Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält. It’s that time of the year when the nights draw in and many people turn to the comfort of an armchair and an open fire.
Even the most hardy of us who would be out in all weather find ourselves sitting indoors -brushing up on skills, servicing equipment, planning next years trips or learning different methods / places to visit through various means.
This book I am writing about is one of those books that you can’t put down and even when you’ve finished it it’s the type of book that stays on the coffee table and is picked up and shuffled through many times.
This book by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is a fantastic beautiful must-have for every Bushcraft enthusiast!
Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält: The Authors
Ray Mears is well know in the UK, Europe and Worldwide! This book is written together with Lars Fält, the founder of the Swedish army survival school and instructor of the Parachute Rangers.
Lars has an enormous knowledge of life and survival in the wilderness of the Northern Hemisphere and is also the author of 10 books on this subject.
Ray’s has an enormous knowledge base, lots of experiences and a natural and peaceful approach to life. His documentaries have and still are an inspiration for everyone.
In this wilderness, knowledge of the forest, Bushcraft, is indispensable and you have the best opportunities to apply it correctly.
Instructive and inspiring
This book has been in development for 30 years.
It contains an imaginative voyage of discovery through the impressive forests of the Northern Hemisphere.
Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is full of information and covers every aspect of being in the wilderness in both winter and summer (clothing, kit, skills, cooking, survival).
Revealing the age-old traditions and techniques, and how to carry them out yourself.
I love the way that this book refers back to the indigenous people of the Boreal Forest and shows how bushcraft was not just a way of life but a way of surviving.
This book describes extensively how you can live in this environment and what is needed for this.
Apart from a beautiful book Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is also a reference book for anyone who would like to experience this.
This book is a great source of information on methods, utilising natural products, recipes and much more.
What do I think about this book?
Like I said Out on the Land is a wonderful book that you will find difficult to put down!
Out on the land by Ray Mears and Lars Fält is full of impressive photos, stories, where and why these methods are used and awe inspiring. Which will get you outside and practice what you have learnt.
If you want to have a look at some of the equipment used in this book such as the Loue Tarp have at look at Ray’s website Woodlore.
Ray Mears has and still is a great inspiration to me. I love his documentaries I learn a great deal from these especially his carving tuitions and fire lighting skills
Where to buy?
Interested readers can purchase this book in many languages from amazon.
Ray Mears Documentaries
One of my favourite episodes is when Ray is in Sweden.
This episode he starts of in the South, paddling with Lars.
Learning how to harvest fatwood to turn into pine tar and then ventures up North to learn day to day bushcraft from the Sami and learn about the importance of a Puukko.
As stated in my post about when we completed the Fjallraven Classic 2017, gear selection and packing for the fjallraven classic Sweden is something that you will probably do 100 times before leaving for Sweden.
One of the most helpful tips I can give you when packing for the fjallraven classic Sweden is once you have packed your rucksack purchase a cargo bag for it to travel in and also you can leave a change of clothes and your day bag in it so that it can meet you at the finish (this I found very helpful), Fjallraven will take your bag from the start at Camp Ripan to the end in Abisko.
• Tent* – I took a Vango 1 x Man
• Sleeping bag*, preferably three-season sleeping bag – Down is good but if it gets wet it doesn’t insulate as well
• Stove* with a deep pan – good for boiling water for the freeze dried meals – Something like a JETBOIL or Alpkit Wolf.
• Fuel* (included in the ticket fee, don’t forget to bring a bottle if you use petrol or methylated spirit) – Fuel is supplied you should only need one can.
• Sleeping mattress* – Something that packs small and lightweight, I took a EXPED DownMat Lite.
• Map* (included in the ticket fee)
• Magnetic compass*
• Fjällräven Classic Trash Bag* (included in the ticket fee)
• Thermal fleece/mid layer top* in down, wool or a synthetic material
• Long underpants for a dry change ( what I did and I found it worked very well was keep a pair of long johns, base layer and socks in a small dry bag to change into to sleep in).
• Wind and waterproof pants
• Wind and waterproof jacket with hood
• First aid kit (at least elastic bandage, blister pads, compresses and tape). It is recommended to complement the mandatory first aid kit with safety pins, butterfly stitches (skin closures), fluid replacement and pain relief.
• 65-75lr backpack with rain protection cover
• Sun hat/cap
• Trekking socks, preferably in wool – I discovered Armaskin Socks these are the best items I have found to stop blisters, they are a silcone layered undersock and I highly recommend them, they are worn as the first layer with a pair of hiking socks over them. See my other post on foot care.
•Underwear in wool or in a synthetic material
• A change of shoes or flip flops/sandals to give your feet a break – definitely worth taking.
•Trekking trousers, a pair that can be unzipped to become shorts are ideal – it does get warm up there sometimes
• Trekking boots – waterproof is a must it does get quite boggy in places
• Trekking poles – I relied on mine others didn’t use them. Helpful tip: wind gaffer tape around the top of one walking pole, gaffer tape is really a great ‘quick fix’ item and to limit space and weight you don’t need to carry a full reel of it carefully wind it around the top of one of our trekking poles.
• Matches and/or lighter – didn’t use but depending on your speed you may camp your first night in an area with fuel for a fire a lot of the terrain you will cover is above the tree line apart from the start up to Kebnakaise and towards the end near Keiron to Abisko. It is recommended to burn used toilet paper.
• Dish cloth – don’t see the need if you are eating the freeze dried food out of the bag.
• Small towel – had a small micro fibre towel in pocket as I was getting hot on the first day. If you fancy using the saunas en-route then a larger towel would be needed.
• Water bottle, minimum 0.5lt – Water is everywhere, you will be able to stock up along the route.
• Small knife with scissors or a multi-tool – A multi-tool comes in handy or did for me to help me re-stitch my boots.
• Toiletries – limit these: dry wash, cleansing wipes, toothbrush (cut most of handle off) and toothpaste (find small tube on amazon)
• Toilet paper in a plastic bag with some matches – you should burn your used toilet paper rather than leaving it in the ground
• Head torch – Not needed (doesn’t get dark enough)
• Sunglasses – A must
Other Items for the Fjallraven Classic :
•Camera – I took a GoPro and used my iPhone for photos (I attached a hosing for the GoPro and iPhone clip into the handle of one trekking pole so i didnt need a selfie stick) and navigation (I downloaded viewranger and purchased the relevant tiles for the area and also downloaded the Fjallraven Classic Route.
•Battery Pack for charging phone and GoPro
•Empty Plastic Bottle – I hate having to get out of my sleeping bag in the middle of the night for a pee!
•Sitting mat – these can be found online cheap.
•Waterproof rucksack cover.
•Poncho – Didnt use it but if the heavens did open this would have been invaluable.
•Mosquito Repellent – This is a must there can be swarm in the billions of these little monsters. I get bitten so much and there are so many that i’ve tried and the only effective one I have found was brought in Sweden. Mygga is made with natural ingredients and also has tea tree in it so feels really refreshing when applied after a wet wipe wash in the evening before relaxing and taking in the surroundings.
I purchased this from the supermarket in Kiruna and if i remember they also sell it in the Fjallraven pop up store at check in.
So do yourself a favour and purchase a couple once you return to Kiruna to take home.
•Mosquito head net. Also invaluable a must when the sun lowers and those micro zombies attack.
•Small Trowel. Very helpful for when answering the call of nature.
Energy Drink Tablets
Plastic bottle of Rum
Take your time when packing and really think about each item. If you think to yourself “do I really need this item?” then you probably don’t. The less weight you carry the easier it will be on your shoulders and back and obviously the less weight you will be carrying.
Most importantly your rucksack needs to be suitable for the weather, your shape and the equipment you are carrying. Don’t go out and buy and ‘off the shelf’ rucksack without getting professional advice assisting with fitting the rucksack to you.
Carry most of the weight from the ruck sack on your hips, move heavy items to the bottom of the rucksack and pack the rucksack so you can get to regularly used items first.
Use a liner in your bag something as simple as a refuse bin bag to keep everything dry.
Take small refuse bin bags with you to put wet clothes / dirty underwear to keep the rest of you clothes dry.
A lightweight bumbag will come in helpful to keep snacks, phone and other small regularly used items in, so you don’t have to take your rucksack off every time you make a quick stop.
Turmat dehydrated food.
I came across these whilst taking part in the Fjällräven Classic in Sweden earlier this year. They where supplied by Fjällräven to all hikers and my first thought was the weight of each portion.
As they are dehydrated they weigh next to nothing compared to wet MRE meals.
I chose a mixture to take with me pulled pork, kebab stew, cod in curry sauce and salmon with pasta.
The kebab stew was a little spicy for me but the meat tasted just like donner.
Pulled pork was good but my two favourites where the two fish ones.
Once rehydrated they actually looked like fish and tasted like fish. The cod in curry sauce wasn’t really curry tasting but very good to eat.
Packs. Weigh 85g before rehydration and 450g when rehydrated and with 452kcal per 100g they are just what you need.
To rehydrate open pack at the top and add boiling water to the fill line.
Stir the water into the dry mix making sure you get everything wet then reseal bag.
Wait 8 minutes.
There is another tear line lower than the first used to open bag now tear along this which makes the bag shorter so you don’t need a massive long spoon to get to it all.