Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Two puukkos for sale! (Sold!)

Basic Finnish style knives. Oiled curly birch handles, 80CrV2 carbon steel blades. My regular brown leather sheath included.

Number 1: 94x22mm rhombic cross section blade, thickness 4,9mm at the shoulders, tapering towards the tip. 110mm long handle, width 30mm and thickness 23mm at max.


 Number 2: 100x22mm rhombic cross section blade, thickness 4,8mm at the shoulders, tapering towards the tip. 111mm long handle, width 30,5mm and thickness 23mm at max.



Tuesday, April 19, 2016

A week on the skis.

With a friend of mine we had planned a skiing trip for last week. Quite perfect timing, as when he arrived it was raining and temperatures had been above zero for some days. The day we started skiing temps were dropping below zero and no sign of rain anymore. Stayed below zero the whole week, and when he left it started raining again.

 We had a pulk and backpack. A pulk takes easily quite heavy load, so backpack could be left much lighter. In wintertime it's good to have warm extra clothing plus some other stuff you don't need on summer or autumn trips. We were planning to do ice fishing too, so had an auger as well.

Maybe even 80cm of snow here still, so winter is not over yet!

In winter it's easier to travel accross the flat marsh areas. Plus you get to places you would most likely avoid in summer.

Skiis are the way to go here. You can see people on snowshoes, but usually only on shorter trips. Common Finnish forest skis are way over 2 meters. Up here where you can avoid thick forests if you want, even 3 meter long skis are used. Our skis were 2,6 and 2,7 meters long.

We spent the first night in an open wilderness hut. Original plan was to ski bit further right on the first day, but due to the warm weather before the trip snow was pretty soft still. We decided to call it a day bit earlier, and continue tomorrow.

Next night temperature dropped below zero, so it was much better to ski right away.

Having a break by the fire is much more relaxing than just quicly having a snack while skiing.

One of the typical views on the trip were dense birch forest along the rivers and creeks.

Mostly we skied along the open areas. No traffic here.

We set our camp always in tall forest, as it provides better firewood.

At this spot under the trees ground was almost exposed, so it was easier to dig rest of the snow away to set up the shelter.

We set a tarp above the fire as well. In the case of nuclear fallout, or something.....

Drying socks and boot liners, melting snow in a pot, typical activities in winter camping. Warm evening, so no big fire needed.

Late evening in the middle of nowhere. Or somewhere. One form of freedom!

Ice fishing on a silent lake. Thickness of the ice was probably around 70-80cm.

It's hard work as you can see! We were not lucky at this lake, so it was easy to fall a sleep on the sun.

Crossing creeks and small rivers was easy. Especially on long skis, as they divide the weight on larger area. Only some openings here and there.

Did I mention earlier that breaks by the fire are relaxing? Well, not this time! A windy day, so we set the tarp to protect from the wind. Of course it was blowing from here and there, which made the smoke swirl around. We left the place feeling like smoked skiers.

Willow grouses have a decent camouflage in winter conditions. There's one almost in the center of the picture. Sometimes in early winter all the snow might melt away, leaving already white willow grouses shining like white balls on dark ground for some days. In summer they're brownish, only the wings being white.

After the nights had been bit colder we could set the shelter just on the snow. Ergonomic seating by the fire and nicely flat surface under the mattress.

When night temps dropped below -10 celcius you could easily even walk on the snow. Making it much more easier to work and gather firewood around the camp.

Collecting and chopping dried roots of fallen pines for the firewood. Good source of fatwood. Fairly good source for a thick layer of sooth on the pot as well.... Soon your fingers are black, then face... but who cares, it's not a beauty contest.

Taking turns in pulling the pulk. Glides very effortlessly on hard snow. Only downhills can be tricky, as the pulk is pushing you. Easier to zig zag when going down.

Ice fishing on a sunny day.

Almost at the end of our trip. Same hut where we spent the first night.

A pair of old skis on wall of one of the cabin in the area. Curved tip has straightened during the years. Would be nice to know what kind of history they have behind.

Open wilderness huts always have a guestbook. Interesting to read the notes to see how often there are visitors, what nationalities, and so on.
Heading back home. Tall forest, marsh, lake, fellside... no matter as long as it's untouched wilderness it's always good!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

One more winter coming to an end soon.

As we're already over a week in April, the winter has really turned into spring. Meaning warm days, actually really warm at the moment. But it should still get colder, so looks promising for the last skiing trips of the season. Warm wet days mean a hard as steel snow when temperatures drop below zero again.

This pic was taken during the late March. Crispy snow, sunshine, and fresh wind. A perfect day to do something else than staying inside!

In northern Lapland willow grouse hunting is on to the end of March. A spitz type dog like Kumu is better to be leashed if you don't want him to chase the birds away. If you want a dog for willow grouse hunting, then a setter or pointer is your choice. Anyway having any dog with hunting instincts with you can help, if you keep it leashed. That way it can lead you to the birds you might otherwise have passed just 50 meters away...

Spring is nice time for the dogs too, as they can walk around pretty easily. Having over 80cm of snow here, and Kumu goes only through the fresh snow that had fallen recently.

Lakes are pretty much the opposite of the forests. Not much snow on the ice at all, and it's rock hard.

End of the dog sledding season means continuing the knife work as well. I've been working on some basic puukkos as well as with this leuku that was finished just yesterday. Later this month there will be some maasepänpuukkos for sale too!