Last weekend I went to Sweden to test a few of my bushcraft skills.
Weather forecast said rain and snow with temperatures near the freezing point. I didn’t bring any sleeping bag, tarp, tent or rain gear.
Inside my backpack I had my Swedish Officer’s Wool Blanket along with my axe, my knife and a few other items such as a headlamp, some paracord, and some dry tinder. See my complete gear and clothing list here. For food supplies I brought some water and my homemade beef jerky as well as two small Snickers bars.
After leaving Denmark and Kronborg Castle behind, my friend and I headed towards the small town of Perstorp in Scania. Or rather the lakes on the outskirts of Perstorp.
I immediately started building my lean-to as I was depending on some shelter from the rain. Underneath my M-65 Austrian Mountain Jacket I was wearing a lot of wool layers so even though I got very wet, I was still keeping warm. If not from the wool I guess from my level of activity.
Making the shelter:
I picked a spot between two trees with a deadfall lying right next to one of them. I decided to use the deadfall as support for my elevated bed in one end. The other end I supported by tying three thinner logs together.
After that I started collecting logs for my bedding. bringing them back to camp and cleaning them there so I could later use the left over material for sealing off my roof.
I put up the crossbar that was going to hold my roof up. Had I been completely true to my natural shelter I should have used spruce roots for lashing I guess. But being wet and with only little gear I used my paracord for this. At first I rested the crossbar on a branch to one side but I had to raise it further up in order to get a steeper angle on my roof.
The rest of the work was more simple. Not much thinking needed. Just hard work. I went back and forth in the rain so many times in order to find enough branches for weaving my roof together.
Then I started working on the roofing. I didn’t have enough fresh branches, so once again I had to go back into the forest and find some more materials. I supplemented with some dead spruce branches until I wasn’t able to see the sky through the roof. (Please note that you need to add a very thick layer of branches to your roof in order to properly seal it off.)
That was it. My lean-to was done and I was able to get out of the rain and allow myself to relax a bit. At that point it stopped raining of course.
It was still a good thing though. Being all wet it gave me a chance to dry up a bit by the fire. My pants were steaming.
Look out for part 2
My backpack: http://www.fjallraven.com/kajka-65