Feb 23 2016

The Feeling of Wealth

You are standing outside of your small and cosy house. Overlooking a beautiful valley, surrounded by your loving family, there is food on your table and you don’t need anything. That is true wealth!

It is a subject that has been a topic of discussion for a while now amongst the ones I engage with in everyday life. We have observed how some people get all kinds of opportunities and utilise them for the best at every turn. A few principles have risen from this discussion that are worth sharing:

  1. Wealth is not about money. There are people around with tons of it that still feel they need more. And there are people with almost nothing that feel like they have plenty.
  2. If your income is low, you can downscale as much as realistically possible to achieve a feeling of affluence. For most people this will require selling almost everything they have and paying off loans. It might require you to move to a cheaper place where you can grow or otherwise procure your food for free.
  3. I have noticed people at work who are very strained financially might spend a lot of energy trying to get promoted or get good job assignments. In the majority of cases these people will appear needy, lose their image of being successful and thus undermine their own efforts. They might even make grave mistakes in the wish to impress and then risk losing their job. It’s better to just downscale your living costs to the level where you don’t even need to keep your job. Then you can relax and enjoy the opportunities that inevitably will arise.
  4. Aim for the essence of what you really want in life rather than a figure or a specific object. You are not really aiming for that million dollars in the bank, you are aiming for a feeling you assume they will give you. Maybe you could already have reached the feeling of financial freedom, just by cutting costs.

 

The Advantages of Feeling Wealthy

  1. You will feel instantly lighter in life and get more enthusiastic about actually doing more for your situation. The feeling of being in control instead of at the mercy of some external power is not to be underestimated.
  2. You will pass on the less good opportunities in favour of good ones. Often, when in chronic money trouble, you will find yourself committing to less interesting or profitable opportunities. This may force you to regretfully turn down an excellent opportunity when it arises, because you don’t have the time. A wealthy person can afford to wait!
  3. A less obvious advantage is that you will live longer and healthier. Stress is a major source of health problems. Remove your stress and your body can free energy for more important healing tasks.

 

Investments

Downscaling will always come with hard decisions. Although my costs are incredibly low in general, they are too high for the lifestyle I wish to lead. So I decided to sell my bitcoins, an investment I have some belief in, to pay off the mortgage on my farm. The money was just sitting there, when I could be wealthy now!

Investments reinforce your belief that you are in shortage of something and need to change the situation. It’s better to free up those money to get to your goal more quickly instead of gambling in desperation. Getting into investments should be reserved for those who are already feeling wealthy. They can make rational choices without too much attachment and are consequently more likely to be successful at it.

On a related note, purchases are best done with caution. Do not get tempted to buy things you don’t need at the moment; the need can disappear before you know it.

 

Stinginess

Although it’s good to have control over your costs, being too stingy is signal to yourself that you are in shortage and immediately removes your feeling of affluence. Sharing of what you have will make more come back to you. Probably tenfold.

 

I hate luxury. I exercise moderation…It will be easy to forget your vision and purpose once you have fine clothes, fast horses and beautiful women. [In which case], you will be no better than a slave, and you will surely lose everything. – Genghis Khan (quote from here)

 

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Feb 19 2016

Siberian Style Skin Boots

Making these kind of boots is no small job. For my size of feet I need 10 leg skins plus two moose head skins for soles. The boots were sewn with moose and reindeer backstrap sinew.

I’m very pleased with the results, but if you want details you have to ask in the comments. After 5 days of sewing I am feeling a bit done with the boots. 🙂

 

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Feb 14 2016

Flint and Steel Kit Review (http://www.flint-and-steel.com/)

Occasionally I’m approached by people wanting me to review their products. Before I have always declined due to the products not holding high enough quality or being too irrelevant for my site.

I was therefore happy to be approached by http://www.flint-and-steel.com/. They sent me their flint and steel set #4.1.1.

 

The Set

This particular set contains a forged steel striker, three flints, a box of charcloth, two rolls of string for tinder, how-to instructions and a leather container to put in your belt or by using the shoulder strap.

All the parts are very stylish and professionally made. Definitely an impressive gift or something to talk about at any outdoor event.

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Use and Review 

The instructions are straight forward, with both text and pictures. I knew the procedure from before, but I think the information will be good enough even for beginners.

The string for tinder is a bit time consuming to undo and buff up. I will probably keep that cordage for emergencies and use self gathered tinder for the most part.

Saying that, the fibres from the cordage caught fire from the charcloth really easily. The flint and steel gives very strong sparks and the charcloth caught on the first or second strike.

All in all, the set is very functional and of high quality. It can be used for many fires even without getting more charcloth or tinder. Definitely recommended!

 

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Jan 26 2016

Smoking Leg Skins

Leg and head skins of moose and reindeer are excellent for clothing that will receive a lot of hard wear. Examples are winter shoes, mittens and leggings.

In preparation for the smoking, the skins are stitched fur side to fur side with a wide stitch. If you want to protect the edges from discolouration, you need to stitch in a piece of skin, paper or birch bark to cover the furry edge. The skins are then hung in a small tipi with a canvas or skin covering it.

The fire should already have burnt down to coals inside the tipi before hanging the skins. Alternatively you can bring in hot embers from the outside and put them on dry ground. Punk wood is sprinkled over the coals for producing smoke and reducing the temperature.

Throughout the process, you have to add more rotten matter to smother any emerging flames or overly hot spots. I monitor the situation with maximum 15 minutes intervals, in the beginning much less.

These skins were smoked for 1,5 hours, but you can smoke them for as short or long time as you want.

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Jan 22 2016

Woodshed Part 2

I finished my woodshed quite a while ago, but I forgot to post an update. The roof and walls were made of old construction materials to save time. The only thing that is left now is to put birch bark and soil on the roof. As of yet, I’m using plastic tarps.

The walls slant to compensate for that the posts are not completely straight. It gives me a little more space, but the lower edges will be prone to rotting. But this building is not build to last forever, so I’m fine with that.

Traditional in this area is to cut up all the firewood for the year in one go and stack ready made firewood in the shed. What I observed in Mongolia was that they instead stored whole, dry logs and sawed and split wood every day or every few days. I’ve come to prefer this method as I am using a handsaw and don’t want to spend three weeks in spring cutting and splitting wood. In winter there isn’t too much to do anyway as we procure all the meat we need in autumn. This makes me enjoy cutting firewood rather than thinking about it as a chore.

The disadvantage is of course that these whole logs dry very slowly compared to sawn and split ones. So I ringmark living trees that are not suitable for timber and wait for them to die and dry out standing. This can take several years, so I have a lot standing around in various stages and ringmark new trees every time one is cut down. In the meantime the dead trees will provide excellent habitat for woodpeckers and other animals that feed on bark beetles.

The dry logs are also lighter when I bring them to the shed.

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