Monday, 30 June 2014

Swedish Trip - A Wee Film.


My traveling companion and great mate Gary has put together a short video of our week canoeing in Sweden. Hope you enjoy the video.

Thanks for reading.


Tuesday, 10 June 2014

LuminAid - Solar Powered Light.

During my trip to Sweden Gary had a fantastic little light with him. It was Solar Powered, light and small but when expanded it provided more than an adequate lighting system.

The LuminAid has a very durable plastic covering that is closed with a pop button. It has an On / Off button that also serves as a two positional switch for the light diode low / high. On the front there is a battery charging red light to indicate the unit is topping up. There is also a loop so that you can attach it to say your rucksack so that it can charge during the day whilst on your travels.

Light on low with the rubber folded away.
Light on low with the rubber unfurled.
Once unfurled the rubber bag can be inflated by the use of the simple one way seal able valve. The light then becomes a light globe. The pictures below are I'm afraid the wrong way up. They were hanging from my tree.

Inflated it becomes a light globe.
Rear of inflated light globe.
So all in all a simple reasonably cheap to purchase and use light source that weighs next to nothing but gives more than adequate light. You can use the light diode by itself by folding the rubber globe behind the front portion so you have a small torch. Prices vary when trawling the net but generally £20 give or take a pounds.
The LuminAid worked well for a week in Sweden so I'm pleased to have purchased one.

Thanks for Reading


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Honey, Its made from Honey - Mead.

Honey Mead
After returning from Sweden I thought it was time for me to have ago at some homemade mead. I had been contemplating making some wine for a long time. So a recipe was required I found a suitable simple one here river cottage traditional mead honey wine Off to the shops for the required items we went.

With my ingredients purchased I needed to get a Demijohn jar airlock, bung and yeast. We already had sterilising fluid in the form of Milton.

All items being sterilised

The weather was scorching today so I placed the honey on the table outside for 30mins it poured so well.

Warming the honey up

It was actually so easy to make the instructions from the recipe are so simple to follow.

Honey and warmed up spring water.
You have to make a rich water & honey starter and then add it to the demijohn placing in the lemon zest and juice along with the 24 Sultanas. Then shaking like crazy for bit before placing the yeast in the bottle, cork and airlock. That's it really. My home made Blackthorn large spoon shown in the picture is one of my favourite kitchen implements.

I forgot to say I actually made 2 gallons it seemed foolish not to as you have to wait at least 4 months for the fermentation to complete.

I will give you an up date in a few months. Both jars air bubbling away so all is well so far.

Thanks for reading.


Sunday, 1 June 2014

Canoeing in Sweden.

Having just got back from a weeks canoeing in Sweden I thought a short piece for the blog would be appropriate. I traveled with my long time friend Gary.

We arranged our stay in Sweden with Nordmarkens-Kanot-Center. Preben Mortenson the owner of Canoe Centre made us feel extremely welcome and nothing was too much trouble. The centre is very well equipped for all outdoor activities. I would certainly recommend staying with Preben and Nordmarken if you were planning an outdoor break in Sweden. Thank you for such a great time.

Nordrmaken Canoe Centre

We arranged flights with Ryan Air travelling into Rygge Airport. Catching a bus into Oslo and a coach into Arjang Sweden before onward travel to Risviken where the Centre is based. Total travel time without delays about 8 - 9 hours. Though we had delays on both outward and inward flights.

Bus from Rygge Airport to Oslo
 On arrival at Arjang we bought fresh food from the local supermarket for the week ahead.

Arjang, Sweden
Once we got to the Canoe Centre Gary set up in one of the cabins whilst I pitched up the Henry Shires Tarp Tent. The plan was to spend one night in camp before heading of to Jarnsjohn lake the next day on foot.

Base Camp

I have to say that the scenery is fabulous and how peaceful and quiet the whole trip was in general. 

Beach at Risviken, Nordmaken Canoe Centre
Looking at from the beach at Risviken, Nordmaken Canoe Centre.
On the Saturday we packed a light pack and headed off for a short 6 mile walk to the lake at Jarnsjohn to do some fishing and start the trip off.

Dern Jarnsjohn

I make no apologies for the picture heavy content of this blog.  The whole idea was to have a do nothing week in the woods which was exactly what we got. I have to say how chilled and relaxed I feel.

The Sunday morning saw us weather locked in the dern. However, in the early afternoon we started the walk back to the centre to collect the canoes and begin the water part of the trip.

In the bay Sunday afternoon
Sunday early evening
Gary paddling out
We chose to stay two nights at the first location. I did a spot of fishing but was completely unsuccessful. However, I kept persevering.  

Home made Hobo Stove
Bacon & Polar bread
I decided to take my home made hobo stove with me,details of how to make this can be found on my blog here How to make a hobo stove. In addition I found that when the stove was placed onto the ground it did not allow the fire to draw encouraging it to go out. So prior to leaving I made two very simple aluminium supports that fitted together and placed under the stove allowing the air to circulate simple,lightweight and efficient. I also purchased from Wilko's a cheap spirit burner that could also be used if I'm not burning natural materials for the fire. We purchased fuel from the supermarket in Arjang along with Mosi rep LOL.

Breakfast was generally hot rock cooked bacon with polar bread. One of the most enjoyable simple meals I have come across.

On Tuesday morning we struck camp and packed the canoe up and paddled off to another dern further down the lake. I planned that I would live out of my Tatonka Camp Duffle for the week. Everything inside being placed into orderly and labelled dry bags, just in case the worst happened. This worked a treat.

Maps at each Dern location

Wednesday we again packed up and moved by canoe to another site location further down the lake. The fishing at this point was becoming a bit of a joke as I hadn't caught anything an ongoing fact that Gary occasionally reminded me of....................

Northern Pike

Once camps were established then I decided that it was time to go fishing again. This time with more success I managed to catch a Northern Pike on a lure I had brought with me from the UK. This fish supplemented our protein intake that evening.Having never eaten Pike before apart from the pin bones it tasted a bit like cod. I cleaned & and filleted the fish and Gary cooked it up. Hot Rock Chilli Pike.

Thursday saw us move again but not before our normal breakfast. However, for some it was a triple day as we had a hard paddle into the wind to our next destination... Triple Bacon powered paddling.

Today it dawned on me that it was going to be my last night on the canoeing phase before heading home to Risviken on Friday and the end of my stay. It had been such a relaxing time.

Arrival at the final location

Final sunset on a wonderful trip
On the Friday morning we packed our bits and pieces and loaded the canoe. We paddled out of the sheltered inlet to be hit by a very strong head wind. The waves were high and man it was a hard paddle with the front of the canoe slapping onto the water at times, we were flat out on the way back in. What an exhilarating end to the final leg of our week canoeing...

Once back at Risviken camp we setup and started the admin...once completed a final wander around the great facilities at the Nordmaken Canoe Centre which includes a Swedish Sauna and wood fired and heated hot tub, something for the next visit. I have too many picture's to publish them all I hope that you have enjoyed my little report of my week in Sweden.

Admin prior to the return journey to the UK


Thanks for reading.