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  • Bushcraft - Feather sticks

    Kiehinen or kiehisiä - in Finnish Imagine a piece of wood, relatively thin, about twenty centimeters, with which we are going to make wood shavings, as long and as thin as possible, but without detaching them from the wooden stick! First, let's go back to the basics, and see what do we need, to make a fire? 3 elements a fire needs to ignite: 2 chemical components the fuel, here the wood the oxidizing agent, here oxygen or air 1 heat the spark for example This is also called the fire triangle. By creating our fine wood shavings, we will increase the surface area of the wood, so more oxygen will be available around our fuel. Fine chips heat up, dry out and burn much faster. So when the shavings are equally close together, they heat and feed each other. To train correctly with your knife, it is recommended to start with fir/spruce or pine tree. By changing the angle of the blade to the wood, you can also adjust the chips, so they bend to the side. The further apart the curved chips are, the greater the flame created during the ignition phase. Harder species of wood, such as birch, can also be used for cutting, but this is more difficult for a beginner. The best chips are obtained from tar wood (terva), which can be found in Finland, during walks in the forest, in the trunks of pine trees, which have rotted from their former surface. Pro tip: Place your wood shaving sticks "upside down", chips down, so the flames rise between the gaps and naturally self-ventilate. Remember that "Practice makes perfect". Be patient, and repeat the movement as often as you can. Your technique and your wood shavings will very quickly turn into a subtle art, which you will master perfectly. Have a nice barbecue and good Bushcraft training ! Uncle Dani Very dry birch Birch bark is also an excellent fuel, which is useful to add Part of the logs will be used to make wood shavings, and the other part an "ignition tower" Pro tip: Prepare your ignition tower carefully. The air that passes between the different layers will serve as a perfect oxidizer for the ignition Smooth cutting Note the too steep tilt of the blade, perhaps 30 degrees, which gives small shavings While here, we can clearly see the blade of the knife which is almost flat on the wood Awesome shavings, aren't they?

  • Want to see Northern Lights? The MISTAKES you need to avoid at all costs!

    💸 And my personal tips to guarantee your success at minimum costs !💸 First, what are the Northern Lights, in a nutshell? 🤨 The sun is the primary source of the Northern Lights. The flow of particles coming from the sun, the solar wind, carries electrons and protons towards the earth's atmosphere. The solar wind is no gentle breeze; the particles are discharged at a velocity of as much as 1000 kilometers an hour. The earth's magnetic field, the magnetosphere, provides protection from the majority of the particle bombardment. However, part of the particles penetrate through the magnetic shield and is directed to the poles. The particles gain added velocity at the poles of the magnetic field. When they crash into oxygen and hydrogen atoms as well as nitrogen molecules in the upper atmosphere, the ionosphere, the particles in the solar wind transfer energy to them and set off a state of excitation. Light is created when this state of excitation is discharged - the result is the Northern Lights. Ref: Arktikum Museum Rovaniemi The Northern Lights colors, what affects them? 💜💚 1. Composition of gases in the earth's atmosphere, oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen 2. Altitude of the Northern lights, between 100km and 500km 3. Density of gases in the atmosphere 4. Energy quantity! 😉 Northern lights are also called Aurora Borealis. If they happen in the Southern hemisphere, we call them Aurora Australis and they become Southern Lights! About the most common MISTAKES 🙅🏾 1. The amount of DAYS you choose to stay in the North 🗓️ Many travelers come for a too short period of time. 2 or 3 nights in the North can be like playing roulette at a casino, and putting all your money on red or black or even and odd. You might be lucky, or not. Consider at least 5 to 7 nights to increase your chances to see the Northern Lights. There are plenty of nice things to do in the north, like snowshoeing, hiking, fat biking, visiting a reindeer and/or a husky farm, winter horse ridding, try ice fishing, ice skate, ski and cross country ski, have a walk at night in the winter trails with a headlamp, go to a bird watching tour to see the sunset, and so on! 2. The TIME you are willing to spend outdoors in the cold 🥶 Sometimes, people choose to see the Northern Lights the wrong way. Booking a tour with the wrong tour operator, will only take you to one (or 2 or 3) places, and at certain hours, like 1 or 2 hours on the spots. Northern Lights can happen at anytime, as soon as it's dark. I have seen Northern light in the afternoon at 16:00 or even early in the morning at 06:00. The longer you will stay outside, the more you will increase your chances to see them. Be prepared to be outside 3 to 5 hours. Northern lights often appear and disappear. They can last a few minutes up to several hours! 🤞🏾 Auroras can also be seen in the middle of Rovaniemi city, for example, when the activity is strong enough and the sky is clear! Visit Rovaniemi 3. Lower your EXPECTATIONS on the Northern lights 👇🏽 What you see on social media is sometime very FAR from the reality. The pictures can sometimes be altered digitally using Photoshop image-editing software, for example. Most of the nights, Northern Lights are very light. Do you really think that the picture is real, when even the snow is green? 🤦🏾 The pictures you see on social media, are in many cases from people who live or work in the North, and they have spend many, many nights looking at the Northern Lights. They also know how to adjust their settings on their cameras or phones. Others have probably been very lucky. Simply don't come here expecting that every night is spectacular, you'll only be disappointed. It might be, that your first Aurora will even seem pale white in color. This is due to our night vision where, the eye first picks out the brightness without distinguishing color. Usually it is when the Northern Lights are fairly bright, that you will distinguish the green, red, and other colors. 😃 By the way, do you know why Finland has been ranked the happiest country on earth, for six consecutive years? There's a saying in Finnish, that goes like this: "Pessimisti ei ikinä pety!" meaning that "A pessimist is never disappointed". That way, when something nice happens, the enjoyment is way greater than expected. 7 reasons why you can find happiness in Finland 4. Get your GEAR READY before you go 📷 Know your camera and/or mobile phone. Adjust the settings that everything is ready when you are outside. By -25° Celsius, your hands will obviously get cold and the risk of frostbites is also high. Get a pair of gloves that can be used on your smartphones, as a first protection. Have some handwarmers, and open them already 1 hour before you go outside. Have a tripod for the best quality pictures. Most of the tripods for mobile phones come with a remote, that you can take pictures of yourself too! In short, the setting for your phone could be the exposure at +2 and the night mode goes normally automatically to 3 seconds. 📷 Setting ideas for cameras: aperture f/2.8, ISO 3200 (increase if it's very dark, up to 6400) and 15 seconds shutter speed. In case that the Northern Lights are very active (dancing and waving), you will need to shorten the shutter speed! 5. Have ADAPTED CLOTHING 🧣 Yes, it can be -25° Celsius and even colder. These nights often offer clear sky and excellent possibilities for Northern Lights. Imagine spending a night outdoors, about 4 to 5 hours! You really need to have the right clothes. By cold weather, we recommend to dress with multiple layers, for the whole body. Winter boots, socks AND woolen socks. You can also use footwarmers, to be on the safe side. Covering your face is also recommended, especially by extreme cold. I personally use "the rule of 3" Feet = 1. socks / 2. woolen socks / 3. winter boots Legs = 1. base layer pants / 2. pants / 3. winter pants Upper body = 1. long sleeves base layer / 2. fleece / 3. winter coat And touchscreen gloves, winter mittens, beanie and buff scarf 6. Come at the right PERIOD 📅 It is a bit obvious that you won't see Northern Lights during summer months... Even though, the midnight sun is also a beautiful thing to experience, the Auroras won't be visible. Anytime between November and March, will be the recommended time. November is usually a pretty dark month, with or without snow and temperatures not yet extreme December has the enchanting Christmas atmosphere, with more crowds then the other months, and colder temperatures January is a quiet month, with winter wonderland feelings and the coldest temperatures February has sporty travelers, good snow conditions and also very cold temperatures, but the sun is shining everyday more and more March is starting to feel like spring, with milder conditions and eventually less precipitations, with good chances of seeing the Auroras You can experience Northern Lights in October and April too, but the chances are just lower, as the nights are shorter above the arctic circle 🤑 Additional tip: If your goal is clearly to see the Northern Lights, prices for accommodation can be much cheaper in November! 4 simple, but most important things, to see Northern Lights 📋 1. There must be solar activity (solar winds) 2. You have to be at the right place (around the arctic circle is the best place) 3. You have to be there at the right time (darkness, season) 4. And there should be clear sky, no clouds! My BEST TIPS to increase your chances to see Northern Lights, at low cost! 🗣️ Talk to locals and ask about the 3 top places to see Northern Lights in the region 📱 Download all the necessary apps and check the forecasts 🚕 Rent a car, or ask a private taxi driver and negotiate the price, to take you there, and wait until you're done, or comeback if you plan to stay longer than 1 hour. This might cost you about €150-200. Imagine if you are 4! 🌡️ Stay warm, take enough clothes with you, a snack and a warm drink 🔭 Take a tripod and pre adjust your camera settings 🤳🏾 The mobile phone can also do decent pictures, and tripods come with a remote, that you can take pictures of yourself too 🦺 IMPORTANT SAFETY NOTE: When you go on the ice, on a frozen lake, for your own safety, always have ice safety picks around your neck. Even if everybody else doesn't have them, have yours! Recommended apps I use FMI (weather forecast) AURORA (Forecasts, live webcams) Apple / Google Play WINDY (Clouds and wind direction) (only in Finnish but also very helpful and reliable) You can also join Facebook groups if you like. I personally don't. About Northern Lights hunting tours Some companies offer professional guidance for Northern Lights, even for free. I had my personal best experiences, as a guide, with Upitrek in Hossa, and Luxury Action in Rovaniemi and Levi. Upitrek offers guided trekkings and activity holidays on snowshoes, cross-country skiing and other multiactivity holidays. If, and when Northern Lights appear, the guide will make sure that you're not gonna miss them, and it can even be every night! Luxury Action specializes in creating high-end experiences and expeditions across the Arctic, Lapland, Finland, and the rest of the Nordic region, including Greenland and even the North Pole. All their tours are highly customized according to their customers’ wishes. Here too, Auroras can be seen every night, as long as there are possibilities to see them! Other good and reliable companies offer free cancellation of the Aurora hunt tour on the same day, before 14:00. And yes, I do recommend to book a Aurora hunting tour if... You want to go with experts and learn more about the phenomena You know and accept the risk that you won't see any Auroras You want to support local and professional service providers You have read reviews about the provider on Google reviews and TripAdvisor You are aware about their cancellation policy Good luck on your next hunt, welcome to the Finnish Lapland, and don't hesitate to ask questions, DM me, comment and share this article and obviously follow us on LinkedIn! Sincerely yours, Dani, your guide Reset Holidays Oy is your Multilingual Tour Operator. We provide tailored travel experiences to people looking for a unique and personalized vacation in the Finnish nature.

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