Red Skirt”, orange. Used a few times, good as new. Tailor made insulated skirt with light windproof nylon and 60g/sqm Primaloft Sport. Separating #5 YKK zipper and draw-cords on both ends. Only 173 grams! Great easy-to-use extra warmth for colder trips. Little too small for 186cm/100kg man, should fit slender users. 60 eur.

Insulated jacket

Rab Generator Jacket, size XL, black. Couple of years old but hasn’t seen much use. Small hole in the lining inside one of the pockets (not compromising the insulation). Great as standalone from late Nordic winter to late autumn but works also in deep winter when combined with thick fleece or insulated vest.  70 eur.

Merino wool shirt & pants

Guahoo Outdoor Heavy merinowool shirt & pants. New & unused, still in the box.
– turtleneck shirt, black, size XL, closer to normal size L. 30e ur.
– pants, black, size XXL, closer to normal size XL. 30 eur.
– pants, black, size XXXL, closer to normal size XL/XXL. 30 eur.

Sold! Coldavenger mask (reserved)

Coldavenger Snow Hunter Balaclava. New & unused, still in the box. It actually works! I have the black version in use so selling this. 40 eur.

Sold! Backpack

Golite Odyssey Womens, 78 liters, size M, blue. New & used but tags not attached.  78 liters and 1420 g. 120 eur.

Freezedried breakfasts

Blå Band Expedition meal “Mixed Flakes with Fruit” breakfast i.e. müesli with fruit.
– 1 bag, 4 eur
– 5 bags, 17,50 eur
– 20 bags, 60 eur

Sold! Headlamp

Petzl Tikka 2 headlamp, purple. New & unused, still in the box. COmes with Duracel AAA batteries. 25 eur.

Wide angle lens for Canon

Samyang 14mm F2,8 ED AS IF UMC for Canon. From 2011 but in great condition. Served me well with the crop frame but after moving to full frame camera I haven’t been happy with the image quality in the far corners so selling this. Comes with original packaging and accessories. 240 eur. I may consider Canon EF 16-35 2,8 II or EF 70-200 4 L (IS) in exchange.

Sompio Kiilopää Outdoor map

Sompio Kiilopää Outdoor Map, 1:50000 scale, from 2002 byt WSOY/Genimap. In excellent condition and comes with the original plastic cover. Good map for the Kiilopää and Nattaset area with all the trails, shelters, huts, etc. 10 eur including postage.



Outdoors with Car Tyres

You might have noticed that lately I’ve mentioned tyres quite often in my tweets.

Tyres? Yes, tyres.

Why? Well, let me explain…


Who can read the runes?

Most who are serious about their outdoor ventures like to be fit. Maybe the greatest way for outdoors enthusiast to stay fit is to spend a lot of time outdoors on the chosen level of activity, and if necessary have some rest and recovery scheduled in between. Unfortunately the great majority of us can’t do this as we have other responsibilities in life. But often we have the odd hour here and there enough for training and physical excercise and training can help you to make most out of your limited time outdoors. (And in my opinion it also generally makes you feel better.)

I believe in “low tech” training in the spirit of “train as you fight”. If you train for backpacking, walk. If you train for climbing, climb. Et cetera. Just make it little harder to compensate with the limited time you have for training, for example if training for backpacking trip carry heavier backpack or walk more uphill. But what if you’d like to be training for winter expeditions and it’s +5C and raining?

Meet the tyre, your new best friend!


Pulling tyres with poles in hands is probably the most efficient way of training for sledge/pulka hauling trips or expeditions when you can’t do the actual thing. But in addition the tyre is also great way of adding extra resistance to any other form of training (my hat is off for anyone doing serious climbing training with a tyre in tow). In addition it’s cheap and easy to make. And as a bonus you’ll learn to hate it in a nice way. But don’t worry, the tyre hates you too. In a nice constructive way.

How to make your new best friend?

Making a tyre to pull is actually very easy. Well, as long as you don’t try to make the tyre itself. My tyre is based on the instructions at Kerkesix’s pages but here’s a short how-to in english. The illustrative photos at the Kerkesix page are good and worth checking to accompany the instructions below:

1) Get yourself an old car tyre. These should be freely available from servicing gas stations, car services and tyre shops. The shops have to pay to get rid of the waste tyres so they are usually happy to give them away for free. Normal sized one is enough but if you want it to look macho, get a big one, maybe even with studs.

2) Get also a half a meter piece of garden hose, some 5-6 meters of cheap rope and some pieces scrap wood and few nails or screws.

3) Make two holes about 25cm from each other near the top edge of the tyre. A power drill is helpful and makes nice round holes but you can also manage with sharp knife or hot iron (just don’t make it a Springfield Tire Fire).

4) Use the pieces of scrap wood to make a securely fitting floor inside your tyre. It takes probably 5-7 pieces of typical 4′ board to make the floor. First measure and cut pieces to fit side by side forming a solid platform that fits inside the tyre but doesn’t fall out (it’s worth cutting the edges in an angle to get a better fit). Then measure and cut a crossing piece or two. Next fit the pieces of the floor inside the tyre (It’s easiest to start with the long ones and crank them in while bending the tyre.) Now assemble the floor with nails or screws.

5) Thread the hose through the holes you made in the tyre and then the rope through the hose (or you might want to do it in opposite order if it’s a tight fit). For sledge/pulka hauling oriented tyre pulling the proper length is so that the hauler is 2-2.5 meters away from the tyre.

6) Finally attach the tyre to yourself somehow and try to have fun! A good way for attaching is to use a sledge hauling harness or a strong backpack and attach the rope to it with knots or carabiners.

The Kerkesix instructions also mention making bottle holders on top of the tyre with some bungee cord but I don’t find it necessary: it just as easy to toss the bottle at the bottom of the tyre. Plus when keeping the bottle in the tyre it tends to get covered with a thick layer of dust.


What to do with your new best friend?

The basic idea of the tyre is to add extra resistance to movement, and in my case simulate a heavy pulka I like to drag behind me in winter times. The basic manhauling training is to load some weight into the tyre (that’s why you made the floor) grab your poles and go pulling the tyre around dirt roads and trails. The force needed to pull the tyre, or a pulka, depends a lot on the quality of the surface but generally a tyre setup around 30kg should simulate a 80kg pulka in typical non-optimal conditions. You can vary the load, the speed, the duration of the exercise and the route (smooth dirt, bumpy trails, uphills, etc.) While training my loads on dirt roads usually vary from 28kg to 45,5kg for session of one hour or more and sometimes I load in 50kg or more for short (30 minutes or so) strength training sessions.

I know also that some top class Finnish ultra runners use tyres for more effective training for mountain ultra marathons. Apparently the training regime is to walk up a hill with a tyre and poles and sprint down with the tyre in tow. The right load for this training is when running downhill with the tyre feels like running on flat without it. Sounds hardcore for me.

Little easier way of using tyre for running is to run with a light load (no extra weights needed) on easy surface to develop your posture and running technique. Apparently you should have better posture, shorter step and land more on the ball of your feet than on the heel. I have tried it a few times, it feels about right, the posture and technique do change. And at least you’ll get more intense workout.

You can also use the tyre for upper body strength training, especially if you add longer ropes (maybe 10-20 meters). Load the tyre heavy, sit down on the g round knees bent with some support for your feet and start pulling the tyre to you. You can do it only with your arms, with your back or with the whole body depending on what you are training. Nice exercise is to pull the tyre to you, sprint on the opposite side of the tyre until the ropes are tight, pull it back again and repeat as long as necessary.

And if you have a big tyre and a sledgehammer, hammering the edge of the tyre also makes good functional core strength training and shows how you feel about the tyre…


Tyre 9,5kg, the small rocks 19kg and the big rock 37kg. Great way to ruin a walk!

Do you have a tyre to train with or would you like to have one? Or is this just plain stupid? 😀

Chilly Christmas greetings!

It’s again that time of the year. Hendrik’s Advent Calendar closes to its end, which can mean only that Christmas is right behind the next bend of the trail and it’s time for holidays for most of us. Me and most other seasonal workers in the North will be working hard also on Christmas but that doesn’t prevent me (and hopefully the others) enjoying the Christmas.



It’s been unusually cold mid-December here with temps below -30C for several days and it’s been a blast! (Well ,except for the two frostnips on my nose…) It seems that the worst (or best) cold is over for now but the weather will continue cold (well below -20C) over the Christmas. And that’s good as I happen to like it.

Merrily chilly Christmas to you all! Enjoy the winter!


Just add little more frost and a pointy hat to MYONSC! (Make Your Own  Ninja Santa Clauss). 😉

PS. For the understanding readers Finnish:

Jos epäilet, että joulupukilta ei heru tarpeeksi lahjoja, on 31.12. saakka mahdollista voittaa hieno elämys sekä ahkiolastillinen tietoja ja taitoja blogini Lukijakilpailussa! Ei huono lahja, vaikka itse sanonkin.

The winter is here!

…or to be precise, I traveled where the winter is. But anyway, me and good ‘ol winter are again in the same place and I’m enjoying it a lot! I was actually so excited that I wanted to share a few words and photos with you.

Liking the winter after a 10km training run with the dogs.

There was a little snow in South-East Finland earlier but not a real winter and apparently at the moment there isn’t any snow left and temperatures are closer to +10C instead of freezing. As I’m on the way to North to work I decided to spend some time on a “working holiday” at Taivalkoski in the Husky Center Kolmiloukko where I was working the last Christmas season.

I’ve been mostly helping training and conditioning the dogs i.e. riding sleds which is great fun. I feels so awesome to pass effortlessly and quietly through snow-covered landscape. There isn’t that much snow yet, maybe some 15-20cm, so it’s a bit bumby ride but still fun. I highly recommend giving dog sledding a try.

In addition I did the first skiing trip of the year (have to be in shape for guiding trips) and have been actually also working a bit with the shovel preparing the tracks…

Another awesome thing was that last night there were magnificent Northern lights! I saw a faint greyish light at the horizon while skiing in the late afternoon (it’s dark here around 16 pm and sun rises around 9 am) and later in the evening it turned into a real light show.

Judging by the last few days living and working in Lapland for the winter doesn’t feel too bad, though I’m quite sure my moods will swing a bit when shoveling snowmobiles from the drifts… 😉

Because of not having a permanent place to stay at the moment the blog might be silent for a while. At the mean time, I’d advice you to enjoy the outdoors! 🙂

Five days in Sarek

Last night was again very stormy but the morning was nice and nearly calm. Wind picked up again in the afternoon during snow shelter building excersise. We built an emergency shelter, 2 snow caves and an igloo in the storm. Full 8 hours of skiing tomorrow, followed with short sleep and night skiing in the dark back to the cars. Time to rest, this time in the little emergency shelter…

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