Boreal Forest

Post image for Snow Shelters: Why We Don’t Build Igloos In The Forest

Traditionally igloos were tundra shelters, with other snow shelters and snowhouses involving mounding up snow being favoured in the forest. But modern Ice Box devices blur this boundary. So, I thought I would investigate building an igloo-type shelter in the boreal forest… Read more >>

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Post image for Tracking Rudolph: Reindeer Tracks & Sign

Reindeer, Rangifer tarandus, known as Caribou in North America, are a widespread northern hemisphere species of deer, which are found in the boreal forest, mountains and tundra. The sub-species most familiar in Scandinavia and Northern Europe (and which have been reintroduced into Scotland) are specifically Eurasian Tundra Reindeer, Rangifer tarandus tarandus. Most modern Western societies associate reindeer with Christmas and the most famous of them is, of course Rudolph, with its fabled red nose… Read more >>

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Post image for #AskPaulKirtley Episode 13: Boots, EDC Kit, Bow-Drill Positions, Tracking, Bushcraft During Hunting Season, Powerless Refrigeration

In this episode of #AskPaulKirtley I answer questions about boots, EDC kit, preparing your equipment for outings, getting started with animal tracking, bushcraft during the hunting season, alternative bow-drill positions and ways of managing without refrigeration while camping. What Is #AskPaulKirtley? #AskPaulKirtley is my Q&A video and podcast series that aims to answer your questions […] Read more >>

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Post image for Axe Choice For The Northern Forest

In the Northern Forest, an axe is your most important cutting tool. There is a general trend amongst outdoors people to carry quite small axes. These small axes are very wieldy, yet you can apply to them to large jobs such as felling trees as well as quite fine jobs such as carving useful implements and splitting quite fine firewood. However, in the Northern Forest, it’s my view, that a larger axe than this has specific advantages… Read more >>

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Post image for Tree Felling For Winter Firewood: Axe and Saw

In this video I look at felling dead, standing timber for firewood in winter. The felling technique involves the use of both the axe and the saw to create a very controlled cut and fall. Further, axe and saw techniques for sectioning the trunk are demonstrated and discussed. Whether you are hot-tenting or bivouacking with […] Read more >>

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Post image for Winter Magic: Return To The Northern Forest

Each winter I like to get away to the snow. I enjoy winter mountain walking in Scotland. Ski touring in Norway is also a favourite. But the northern forest in winter has a special allure which is hard to escape. I’ve experienced this environment many times and I’ve certainly written about my love of it […] Read more >>

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Post image for Surviving A Winter’s Night in the Northern Forest: How To Build An Arctic Lean-To

A lean-to is a classic shelter of the northern forests. It is an open-fronted shelter that depends upon fire to keep the occupant warm. This type of shelter has the advantage of a relatively simple construction method requiring few tools. As long as you have access to plenty of firewood, a lean-to will keep you […] Read more >>

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Post image for How to Dress for the Far North on a Budget

Having written articles on cold injuries and cold weather clothing, I’ve had a lot of people ask about clothing on a tighter budget than I allow myself as a professional instructor. I happened to have a conversation about this with a student of mine, Barry Smith; he offered to jot down his thoughts as he had budgeted in this way more recently than I had… Read more >>

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Post image for How To Split Firewood on Snow: Key Axe Techniques

The amount of firewood required in the northern forest in winter demands the use of an axe. Unlike staying in a cabin, however, when staying in a heated tent you are unlikely to have the use of a chopping block. So, you need to have a repertoire of axe techniques that include being able to safely split logs on snow as well as easily produce… Read more >>

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Post image for Winter Clothing for the Northern Wilderness part 2

Footwear, Handwear and Headwear Clothing for winter in the northern wilderness must cope with a wide range of temperatures, from around freezing to -50oC (-58oF) or lower. While your body core must be kept warm to prevent hypothermia, your extremities are more likely to suffer cold injuries and your feet, hands and head need special […] Read more >>

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