Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

The Week in Review

It takes hours to make "The Week in Review", which is also called "The UL Newspaper" (it isn't strictly UL but incooperates all aspects & ways to enjoy the outdoors). If you want to show your support, you can Subscribe via Flattr with the button at the end of the post or go crazy with the Donate button on the About page and decide yourself what free content is worth for you.

News & Various:

Finnish Forests in Lapland are rescued! This is great news, as it allows future generations to enjoy them ancient forests, and demonstrates that grassroots activism can beat the big companies and money.

What is in Glen Van Peski's backpack?

Kupilka has set up a PayPal account, so for US Residents who'd like to get some Kupilka gear this is great news. Contact details at the end of the linked post.

Alan Sloman and Lord Elpus won the TGO Challenge Route of the Year - Congratulations!

Looking for something special to do next year? Then check out this special on the world's tallest virgin peaks, pick one and set out to summit it!

What is your next MYOG Project? is the question I asked last Wednesday. On Monday I reported about how my education as a Wilderness Guide is coming along, while on Friday I took a look at Nessmuk's Woodcraft and Camping.

The Outdoor Stations 315th podcast is about lightweight backpacking in Australia.

You're into Geocaching? Then come to the GC2G855 MEGA Finland 2011 which takes place here in Tampere!

Dan's article about the "Stranger in the Forest" book had me check it out and order it from Amazon. Thanks!

Thomas is giving away a backpackinglight.co.uk solo tarp - head over, introduce yourself and hope that you're lucky!

Ryan enlightens us on When Not to Use a GPS.

Adventure in Progress are planning one (multi-day) trip a month and want to continue during the winter.

Chris tells us the ten things he loves about winter and asks what we love about it.

Jörgens first english book, Smarter Backpacking, is now available on Amazon. Go and get your copy!

Andy has seen the future.

Rio got quasinitro on board and he wrote an exquisite MYOG Cone stove tutorial.

Angelo shows us Lon Chaney's stone cabin. It is gorgeous.

Trip Reports:

Thinking about going to Australia or New Zealand? Check out this guide on how to plan a guide to those two countries.

How about some Mushroom Rocks from Baw Baw National Park in Oz to get you in the mood?

Yeah, that got you all warm and fuzzy, time to cool down with some Winter Packrafting in the Kenai Canyon (Video).

Another winter video to get cool, Adam treats us with part five of his Tahoe Rim Ski Tour.

And warm again. Utah. Mountain bikes. Red sunsets. Blue skies. Jumps. Downhill. Leanin'.

Gavin showcases some superb photos from the sea at Strome Castle.

Simon has a nice post up about his lessons learned in the snow.

Frank went for a trip in Englandshire.

The Glencoe Mountaineer already had an outstanding winter this season, and looks back on the last two months.

So many great posts this week. Gustav treats us to some superb photos from the Norwegian mountains on a December morning trip.

Time for sun then. Royal Wulff took his fly fishing gear and went out to the Juan, and caught some fine big trouts.

The Hamilton Pool Preserve near Austin, TX, looks fantastic, something that kids of all ages certainly would love.

Dylan went to visit Half Dome, some fine photos there.

This weeks highlight and recommended read award goes to Antti from Views and Landscapes. His Repovesi National Park trip report has outstanding photography and shows how beautiful winter in Finland can be.

Paul went on a Peak District Wild Camp with friends, beer and steak!

Compass Points encourages us to go out in winter, and has three National Park Experiences as a suggestion for us.

Benjamin and his dog went for a coffee in the snow.

Joshua hiked to Kaipapa'u Gulch, one of the nicest waterfalls on Hawaii.

Paul visited Ullscarf And Armboth Fell.

A Transylvanian Vision Quest is a guest post by Andras over on terrybnd's blog - go check it out to get a glimpse at another culture.

Dave walked the Boundary Trail - An edgewise experience.

Gear Talk:

Phil's Nordic Outdoor Aural Gearfest is the recommended listen-to this week.

So Kifaru brought out their new lightweight backpacks. I'm not seeing me using them, but then again, I'm not usually carrying 39 kg.

Snowshoes? Hell yeah. Mark muses about his MSR Lightning Ascent Snow Shoes.

Richard looks at the Black Diamond Midweight Fleece Gloves while Joe shows off his new Montane Extreme Mitts.

Some other kind of gear. Simon made two fine looking Wood Spirit staffs made from Ash. Check out his other hand-made gear, including a fine looking kuksa!

Nibe found out that Everything Weighs Something.

Dave takes a peek at the Marquette Backcountry ski.

Pig Monkey put together a list of various synthetic puffy pants, check it out if you need one and want to know which is the warmest one.

Lots of colour and clothes to see on Peter's Haglöfs Winter 2011/12 Preview.

Book Corner: Woodcraft and Camping by Nessmuk

It is again the dark time of the year, where taking a book, a glass of wine or tea and sitting down and reading is a great pastime. It is not like I don't read in the summer - I always read, all the time - but I didn't find the time to write during the warm months my book reviews, something that I now want to catch up with.


"So Woodcraft and Camping, heh, Hendrik. What has it got to do with ultralight backpacking?" I hear you ask. Well, I am a) looking over the boundaries of the UL universe and b) was Mr. Sears an early proponent of lightweight backpacking. Besides, UL backpacking is also about the skills, and looking at what is nowadays commonly known as "Bushcraft" we can learn a thing or two.

I enjoy Nessmuk's humour a lot, it is that kind of selfaware, sarcastic way in which he writes. If you got a sense of humour similar to mine (pitch black with a hint of sarcasm), you will enjoy this book. It is written in an informative style, without being authoritarian on the topic - he shares his knowledge and explains what works for him, and why it should also work for others.

Another interesting point about this book is that we can see that previous generations are thinking the same as we are nowadays. Nessmuk writes how he feels that his fellow citizens are very much out-of-touch with the nature around them, which is like many feel also today. Some things never change.

As with previous book reviews, it probably is most interesting to make a short list of things which I have learned from it.

1. Travel light with a minimum of multipurpose equipment - hatchet, knapsack, knife
2. How to build a outdoor cooking range, aka an outdoor kitchen
3. How a campfire should be made, and from which wood
4. Easy, light outdoor meals
5. Fishing tips
6. How a canoe can make outdoor travel very comfortable
7. About axes and hatchets
8. How to make camps
9. Different kind of shelters

It is a great little book, something you can read on the bus and train to work or home. It will inspire you to try out something new - like carrying an axe, building an indian shelter or a outdoor cooking range - and the little trip report will show that traveling in the backcountry can be fun and entertaining while experiencing something new. If you still need some literature for the holidays or for your workdays, click the underneath photo or link to buy your copy:

Disclosure: If you buy the book via the link I will earn a couple of cents, as I have a Amazon Affiliate Account.

The Ultimate MYOG Project

Goof-off Tuesday has become Goof-off Wednesday. Embrace the change, let work be work and idle away while thinking about the next Make Your Own Gear project you'd like to tackle.

Me sewing my tarp.

My next MYOG Project is going to be a anorak and a pants for winter. Yeah, I got some nice hardshells and pants, but for the winter I want something that breaths very well while keeping wind and snow at bay. And after reading "The Snowwalkers Companion" I made the decision to try natural materials for a change.

Inspiration is the first step, and this inspiration comes from Barleybreeder, Jonas from Nature-base.de and the guys from Empire Canvas Works. I saw Jonas' very nice EtaProof jacket as he was here in February, and after reading about the benefits of this natural material I decided that I will give EtaProof a try. I know, I know, you will be thinking "Cotton Kills" and I have this in mind as well. But I will be skiing in -20°C and it is going to be dry up in Lapland, so I am not too concerned about wetness. Keeping the wind out is priority number one, while having space to wear a lofty jacket underneath it and being light, highly breathable and comfy.

So I will be using this pattern, EtaProof in the 170g/ qm weight and some other bits and pieces. Ordering at Extremtextil is friendly and fast, and once the goods are here you will be kept up-to-date about how the sewing is coming along =)

So what are you waiting for? What is your next MYOG project? A simple meth stove, a backpack, a jacket, tarp? Let us know, and goof-off!