JVMS Midsummer Survival

Place: Roslagen, Sweden
Time: 3 days in June

Finally it's time for me to do a hands on test of my survival training method JVMS. In short Jonas Vildmark's Method for Survival Training (JVMS) consists of the formula [xobject+10xkm+10xh] which describes the relation between stuff, distance and time. This weekend I've decided to do a so called "JVMS 6" where I'll be traveling 60 km in 60 hours only carrying 6 objects. You can read more about the method by clicking HERE.

Day 1
It's a beautiful and peaceful Midsummer morning. I'm in my pickup truck heading out to the Cabin to start my adventure. This is the first time I evaluate my method's theory in a practical way. Therefore I've chosen to execute the training session in the outback's of my cabin, giving me a safety line if I've calculated something terribly wrong. Will be interesting to see if my idea JVMS holds up or if I need to audit the formula after this weekend. When I close the door of my truck the only thing I here is the birds celebrating Summer is here. Time to put on the little gear I'm bringing before heading off. I've prepared a 60 km long circular rout taking me around the beautiful Roslagen and back to the Cabin. After publishing JVMS about a year ago I soon got to know the nice and dedicated family of bushcraft and survival enthusiasts. Thanks for all inspiration and advice! Before I left home I eat a robust breakfast and now when the clock turns 09:00 am my three day adventure begins.


Before

As many of you announced your interest in following me on this trip by Facebook I'm bringing my smart phone for documentation. I post my best Midsummer wishes and this get to be the official starting signal of JVMS Midsummer Survival. when I wonder off into the woods I go as Good created me plus the below six objects.

1. Jumpsuit
2. Boots
3. Drinking bottle
4. Map
5. Firesteel
6. Knife


The gear; six objects

My choice of clothing; only a jumpsuit and a pair of boots (no socks or shorts) has made many of you warning me of rashes (abrasion) in different places. Personally it's my feet I know will be suffering on Sunday night when I hope my empty stomach can go home for some dinner. As I'm doing this hike all by my self I need to take safety seriously. Therefore I'm bringing a safety kit containing first aid bandage, a fully charged cellphone and a C-A-T. This safety kit (a lid hip bag from a Osprey Aether 70) is only to be used if in sincere danger.
After a short hike trough the forest I reach a beautiful field. As I pass it along a small river I stumble upon a carcass of a roe deer. This is a good reminder that I need to boil all my water before drinking during the next three days.


Peace be with her

The sun and the soft wind caresses the green field. "This is a great way to spend my Midsummer weekend" I'm thinking to myself as I enjoying the view. I can imagine I'm not the only one appreciating this weather. Allot of Swedes are right now preparing for this weekend's celebration. Once back into the woods it strikes me how harsh the vegetation is. The terrain is much tougher than I thought and this is not good for the time frame. When I look at the sun I can see that I'm all ready behind schedule. But I keep on it and enjoy the magnificent scenery. I would say the temperature is about +25°C (+77°F) and this in combination with the demanding terrain is taking it's told. Therefore it's very nice when the horizon start to show the lake I wanna reach.


Rough terrain
A welcomed sight

I cool my feet in the small lake and as I take my last zip from my drinking bottle I study a pair of birds nesting in a high pine tree by the water. I think they are osprey and the magnificent birds try to lure me from the nest to protect their offspring. Therefore I don't stay around too long, I don't wanna disturb too much. It's amazing how close I get the game when trekking without bulky gear. So far I've already meet a surprised roe buck, a beautiful viper and I've also heard a big group of wild boar rumble through the bush. By the way; there's a lot of signs of wild bore in the area.


Protective osprey

After some hiking I reach the next lake where I decide to rest for the evening. Feels very nice to start this training session's first fire using the birch tinder I've collected on the way. Now I can take off my boots and boil my longed for water. No dough it's easier keeping proper liquid levels when hiking up North, compared to these Midlands. In the North I usually drink the water directly from the springs without boiling it. 


Healing for one's soul
The training session's first fire

I'd hoped to have covered 30 km by now but as I study the map I can see I'm behind schedule by 10 clicks. My plan is to cover 30 km day one, 20 km day two and the last 10 km on day three. This way I reduce the intensity as my body gets tired. Instead of sleeping I decide to just rest a while and then do some night hiking to get back on schedule. But first I have some boiling to do.

Day 2
At midnight I start my walking trough the magic forest of the Midsummer night. The woods are extremely quiet and it's amazingly beautiful when the moon guides me through big spruce and over clear-cuts. The temperature's nice, feels like +10°C (+50°F), and as I feel strong I can pound on pretty hard to cover some distance. I get to meet more roe deer and also an elegant fox allowing me watch as he hut down it's pray. Suddenly I hear a crack and a enormous bull moose is staring at me from the forest edge.


A big bull moose gets my attention
Moon light hike in the Midsummer night

The sun starts rising, I've covered the distance I hoped for and I have no trouble sleeping in the morning sun. As I'm under a tight schedule to manage the 60 km in 60 hours I'm not planing on building any advanced shelters on this session. Instead I just find a dry spot and lay down. But its nice to be able to pull up my hood when the temperature and the mosquitoes get too ambitious.


World's largest bedroom

Some hours later I wake up to a nice and cloudy sky; perfect hiking conditions. The hiking flows nicely as the terrain isn't as tough today. Despite soar feet and an empty stomach I'm truly enjoying this refreshing environment. Its a privilege to walk this beautiful land all alone. So far I've only eaten a handful of berries. Time to collect some carbs and vitamins, dandelion roots and pine, for tonight's fire.


Dandelion roots and pine tea

As the second day sets I collect as much wood as possible to keep warm all night. But before sleep I entertain myself by trying to catch a pair of bats on camera. The night turns out OK but the sleep is shallow as I don't want my fire to die.


Hard to get

Day 3
As I gratefully welcome this adventure's last sunrise I'm happy only to have 10 km left to hike. My body has now adapted to starvation so I don't feel hungry anymore. My head feels a bit mushy from the lack of sleep and food but my step feels surprisingly light considering.


Beautiful sunrise day three

So the last day, time has flown. But I suspect this is because the beautiful sights and my focus on the mission. I get a bit wistful but mostly relieved when the Cabin is starting to show in the horizon. I made it, and before schedule! The sun say it's in the middle of the day so I get to spend the rest of the day on the Cabin's land to await the Clock to strike 09:00 pm. This feels nice; as my hiking now is done I can be able to dry my sore feet by the fire and get some sleep. I start this adventure's last fire and doze off to the soothing flames. After waking up I put some more wood on the fire and continue to stair into the warming fire. Feels great to quietly reflect on what an amazing experience this has been. I'm truly grateful to have been able to do this.


Starting the last fire of the adventure


Times up; with content I now officially end JVMS Midsummer Survival. In the truck on my way home I summarize my weekend; what have I learned?

Nutrition, Fluid and Energy
JVMS simulates a survival situation when I must take the decision to move and find help. If I know help is just a couple of days away; in my opinion focus should be on staying hydrated, on the move and keeping warm. Chewing on something is good for moral but collecting food is time consuming. In another scenario where I decide to stay put and let help find me I would have another focus. I then would spend time preparing signaling fires, building shelter, collecting food and attending my hygiene.
On JVMS Midsummer Survival I didn't eat mush at all. Unfortunately the berries wasn't ready yet. Otherwise these are a nice and refreshing snack. I memorized everything I ate during my 60 hours:

1 hand of berries (wild strawberry and blueberry)
1 hand of dandelion roots
10 clover flowers
5 ants
6,5 liters of water
0,5 liter pine tea

Considering the amount of physical activity I probably should have drunken more. But I wanted to boil this areas water before drinking it. Therefore I basically filled up my fluids when I had a fire going.
In total during this three day adventure I only slept for 7 hours and rested (eyed closed) for 3 hours.
Considering the above I felt pretty good by the end of the session. Of course I was effected by the sun, hiking, deprivation and starvation, but not as much as I expected if you had asked me during day two. I guess my interest in the subject and some adrenaline also made a difference. But it's amazing how the human body copes in a situation like this. When I started on Friday morning I weigh 83 kg, Sunday night when I got home I weigh 78 kg. I lost 5 kg in three days. This is the same weight loss I've experienced in earlier similar trainings. Sunday night's late and long dinner consisted of sushi, pizza and fika. It's a nice feeling when my body starts absorbing the nutrition. Just 15 minutes after the first bite the buzz starts in fingers, feet and then the hole body. Then I get tired in a nice way.

JVMS - the Method
Regarding the method JVMS I think the theory holds up. My two main lessons learned from this "JVMS 6" is:

1. Its easier to keep an equal and more feet friendly hiking tempo if you exactly know how long it takes to cover the area's terrain. This weekend's rout was partly unknown to me as I hadn't walked it before. I underestimated the terrain when I sat by the computer planing the stretch. Seeing the terrain live made me concerned about the time frame and I started rushing causing blisters and fatigue. And then I ended up reaching my "goal" about eight hours early. However I don't wanna audit the JVMS formula by adding time. If in a real survival situation, and I decide to move, I probably don't know the area either.

2. I should have traded the knife against a pair of socks. I thought these light boots that fitted my feet so good would only give me moderate blisters. But instead my feet got considerably more sore cos the lack of socks. An alternative had been choosing a hiking sandal but then I'd been more concerned about the intense vegetation and the fact that I couldn't always see where I put my feet among vipers and stinging nettles. So if I would do this again in the same area I would change the knife to a pair of socks and trade the firesteel against a regular lighter. On JVMS Midsummer Survival I never build any shelters and basically only used the knife to light the fire, together with the firesteel. And to be honest I could have coped just fine with just a lighter. Even though this hurts me to say as I'm a true knife romantic.

When I move around nature in this manner; with almost no gear at all, my focus and feeling get different compared to a "regular" hike. I cant help but feeling more animal like. A good reminded of us all being creatures living in the same nature. Although this adventure was harsh I truly enjoyed it in a peaceful way.


After

I hope JVMS can inspire you to do similar adventures. Perhaps you and a couple of friends should do a "JVMS 12" during this summer? If so; please let me know how you experienced your adventure. All feedback and input is welcomed!

You can also see me doing a JVMS 5 in winter time by clicking HERE.



På Svenska

Jumpsuit Seafarer



Size: 42L
Material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
Price: 500 SEK (Sweden 2013)
Plus: Durable
Minus: No zippers on pockets

My forest suit is a modified Navy jumpsuit produced in 1999. It's the American Navy's Seagoing Uniform Corp. that produces this overall called Seafarer. It's made of 65% polyester and 35% cotton. The garment is specified according to the standard MIL-C-87000B and produced under the certificate 5P5-001240-119-01. Originally this classical suit commes with six pockets without zippers. Only the main opening is equipped with a long brass zipper from Talon. The modifications I made to the jumpsuit is the added hood and casing on the bottom of the legs. On the right I've added a strap to fix my knife in the right hip pocket, the left hip pocket usualy contain some dry tinder, left chest pocket holds my fire steel and usually I attach my drinking bottle in one of the belt eyes. ID-card and any other plastic I keep in my right chest pocket and the map fits nicely in one of the back pockets. The hood is great to cover up your head and face when the sun, the cold or the mosquitoes get too ambitious. If you're as lucky as I am you can find one of these robust jumpsuits on the second hand market. I'm happy I found this one in mint condition for a reasonable price.

På Svenska

Lejon Boots




Size: 43
Material: Galon, polyester and plastic
Prize: 300 SEK (Sweden 2003)
Plus: Light
Minus: Stiff and slippery when cold

These boots I found on a sale several years ago. The price was so tempting so they Went into my shopping cart. It was in the winter time and the first time I tested them outside the could made the boot's material very stiff and the soul slippery. Therefor the boot ended up way back in my closet. It wasn't until some years later I found them on my way out hunting moose. This time there were no snow and the shoes worked better. These medium high boots feels almost like a pair of training shoes cos of their weight and softness. The synthetic material is wind and water resistant and works just fine in the non-winter season. This is obviously no premium product but I still keep these boots in the back of my closet.

På Svenska

Primus Drinking Bottle Wide Mouth




Size: 1000 ml (also offered in 600 ml)
Weight: SS 220 g, Alu 185 g (according to producer)
Price: 170 SEK (Sweden 2013)
Plus: Design, Quality
Minus: Plastic screw thread on bottleneck

The Bottle
One of my favorite drinking bottles is Primus one liter Wide Mouth. I like the size, the shape and the smart lid allowing you to chose between two different openings. The Wide Mouth is offered in two different sizes; 600 ml and 1000 ml. The material options are aluminum (Alu) or Stainless steel (SS). During my adventure JVMS Midsummer Survival I needed a one liter container to collect food and boil water in. Since earlier I've had experienced the Alu-version and I thought this adventure would be a great opportunity to put the SS-version to the test. The bottle weighs 220 g and have a black coated surface that offer a great grip even when wet. The lid and the screw thread on the bottleneck is made of plastic but the bottle and the carabinder is made of steel.

Into the Fire
I know it's a bit unfair to test a bottle with plastic parts when I know I'm gonna boil water over an open fire. But anyhow I want to see how much my favorite bottle can stand. Not surprisingly the plastic thread on the neck melted away when in direct contact with the fire. It's possible this hadn't happen if I'd used a grill or a tripod but on this extreme trip I needed to place the bottle directly by the fire. If the thread had been made of the same material as the bottle this could have been prevented. Despite the melt away the bottle worked just fineto boil my water in and the Wide Mouth was a good friend all through my adventure.




Modified Bottle
I still like this bottle so I made some modifications to it so I can use it on similar future adventures. After cleaning the bottle up I strapped a steel wire around the bottle neck allowing me to attach the carabinder. As a lid I'll use a cone shaped cork or rubber plug. Looking forward to future adventures together with my Wide Mouth.




På Svenska

Preparing for JVMS 6, 60, 60 - Midsummer Survival

It's now one week left before my survival adventure; JVMS 6, 60, 60 - Midsummer SurvivalJonas Vildmark's Method for Survival Training (JVMS) is my own method that I now for the first time test this Midsummer. During 60 hours I'll take a 60 km long hike just using 6 objects. It'll be interesting to see if I need to audit the method after this weekend. I'm really glad for the attention my little adventure has drawn in magazines and social medias. I've gotten a lot of good advises, developing questions and inspiring words from many of you on different web forums, thanks for that! Now my preparations are done and I just need to await an exiting Midsummer.

Time
As I've already mentioned; this survival training will take place during 2,5 days (60 hours) this midsummer weekend. I'll start Friday 21th of June at 9:00 am and finish Sunday 23rd of June at 9:00 pm. According to JVMS I must be out at least for 60 hours. We'll see how well I'll manage this time line.

Route
As this is the first time I test my method, and as I'm doing it all alone, I've chosen to execute the training in the outdoors of mid-Sweden; Roslagen. There I'll be relatively close to civilization which is reassuring if I find myself in need of help in case of an emergency. Start off point and finishing point are the same as I've chosen to hike in a circle. This way I don't need transportation in between points. A JVMS 6, 60, 60 demands a movement of at least 60 km and this time I'll hike throughout a terrain consisting of forests, fields and lakes. I'll bring a smart phone for documentation and will use it's GPS application to confirm the route after getting back home.

Gear
On a JVMS 6, 60, 60 you're just allowed to bring six objects. You can read more about the definitions HERE. The six objects I've chosen for this JVMS are:

1. Jumpsuit (Seafarer, 65% polyester 35% cotton)
2. Boots (Lejon, synthetic)
3. Map (Gröna kartan)
4. Water bottle (Primus Wide Mouth, stainless steel, 1000 ml)
5. Fire steel (Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel 2.0)
6. Knife (Fällkniven F1z)


The six objects


Earlier I was thinking of replacing one of the six objects above with a compass. But I think I'll manage just fine with the sun and the map for navigation, underwear and compass get to stay at home. For safety reasons I'll bring a safety kit containing; a first aid bandage, a cellphone and a C-A-T. These object is only to be used if and when in danger. To be able to record my adventure and keep you updated I'm also bringing a camera and a smart phone.

Follow Me
I will execute this training, JVMS 6, 60, 60 - Midsummer Survival, on my one. But I hope You'll follow me on the Web. Soon I'll be shearing my experience from this JVMS in a post here on the blog, but meanwhile you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter. There I'll be posting live from this adventure. If you don't have Facebook or Twitter you can follow me in the news box here on the blog up in the right corner.

I'm looking forward to a peaceful challenge in the beautiful Swedish Midsummer night. All feedback from you are welcome prior, during and after JVMS 6, 60, 60 - Midsummer Survival.

Happy Midsummer!

På Svenska

Dalby Söderskog National Park








Place: Dalby Söderskog, Lund, Sweden
Coordinates: Lat: 55.67545, Lon: 13.33061
Time: 1 day in May

After a pleasant stay in Skrylle Nature Reserve Sonia and I takes the opportunity to also visit Dalby Söderskog (Dalby Southern Forest) just around the corner. After a short 3 km hike along the asphalt road we enter the Dalby Forest... Wow! this is like a magical jungle. I really recommend you to visit Dalby Söderskog when ever you're in the neighborhood. This area is 37 ha big and consists of  broad-leaved trees. In this old forest interesting insects and other wildlife flourish. A wide foot-bridge made of oak takes us around the park in a nice way. Although there's a couple of stairs we manage well with our wagon. Dalby Söderskog National Park was founded back in 1918 and became Skånes first national park. Since then the forest has been left to developed on it's own to give this beautiful environment. An impressed Sonia counts the tree rings of the majestic logs by the trail . It's amazing to be able to peacefully enjoy the history of a place like this. Underneath the roof top of the forest the ripple of small creeks contribute to the exotic humidity along the trail.. Dalby Söderskog is truly a treasure just waiting for us to enjoy, just about half an hour by Bus 159 from the centre of Lund.

På Svenska

A Peaceful Day at the Shooting Range





It's good for both mind and body to take a relaxing day out at the shooting range alone with your thoughts. Besides getting a better hunter, for me the shooting practise is a time for reflection and focus. The warm breeze feels nice in my face as I close the door to my pickup truck. The only thing I hear is the birds singing in the beautiful woods. My daughter Sonia like tagging along to the firing range. She's so cute in her earmuffs yelling "Bamm!" after each shoot. When it comes to firearms the most important thing is safety and it feels good to learn Sonia this, and at the same time getting use to upcoming hunts. This got to be a peaceful day at the shooting range; the gun is right adjusted, I produce descent groupings and Sonia think it's fun patching up the holes.

På Svenska