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.
This week we were introduced to the basics of Canoeing and Kayaking, calculated our walking pace over 100m (good for calculating distances when trekking), and made the final preparations for the trip to Russia.
I have spent the weekend mostly preparing and packing my food and gear for next week’s trip to Paanajärvi National Park in Russia. I wouldn’t say I am unorganised, but the truth is, I am consistently slightly late and when I’m packing I usually find myself in the depths of the night frantically chucking things into my pack. But as I sit here typing, my bag is behind me, packed and ready to go. It was a nice feeling actually being able to spend time packing, and being organised, rather than doing it last minute. But the blog on the other hand, has been left to the last minute…
This week we trained for our First Aid level 01, presented our Russian Trip plans to the rest of the group, went bird watching, did some orienteering, had a small toaster fire and went on a fishing trip to local island where we camped the night. Oh and there was also some hilarious nudity.
Tuesday night was one of the most memorable nights… We were having a nice relaxing sauna after a busy day training for our First Aid level 01 qualification. As usual we had a couple of swims during the sauna, hobbling back as quickly as possible on the sharp stones underfoot. We had wedged the door open with a broom to ensure we could get back in. On this particular trip back, I had a plan, so I picked up the pace (from a excruciatingly slow hobble to a slow amble) inching past the others at a snail pace, running in just before them and slamming the door behind me, locking them out – ‘Absolute classic trick’ I thought.
This week we were taught all about preparing and cooking food outside. Our tutor for the week, Turka, was a memorable guy, dressing in an army green jacket and trousers each day, with an old shirt below and worn-out smart shoes upon his feet – a smart casual look for sure. Each time he spoke, a long low rumbling voice would emerge past a thick bushy broom-like moustache, as if gurgling from the depths of a ancient cave.
Started the week with a walk in a nearby forest to observe birds and plants. Got introduced to some more mushrooms – some edible and some deadly. One that I will definitely remember was the destroying angel, the name says it all, eat this mushroom and you’re probably going to die. Symptoms do not appear for 5 to 24 hours, when the toxins may already be absorbed and the damage (destruction of liver and kidney tissues) irreversible. As little as half a mushroom cap can be fatal if the victim is not treated quickly enough! On a lighter note we the also found many brittle gill (pictured below) and gypsy mushrooms – which are both edible, and very tasty.