In short, I somehow didn’t go on a microadventure in July. I feel like I did, but I cannot find any photo evidence of it, or have any memory of any kind of it. So, I conlcue that infact i didnt go on one. Dammit! Well I failed this yearly challenge somewhat. I have since been on ones in August and September… Both on the last day of the months.
In June and previous months I went on a couple of overnighters but didn’t post about them. So, shamelessly I will tell you about one of them on this post (to make me feel better about forgetting to go on one in July).
My June Microadventure was spent with friends from the UK on an Island that from a bird’s eye view looked like a penis. It was actually a few days before midsummers in Finland, but the night was so beautiful, long and otherwordly that it felt like the true midsummers this year for me. (The actual midsummers was spent at a laavu in Seitseminen National Park with 2 random Finnish guys who were out-of-their-minds drunk).
Midsummer is exactly what it sounds like, the halfway point of the year, where the days are long and the nights are short. The further north you head the longer the days, and here the sun rose at roughly 03:42 and set at 23:09, meaning throughout the night it felt like twilight.
We borrowed two of the schools kayaks, loaded them up with our gear, carried them to the lake and set off with the intention of commandeering an island. The British and German navy teaming up for a small weekend adventure. The air was moist and damp, a threatening array of clouds circled in all directions and the wind spontaneously slapped you every now and then – the weather felt more British then Finnish.
Armed with only the clothes on my back, a puuko knife, some matches, and a compass and map, I was sent off into the wilderness for a night. No sleeping bag or roll mat, no food or water. Why would you do that I hear you ask? This challenge was part of the course I am currently on, and was done to give a first hand feeling of being in a survival situation. Hopefully allowing us to dip into the emotions you may feel and the challenges you might face when you are stranded, dehydrated, hungry and cold.
This adventure spontaneously jumped out of nowhere and grabbed me – sometimes the best trips are last minute decisions. Last week I was doing some work experience as an assistant skiing guide along the Finnish – Russian border and on this particular night our group happened to be staying at an old border control station. After arriving at our accommodation we ascended the adjoining watchtower and gazed dreamily over Russian and Finnish forests as the setting sun gently robbed the land of light. A while after this whilst eating dinner I suddenly remembered the year of microadventures challenge I was doing and had the (genius?) idea of spending a night up there!
During a recent skiing trip to Kylmäluoma we made and slept in a quinzhee. A quinzhee or quinzee is a shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow.
To make one, you first make a big pile of snow. This one slept 2 comfortably and was 5m or so in diameter. Don’t worry about compacting the snow as you go, just make a large heap. Compacting the snow would not only takes ages, but it also ruins the insulating properties of the snow. Once you have a large enough dome you can mildly compact the outside with shovels or skis. After this, slide in 30cm sticks, roughly 50cm apart all over the structure. These sticks are not added for structural reasons as you might think but actually act as guides when hollowing out the chamber. Once the sticks are in place leave for around an hour to harden.
This is my first of twelve microadventures. If you don’t know what a microadventure is or why I am doing one every month this year, head to my previous blog post explaining the whole idea. Which hopefully might persuade you to join in too..? Basically it boils down to this: committing to getting outdoors either alone or with friends for a small overnight adventure and trying something new, once a month for 2015.
As the title of this post appropriately suggests, the first adventure is a fable of a 24 hour skiing trip shared by an Englishman, two Deutschlanders and an Irish lass – Sinead and the Wild Boyz to you.