testing, en to tre

I’m gonna do this. I don’t give a rat’s ass about how utterly crazy and stupid it sounds. I have the payment for the bus all filled out, I just need my father to sign for his credit card (I’m repaying him, of course) and it’s settled. Fuck. I’m really gonna do this. And the backstreet boys claimed they were crazy. Heh.

So! I went shopping today!

  • Kindle wood
  • A magnesium firestarter
  • What we thought was an automatically heating blanket
  • A "fuselierschupke", being an infanterist shovel
  • A small Nederlands-Norsk Norsk-Nederlands dictionary

The wood, firestarter and blanket were for testing, so we didn’t end up counting on it up there and it turns out to be something completely different. And a good idea, too.

The kindle wood, finger-long wood sticks, is okay, but since we have pine wood there that burns easily I doubt if we’ll need it.

The firestarter is something pretty neat: you scrape off magnesium chips with your pocket knife and then set them on fire by running the blade against the other side, shooting off sparks. You may or may not know, magnesium powder was used for old photography flashes, the ones that go PHOOM and produce a lot of smoke. In other words, magnesium is Extremely flammable. Very odd for a metal. It worked to put paper on fire, but wood gives problems. The magnesium burns too fast and the wood doesn’t get hot enough to catch fire. I’m gonna try a few more times but I think we might be better off using matchers or a lighter. Less macho, but I suppose it works…

Testing the blanket proved to be a very good idea: it’s no blanket at all. The package said "body warmer" so we figured it’s actually big enough to warm your body. Wrong. It’s actually a 15x10cm patch. I put it in my sock and it’s keeping my feet warm right now. Well, Foot, just one. The package said it generates heat for 12+ hours. That is a Very long time for a chemical reaction, so I’m curious to see about that. It’s been active for 2 hours now and the heat hasn’t faded, although it seems somewhat irregular now and then.

The shovel, I just had to buy. It’s the exact same kind we used in boot camp and I recall it’s a great tool. You can fold it up to a very small size, you can turn the blade 90° forward to hack through frozen ground, hell you can even use it to bring down small trees. Incredibly handy.

The dictionary.. well.. I hope to learn a word or 2 before I take off, so I can at least say ‘thanks’ without having to look it up. To be honest Norwegian sounds exactly like a cross between english and a west-flamish accent. In fact I can understand it better than the accent.


Temperatures there are said to be higher than -10°C, wich is a relief cause I thought they’d be worse. And it doesn’t Always snow in Norway! But how do they travel then, if not by sled? Much investigation will be required. How do people live, side by side with mooses, with a diesel powered generator in each town and a B&W tv that plays re-runs of ‘Saved By The Bell’? How do they milk their angora goats at -10°C? And… Who cares?


My friend and myself have been quite amused by the Norwegian language. Some words seem to be directly stolen from flamish slang. And did you know there’s a place in norway named ‘Hell’? They even have a town with the norwegian word for hell, which is.. *looks it up* ‘Helvete’. I Just Have To Visit Those and send a postcard there. "With Love From Hell".



One response

  1. Jenzy

    TIP: scrape off the magnesium on some dry grass or leaves to create a big enough flame to light the wood. Or make some home-made kindle. Tightly roll up a newspaper and tape it with that paperish tape. Burns quite a while. I did have my bootkamp in winter and I already went way north several times. I would vote against not taking matches or lighters. The shovel is indeed a good tool, combine it with a decent knife/dagger. Saves lives. Believe me. And about the food, a decent meal is primary. (off course you remember that from training.) If you want I still got some yummy yummy 1 o 1\’s. No joke, if you want them they\’re yours.Have fun ;-)

    6 November 2005 at 01:51

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