On Monday my BushBuddy Ultra arrived, after only 9 working days in the mail. I drove by bike to the customs to pick it up, and after I paid a 16,50€ customs-fee I was back on my bike. However, I was already a happy backpacker as I couldn't wait to weight it, so I borrowed the scale at the customs office, and my BushBuddy Ultra is 134 gr!
The box it comes in:
Unpacked in front of the lovely wooden box and the instructions leaflet:
I ordered a Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot from Ultralight Outdoor Gear on the same day I ordered the BB Ultra, and it was within five working days delivered to my door. Its beautiful, but I won't feel bad about the soot it will collect - its an item I will use, and not an item I put on the shelve to look at. But here it is in its pristine glory:
The BB fits perfectly in there, and together the two are a beautiful couple:
And here in "cooking simulation":
Both go in the packsack the TT 1100 Pot came in:
Finally, a comparison photo of my old system versus the new system. Trangia 25-3 UL + the Alcohol bottle on the left, BushBuddy Ultra + Tibetian Titanium 1100 Pot in packsack on the right.
The cold hard facts for the number guys out there:
Makes for a total of 293 grams. I will be adding a LMF Swedish FireSteel Mini and some tinder in there, as well as my Spork for cooking. Also a Pot cozy and a wind screen are in the making, so I guess it will increase a bit. But in comparisons to the old system I shaved off around 1700 grams (that includes 1l of Alcohol), so its a lot and a good first step towards a lighter load.
On the price side, I paid 75€ incl. shipping for the BB Ultra + 16,50€ for customs, that's 91,50€, or about the same as the Trangia 25-3 UL set costs. For the TT 1100 Pot I paid about 43€ incl. shipping.
Pictures of the system in action including boiling times will follow during the weekend.
I left on Saturday morning as I wasn't able to leave on Friday. I arrived punctually at the bus station and as soon as I entered the bus it started to rain, and it shouldn't stop till six in the evening. The bus arrived in Parkano, from where I started to walk the 19 km to the National Park. After about three kilometers a car on the opposite lane stopped and asked me where I am going. I told the driver, and he told me to get in. He turned around, and the driver told me he saw me walking from the crossroad up ahead, and thought I could need a ride - lucky me! He dropped me off at the Visitor Centre and wished me a good trip. I quickly jumped in the Visitor Centre and asked about the lean-to shelter at Rysäslammi. The time was now 11.30 and I started walking, walking in the rain.
Seiseminen consists of extensive forests, bogs and esker ridges, and there was also an old croft at Kovero on my path. I met one person during the whole trip in the park. It was peaceful, and only the rain and wind were accompanying me.
I was making good speed on the park's trails, and enjoyed the ups and downs and the walks over the planks, though they were slippery. A cuckoo was calling in the distance. I was still quite dry, walking mainly on broader paths under forest cover.
The landscape changed every kilometer, and I saw moss (or do you call it dosh?) in many different shades of green.
The path continued and I was in good spirit. I liked the fresh smell of the wet forest, and the silence. It was clean here. It was pristine nature.
After about two hours I arrived at Koverolampi, where there is a campsite and a short walk of 200 meters to the croft. I put my backpack down under a fir and walked to shore of the small lake. It was swampy, and blueberry shrubs were all around. This will be a good place in the autumn to come and collect them.
I shouldered my backpack and continued to the croft, where I met the only person during this trip, a daytripper. The old croft is a cultural heritage site, and I looked into the old stables and buildings before I continued my trip to Jokiristi. Part of the path was now a nature path, and some explanatory signs were standing at the side of the path.
The anthill was as tall as me, 175 cm. I was amazed, it must be a old one. On that stretch of the path, there were another three right next to the path. The ants, however, were "inside" and waiting for the rain to stop. Smart ones, as the rain increased and the drops grew bigger. So big actually, that after about four hours I was rather wet. My spirit went down, and I decided to have a break and drink a hot chocolate. At Jokiristi they were building a new shelter, and I stopped in the not finished shelter to cook my hot cacao.
Yes, that helped. With fresh energy I continued, as did the rain. I reached the old mill, which was very pretty and would make a good emergency shelter.
Shortly after the battery died, and I didn't have an extra pack with me. But my spirits were again high, and after passing Liesijärvi which had a great camping place I arrived at 18.00 o'clock at the Rysäslammin lean-to shelter. The fire in front of it was burning, and I suspect that the car which passed me five minutes earlier had the guys within it which lighted it. I was wet to the bone after six and half hours in the rain, and needed a break. After cleaning the shelter - those guys had their beer cans and garbage thrown in the landscape - I set up the trusty Trangia and cooked me a delicious dinner. About half past seven the sun decided to show itself, and while I ate I enjoyed the view on the lake where a goose was swimming its circles.
Not feeling comfortable with the shelter being so close to the forest-road, I decided to continue another 8 km to the next shelter. I arrived at it at 22 o'clock and made a fire to dry my cloths, before I slipped into the sleeping bag and was quickly asleep.
At six in the morning the sun shone in my face, as my shelter was on top of a hill and facing slightly east. It was a beautiful morning, with a clear blue sky and no cloud to be seen. After breakfast I broke camp and continued the last 8 km to the town of Kuru, where I had a coffee and cake. The bus would leave in two hours, so I went down to the road to try to hitch a ride. After ten minutes I was on my way back home!
All in all it where 35,5 km, of which the majority was the Pirkan-Taival trail. Its an European long distance trail, connecting Seitseminen NP to Helvetinjärvi NP and its well marked with good possibilities to camp. I think I will need to check it out during the summer, as its bound to have a route which starts or ends in Tampere!
From my recent trip to Isojärvi National Park I present thee some more wildlife pictures and stories. There was no shortage of wildlife on this trip, and as I sat down this afternoon to remember all the impressions I decided to share some additional photos.
These weren't all, but I was too slow to snap pictures of the other animals. A common pheasant was seen while walking on the grit-road. A Black Woodpecker I saw on my way to the Kalalahti lean-to shelter, its pecking sound was heard already way before I finally spotted it. The Black-throated Divers - there were two couples on the Kuorejärvi lake - has an incredible call and I was first thinking that an Elk must be in the forest across the lake - how wrong I was! They also had quite show going on after dawn, running two full circles in the water around the island and slapping their wings in the water.
There were a few more birds I saw, but being far from a expert on birds I wasn't able to identify them. However, I managed to distinguish the frogs and toads. Toads are considered frogs, but there is the sub-species of the "true toad". I saw a common toad which disappeared into its underground shelter as I approached, not even two meters from my sleeping place. All the frogs and toads showed that it was an amazingly healthy environment I was in, as they are considered a good indicator for an intact ecosystem.
I already mentioned the two pike earlier. I heard an Owl at night, but am not able to tell which species. Thus all in all, quite a variety of wildlife for only two days out in the forest. Sure, there was nothing huge like an Elk (of which I saw two the weekend before, as I was fishing with my father-in-law in Vaasa) or rare like a lynx or bear, though I was happily surprised about the amount of wildlife I saw. I expect it will increase even during the following weeks, as spring turns to summer. Thus I hope to be able to snap some more photos of the wildlife here in Finland on my next trips, about which I will tell you soon more.