Some odds and ends from the weekend

While shopping with the family in a department store on Saturday, I spotted a bunch of kids’ toboggans near the bikes. One of them looked like it would be perfect for hauling my gear on the winter snow. I’ll add some straps or cordage for holding items down in the toboggan, as well as a some kind of tow-rope rig. Not bad for 9.95 Euros.

Back in October, I lost my wedding ring on a logging trail when I pulled off my glove quickly because I thought there was a deer ked crawling on my neck. I didn’t realize that my ring was gone until later on down the trail. After searching for 2 hours, I realized I probably wasn’t going to find it, so I gave up, hoping to try again later with a metal detector. Well, I managed to borrow one and went back to the forest this weekend. After a 1.5-hour search, I finally found it. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack, because the land is so rugged. I honestly don’t know how I found it!

Following this, I went to my campsite to split some spruce rounds for winter camping firewood. It was pretty easy with the Council Tool Jersey axe I bought about a year ago. The next time I go back, I’ll cut some more rounds from the big downed spruce with the bow saw and split them as well.

Finland is in a weird state of limbo between fall and winter right now. It has only gotten marginally colder over the past 2 months. Last year, the first snow came on October 15th. This year, we didn’t have any snow until just last week, and it was gone in 2 days. It has been cold enough for some water to freeze:

Soon after dropping below freezing, it warms up again. This has been happening over and over again, and the willows don’t know what the heck is going on. Some have sprouted buds and even some leaves have developed, which subsequently die back.

Here are some of the latest round of sprouting buds:

Hopefully winter will get here soon and end the wet, muddy mess. I’m itching to get back on my snowshoes and try out my new gear toboggan.

UPDATE: Well, I asked for it. Here’s the view out the window the next morning:

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13 comments on “Some odds and ends from the weekend

  1. Perkunas says:

    Duuude….

    WHEN you realise how BADLY, that plastic sled works and how BADLY it suits your otherwise nice “style”, dont try to make excuses for not making one yourself :)..cheap, rugged, old school, easy to CRAFT…

    http://cc.oulu.fi/~jlumme/ultimate_jr27.htm
    http://www.students.tut.fi/~jukkarou/ahkio/
    http://www.pasitalv.fidisk.fi/retki/Pasin%20retkirompesivu/Ahkio%20JR27-II.html

    We´re having heavy but sadly, wet, snow pouring hardand -1c….i do hope the winter will come tomorrow and remain hard for 5 months!

    • Well, if it doesn’t work out, I can let my toddler or goddaughter (also a toddler) use it, so at least the money isn’t wasted. 😉 I do like to craft things when I can, though. The thing is, I may find that I don’t like using a toboggan to haul stuff. I’m not going to go through the whole process of making one and then find out I don’t like it. 🙂 If it does work out, I could certainly see me making one in the future.

      We woke up to several inches of snow this morning and some broken-off pine branches in the driveway. Had to scrape the cars for the first time this season. My wife said it’s going to be +5*C in a few days. 😦

    • I’m feeling the same way, I want my winter NOW!

  2. It’s awesome that you found your ring, I can relate to the condition of losing one.

    Love that axe, good looking tool.

    Weather is weird here too. This time last year I was snowshoeing already, with nearly two feet of powder on the ground. We’ve had snow this year but a warm weather rainstorm melted it all. Strange weather indeed.

    • Thanks for the comment, AG!

      I’m really happy I don’t have to buy another wedding ring. I already had to do it once before (another outdoors-related loss).

      The axe is working out great. I had to do some work on it to get it the way I wanted it, especially reshaping the handle. I also sanded the head.

      Yep, I’ve heard about the unusual warmth in North America as well. Hope winter stays for good soon!

  3. Donna says:

    What are “deer ked”? Is it anything like a tick?

    • I would probably rather have ticks on me than deer keds. They dive-bomb you as you’re walking through the woods. When they reach your hair, they shed their wings and burrow through your hair to reach your scalp so they can suck your blood. They have extremely tough and flat bodies which are difficult to grab and pull out. Imagine having dozens of them on you, trying desperately to get into your clothes/hair. Nasty. Oh yeah, the bites hurt like a biotch and take weeks to heal.

  4. Perkunas says:

    Yeah, i know, know man. I just wanted to show you a DIY sled as well. I have one JR27 that i made and its pretty damn good, with ski´s and snowshoes, it carries an adult, or weeks supplies of gear etc just like that. But for for occasional use with light loads, it might not be worth the effort, but if youre into DIY, then its a good way to spend a weekend anyway, doing one.

    I think all kinds of deer keds and bugs are great, they keep a lot of folk out of the woods and allow the ones that get along with the bugs, to have peacefull time alone in the bush 😉

  5. OZme says:

    It is amazing that you found it!
    Had snow here in Tampere this morning, but it is gone now. Was not much and very wet…

  6. Ron says:

    So where’s King Frost hidding then?
    Not here either.
    We did have some snow yesterday, but that’ll be gone tomorrow. According to the weatherforecast we should have a cold period starting friday and lasting at least a week with temps down to -11.

    I found several of those little flying and biting bastards in my neck last summer/autumn, but haven’t had any real trouble with them or their bites. I guess I was fast enough grabbing them.
    A smear of Wilma’s Nordic Summer works perfectly. After that they don’t come back…. and neither do elk, bear, woman or child….. The smell lasts a couple of days, even after taking showers… 😉

  7. Ron says:

    @ Perkunas; I started following your blog, too. Looks very good, especially the smiths’ workshop!
    How did you make your sled?

  8. Thanks for the tips on Wilma’s Nordic Summer, Ron. I’ll have to try it out…far away from the wife and son. 😉

  9. HenLan says:

    Fantastic to find the ring in that terrain. I would have thought it was gone forever.

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