Sunday, May 18, 2014

IWG week 34 - 40

There have been many uploads on my YouTube channel, but have not updated this blog for quite long time, so here are what has been happening on me and IWG.

Week 34 was a preparation week for the biggest trip of 2 weeks solo ski trip call Bear ski.
as part of the preparation, we need to experience and learn how to self rescue from the situation like dropping in o ice water.

it was a good practice and not only about rescuing activity but learnt other skills related to dealing with ice.

Week 35, 56 was the Bear ski trip. We have visited Hammastuntri wilderness area in northern Finnish Lapland. we are very lucky at that time that the snow condition was amazingly perfect for skiing. The teachers were expressing that after all these years, they never have had such a good condition... as "NOT EDUCATIONAL!!" :)
but there was still some challenge and was mostly with myself. gaining confidence but sometime learning to be humble to the nature.

Back from the bear ski trip, time fly faster than ever. graduation is getting closer and need many graduation works completed. also starting to prepare ourselves to guide exam of wilderness skills and nature knowledge. Lots of times are spend on bird watching and desk studies...
but we also had a one night survival experience day.
dropped off on middle of school forest, pick a spot, build a emergency shelter and spent overnight.
All we needed to accomplish this was whatever we were wearing and a knife.
Yes, have learnt survival skills and mind set, but what I have learnt most from this was
"One really does not need much to spent a night in the forest"

The next trip is the paddling trip at Jämsänkoski and I will be leaving 19th Monday. after that, comes the wilderness and nature guiding/skill exam then other trip...

Friday, March 14, 2014

IWG week 16 - 27

There has been so much have happened since my last up date on IWG. Basically all my time was taken for the school related work and whenever I had time for other thing, spent on trying to do more school work. 

Before the Christmas time, I was working for the company call " hiking travel HIT" located in Tampere making trekking sledge at them work shop.
After the new year, back to school planning on customer gig / profession exam of overnight customer guiding skill and at the same time, preparing for the 1 week skiing trip.

The customer gig... 
Team work activity "Fire making competition"
This was part of the guide certificate profession exam and we needed to perform overnight guiding skill with real paid customers. Since it was a exam, there was a accessers with us evaluating our skills and performance.
Basically we have created a "get out of your daily life and get refreshed" package. The product was based in old logger's cabin located in Seisteminen national park and customer stay over night in the cabin. Day time was filled with fun team building activities and snow shoeing in old glowth forest of Multihariju.

This guiding experience was hard, but very rewording and enjoyable. I especially have enjoined the part guiding through the old forest, talking about the nature, surroundings, history of the area.

old loggers' cabin at night.

The skiing trip...
hauling the wooden Swedish army sledge
there was originally has planned so that we are only going somewhere closer from school... but this year in Finland, we do not have enough snow. especially around south part, we have not seen good snow at all. so needed to drive 11 h up north from Kuru to reach Hossa, where we can have enough snow for proper skiing.
How the trip went, that would be better seeing than reading about it, so here is the video. But on this blog, I would like to share about the new equipment I have included as part of gear.

- Nokian rubber boots:
This one is different from one I have used in Russian trip. It is the winter boots and functions as a ski boots as well. It is known as the Finnish army winter boots and in my opinion, the best winter boots you can buy. It is well insulated by 1 cm thick 100% wool felt inner and thick shoe sole.

- ET shelter:
3m x 3m tarp.
red: attachment point for loue
blue: folding line for loue

I have made this one based on DD hammock design but more attachment point. the point of adding more attachment points is that to make it able to set up the shelter faster and can make it more combine-able with loue.
It came out really satisfactory and setting up is much easier. Unfortunately, I did not have chance to test its capability during this trip, because of the weather was too warm so could not feel the benefit of heat refractive coating.

Internship at "Hiking Travel HIT"...

After the Sunset at on the ice cafe.
Back from the skiing trip, I was back again working at company Hiking Travel HIT in Tampere.
This time, I was more for the customer service. to be exact, I was at them on the cafe and rental service shop, providing ice skating service on lake Näsi. The cafe was set up on iced lake right next Lake Näsi's light house. It functions as a stopping by place for all the winter sports enthusiasts.

Also had chance of accompanying the ice skate trekking as a assistant guide. spending day after day on natural ice was very interesting experience. learning alot about natural ice, enjoy seeing how the ice changes everyday.
here is a video from the ice skate trekking. Hope it will show how wonderful to travel on ice with skate.


Thursday, January 2, 2014

IWG week 14 & 15 - Knife forging

Skipping few weeks between, but I wanted to post this Knife making weeks so here you go!

As for wilderness guide and all the traditional woods craft enthusiasts, you really should know well about a knife as a tool. To learn about it, what would be the better way than to make one all by by yourself from scratch? It give you very intimate understanding on what makes a Knife and at same time, you get to learn metal, wood and leather craft basics.

Because of this reason (... or I am guessing that it is...) we have had forging a basic knife week at school.

we have started off with basic theory lessons of what involves in knife making. then design one. I have had very clear Idea of what I can do in time and what I wish to make. It is a small version of IWG leuku. the idea of it is to test new ideas and solution of the IWG leuku design. also I wanted smaller more agile knife.

Forging and grinding completed.

Not many new things on overall process, but I got to see and learn details which makes the forging process easier and better. This was very beneficial for me as I never had anyone taught me of how to forge anything.

About the forging process, one difference I have noticed was the use of water. The one I have experienced on this week was what I could call a "dry forging". basically, throughout the forging, there was absence of water around. My usual forging method uses water for cooling tang to descaling of work. but at this class, there was not even tang cooling. Perhaps it was just because the facility did not have the availability of water, but got me bit interested in.

basically, I was the only person with some blacksmith experience but on the end of the week, every one has got some usable knife. Some went  after the traditional, some went wild with imagination and all are great looking knives.

however, here is what I came up on the end.

I will call this a "IWG Puukko" as contrast to my other one "IWG Leuku"

It is same design but shorter and the blade shape is much closer to puukko.

Blade length :8cm
blade thickness: little less than 4mm
diamond profile with scandi flat / convex hybrid.
Wood: Rowan

Here are the 2 knives next to each others. I have also changed the blade shape a bit. much closer to Puukko because I wanted it to have more pointy tip. 
The cutting edge line is continuous curve, this was a idea I got from Mors Kochanski's knife.

Here I am trying out different method of knot on making loop. One I used on leuku looked nice and smart, but was not strong enough. So far, this seems to be doing well.

Here is other experimental change I have added on the sheath. left is from Leuku and the Right one is of Puukko.
Notice the puukko's sheath has thickened edge. This was intentionally made, so can use finger to push the sheath. like thumb push on some of kydex sheath.
I have noticed that when the handle or the sheath is wet, time to time the leather sticks to handle causing difficulty of releasing knife. It is not much of a issue because if using 2 hands, then it comes out. but I found that quite annoying, so this is the solution for it.