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Articles / 2 x S.M.M. Spring camp -2021

Published: 2021-03-29
Category: Camps, Treks & Adventures

It’s 2021 and the Covid pandemic is still raging across the globe. Millions of people have died, societies are still in lock down, borders between brethren nations are kept closed and countless restrictions to keep the plague at bay are in motion. By now there is a vaccine however, several in fact, and people are finally starting to get vaccinated. Will 2021 be the year we beat Corona?

No, it’s not the storyline of a dystopic movie. It’s the setting of SMM’s spring camp 2021.


Like so many times before this spring camp is the result of a postponed winter camp. In this case I suppose you might also consider it a postponed summer and fall camp as well due to the crappy year of 2020. Even though more people than ever have gotten used to digitalized social events and meetings, a primitive pre-1840 camp in simply not held in binary code.

So instead of a Teams-meeting, those with time, health and opportunity headed out the forest for a night or two under the stars. David, Char and Banjo the dog camped in Sweden, while Gvido made a one-man camp in Denmark. The journal notes below comes from Char and Gvido.

Friday March 26 (Denmark)
The Weather was sunny, but the wind was strong and cold. Going into the woods early in the morning quite some time was spent trying to find a lakeshore spot that both provided some shelter from the wind and plenty of firewood. Finding a useful spot some time was used to gather firewood – lot of it was lakeshore driftwood that had been pushed on the beach by former storms and ice – it is dry but does not last long so some extra needs gathering.

There was no rain the last couple of days, so it was not hard to find some dry grass to kindle a fire. I had some thin birchbark in my pocket from last trip to the woods, so fire was kindled fast.

Next was an experiment of cleaning some lake water. I used my canteen to get water from the lake, then pouring it slowly into a kettle trough 4 layers of linen cloth. Quite a lot of debris from the churned up lake was cought in the “filter”, and resulting water was clean to the eye.

Baking some ash cakes on a fireside stone and boiling up the cleaned water with the last remains of my “treck coffee” it made for a nice morning feast.

Rest of the day was spent scouting around the lakeshore and around a smaller swampy lake. Rekindling the fire and grilling a slab of meat on a stick made for a good dinner washed down with some reheated coffee.

The afternoon was spent equally with working on a pipe of red pipestone and a good nooner under the robe.

Friday March 26 (Sweden)
After packing up the last food items, kissing the kids and wife goodbye I headed north towards the coordinates decided upon. We were going to spend the weekend in an area well known to the S.M.M. The almost invisible traces of old winter treks, beaver trapping camps and other adventures in moccasins can be found if you know the signs.

We parked our cars, jumped into our smelly suits, threw our bale-packs on our backs, and headed towards one of our old camp sites. We expected a rather wet camp, and just as we saw the cluster of spruce trees we would call home the rain started. We hurried to get the lean-to up and gather enough firewood to last us through the night. But instead of turning in to a downpour, the clouds scattered and we could enjoy an evening with moonlight. With a log fire going we got into deep conversations combined with roasted wild boar, puffing pipes and a slight touch of intoxication. We hit the blankets early.


Saturday March 27 (Sweden)
It had been an unusual night. The first night out after months of modern comforts usually leaves me more tired waking up that going to sleep. This time I felt refreshed. Sure, my back told me not even I, the youngster SMM’er, could sleep with a tree stump up my back without consequences anymore. But still!

Got the fire going again and filled the sooty kettle with creek water. The brown color was there right from the start but I decided to add some coffee for flavor. With a few cups in our systems we tried to figure out how to spend the day. We usually have a plan, a mission, a project. This time we decided our need for quality time by the fire and good company was good enough. Sure, we gathered more firewood, took a walk to look for signs from previous visits and managed to make an improvised snow shovel from a forked stick and a moose shoulder blade. But most of the time we just sat on our asses talking.

In the afternoon we heard human voices closing in. Kids and adults. It was friendly local natives (landowners), curious to see their exotic trapper friends of old. We invited them to camp and made gifts of coffee and conversation. With the coffee gone they left us in good spirits. Even though us Swedes are spoiled with what is called “right of public access” (google it), we try to get permission from the landowners as taking down dead trees, collecting spruce boughs and shooting black powder isn’t a part of those rights .

Evening closed in again and we made a fabulous dinner from roe deer and some rice. We took the last few zips of trader’s whiskey and once again hit our blankets early.

Sunday March 28 (Sweden)
Another descent night on my stump. Yeah, should have done something about that. It was time to head back home where they had just turned their watches to summer time. Another hour lost.

We enjoyed the last of the firewood and coffee while discussing uncertain plans for adventures in an uncertain future. Another early summer camp with the Danes included? A huge S.M.M. camp at High Chaparral rendezvous? Who knows what the future brings.

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Sketches:

• Spring Camp -2021 (Danish edition)

• Spring Camp -2021 (Swedish edition)
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