onsdag 7 oktober 2009

Bushbuddy cooking above Vålådalen

My trip to Vålådalen was the first trip where I relied solely on the Bushbuddy for all cooking, The only backup I had were a few Esbit tablets. In total I cooked 7 meals (I boiled water for soup and rehydration of freeze dried food and also cooked oatmeal porridge in the morning.). Out of these meals, 2 were prepared above the treeline with fuel from the spot. In no case did I have any problem in finding fuel. Most of the time sufficient fuel was gathered in the matter of minutes as I went along. I never needed to use the Esbits, but I did use quite a lot of the birch bark I had taken with me as firestarter. The weather conditions where very good during the trip, but it had been raining a lot the days before I arrived. I have managed to acheive a boil in much more difficult conditions than these, so weather-wise I had no big challenges.
Above the treeline experiences

Difficult to find fuel at 1200m altitude? - Not at all!
This trip confirmed my experience that it is quite possible to find good fuel above the treeline. The key here is that the Bushbuddy really requires so litte of it. Many small twigs are also a lot better and more efficient than big branches. The nature of the ground also helps a lot since water is drained away very quickly here.

Look closer at the ground - Lots of good dead crowberry roots here. Such roots are available almost everywhere above the treeline and they burn very well. So well in fact that birch bark is not always necessary as a firestarter.

If fuel wasn't a problem, the wind sometimes was. It really helps a lot to find a spot that is sheltered from the wind. A windscreen helps, but it is no substitute. Fuel consumption and cooking time increases dramatically if the flame is disturbed. A few extra minutes for site selection is worth it.

Excellent site on the leeside of a big rock

The flame is undisturbed and hot blueberry soup is soon forthcoming