Travelling day, 1st fight from Heathrow to Helsinki, where i met up up with most of the guys then the 2nd flight to Kussamo and a short coach ride to Oivanki activity center.
We had quick introductions to the delegates and the group leaders and then off to bed. The temperature was -25 degrees.
I woke up to an outside temperature of -35 but as the day went on clear blue skies warmed everything up to -10. The first activity was the obligatory name games and ice breaking games which ended up in real ice breaking in teams, we had to smash a huge block of ice in 5 mins in small teams. Then having picked up our snow shoes we went on a walk around their stunning woodlands
then back for an introduction to the organising body Youth in Action. We finished the afternoon by gathering snow in some big heaps and driving sticks in to the outside as depth gauges ready for our snow cave building tomorrow.
The evening activity was a Partnership “Market” where we got the chance to present our projects and try to find other international projects to create further work with. We finished the day with a sauna.
Days 3/4 coming soon as some of the more hardened of us will be in the snow caves tomorrow night…oh yeah bring it on!!
Sorry we have been a bit lame recently in updating the blog. ( I will get round to uploading the photos of our last forey into the woods) but we have been busy getting ourselves ready for and awesome opportunity that has presented itself we have been selected to take part in an international event on youth work in outdoor education. The event takes place in Kuusamo Finland on the border of Lapland. The delegates are from all over Europe and this will give us the opportunity to collaborate on activities and courses for young people this could include international partnerships and youth exchanges. Unfortunaly only one of us can take part so its Uncle traveling Wildman off on another adventure. The temperature in Kuusamo is a mildly chilly -15 Celcius with a nightime temperature of -33 tonight (Brrrr) and yes i am taking my sleeping bag hoping that i can experience a new enviroment to conquer / run away to the warmth of the activity center. I will try to give daily updates if time allows and hopefully I will have some photos of my experience to share.
Well I’m at heathrow at the moment and just about to head to departures so for now its Wildman signing off.
Off to the woods again, this time to start preparations on our Andover youth work site. As we are still looking for a permanent site to run courses from we have had to beg borrow and steal (well not steal that would be bad) woodlands to hold our events in. A local farmer has been kind enough to let us use his woods in exchange for some maintenance work, which suits us fine coz we get to play in the woods for a bit as well as being able to run some courses there. We are did this last year as well and we are both quite excited to see if the work we did last year has let in a bit more light and is starting to promote a bit more growth rather than the dingy woodland floor it was before we started. The woodland itself is a hazel copse with oak trees spaced throughout it and has been mainly untouched for many years, its very close to the archaeological site of a Roman villa and has features from the farming techniques of that era which we are trying to restore. Following the ethos of our Bushcraft school we wanted to stay as close to primitive methods as we can so we have have opted for saws and axes, but after last year I think I’m gonna go for my chainsaw licence at the earliest possible point! But until then it’s sweating and sawing, sawing and sweating – as usual i’ll post some photos when we get back, (hopefully not of the sweating).
Well that was most enjoyable. Good food, good company and the weather wasn’t too bad -6 degrees Celsius with 2 inches of snow over 2 hours and a bit of sleet. It nearly all went horribly wrong when I kicked the milk over within the first hour but living the scout motto of “be prepared” I’d brought a spare one with me.
We started with a keyhole fire pit
This gives you a good size fire while allowing you a place to cook where you don’t get cooked yourself, but like the best laid plans of mice and men things don’t always go to plan and the wood was burning to ash way to fast to build up a good base to cook on so went for old faithful and now my hands are free of those annoying hairs.
Food was a “cupa” soup followed by beef stew then for breakfast we had “opulent omelettes” (I’ll do a recipe for these later) and coffee porridge. Hedgehunter got a survival card game for xmas which passed the time nicely (although we still question a few of their answers)
All in all an awesome time and I’m looking forward to my birthday one on the 1st of Feb where we will hopefully encourage a few more brave souls out to the woods.
Good woodsmen leave no trace.
Yay, first camp of the season today! It has been too long, can’t wait to get into the woods again. There is still a bit of snow on the ground, I’ve got the second book in the cave bear series by Jean M Auel, my little radio for some late night radio discussions and a pack of cards just need Hedgehunter and we are set. Time to brush up on those primitive fire lighting techniques a bit of tracking and some whittling. Fingers crossed for a good sunrise sunset so I can get some nice photos to mark the occasion.
I can’t say enough good things about these, a simple bit of kit that weighs very little and takes up very little pack space. They have a rubber frame that you stretch over your boots and a Velcro strap to secure them, the frame has a lattice of metal spring type material that improves traction. I have tested them on loose (not that you need them) and compressed snow and ice but also on paving slabs and mud. they have not failed me yet. They cost around £7 but worth every penny. One small piece of advice do not walk across easily marked flooring such as cushion floor as the excuse” I was trying to make the floor non slip” does not go down well with the better half!!
Hedgehunter and I are off for our first camp of the season on Wed, I just hope the snow is still about. It’s an excellent time to brush up on our tracking skills and test our survival knowledge. There are also very few things more magical than waking up next to the fire, sneaking up to a still asleep Hedgehunter and waking him with a well aimed snowball. 🙂
When all around you goes astray and you simply need to get away, seek the cure that nature made in a soft and tranquil wooded glade. Don’t rush back, just stay a while and let the peace restore your smile. Then watch your trouble drift away, you can deal with them another day.
Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD)
Along with the many pressures put on young people today, a disconnection to nature can have a profound effect. This is one of the many issues we are trying to address with our work in the community through our courses and events.
Posted in Bushcraft and Woodland Living, Health and Well Being, Uncategorized
Tagged ADHD, Deficit, Disorder, Health, Mental, Mental Health, Nature, Nature Deficit Disorder, NDD