Bushcraft weekend in Sweden – Part 2: Spending the night

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Spending the night in a natural shelter with no sleeping bag at temperatures between 0° and 1° C.





My goal for this trip was to test a few different bushcraft skills. One being my ability to build a natural shelter in time before darkness. Another was to test how well I was able to stay warm and dry without rain gear. The third was to see how I would make it through the night with only my Swedish Officer’s wool blanket in temperatures around 0° C.

I was actually hoping for snow. I love how everything looks when covered in snow. The weather forecast said rain with the possibility of snow though.

It took me three hours to finish my natural shelter. During the whole time it had been raining almost non stop. So I was fairly wet when I finally sat down to enjoy my work. At that time the rain had stopped of course.





Although I now had shelter from the rain and the wind, it was also a great opportunity for me to dry up a bit in front of the fire. My pants were literally steaming and I’m surprised how effectively I managed to get rid of the water which had reached my inner wool pants at the time.

I was wearing nothing but cotton BDU pants as my outer layer, so I was relying on my other two layers to keep me warm. Please see my complete gear list for what I was wearing exactly.

When darkness began to fall I had already dried up and my motivation was high. My friend and I were getting ready to make dinner. A roe deer venison. I had actually counted on living from nothing but my home made beef jerky that I brought and maybe a Snickers chocolate bar. But my friend who is a hunter shot a roebuck the week before and he surprised with this great meal. Pure luxury. Nothing beats the taste of wild game meat prepared over a bonfire in the wild.




After dinner all that was left to do was to sit back and enjoy the view over “Store Damm” which translates into “Big Lake”. The location we had chosen for our shelter was on the brink of this lake. It was raining a bit as night began to fall. The temperature had started to drop and it was getting a bit more windy. I had gradually moved the fire a little closer to my shelter and I had built a reflector in order to benefit more from heat.

As the clock struck bedtime I unpacked my wool blanket and got ready to lie down. At this time the rain had turned into sleet at first and then into snow. I took off my outer boots and turned the wool blanket diagonally so my feet and head pointed towards the two opposite corners. Then I wrapped first the bottom corner over my feet and then the two sides around me. I was really comfortable although I hadn’t prepared any extra bedding except for the logs that the bed was made out of. And so I went to sleep confident that my mission was a success.





It was about 3 in the morning when I was awakened by snow flakes drifting on my face. My feet were cold as ice and it was pitch black. My fire had died out. I got out of my otherwise comfortable bed, turned on my night vision head lamp (glad I brought it after all) and started rebuilding the fire. It took me quite a while since everything was wet and there wasn’t much ember left in the ashes. After half an hour or so I was finally warm and comfortable again and I went back to sleep with my boots on.

An hour later I woke up with ease. I had made it through the night fairly well except for the interruption towards the end. The weather had cleared up and it was a beautiful morning. This truly marked the end of winter.