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Topics - Pyreneo

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Has you know I am not leaving in north america.

But I have the oportunity to travel here in Summer for a road trip. I will be aproximatly in Québec, Montréal, Sudbury, Sault Sainte Marie, Marquette and Wisconsin through Chicago. I am interested in clothing, tools, snowshoe...etc. I prefer touching the things before buying them.

My questions are :

- Do you know good shops in this large area for "winter camping/ bushcraft" open in Summer? (and give me location)
- Perharps do you know special events, museum or something like these in this area in July/August ?

Thanks!  :)

Dear Friends, I have promise to translate a recent trip in Lapland (Ivalo lake). All three guys have learned a lot on this forum so we want to give here some report about the trip. Special thanks to HOOP.

We are three guys (France and Belgium) and only one of us had a good experience of winter trekking in lapland prior this trip. Two others had good experiences of winter bivouac but not in those flat and cold forests of far north in winter (less than 5°F).

We wanted something "simple" without Goretex or full synthetic gear. Part of the trip is under tarp (cold and fire camping) the other part is in cabin or leanto.

Initial post is here by Vincent part time survival instructor ( and professional instructor for fireman and highly qualified fireman :,729.0.html

More information about gear of Vincent is here (in french) on is one site :,670.0.html
More information about gear of Stephane (the more experienced : Lapland, Spitzberg, Sweden in winter...and logically leader of the trek) in french also :,723.0.html

Questions are welcome and I will try to give responses.


Finnish Lapland: Synopsis of the trek "Winter in the Arctic"

Initial program
Journey of nine days autonomy in the region between Ivalo and Inari (Finnish Lapland) to the coldest Arctic winter 2013

The planned route:

And post the full preparation of this experience:, 670.0.html

February 23: Day 1

Arrival at Ivalo airport in the morning, after an exhausting journey (one came  from France, second from Belgium, third from Holland). The whole night passed in correspondence to the Helsinki airport has not been more relaxing.
We recover quickly luggage and go through the common to share our traveling clothes by those of outdoor travelling. We will leave a small bag "return to civilized man" to set the hotel. Directorate taxi and run by a fuel pump in order to fill our fuel reserves (3X3l on the base of 300ml per day).
 A little later, the same taxi drop us off with our equipment on our starting point. Finally, here we are! Time to load the sleds and snow shoes and and we are on the way to our first camp.

The first loading of rented pulkas

A stop in Hudson Bay after a 30 minutes walk, as saying adventurers rush to the Klondike. (Something that will be very useful soon).

The installation of the camp is followed by a reorganization of fashion bags "airplane" mode to "travel".  We put out, night falls quickly and we imitate to perfection. We chose it as a base to a lean hard: in fact half teepee  wood fire with a place.

First winter bed comfort

Lean To

The "normal" winter work (100% wool in Nokian boots) :

February 24: Day 2

Day "Departure." Clock on 6:00 followed by a full day of progression menu. Here was the theory. Already, the alarm remains silent, making us an hour late in the slats. And barely an hour after we started, we broke two pairs of rented snowshoes (no mark, third snowshoes were nice Tubbs) ... We need to turn around, contact the rental (Sunday) and we have it delivered by taxi equipment spares. Half a day in the slats and the obligation to re-bivouac on our starting point. Grrrrrr.
 Let ZEN, sky has decided, and he must have his reasons. I spend a few hours in the afternoon light to train the skis (old 95mm binding nice with Nokian Naali of finish army) on the lake. Cool evening around a campfire without auroras due to overcast sky.

Ski School improvised

February 25: Day 3
Sunrise with an alarm clock that works. The sleds are heavy legs still lapped and the way very long. Fortunately, scenic beauty and motivates km accumulate.

Carriage of pulkas in deep snow (to the knee with snowshoes, so we must be on ski doo path)

En route we passed a "local" who advises us to change our route a bit. This is a year with a lot of snow, it is not enough for our sleds and carrying our snowshoes. (We sink to mid thigh off the track despite snowshoes ...).
 Change the mapping lightning speed: Reactivity = Security.
 We will ask our bivouac area in a rather windy (aprox. 30mph) but not so cold . Night falls , already 6.PM and it is a big job. A lot of time is necessary to prepare our cold camp Arctic (no fire).

First camp in the Arctic snow

Preparing snow for bivouac. Need a lot of time since snow here is very dry

US survival blanket+0.6 inch mat+reindeer)

The evening of Vincent ( part time survival instructor, professional fireman and owner of is spent in maintenance man. Foods, preparation of hot water in the evening and the next day (MSR Whisperlite), wash cloths mode, maintenance of clean socks and feet. What happiness :-)
Temperature is too high (perhaps 20°F)  for the season and finds himself wiggy's (superlite) do the job alone. So I'm naked in the bag, waiting feet firm (and own) the aurora borealis. The tarp is oriented, it only remains to wait. Result: I fell into the arms of Morpheus before the arrival of these ladies colored.

February 26: Day 4

 Goal is a hut where we will spend the night. Along the way, we will be entitled to snowfall and scenic beauty, good morning backcountry snowshoeing and one afternoon we spend skis feet.

Well-deserved break

Upon arrival at the cabin, it will be an evening of “waitress”.  Cleaning and drying equipment that must be. Maintain to keep!
The sky is too overcast to see the aurora ... They begin to chase me the aurora!

Our Cabin

And hitech interior

And tidy menswear ::)

February 27: Day 5
Early start for a day walk on water.
 After a few kilometers on land, in fact we cross our first big lake. Journey that will seem interminable to view weather conditions encountered.  Snow, sleet and whiteout that I do not feel absolutely moving.

 Weather condition of sh**t, wet snow, wind, approximately 30.2°F

Face frost

In the middle distance, while I'm sitting on the pulka to drink a cup of tea, a skidoo out of nowhere. It cuts our track perpendicular while slowing down, and after a sign "OK?? "He started a nice curve while spinning full throttle in our sense of progression.  It gratifies us, in so doing, a royal road well groomed by the power of his caterpillar.

Here is what remains of the large panels that are supposed to serve as milestones ... ::)

Upon our arrival, and after installation of our camps, we make a bonfire. The material is pierced and froze on us (one has  anorak of Ventile material, the other Buffalo Pile&Pertex, third oil cloth Barbour. All is wet with wet snow and only 30.2°F).

Stephane in is barbour (He likes a lot simple gear).

Snow sofa for outdoor evening. we prepare an Open fire. Night under tarp.

self made tools by stephane :

No gsm network to communicate our position, so no news today will go to Belgium. I know that will bother ... 7:44 PM, flat, dark, DODO.

February 28: Day 6

Sunrise bivouac -15°C -5°F, crisp it under the tarp :-)
We take the road early this morning as a long stage before us. We cross two lakes and a mound of separation. It is one that imposes portages during successive lakes. We travel in tractor snow mode, and it rises gradually. At the end of the day, hut Rautujarvi is reaching, and especially his stove.
Temperatures: -4°F, overcast sky, evening "chatting corner stove" Info: Change the batteries in the GPS.

Hut Rautujarvi

March 1: Day 7
Up early, and just out of the cabin, nose hair are instantly frozen.

A glance at the thermometer confirms the feeling: it is -30°C, -22°F.

The sky is completely clear, red sun is reflected on the lake ice in shades of white, blue and orange.

A postcard Arctic live.

Big day maintenance and repair of equipment. Felt slippers holes are repaired. The ripped leggings is sewn, T shirt thread receives the same treatment, and everything is washed and dried. A good session clearing the man is also executed.
Again, maintain to keep!

The evening will be around a plate of smoked duck breast with pasta cooked masterfully by Didier.

Didier version of top chef

 With dessert, an anthology of auroras :-)
 It is quite surreal to realize that we are busy to attend one of the most extraordinary phenomena that is, all standing in the middle of a lake ...

March 2: Day 8
An early start for a day of progress that will get us back in the suburbs of Ivalo.

Perfect day, the sky is clear, and beautiful scenery.

The temperature is ideal for a day of effort, a  -13°F cold and dry for sending watts without ending up soaked in sweat.

froze on pile before brush

After brushing Helly Hansen Pile

Didier on the road

The buffalo suit (P&P) of Vincent netsuit Taiga inside:

We will ask our bivouac by the same weather, then the thermometer will plunge.

Alcohol decides to be fussy in the glass ball and go no more out until the next day in the morning.

Alcohol shy.

The only indication is that the night will be passed to a temperature which does not above the remonstrated -30°C (lower limit). This was beefore going to sleep, probably the temperature was less during the night. All Wiggy's / Walden (200g 850cuin down quilt bag) spends his test successfully. Vincent sleep like a baby. It was the same for Didier (800g 850cuin down bag + 600g 650cuin down bag) and Stéphane (valandré Odin sleeping bag).

March 3: Day 9
The dismantling of the camp is very long, every gesture must be considered and has an immediate cost in case of error. The metal is unforgiving upon contact and plastics behave erratically.
 A test that says a lot is done by Lambda water thrown in the air freezes before falling to the ground!
 Two hours later, we are in our recovery point. The taxi is in sight and it's the end of our expedition.
We're all a little grogi in the taxi ... Then this is the hotel, shower, sauna and great food that enchaîneront. A good night in a real bed and a thermometer 20 in the morning.

End of  our travel ... The next one is already in mind, remains to mount _ ((_.

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