lauantai 30. lokakuuta 2010

Campfire coffee test ahead.

Ive contacted a several coffee shops and asked if theyre willing to participate in my idea,of running a small test,about instant coffees and coffee done in pots and pans over fire,as its done here in Finland on about every outdoor occasion / event.

So far,i have to thank legendary Finnish brand OPA,that fabricates,distributes and sells, famous coffee pots,along with other traditional outdoor cooking supplies,that have a wellknown reputation among outdoors people here,from hunters to hikers,just about everyone around here,knows their coffee pots and frying pans.

Update 1-11-2010:

Hey,im glad to see that even a huge company,Gustav Paulig Ltd. is willing to help me out to get several different coffee's by offering me few of their own roasts.

Thanks a Lot ! 

perjantai 29. lokakuuta 2010


Im pretty happy for my buddy whos already graduated as a wilderness guide,and my personal friend too. He went and got this small piece of land for hire,and he doesnt have to apy in money at all,instead he only has to keep the area in order by cleaning the bushes and branches and similar task like that. Hes going to build a small birdwatch tower and kota there,among other essentials like a loo,and a woodshelter and a firepit with pothanger.

How great is that.Theres no neighbours or roads nearby either.What else can you ask for ?

I myself...i might get a small kick of luck too,as my friend offered this small cabin at shore of a lake that has also a river running thru it,for similar deal. Its located very far away from my home,in real lapland. The cabin would be small having bunks for six persons,and a woodstove,few stools,bench and a log-table and a porch,plus separate sauna made from logs,big enough for some 4 persons to bath.You cant drive to its yard,in fron of the door no,and thats one thing i like about.When you drive to the cabin,in front of the door,you usually also haul way too much gear there with you.With this cabin,its not gonna happen. Theres supposed to be great woods to hunt,paths to hike,and especially,that lake and that river from it,to be paddled with my canoes.

I hope this thing turns out as a deal in a week.

keskiviikko 27. lokakuuta 2010

Kupilka, you say ?

Today the kind postman ringed my doorbell as he couldnt yank the rather big envelope thru the mailbox opening in my door. There was a few propaganda leaflets,one very interesting booklet about making food over campfire and most of all,two pieces of spanking new Kupilka cups,one bigger reacting to modelname 21 and his smaller tiny brother,model 5. The modelnames also tells us the capacity of these cups in centiliters. So i think that the small cup will be tested out with a whiskey shot as it takes the regular 4cl portion just like that,and the bigger takes 2 deciliters without spilling the hot brew over the sides.

I think that i will use these modern day kuksa alternatives during next weekends hike,snap a few pictures and then tell you more about how i feel about these gadgets. So far ive only had one cup of coffee from "21" and my first plus-mark came from the nice grip it offers,due to its nicely designed handle,and another one just for the nice looks of it,as its more wooden-like than i expected it to be.

Meanwhile,you can check Kupilka products from their homepage:

And my fellow in lightweight class,famous Mr.Morkel,who runs his blog,made his rewiev about Kupilka products already,go and read his opinions,please:

Thanks for the cups goes out for Michael N,at Kupilka company.

tiistai 26. lokakuuta 2010

Boredom turned to cooking.

Today i thought i had a good chance to get my butt to this small shooting range,and i waited for the call for two hours with my rifle cleaned and gear packed but it went and blew and i lost my chance.

So i had more time to do other things to kill boredom,and i had this almost kilo weighting piece of moose beef in cold and i took it out,sliced it and cut it in small dice-sized cubes.  Then i made a marinade out of half can of Karhu beer, few corks of cheap whiskey,half desiliter of food oil,ground coarse pepper,chili powder,salt,drip of honey and ground dried mushrooms. I hope it turns out as good as it tastes already in the bowl,all mixed together. So tomorrow im making some better food out of it,by chopping unboiled potato slices,into cast iron pot,and thrown in also few sliced carrots,few dried cranberries,crowberries,can of some tasty cider and then cover the rest that remains with water,throw it in for several hours in oven with lid on pot and just wait, wait till i get my jobs done and till i can just eat it all in good company.

maanantai 25. lokakuuta 2010

Mondays,not to be hated on every occasion.

I have a hunch of tomorrow. I dont have any real tasks so i will stop by at Vi-He's "factory shop",receive maybe a few things from post office,and then continue my way to the small lake,or should i say,a pond,near by,with filled thermor bottles,something to munch and box of matches. Oh and hey,our new dog comes with us too.

I have few books waiting for me to pick-up on our local library,tales about this interesting figure called "Mosku",and few books about general hiking,nature medicins and food resources.

I hope it doesnt rain water,i'd prefer permanent snow already.

perjantai 22. lokakuuta 2010

Firesteel tip

I dont know how fascinating tip this is but anyway.

Firesteels tend to be noisy,and whats the worst,they get bad from moist,sweat and from the air,as time gos by. Immediately when youve scraped off the new firesteel and the protective paint / such,is worn off,the underlying steel alloy starts to oxide.
This can be stopped by keeping yur steel dry and by putting something to the scraped surface,may it be fast drying paint that chips when dry,or some tape,some again use nail polish. My solution this time was a piece of this plastic tube that shrinks from heat,used in electrical joints.This is now made to Light My Fire's new,improved firesteel "2.0" which also has a far better scraper,better handles and also,a small safety whistle built in another handle. I added the heat shrinking tube to totally new,un used firesteel as it will be held in my car for long perioids and used just in case of real need,so it has to be protected well.

All you need is something to heat up the tube and some cutting device,even pair of sharp teeth will do the trick,no need for expensive knives at all :). Cut the tube in desired lenght plus add a bit,as the tube will shrink also in length. Slip it over the steel. Then just push the tube towards the firesteels handle as you heat it,so the steel wont shrink from that end and it will cover the whole firesteel. Let the tube then cool down and cut the excess material off,and thats it.

maanantai 18. lokakuuta 2010

And now IT has a sheath it seems.

What do you think of this,its the sheath for my new knife i wrote about just afew days ago.

It has all the things i asked for:

-heavy duty leather with brass enforcing

-firesteel holder on the backside

-accessory pouch on the front,for a few essentials,or somethin.Its sized so that most of the 5" multitools will fit too,but i was thinking of sharpening stone.

-Dangler carry

-the knife rides deep in the sheath.

-All details based on longlasting and durability,over fine looks and detailed decorations,although T.Kotavuopio added those few spruce decorations,just as i wished for,as theyre one of his personal marks,most of the knives he makes,bears the same marks.

Im pretty astonished,i say.

torstai 14. lokakuuta 2010

Check it out. The knife i hope to replace all others.

This is the knife T.Kotavuopio has been making to me for some time,when has had time,according to my ideas and drawings,tips,comparisons to other knives that i like,needs and suggestions. This is in its own way,part of me getting rid of gear hoarding and knife fever. I ve been carrying two fixed blades for quite along time now,changed them occasionally,from Brisas Enzo 07 steel trapper,with 95mm blade,to Fallknivens F1,and i havent ever got into clear decision of which of these two is better,and i  like to carry always just one knife and this should be it.

Its not ready yet,the sheath is still in progress,but the knife itself is starting to look ready indeed. I just received this picture and im astonished by the looks of it as i havent seen,a single picture before this one as i asked him to keep it kind of a surprise,the final form and all.

Its made out of K460 carbon steel.

-12.3 cm handle length.
-14 cm blade length.
-5 mm spine thickness.
-unidendified hard-as-arock wood handle scales,oiled and waxed.
-Brass pins from Brisa.
-Tube for lanyard made from .270 Win. cartridge.

This is all i know right now,and as x-mas comes,it should be totally ready with its complex ( as said by maker himself ) sheath.

                                Hamon included ;)


If you are interested to get one of Kotavuopios custom knives,i can help you to get one.Blacksmith himself has very limited english skills but i have helped few foreign fellows to get theirs allready,by acting just as an translator between customer and maker.His knives are priced from around 200 euros to 250 euros,usually not higher,a slong as you dont want a quarter inch 20" machete or similar.

For example here's one combo made by order,and shipped overseas.Its based on my own chopper knife but has also a sidekick puukko with it,as well as a sturdy sheath with firesteel holder.

Falls gone,winter ahead. Thoughts and M-65 jacket mod 's.

Ive been going to my friends freetime cabin site,in Kuru,chopping firewood,smoking fish,hunting small game and such and cleaning up his piece of land,as he 's building his own cabin there. A real old time cabin,without electric current plugged in,although he 'll be adding solar power panel to the roof to have some lightning and fridge inside,as his family aint so in to un-electrified least yet.

I spent just some two days in a row again,chasing birds and rabbits and i got a few too,thats just great,as ive been hearing so much nonsense tales about rifle not being a good hunting method for birds specially,and the only right one would be shotgun.Well i 've got some with bullets now and im happy,more than if i would have got my game with fistful of lead balls flying from shotgun.

We woke up one night and almost started to put on our outdoor clothings as there was a real storm outside,and i got bit worried about trees fallin on top of our trailer,which is there as a cabin,till the right one is ready. And at morning the same frigging wind and snow kept coming,with a finger biting speed. That didnt stop us,and we packed up our packs and guns and drove to the place where we wanted to hunt. And almost immediately after some 5 minutes after landing from my friends 4x4,i stumbled up on bird,tasty birds,and snapped one. All day long we hiked in this area which is pretty much rocky hills or moist swamps. It felt pretty good just walkin there,i wasnt goin to disappoint if i would have gotten witout any catch anyway. We found two old huts and lit up small fires in them,fried some sausage ( our national food,hahaa... ),boiled some coffee and such. The sun was shining,wind was freesing and everything was like it ought to be,good for the soul.

During next weekend i am propably heading back there,to make some fire wood,and just to bathe in sauna,etc. The bird hunting season is gone for me for this year now,and then ill be concentrating on (ice) fishing and rabbit hunting.

And IF i somehow can arrange time and everything,i cave a tiny chance at end of the next week,to head up to Kuusamo area 's,to hunt small game,mostly birds,but thats to see then. I wouldnt mind a small trip up north at all :)

Ive been sewing and stitching a bit,to make a better winter jacket. I got a O.D green Tru-Spe 's M-65 Field Coat,again from Varusteleka and i can tell you that it actually is pretty rugged and nicely done clone of the legendary U.S Army jacket.My girlfriend has an issued,genuide M65,and i compared these two and its pretty acurate. jacket is missing buttons that attach the hood,into the collar.There are the button holes but no sign of the buttons. And one difference is that originals seem to have waist adjustment with a shoelace type of material,and Tru-Specs have this shocord,flexible stuff. I replaced the flexible cord with Paracord,and sewed on the missing buttons.All the seams in the jacket,including ends of seams are done better than well,and the material seems rugged and authentic too.Overall it feels definetely good product for outdoors activities,as it also comes with removable warm liner so its suits for warm and colder weathers as well. Anyway,i also stitched on two paracord loops,near the wrists of jacket so i can attach my gloves to them,so they wont drop immediately to the pile of snow,if i have to remove gloves,or mittens,to use knife,compass,or to release some bodily fluids. Another small addition was to stitch up this piece of sleeping mattress,about 5 millimeters thick and in about size of 30 x 20 centimeters. I made a waterproof cloth cover for the mattress piece,sewed it in to the lowest seam in the back of the jacket,from its upper side,and this way i have a dry insulated waterproof pad to sit on anywhere.It flips like hinged,inside the jacket,and attaches in to buttons that i stitched inside the jacket. So you can release the buttons and the pad drops down,and hangs there. I saw few years ago a jacket with similar sitting pad, i dont remember the brand or anything but it made sense to me. The last mod this far was to attach a small hidden pocketabove left hip,insid ethe jacket,its sewed from all sides,to prevent it from opening accidentally. So it has to be cut open to reveal the firesteel that i also triple coated with nailpolish to prevent it from getting bad. Along with the firesteel theres a single bladed Wenger folding knife and a button compass. This might be over-reacting i know but what the heck,its still better to carry those than to miss those in after loosing your pack and other gear.

Along with the jacket came a Swiss Army 's surplus canteen with a metal cup.
It holds about one liter,or bit less,has a good seal,and its kind of flat,which it makes it easy to carry in just about any pocket you find.The cup has well made folding wire handles and the bottle fits very snugly in the cup with out any clanking or other irritating noise while carried. This small,lightweight,and dirt cheap piece of gear is something thats very useful,as it offers a good way to collect,purify and carry water,in compact size. I ve encountered some suspicious thoughts about surplus gear,every now and then,and whining about that surplus aint really for hiking,and should be avoided. this sounds only ridicilous in my ears,really. Army gear is in most cases made to last,and and serve you well in the woods,and in surplus shop you wont pay looks and trends and such.Offcourse,surplus is used and sometimes worn a bit but its also pretty cheap at that case.It might be heavier compared to average joes outdoor & sports shop stuff,yes,but its usually the materials,that weight,as its made to last longer in harder enviroments where low weight isnt only goal.Usually (IMO) the lighter it is-more likely ill break it some day.But its just me and my thoughts. I my self wont pay extra for lightweight ever.For bright "happy" colours,i wont open my wallet either.If its compact in size,i might consider it yes indeed. But i just like to melt in the surrounding woods,to camouflage and trust that my gear is built to last. And this always makes someone to see me,and most of my friends as some warcrazy,home Rambo 's,as surplus obviously makes their users look militaristic. And some people just wont accept this,and i just dont get it. Everyone should have freedom to choose,may it be Ultralight packpacking or heavy duty old school rubberboot-guerilla,tubular-frame pack dragging,as long as theyre happy doing it,and there is nothing wrong about doing it this or that way. I try to keep my eyes and ears open,and learn from other hikers,and its nice to argue in relaxed way,about different styles of hiking but hey,if it goes too narrow minded its soooooo much waste of time and oxygen. Some like to go fast,and are taking it as one challenge,againt heart-rate and time spent. Some like to take it slow,enjoy the nice views and carry their favourite heavy books out there,along with cast iron pans and pots.Some like to chew their energy gels in the light of keychain Led-light,some like to chop the fire wood with their own axe,and stare it,while munching their favourite kalakukko. Whats wrong in these different ways....? Nothing,i think,but ive seen this annoying "my UL group sits here,your Heavy gear group sits there,and we keep casting judging looks from group to another" thing happening time after time and kept wondering it. Every man out there,is,still a hiker and outdoorsman,and in my opinion they should try to unite,if not melt into one family,but still,to be bit more open minded and concentrate on our common enemies as companies that waste the land,rape the soil and make out paths shorter day after day,by cutting down every tree they can,to produce profit,at any cost without any worry about our woods,streams,lakes,flora and fauna.

Theyre something to judge and investigate,not that man in different outfit & gear.

This leads my thoughts to this one thing......I 've understood that theres speeches and plans made,to put up a payment,that you should,or must pay,to use our every-mans-right cabins. This far ive used them quite a lot,and i think theyre already maintained well,by taxing this nation. Theres whole lot of discussion and fight,among hikers,offending this future plan. I understand that as theyre always been free for our use,its pretty bad to pay for the service. Nonetheless, i still,would pay for the 20 Euros payment,to have access and legal right to use the cabins. Government 's stopping the maintenance,gas bottle exchange,firewood service,already,from the cabins that are getting older and/or those that arent so popular,mainly the ones that are really far,where the main public arent visiting often. By paying this fee,i hope the cabins could still be kept somewhat like now,and they would serve the next generation(s) too.

There are loads of "wild" cabins,that arent served in any way,by goverment money,some are now only ruins and memories,few mossy logs crossed in river banks,next to old,througly rusted cast iron stove hiding in bush,but there are also many cabins kept well,and used by determined hikers,that ski uncounted kilometers in waist high snow,with intention to stop a leak,in some age old cabins roof,just to have this simple place to sleep and stay,for next summers fishing trip.All this just for the cause,with no expectation of ever getting rewarded or paid. Its something to admire and appreciate.

So hats up for every man or woman that takes care,even in modest methods,of these traditional hide-outs,with their own wallets,own hands,own tools and their own time.

Heres a link to the greatest website ive seen,about the cabins,their locations,history,pics and everything.Ive stared this for days,for many years:


keskiviikko 6. lokakuuta 2010

Basic hunting weekend pack.


as i mentioned ive started to cut down the amount of unnecessary stuff,to get back to the roots,in a way,to enjoy from the little things with less gear freak-action.

Here it goes.

For starters im showing you my simple (in my opinion) every-day-carry-in-the-woods-while-hunting-and-camping pack.

Its some 10 years old Vi-He manufactured,handmade (hah..well all the vi-he stuff is) daypack.Kind of a schoolpack,but just a hint bigger,offering maybe 25-28 liters plus the small front pocket. It has a simple sturdy carry system without anything special,if you dont count in the upper backs two criss-cross tightening straps that allow you to squeese the load snugly againts your back.It has simple belt too,that has its buckle more on the side. Two way zippers,and waterproof materials,and thats about it. Its not an old school cotton pack,unfortunately,although id like to get one but they are way too high-riding in my back and look like kid 's pack if i wear those.

 Well thats all the fuzz about the pack,like i said,nothing special,no re-enacting,no swat team gear either.

In the pack i carry few stuff sacks containing:

Sack one has british cooking thingy,crusader mess tin,that acts as a frying pan and a pot,large enough for one mans needs,definetely.I never understand men carrying around large pots and pans if theyre alone. Also included is a cheap taiwanese folding knife with can opener and removable small fork and spoon.Last things in this bag are Finnish army 0.6 liter canteen bottle and a (Swedish?) Fold-a-Cup.
Oh and in the mini-grip pouch theres few tea and coffee sachets,water purifying tabs,bullion cube,etc,small stuff,just in case i need a cup of hot brew some day.

Sack two contains my rifle stuff,ammo,cleaning kit,small binoculars,oil and the bipod plus an old sock to prevent the stuff from making noise and to act as a wipe.

Sack three contains a waterproof matchcase that has matches,some tinder,medium sized needle,some thread,two hooks,split weight and some few meters of .25mm fishing line.Theres also a compass,Victorinox Tradesman folding knife with belt sheath,diamond sharpener,small towel and liquid soap,large firesteel with reindeer antler handle,a small led flashlight,and a tiny first aid kit that has migraine pills,plasters,wipes,bandaid,snakebite pills,etc,small necessities.

About the only things left are small S.A Wetterlings hatchet and Vi-He mini laavu,and thats about it,the only things ill be adding to this pack is some spare socks,mittens,food,water,woolcap / hat and occasionally Savotta space blanket rolled together with a thin,large blanket,this is if i am about to do a one-night stand out there,but mainly this is what i carry for dayhikes.

This pack will serve me more than fine,it has all the stuff for good day outside,and in emergency i can spend a night in the bush too with the gear included.And it all fits there just fine,leaving room for more.It covers the basic needs for shelter,fire,water collecting and purification,navigating.In no way this is spartan kit,i can collect one any day but this stuff above doenst weight alot,i can just grab it and go,without fear of lacking any vital stuff,as long as i remember to stuff in something to eat :).

The only things missing are my hunting licence,licence to carry my rifle,length of paracord and a small notebook and a pencil.

Its not cheapest there is neither,but its not certainly any hi-tech brand worshipping kit either,juts some gear that ive grown to like,trust and carry.

Next pack will be my Karrimor Sabre 35,that ive carried quite a good time with a similar but bit more stuff in it,to cover All my needs out there,and more.