Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Still time for winter camping.

Snow is melting fast with warm days and a bit of rain every now and then. Some south facing hillsides have ground exposed already, but otherwise we have a good amount of snow still.

I thought it would be time for my youger dog Kumu to spend his first night in a shelter by the open fire. my older dog Pyry stayed home, as it's good for the young one to make trips without him around all the time. And Pyry has spent countless nights in the wilderness anyways. He didn't look happy though when I left with Kumu....

Nights have been few degrees below zero celcius, easy to ski where ever you like at least around the morning time. Good for the dog too as he can run on the snow like it would be a paved road, otherwise could easily get too heavy for a 7 months old puppy.

Time to set up the camp. When getting off the skis in the evening,
                snow is already pretty soft. And no, this is not a Fiskars ad....
Kumu's idea of helping with the firewood.
Obligatory knife pic in a knife maker's blog....
Easy to start a fire with fatwood, as long as you just find a good stump of fallen pine.
                 My common camp setup in the woods. Savotta Pena laavu, rain poncho on the ground under the mattress. I chose this spot as there had been reindeers digging for lichen, so not that much of snow to remove.
Sun has set. Snow melting in the pot, enough firewood for the evening and next morning. What else does a woodsman need to get one night older.

Later on when it got dark I was already in my sleeping bag, and Kumu finally was ready to lay down after exploring every centimeter around the camp area. It didn't take long before a creepy sound broke the silence! Kumu jumped over me, and ran to the direction of the sound. In this youtube link you can hear the sound and see the answer what made that sound (not my video, just picked it as the voice is exactly the same). Hard to say for sure how far the sound came from, maybe 200-300 meters. It repeated few times, and after a while Kumu came back and laid down again.

But the spring-inspired animals of the forest wouldn't let Kumu to fall asleep that easily.... Then started the concert of few willow grouses in different directions. Kumu had heard this many times before, so I suppose he knew what kind of fellows made this sound. Every time one got loud, Kumu jumped over me and was sighting around the camp. None of the willow grouses was very near, so each time Kumu came back just to jump out again when the next one started. Here's the voice of willow grouse. Again not my video, just a random pick from Youtube.

The show didn't last that long, so we both fell asleep after an hour or so.

Sun rising after I've had my breakfast. Several degrees below zero, promise of good skiing again.
Siperian Jays, typical visitors at campsites everywhere in Lapland, no matter if you're near the villages or in the middle of nowhere. There's always 2 or 3 of them, and with a bit of patience it's possible to feed them from your hand. But having a dog at the camp made it impossible this time.
These droppings tell this is a capercaillie land.
How fun can it be!
Time to head back to the cabin. Warm day and cold night has made a beautiful pattern on the snow.


  1. Ahhh Spring is here in full force, but it still looks good, seeing someone enjoying the remnants of winter.
    I heard a fox like that right in front of the house in our first winter here. Middle of the night, bedroom window open.... I was wide awake immediately! Spooked me pretty good.
    Too bad I can not go anywhere with my dog like you do. He'd be off, before I blink my eyes and trotting through the woods with a dog on a 8 meter leash, running from left to right, front and back..... No fun.

  2. Yes, that really sounds like someone getting her throat slit. I'm pretty sure cops have been called because of that sound more than once!

    Actually it's not that bad to walk with a leashed dog in the woods when you teach them left, right, here, this way, stop, wait, and such commands. My older dog stays nearby if I tell him to, but I keep him leashed in the forest during the summer, when birds have nesting season. But of course it's much more relaxing to walk on the trails that thick forest when leashed, or on the open areas like in my background pic.