Dec 09 2010

Tough Times in the City

Published by at 9:54 pm under Expeditions and Experiences

Since the beginning of November I have been in Oslo, working in construction laying pipes in the ground. I’ve been attempting to live out in my lavvo at the same time and see how well it worked. It’s been an interesting experience as I for the first time HAD to get some routines into living out.

In summer time it might be possible, but in winter since we’re talking pain and misery, which is certainly what I experienced. With two regular weeks of 40 hours, two weeks of 55 and one of 70 hours, it was just too much. Coming home from work there was not really enough time to cook food for the next day before going to bed and sleeping for maybe 5 hours. My face turned all red from sleep deprivation, fat percentage dropped dangerously low and ontop I got a pretty bad memory loss.

With an ozan and a stove it might have been better, but it still would have been a tough job. Especially since this was the coldest November in decades.

Conclusion: If you need to be a wage slave during winter, rent a place… 🙂

There has been time for some experimentation. The only berries/fruits still available are yew, rosehips and guelder rose. Guelder rose is acceptable raw if you only eat a few berries, but much more than that the taste becomes sickening. I have tried to reduce this sickening compound by cooking it with hot rocks. It made it slightly more palatable, to the degree where a couple of tablespoons might be consumed. The rest of cooked berry mash I am attempting to dry, to see if it further increases palatability. Results are pending.

In the beginning, while out, I tried to subsist on paleodiet only. For a while I kept it pretty well paleo, but I find that when working unnaturally much, you need grains and maybe also refined sugars to be able to keep going. The picture is of roasting beaver meat, fat dripping into a bowl.

I have been home in Telemark on a couple of occasions and I’ve gathered quite a bit of willow for basketry. The cold makes the wood so brittle that harvesting it is easy by just breaking them off. The willow species I use are goat willow (Salix caprea) and grey willow (Salix cinerea). Grey willow is by far the best of them, goat willow is only usable while the shoots are still brown in colour. I coppice a number of grey willow patches in cooperation with beaver, moose and some human neighbours with an aimless management scheme.

One more week now and I’m taking the rest of December and the whole of January off…

Regards
Torjus

Get my book "Traditional Trout Fishing: Fishing for Survival in the North (Volume 1)
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