1. Sometimes, when the sun sets, the snow turns pink. It’s a marvellous phenomenon… just as intriguing as how it feels to walk on a crisp, thawed and refrozen thick layer of snow, to sink in deep, knee-high. Just marvellous.
2. “The forest is a protected place… and the meeting that takes place in it and with it is naked and husked”
Clearly I have been missing my friend. Clearly he knows about the forest, it is because of him we even live here. Right here.
We haven’t been speaking to each other for a while. The meeting that takes place in the forest is also relentless… but lately we have been mending the relation.
Emotional nakedness is the worst and feeling husked is not particularly pretty however there is deep human connection, there is forgiveness, there is tribe… in the forest.
These are the things I naturally lean up against. Nature and relations. These are things I write about and the things that occupy most of my mind – however I do realise that for a lot of people a primitive off grid wilderness pioneer life is a PRACTICAL challenge. How do we fetch the water (we walk down to the well with a bucket, never wear crocks), what do we eat (food), how do we live without a refrigerator (no problem) or how we shower (seldom or with a cloth).
Surely we have undergone some changes and surely we have learnt a LOT of practical stuff, tips and tricks (if you wood burning stove is leaking smoke cover the surface with ashes, brush it, perfect!) but somehow the practical stuff never seemed to be the biggest challenge.
How to interact with nature was. The alienation and the fear.
One thing I realize though is that the first and foremost most important practical thing about our life is this: You need to be able to tolerate a fair amount of discomfort. This is really paramount. The rest is practise.
You put in some elbow grease before you get to see the pink snow.
We have decided to make courses. Seasonal courses: spring, summer, autumn, winter courses.
You know I’m against courses. I don’t think any course in the world will teach you what you need to learn or prepare you for anything, in my mind’s eye most courses are a waste of time. So there’s that.
However I also realize that there seems to be a big interest in visiting us and smelling/looking at this lifestyle. Head first.
Plus we need the money. Plus we really have something to say. Plus skills most be passed on, right, otherwise skills die.
Plus we ourselves wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our friend who told us “You won’t die, relax, the forest is a protected place..” Plus people should know about the pink snow. If they knew they wouldn’t pour poison and plastic into the oceans.
First course will be THIS EASTER (april) and I’m giving you, the readers of this blog a heads up.
Five people, five days in a row, five thousand kroner pr person.
You get to live very primitively in a tipi in the wild, no electronic devices allowed, no showers or flushing toilets or “personal space” (unless you practise your walking) – but on the other hand you get the very best of us. All of our experiences, tips and tricks, our best advises.
Send me an email if you’re interested: email@example.com
As I said space is limited and this is for the early birds.
A COURSE IN PIONEERING
A day or learning about firewood.
How to take down a tree. How to chop it up. How to stack it.
You need to know about birch bark and the difference between trees. You need to know about “emergency firewood” and how to maintain an axe. In this climate self sufficiency regarding firewood is really essential.
A day of learning about food.
How to live without a refrigerator, how to can and store food, how to take care of the food, how to use every resource, how to butcher a rooster, how to forage (if spruce sprouts are ready we’ll be making cough syrup and other spruce related food items), how to grow food in the forest, how to make dinner over open fire.
This day the course leader will be our neighbour Debby who is a specialist in canning. There will be canning. Lots of canning.
A day of learning about natural building.
The natural occurring building material in the forest is timber. No strawbalehouses or hobbit house here, you will be taught how to build a cabin and you will participate in our sauna project meaning that you get to work a log with an axe. It takes practise to learn how to do that. You also need to know how to make rafts (for housebuilding as well as fencing) and you need to know about different sorts of building techniques suited for different sorts of purposes and you will taught about time.
A day of base camp
An excursion to our first place in the forest, where we built our first log cabin. You will be taught about terrain, good places to settle, reading the landscape, differences between summer and winter life, drinking wild water, foraging. Good advises and hard-earned knowledge is shared. Then you will be taught how to build a fireplace, how to build a fire, how to deal with wild animals, how to set up “base camp”, what you should consider, what you should bring.
A day of house and garden
How to set up a household in the wilderness: We´ll walk you through different types of electricity systems (as well as going completely without electricity). How to deal with compost toilets. Things to know about root cellars.
All of the little things that we take for granted: the practicality of daily life out here.
Self sufficiency: we’ ve been working with hugelkultur raised beds and we’ll teach you how to build them although we have changed our personal preferences and are now growing in lines and squares, not so round and picturesque but more efficient. The hugelkultur is good for deep forest gardening (we have taken down all of the trees to get more sun) so it’s good to know about them. Forest gardening in general. A bit about animals.
You get to sleep in our super nice tipi (there’s a wood burning stove in the tipi so it won’t be cold)
You get to eat super delicious local grown and organic food while learning a lot- and you are very welcome to explore the forest around us (hiking, fishing, whatever you feel like doing) in the spare time.
Evenings will be about sharing stories and thoughts in the house- unless you want to sit and contemplate by the fire under the stars or hide in the tipi. Days will be about hard work and learning by doing…. and maybe about relations and nature too.
That’s it. Come with us.
A wilderness course: Arrival 29 of March, departure 4 of April. 5000 kroner.
Write if you’re interested: firstname.lastname@example.org