On this page i want to share with you the other things i like to do apart from creating YouTube videos, hiking, camping, canoeing and all that good stuff!


Here are some of the other fun things going on in my life at the moment :)

Below is some of my Whittling caracatures :)

Hiya folks and welcome to a new page on my website called ' Other Things' yeah it's a really bad title and i obvoiusly didn't know what to call it, so lets jump right in! :)  


So since i came to Finland over 10 years ago now, well actually 13 if we are counting i have had many different hobbies, which actually is quite shocking because when i was living in the UK i had none, zilch, narda, zeeero! 


On the left here is my latest adventure Whittling, back to that though in a minute. 


My first big love was Photography, and the reason i took to learning about this awesome subject was because, after my second Winter here in Finland, i swore i would go completley stir crazy or go back to the UK if i didn't have anything to occupy my mind. This is true! The reason for this was because the Wintertime in Finland is sooo long in comparrison to the UK's, also the lack of light, long dark nights, and freezing cold conditions that effected me physically and also mentally. If you jump from a relatively mild climate like the UK, to that of a country like Finland that has a Winter temperature of possible -40c and many, many, long cold freezing dark nights, you are going to go through some serious adjusting! This season can also last up to six months, believe me, you really need something to occupy your mind while your huddled up inside the warm comfort of your home. 

My love for photography lasted many years, and at one point i became semi-proffessional while working a second job as a Wedding photogrpaher. Through photography i learn't about other aspects of living in Finland. My love for Landscapes and Sunsets and Sunrises took me out into the nature, forever searching for the most beautiful shot that i could take. Even in the Wintertime i would be outside in the bitterley freezing cold, struggling in knee deep in snow trying to capture an amazing Winter wonderland image! At -20 celcius for hours at a time though, it makes you consider your clothing options, you study hard about what clothing will keep you out there, alive, for as long as possible. You study about hypothermia, what are the warning signs, how to stop your DSLR camera lenses from freezing up, how to stop moisture building up in your camera when entering a warm room, how to keep yourself warm, what if the SHTF (the shit hits the fan). What IF?? Shelters, sleeping bags, hiking, fitness, patience, National Parks, wild animals, food, customs.... That one hobby took me on an adventure of a lifetime, and i am still learning and enjoying the wonderful aspects about life here in Finland.  



Top to Bottom: Shooting stars over Vuokatti Hill, Finland. Next: Long exposure of a fast flowing river in deep Winter. Next: Vuokatti Ski slopes, Finland.  Next: Photographing Bears from a hide in a Finnish forest.   Next: Sun setting over a Finnish lake.  Next: Fox tracks running through some Spruce saplings.  Next: Selfie with sun setting over a frozen lake.  Next: Fire Orb long exposure (good fun :)                                                        


Okay back to the 'Whittling'

Whittling - Wikipedia

Whittling may refer either to the art of carving shapes out of raw wood using a knife or a time-occupying, non-artistic (contrast wood carving for artistic process) process of repeatedly shaving slivers from a piece of wood. It is used by many as a pastime, or as a way to make artistic creations.
Thanks to a fellow youtuber called Doug Linker, i have found a new hobby to see my Winter's through. With his help and guidance via youtube videos i have been able to carve out some pretty funky looking caracatures of 3" bears and 3" Native American Indians wrapped in a blanket. I'm having a real giggle making these little dudes :) 

I love creating Art crafts and i'm really surprised at how easy it really is, you just need some Patience, some Will Power and some Joy :) 


Pyrograpghy & Painting

If any of you are great sketchers, or just like to dabble (like me), then you have to try a Pyrography kit, it's really amazing easy it really is and how much fun you can have with it. (I bought this one from Amazon.co.uk) KKmoon Burning Machine Wood Burner Pyrography Pen With Welding Wire Top Adjustable Temperature DIY Crafts Tool Set. 

Below also are a couple of watercolour paintings i was having fun with :)  As you can see i'm no real Artist, but what is important for me is the actual creating, and having Fun :) 

#INSTAGRAMPOST  #mentalawareness  Please go check out my other Instagram account.... simpan_crafts  :)


"Whittling my way through life"

I'm really having fun with this new hobby that i found. I certainly have a long way to go, lots to learn in improvement, patience and consistency. I guess this is also a reflection of what i need to learn in my life as well. To focus with more positivity and lessen the doubting mind is one of the paths we have to take to find comfort in our inner selves. 


I'm grateful for being here, right now, in this moment. Even though sometimes with the laughter and joy, there is also times when things don't always go as planned, and life becomes really hard emotionally and physically. Worklife gets heavy and the fun slows to a stop and relationships can struggle, but without these moments of insecurities and tiredness, we will never grow, never adapt, and we will never be who we are truly mean't to be.


We are so much stronger that we really know and with some support from our friends or even a beloved pet you will find that you can march forward, more stronger than you thought possible.

Peace & Love


Nissan X-Trail Car Camping

Hiya folks :) 

I'm super excited to tell you about a new project i'm focusing on. This is my beloved Nissan X-Trail T30 2004 SUV and i have plans to use her as a base camp for when i'm off hiking somewhere. I will kit this car out with the capabilities to sleep inside and cooking from. The idea for this came about when i was going through some popular truck and SUV videos on YouTube and it just seemed like great fun and exciting to do. Also i can go for day hikes carrying less gear, (for example, a snack and some water) and then return back to the lodge (the car), cook a nice meal, sit down at a foldable camp table, have a little drink and listen to some music etc..before tucking in for the night! Only to go off on another hiking path somewhere the next day, Awesome!


Keep checking in on this one folks as i will post quite regular of any adaptions i will make, and what new gadjets i will buy etc..

Note *This will not be a full camper conversion, there will be no raised platform inside the car or anything built in to it. No solar panels, and probably no super large battery power bank. I just can't afford all that stuff!  This is just me throwing in some gear for comfort and trying to expand my views outside, while not carrying so much gear!


One of the best things that i love about this car, is that the back seats go down completely flat, and this gives you more room for moving stuff, picking stuff up, a better life for your road trippin' dog, and you can also lay down completley flat in the back without any platform build to level out any imperfections.  That's a bundle of money and work saved right there.

I could  build a raised platform if i wanted too, and have slide out drawers that holds all my belongings, kitchenware etc.. and if i had a larger vehicle i most definately would do that, one, because i think that it looks awesome and two, it is practicle to do so.


Or maybe i could kit out my vehicle with one long sliding drawer going down one half of the car. There are a lot of options to run though, but at the end of the day, it really depends on what is best for you. Me, i am in my 50's now and my back is not a flexible as it used to be when i was in my 20's or 30's, so i really value having the space to sit upright, and plus i don't want to be pressed against the roof of my SUV because i have a raised platform underneath me like a sausage in a hot dog bun. If your young, man i get it, absolutely, but if your in your 50's and your not a yoga instructor, no way, that's not for me. 

For me, i want to be able to keep the car free from any screw and bolt holes, plus i don't want any permanent fixtures. So if needs be, i can easily slide out my boxes of gear boxes and pop up the back seats for any additional travellers outside of my camping adventures, easy peasy :)


Man, there are some really awesome camper builds out there, and i'm not even touching the tip of the iceberg!  But what i'm doing will get you out there, on your destination without too much thinking, without too much money, and without too much time!