Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Early autumn; it's not even very cold yet, but it certainly is damp. Two weekends not being able to climb outside due to rain and more rain. Those autumnal alternatives have to kick in instead.

Biking - this is the easy bit home, but not having a helmet cam I can't get footage of the interesting bit because I'm holding on too hard and trying not too crash into the numerous trees as I slither down my favourite bit of single track. If anyone can suggest good tyres for gripping slimy tree routes I would be grateful, although I suspect they don't actually exist.

Hiking - out with the family for a stroll in a soggy forest. The autumn colours and abundant fungi make it more interesting. Two days ago I found a big pile of still steaming moose poo on my biking route, but unfortunately didn't get to see its creator. It's that moose time of year so watch out.

And even indoor climbing - me at the Cave Boulderkeskus, Konala. Desperate weather calls for desperate measures. Actually it's good fun, and the Cave is a welcoming, chilled place with friendly staff. I know I've been climbing in Finland a good time when I recognise half the people there on a quiet Saturday afternoon.

And sausages and hot chocolate cooked on an campfire - ace. This fire I lit with a flint and steel by the way, of which I'm quite proud. All very Ray Mears. If anyone knows what is the traditional tinder collected in Finland for catching a spark from a flint, I'd love to know. I have to bring cotton wool from home, which obviously somewhat negates the point - I could just as easily bring a lighter. Nevertheless, the kids were mildly impressed. To do the full Ray Mears thing, I guess I should be collecting thistle fluff, some hard to find lichen, reindeer bum hair or some other ridiculously hard to find material that will actually catch a spark from the flint. Fingers crossed for at least one dry day this coming weekend.


tapsa said...

I think you're in need of "taula". it's made from parts of taulakääpä (fungus that lives on birches) that is first soaked in ash lye (?) and after that dried. i believe the oldest remains of taula are from the last ice age, so it's very traditional.

Toby - Northern Light Blog said...

Thanks dude! That's sounds a bit of a mission to make but if its messy my kids will probably enjoy helping.

Anonymous said...

For more grip on tree roots you could use spiked ice tyres!