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Northern Bush
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"So shall we quickly end our pleasing pain:
Behold my Mistresse there,
With decent motion walking over the Plain.
Kulnafatz, my reindeer,
Look yonder, where
She washes in the Lake.
See while she swims,
The waters from her purer limbs
New clearness take."

Passage from Sami love song, noted in the 1670s.
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When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
-Wendell Berry
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Another review, this time on the TKC custom knife handles for the ESEE-4, ESEE-5 and ESEE-6 knives.
http://northernbush.com/review-the-knife-connection-esee-knife-handles/
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New review out, this time a test of the Pentax-Ricoh WG-5 GPS Adventure camera.

http://northernbush.com/review-ricoh-pentax-wg-5-adventure-camera/
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The old Sami were incredibly skilled in their environment. For especially cold nights, at about -35C/-31F, the nomad reindeer herdsmen used to light large fires out of mountain willow, let it burn to white-ash covered coal, then cover it with small fresh willow twigs, laid tightly in overlapping layers covering the coal and an area outside of the coal bed, and then sleep on the still hot coals. 

The controlled oxygen feed meant that the twigs did not catch fire and the layer the closest to the glowing coals only got blackened. The process is quite similar to coal kilning, with the same dangers.

This took great skill and hours of preparation to get it done right. If done badly you could burn alive in a blaze of fire. This tradition was still alive in the 1950s and the last few people who know how to do it and did it in their youth are disappearing now.

This is of course something we warn strongly against ever trying and the old man who retells this tradition himself warned against it even for experienced sami living today.

Picture and story is from Ynge Ryd's wonderful book "Eld, Flammor och Glöd - Samisk Eldkonst" (Fire, Flame and Ember - Sami Fire Making).
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Having now had the opportunity to briefly try out the Leo Köhler KSK and the Helikon-Tex PCS Smocks, although not in a proper outoors setting yet, I can say that they are both great smocks with lots of good features.

The Köhler can carry a lot of gear in the numerous pockets. It is easy to adjust while wearing it and quite comfortable, although perhaps a bit bulky in some ways, as there are large pockets literally everywhere, even a big one on your butt, and 13 in total including the inside and arm pockets. Padded elbows, armpit ventilation, adjustable hood, waist and lower lining are all great features. Really good jacket and its slight bulkiness is a good tradeoff for the great number of storage possibilites, as it saves space in your backpack and also provides easier and quicker access.

The Helikon-Tex has a bit sturdier zipper, and like the Köhler; two-way zippers, a larger helmet-capable hood, ventilation both in the armpits and on the chest. Adjusting the waist is more difficult as you need to take it of to do so, and the hood is too big for civilian use, but the wire inside of it means you can fold it back to more normal size. It can also be rolled up and buttoned back, which is good. No butt pocket on this one, but on the other hand you have fleece-lined pockets to warm your hands in.

Great smocks both of them, although I personally will adjust one or two things to my liking and might suggest them to the makers too.
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2015-11-12
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To review this winter: Leo Köhler KSK Smock - Multicam version
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New review up: The great Fällkniven and their A1, S1 and F1 knives. Remarkable knives that deserve all the praise they get.

http://northernbush.com/review-fallkniven-a1-s1-and-f1/
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We have been using Katadyn water filters for quite a few years now and this year we have tested the upgraded Basecamp Pro 10L. Here is our review of it.

http://northernbush.com/review-katadyn-basecamp-pro-10l/
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This is "Kulning" (Calling), an old Scandinavian singing tradition, primarily but note solely for women, used to call in the cows, to scare away predators and to communicate over long distances. The tradition goes back to the Middle Ages and was used all the way up until WW2. The singing tradition is still taught, but not practically used.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kulning

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VlvfmI5M28 
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