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Published: November 21st 2019
A sunbathing wolf-spider(Lycosidae sp.) that I spotted one morning.
Day 66, 30.05.19. Thursday.
Moved my camp yesterday from the marshland, the rain and snow made it very hard to move around without getting wet. Bought some trenchboots at a small shopping-mall and hoped to get a lift a couple days ago to pack my gear and head for a dryer area. I was already exhausted and still had cramps in both legs, the left one quite severe. Pain was shooting up my legs for each step and compensating by walking different didn't help much, the trenchboots was not designed for walking longer distances so I got cramps from that as well. I had to walk about 20 km before someone picked me up, and by the time I got back to camp it started hailing, snowing, raining and thundering like doomsday was coming. I had to leave my laptop, gear and food equivalent to 7000 NOK at a restingplace close to the power-station on the river Trysil-elva as I had real trouble moving without pain. I cut some branches from several trees in the area to hide it from people who might stop and check it out.
While I sat in the tent, cursing the weather and thinking
Power-dam, close to the border of Sweden
that was among the most stupid things I've ever done in my life, I got an idea. Sometimes it's ok to bite the sour apple and ask for help, and so when the rain temporarily stopped I headed up to one of the locals. Not the one I had met earlier in which the first words he uttered was; "What do you want!". Even this guy was kinda sceptical to begin with, and that's ok, nothing wrong with healthy sceptisism. As long as it stays healthy that is. On the other hand, if a person already made up his/her mind about someone and are not to let them convince him/her othervise, they're assholes! Period! Though this guy uttered just one word when he opened the door, "Yes?", while he had his arms crossed and looked me straight in my eyes. He listened to me and my story, I introduced myself with my full name and told him I was an outdoor-enthusiast and a traveler living by the lake and had ambitions to move my camp that day. But since no one picked me up before the bad weather started, I had no chance to get back to save my stuff
from getting wet and ruined or even stolen. I also said I was dehydrated and exhausted, had cramps in both legs, pain in my back from all the walking carrying way too much, two broken ribs from hitting a treestump after tripping in the woods a bit over a week earlier and a nasty pollen allergy, I made a sniffling sound to prove that at least the allergy was true, by that time his behavior changed drasticly, to be smiling, laughing and giggling 😊 He assured me it was no problem and that he would help me out. He immediately drove me to my gear, which was surprisingly dry, and back without wanting anything for it at all, I was willing to give him 1000 NOK for the help even though I didn't have much more at that time, I asked several times but he insisted that I kept my money. I guess it's not often he had a guy like me knocking on his door and found it exiting to help me out 😊 He even gave me a 5L container with water so that I didn't need to be dehydrated as the streams in the area was flooding.
One can just make out the rainbow on this rainy day
Never drink flood-water! It's most likely contaminated by all sorts of pathogens that you don't want to get introduced to. Even cooking it might not neutralize every toxins present as I learned from the start of my trip, I had survived by drinking rainwater, between 0,3 and 0,5L per day, so I was quite thirsty as I need at least 2-3L per day to stay hydrated with my activity. This dude turned out to be very nice and humoristic, as he drove me to get my gear we exchanged funny stories from our time in the military and I also talked about how it's like being outdoors for as long as I have been. He as many others I've talked to found it quite surprising to hear about what I had been doing the last couple months and what I was about to do. He thought I was on a small vacation until I told him about my plans for the future 😊
The next day I managed to pack my gear and the water had risen closer than 20 cm from the tent, so it was the right thing to do considering that I had been there for
five days and needed a dryer place to camp out. Found one spot, not far from the swedish border. It's far inside the woods with a roadblock so not everyone could just drive in and take my stuff, not many people have even seen where I walk in from the main road to my camp, so my stuff is relatively safe. But I had my doubts about being picked up when I tried to hike a ride to the next spot in the morning, however the second car I raised my thumb at stopped to pick me up :O New record! Wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't experienced it, and this guy was originally from the norwegian capital Oslo. Real funny guy too as he talked about all the pranks he did when young, and very exiting about my trip, he also didn't want anything for driving me. I always ask. I told him about the wolf and bear droppings I've seen in the area. He also told me, as I already knew, that there wasn't any trouble being in their territory, just talk loud often and remove trash that smells as often as possible. I did it every
There's three types of situations where you could be in danger when meeting a bear; First is if you scare it and by talking loud and making sounds you limit the chance of that occuring. Second is if the bear have cubs and you get in between the mother and its offspring. If you do and it charges, run and find the largest tree that the bear can't knock down and run around it, don't start climbing as they are exellent climbers. They are really fast in a straight line and can run up to 50kph, but have trouble keeping up the speed when running around something since they're not as agile as we are. Be aware that you might have to run around the tree for 2-3 hours before it gives up, so you better have good stamina :D Third situation I know about is when you meet a male bear and it's mating-season or a terratorial challenge, two things might work. Either stand your ground or run around a tree. I've also come across a gesture you could display if challenged, sit down and jawn, close your eyes and open your mouth, give out a
high sound to mimic that you're tired. Might work because you let it know you're not scared and that you don't see it as a threat. Stressed-out animals doesn't jawn, might be an universal language between predatory mammals to alleviate dangerous situations and I've seen dogs and cats use this tactic occationally. But I wouldn't give this too much weight, might also contribute to the bear seeing you as immensly evolutionary stupid and a quick snack if you use this gesture.
The first day I went to the shopping-mall, Långflon Køpcenter, I introduced myself to some of the employees. I explained to the employee at the sports-store that I needed some boots to keep my feet dry. If one go long enough with wet feet, one could develop something called trench-foot. It's a condition that I believe was first documented during the first world war, the soldiers fought in wet and muddy trenches and was why they developed the condition, thus the name trench-foot, it causes fungal infection and vascular problems that eats away the outer layer of the skin and could lead to gangrene, in which case one need to amputate. Currently I only have a mild infection
as I wash my feet every day and change socks often, as well as trying to keep them dry for as long as possible. Occationally I put toilet-paper from an unused roll between my toes at night to soak up the dampness and avoid further spread of the infection. It's harmless as long as it's stagnant, it recedes after a few days in normal conditions and full recovery is just a few weeks. I've had it several times before so I'm quite familiar with the symptoms and treatment, my feet start to itch and swell after a few days of being wet, and that's the warning one should take seriously. Using socks for more than one day is not a good idea even when not having any problems, same goes with any textile that is in close contact with the skin. One story I remember is when a group of christian missionaries ventured into the amazon-rainforest and found half-naked indigenous people there, this isn't even long ago, they forced the people to wear shirts and trousers because their nakedness offended the missionaries. A while after the indigenous people got visited by anthropologists, by then they all had fungal infections on
their bodies because they rarely washed the clothes and never took it off. So much for thinking they were doing the "right thing". Cultural contamination can be quite harmful sometimes.
I'm digressing again, so back to topic.
I noticed a restaurant when I entered the shopping-mall, Utsikten restaurant, so I strolled over to ask if I could sit down and work on my laptop while charging it. The girl I asked had no objections to that, but was very curious after I started talking about what I was doing in the area. She asked tons of questions when she had time for it and I stayed for a few hours to eat and talk. She seemed quite impressed as so many others, and since I was welcome to stay for as long as I wanted, I'm going back a few days a week while working with transferring my journal to the laptop while having something to eat and drink 😊
The mall is only 3 km from camp, so it's a good distance to keep my shape up while not far enough to cause too much trouble. I've noticed bear droppings in the vicinity of my camp
as well, just a few hundred meters away. I'm trying to talk loud as often as I can and I'm always bringing my knife and shovel if I'm going for a stroll in the forest, if I'm to be attacked I'm not going to be a defenseless target. That's for sure. Though I think it's very unlikely if I just remove the waste every second day and keep doing what I know is preventive for meeting wild animals, I'm a bit wary, but not very worried.
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