With spring when the sun comes back after a long and dark winter and melts away the snow, summer is soon here. Summer is the time of year that most people long for. Warm bright days when we no longer need all that clothing we had to use during the winter months.
But is summer happy and joyful?
When we are going out in the wild in the summer many things are different compared to the winter. The biggest difference from the winter is that the summer is a lot warmer and with a more comfortable temperature so we don’t need to worry about freezing and most of our time is not longer spent on keeping warm. The long warm days give us time to do more and to travel further than we can do in the winter. We can easily wander around in the woods without needing skis or snowshoes and the lakes and rivers are open making it possible to travel by canoe and to fish for food is easy. Food is also plentiful to forage for, if you know what to look for there are many plants we can use to suppliment our food. At the end of the summer berries are abundant and easy to pick, and when autumns comes we can also spice up our food with some of the delicious mushrooms that are waiting to be picked. This is the times of year where we don’t have to be cold, hungry and can travel easily, this must be the perfect part of the year or is it?
For the person who travels in the wilderness through the seasons, summer can be tougher than winter. Summer has something that the winter does not have and that is the little devils like mosquitoes and midges. Despite being really small, the midges can hardly be seen, they can make your life a living hell. There are many stories about how these little creatures has driven people completely mad. Anyone who has spent some time in a tent with one single mosquito will know that the little thing can annoy you more than anything. But a few hundred of them around you when trying to hike, paddle or just eat a meal can be really hard. Sleeping can sometimes be hopeless when all you hear a buzzing sound in your ear. There are many chemicals and other nasty stuff that can be used to deter them but most of them are not really good for you. A good mosquito net and a shelter with a good mosquito net will go a long way to help you. A hammock with a mosquito net keeps you cool during hot nights whilst keeping the mosquitoes away from you.
Despite the little devils, summer is a wonderful time to be exploring the wilderness, soon the autumn will come with the drawing in of the nights bringing with it an amazing color palate to the wilderness I call home.
Johan Forsberg has for over 10 years taught how to live and travel in the wilderness and to do so closer to nature. He shares his knowledge has by arranging courses in what is known as Bushcraft. He has blogged about it since 2008. You can see more on his blog http://nordicbushcraft.outdrr.com/ and read more about Nordic Bushcraft http://www.nordicbushcraft.com/