PK Podcast 006: Winter Outdoor Life Tips, Thoughts And Perspectives

PK Podcast 006: Winter Outdoor Life Tips, Thoughts And Perspectives

Paul Kirtley lying down in front of large fire consisting of two logs
Keeping warm in front of a special type of long-log fire. I talk about this and more in episode 6 of my podcast. Photo: Ben Gray

Listen To Episode 6 Of The Paul Kirtley Podcast

In episode 6 of my podcast I travel to northern Sweden for a winter camping trip and along the way pass on some advice for winter outdoor life, build a special survival fire and meet a Sami man who provides insight into his traditional way of life.

How To Listen To This Podcast

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Snowtrekker tent in the forest
Winter camping in a Snowtrekker tent. Sweden, February 2015. Photo: Paul Kirtley.
Man looking into tent stove
Winter heated-tent life is cosy but there are various safety precautions you need to take with stoves inside tents. I talk about this and other hazards to avoid in the above podcast. Photo: Paul Kirtley.

Links To Items Mentioned Episode 6 Of The Paul Kirtley Podcast

External Links:

Snowtrekker Tents


Links To Material On Paul Kirtley’s Blog:

How To Live In A Heated Tent

Cold Injuries: Take Care In The Blue Zone


Lean-To Shelter & Long Log Fire

Northern Forest Fire Lighting

How To Generate Water In The Frozen North

Choosing An Axe For The Northern Forest

Choosing A Snow Shovel For Winter Camping And Travel


Click here to read or download the transcript of Paul Kirtley Podcast episode 006.

Thanks For Listening!

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28 thoughts on “PK Podcast 006: Winter Outdoor Life Tips, Thoughts And Perspectives

  1. Awesome podcast! Really useful info throughout. Downloading all of them now. My 3 week old son and I will be listening to them this afternoon!

    1. Thanks for your feedback Sam. That’s great. I hope you and your son enjoy the rest of them 😉

      All the best,


  2. I enjoyed this a lot. It was fascinating to hear Per Erik talk and to get a glimpse of how the Sami view life and their interactions with other people.

    I’ve listened to all of your podcasts now after finding you after the Kevin Callan episode and I look forward to more. I hope you’ll keep these up for a long time.

    And also I want to mention that I think Fjelltur was really well done, and I hope you’ll have the chance to make more episodes like that. I know it’s a lot of work to make a film like that but it’s much appreciated.

    All the best Paul and keep up the excellent work.

    1. Hi Rob,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed this podcast. I particularly appreciate the positive feedback as the format is something of a departure from previous episodes.

      Thanks also for your feedback re Fjelltur. I will certainly be looking to share more journeys in that way.

      Warm regards,


  3. Thankyou Paul for another very enjoyable podcast, yes a different format but variety, the spice of life, and it was really good to hear yourself talk of some of your own very rich experiences.
    I loved hearing you talk with the Sami people and you could feel the warm atmosphere, I have a love of Sami stories and am fortunate to hear a few from good friends Tilly and Alan Smith who own the Cairngorm Reindeer herd (the only herd in Britain to be located in an environment deemed suitable by Mikel Utsi, founder) and take regular trips and stays with the Sami..
    I have yet to reach this part of the world but can say it won’t be long, I have been Winter camping here in Scotland using a Lavvu and stove for many years now and it’s the best…
    I look forward to your next podcast and our upcoming webinar. Best wishes..

    1. Hi Alan,

      As always, it’s good to hear from you.

      Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts on this episode.

      I think you’d love the forest in northern Sweden…

      Warm regards,


  4. Hi Paul,
    very interesting ear you and the nature surroundings!

    I appreciate what you ‘re shareing us the real bushcraft, for me very useful.

    Thanks a lot and warm regards.

    Pierluigi Tucci

    1. Hi Pierluigi,

      I’m happy you liked this, particularly the sounds of the fire and the forest.

      I will try to make more recordings like this, in nature, where I share experience and knowledge directly.

      Thanks for your feedback.

      Warm regards,


  5. Dear Paul,
    A most informative and enjoyable Podcast! I do hot-tent camping here in Minnesota; and I found your review of general principles of winter camping both accurate (compared to my experience) and informative, with new perspective and tips for even the experienced winter camper.
    The way you logically organize and present your material always enhances the value of the information you present.
    The inclusion of Per Erik and the glimpse of Sami culture is a great extra bonus.

    1. Hi Alfred,

      It’s always great to hear from you. I’m glad you enjoyed this podcast and that my thoughts chime with your experience too.

      Thanks also for your feedback on the way I organise and present material.

      Warm regards,


  6. Hi Paul
    I really enjoy your posted photos and seriously am enjoying your March podcast. I like your tent and
    speak from hard experience. I worked in the nortwestern timber industry 28 yrs. We used a military
    surplus tent with wood stove on job at -30F. Insulation a key around tent and a bit of ventilation the
    prudent key against monoxide gas. Also you are fully correct about felt pack boots. No gloves-use mittens
    to keep fingers warm. Absolutely fantastic podcast and I really respect your world-wide audience.
    Fantastic Regards To All Of You
    Jim Watkins- Pacific NW

    1. Hey Jim,

      Thanks for your kind words. Glad you enjoyed this one so much.

      Fantastic regards back at you!


  7. You speak about liners that keep the sweat from going onto the clothes, I heard this trick before. Can you possibly mention some brands that make liners for gloves and socks (boots)? Its maybe preferable to sweat but not transfer the sweat on the clothes/gloves/socks, than transfer it and then freeze up if you stop being active in the outdoors.

    1. Hi Iro,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I was actually meaning warm liners that are detachable from the boot or the glove or mitten. So that they are easily dried. Felt liners for boots are very effective.

      What you are thinking of is a vapour barrier and it can be effective. The only time I use this principle, however, is effectively in reverse. If my boots get so wet that my feet are wet (most likely from overflow water on lakes) then I put a plastic/polythene bag between my socks and the boot liner. If my socks were soaking then I change to dry socks if I have them. They will get a little damp from sweat but better than soaking. If I have spare felt boot liners, then I put on dry socks and put the plastic bag between the new boot liner and the wet boot. You can also use – large – GoreTex socks over your dry socks.

      I hope this helps clarify my thinking.

      Warm regards,


      1. Right,sorry it was my mistake, did not get it the first time I heart the podcast. I like very much the idea of liners that allow me not to transfer sweat to socks or boot liners, cause I am not sure i can always have the chance to dry things…. For example if somoene camps for days and days without chance to stop in a hut, then getting moist onto fabrics means suicide almost, and they tend not to dry in the open unless with the help of fire.

        Maybe you know a way to dry clothes in the tent except the hanging rope in most tents, in freezing temps even that doesnt work. I read that putting the wet clothes underneath the sleeping bag, they will get their moisture out by morning due to the heating of the person sleeping and the sleeping bag, but im not sure.

        All these is just theory for me, so I cannot be sure how they work. Thanks a lot for the reply and the amazing podcasts on the Sami people,I love ’em! They are today (well some of them), who we were also, many thousands years ago.

        1. Hi Iro,

          No problem. I think you are asking a good question about the moisture. Yes it can be a big problem if there is no heated tent or warm cabin.

          The first thing to say is that the better you manage your perspiration and your clothing/sleeping equipment, the less of a problem it will be. A vapour barrier can help but it can also cause other problems (such as soft feet).

          One way to get moisture out of clothing layers is to let them freeze, then beat it out of them. This works better with shell garments and single layers rather than down or synthetic insulated items.

          As for putting clothes under the sleeping bag, I would say almost certainly that you should never do this. Even in a heated tent when we let the fire die down over night, I get condensation between by sleeping mat and the ground sheet, sometimes between the sleeping bag and sleeping mat. There can be a remarkable amount of moisture accumulating. The same if I use a duvet jacket as a pillow – the undetneath of this “pillow” is often wet in the morning. So putting damp clothes here will potentially make them worse. Also, even in non-winter conditions, putting wet clothing near to your sleeping bag is not a good idea. Your sleeping bag is the last thing you want to get wet at any time of year….

          Warm regards,


          1. Unbelievable and smart, thanks so much for the great tip! Has been buffling me for so long…

  8. Hi Paul,
    Finally got to listen to and enjoy this excellent podcast. I think that a non interview style was really good. I was very interested in what you had to say about hot tent camping, the tips and disciplines etc and it is something I would love to try one day for sure. I particularly enjoyed listening in to Per Erik’s sharing of his wisdom, forged from his Sami traditional life.. most interesting about the salt in coffee. His humour and perspective on life was enthralling and I was reminded by him about the importance of making the day ‘yours’. I almost felt I was sitting there with you guys having good ‘crack’ ( hahah wish I was!)
    Thanks Paul for this podcast.. excellent.

    1. Hi Vee,

      Thanks for your comments, in particular your feedback on the varying style of the podcast.

      I’m glad you also enjoyed listening to Per Erik’s thoughts.

      I’ll aim to produce more podcasts in this style as well as maintaining a good selection of conversations/interviews.

      Warm regards,


  9. Paul, thanks much for doing these podcasts. I’ve been winter camping here in Minnesota for about 38 years and always like to hear others ideas. Good stuff. I really enjoyed the time you spent with Per Erik. I have some Sami blood in me myself and I hope to one day visit Samiland. My friends all like to bring chairs on camping trips and I’ve always enjoyed sitting on the ground. Maybe that’s part of my heritage too. Again, thanks for sharing.

    1. Hey bob,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m glad you enjoyed Per Erik’s thoughts and insights.

      You should definitely visit Scandinavia when you get the chance. It’s part of your heritage….

      As you heard in the podcast, Per Erik was comfortable squatting or sitting on the ground. His comment about “some people do yoga….” definitely rang true.

      Thanks again for listening to the podcast and for your comments.

      Warm regards,


  10. Thanks Paul,

    I haven’t spent much time out in winter these past few years, but in my youth I certainly snowshoed with toboggan and layers of inner wool and cotton exterior. I recall beating the frost off my clothes in the morning to put them on, brr. But my inners were well dry and warm in my 5 star down sleeping bag. Yes, spare liners, pare mitts and at least two pair spare wool socks were always worth their weight in gold.

    Best regards,

  11. Great episode Paul, lots of very valuable tips. 🙂 It was also very fascinating to get an insight into the Sami life.

    All the best,

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