Walking on thin ice

An unexpected visitor

We had the joy to receive some unexpected visitors. A big happening to us if you know that the road is hardly traveled by anyone.

A friend of Jörgen is a friend of ours. So we welcome Him, his son and two young women whom brought Ella the little Queen with them. I give them a tour around the farm, show them the baby bunnies and the new born chicks.

It’s a small world after all

One of the women recognises the farm terraces we are building. Her mom lives on Gomera where they use the same kind of construction. I explain her that we lived there for nearly half a year in a farm community. It was exactly on that island that we learned about how to farm land on steep hillsides by building terraces.

Don’t worry

We invite the company in our simple but warm house and show them how we live. We tell about our plans to extend the farm, the prep-challenge and how to survive the winter. And that is the moment I start to believe that Jörgen is a bit worried about us.

Because the next day when we come back from a beautifully iced forest hike, we come across each other. He left a 25 litre can of water at our porch and he tells us that if we need any more we just ask him.

I want to tell him not to worry, that I faced worse circumstances. But I decide to say nothing. What if I am wrong this time? Even the best survivalist can have bad luck some times. And to be honest it feels safe to have some one to keep an eye on you in a new environment.

The red wire

In short, Jörgen has been born in Gunnarskog. I believe he knows everyone and all about the surrounding. I am looking forward to visit him this winter to hear all about the history and stories of this ‘best place of the world’ as he has as bumper sticker on the car. He seems to us as a warm and open person.

Daily he drives the car through the forest, with his son sitting next to him enjoying the ride. While doing that he passes our house every evening. Most of the time that is the only car we see that day.

Now the days are early dark, he honks as a greeting and to let us know it is him driving by. If we somehow miss him a day, we always wonder if maybe something has happened. So you can a kind of say that Jörgen is the red wire in our life.

Breaking the ice

Back to the story. Even though our ‘neighbours’ at Hagfors nearly drowned in the rainwater, nearly nothing fell here. The last refill we had in our rainwater catcher was 2 weeks ago. And it wasn’t even full.

After the bit of rain it started to freeze, day and night. We get drinking water by breaking the ice in the container a couple of times a day, but at the end it became nearly impossible to get through.

So we take all containers, pots and pans we could find and filled them with the remaining water. We store it indoors to keep it from freezing. We managed to save as little as 56 litres of drinking water for us and the animals. Barely enough for a week, considering the cold dry air and the heavy work we do.

So that means if we won’t get any snow in the next couple of days, things will become critical. This is also what I told Jörgen. And now I think about it, it makes sense that he could be a bit worried.

You would like to have a snowball drink?

After taking out all the available water, we barely could carry the heavy 210 litre water tank with a huge lump of ice in it, into the house. Seeing the form, I wonder when if we put a stick in it, it would look like a giant ice lollypop.

In front of the stove we start defrost the lump of ice. After 12 hours it releases only a few drops of water. So I think it will take a day or two before everything has been defrosted.

The plan is, as soon as it start to snow, to put snow in the water tank and leave it to melt indoors. In that way we can refill the reservoir, good enough for at least two weeks of water. But like i said, snow or rain must come fast.

Why the balls and not just snow?

Well, when making snowballs, the air pockets will be pressed out. Besides, it saves you a lot of space. It also shortens the melting time a lot, because air between the loose snow will act as insulators, making it nearly impossible for any warmth to come through.

Your down jacket has the same principle. The feathers create air pockets keeping the heath inside your jacket. In the case of snow it will keep the warmth from getting in.

By compressing the feathers the warmth of the body will easily go through the fabric, because there are no more air pockets to hold the warmth. In case of a snowball it will mean that the warmth can get in more easy. This causes the snow to melt faster.

A save feeling

It would not be us if we won’t go to the limit. So we are going to try not to drink the extra 25 litres of water. Oke, not completely true. We will drink the tap water Jörgen gave us and leave 25 litres of rain/melt water on the side in case of an emergency. It saves us some wood and a couple of hours to sterilise it 😉.

Even though we have the necessary survival and bushcraft knowledge, does it feel good that some one is keeping an eye on us and to know to be offered a safety net. In the end a real survivalist want to expand his knowledge in a “safe” way and to limit unnecessary danger. So a lot of appreciation and many thanks from us for that.

And Jörgen if you read this. Annet is making you a tasty surprise from our hometown. I hope you will enjoy it.

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