Browsed by
Category: Winter Expeditions

Arctic Lean-To Revisited

Arctic Lean-To Revisited

Lean-to shelters have become one of the touchstones of bushcraft, particularly northern forest bushcraft. They are often held up as superb survival shelter – in combination with a long log fire – ideal for surviving cold conditions with limited or no sleeping equipment. This combination is indeed very effective in keeping you warm through the night. It is entirely possible to comfortably sleep outside in ambient temperatures significantly lower than inside a domestic freezer. It’s worth bearing in mind, however,…

Read More Read More

Choosing And Using A Snow Shovel For Winter Camping And Travel

Choosing And Using A Snow Shovel For Winter Camping And Travel

If you ask people to draw up a list of the equipment they think important to take with them on a winter journey or on a winter camping trip, particularly in the northern forest, they might state an axe for felling dead standing wood for firewood. They might also state a saw for sawing up that firewood into manageable lengths but…

Hestra Bivak Meets Lovikka: My Quest For Perfect Winter Handwear

Hestra Bivak Meets Lovikka: My Quest For Perfect Winter Handwear

In cold environments, a very good set of mittens is essential. A truly good set of mittens is hard to find, though. There’s a lot of tat on the market. Plus mittens that are ideal for one type of environment or activity are not necessarily ideal for another. For a long time I was looking for my ideal set of mittens for winter trips in the boreal forest. Over the years I’ve tried a fair few different models of gloves…

Read More Read More

How To Live In A Heated Tent

How To Live In A Heated Tent

A heated tent is a fantastic way to spend the long, dark nights of winter outdoors, particularly in the deep cold of the far north. While a modern four-season mountain tent – or even a bivvy – may be tolerable for a few nights out in sub-zero temperatures, when it comes to truly living outdoors for an extended period in a winter environment, nothing beats a heated tent. Hot tenting has a lot going for it. First – and very…

Read More Read More

Axe Choice For The Northern Forest

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…

Tree Felling For Winter Firewood: Axe and Saw

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 a fire, these skills should be in your winter bushcraft repertoire. I hope you enjoy the video and find it useful. Let me know what…

Read More Read More

Winter Magic: Return To The Northern Forest

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 before. Despite many visits, the pull of the boreal forest seems to grow stronger with greater familiarity. I’m not the only one to be drawn…

Read More Read More

How to Dress for the Far North on a Budget

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…

How To Split Firewood on Snow: Key Axe Techniques

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…