A Year in a Trapper’s Cabin

Poland – Swe­den – Canada
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During a year-long expe­di­tion bey­ond the Arc­tic Circ­le into the endless taiga, he will be for­ced to build him­self a log cabin, hunt and fish. His only means of trans­port are legs, hor­ses, a canoe and a dog sled. On top of that – for a noble cau­se he deci­ded to do it, with a few excep­tions, in a tra­di­tio­nal and histo­ri­cal sty­le, avo­iding arti­fi­cial mate­rials, elec­tro­nics and mecha­nics – just as it was done in the old days. Prac­ti­cal­ly all the equ­ip­ment taken on the expe­di­tion will come from his work­shop. This will not be a histo­ri­cal recon­struc­tion, but an expe­di­tion into him­self and the wil­der­ness in the spi­rit of the old trappers.

But befo­re that hap­pens, the team con­si­sting of Tomasz Pater­ski and his two com­pa­nions has to pre­pa­re for it. “A Year in a Trap­pe­r’s Hut” is a com­plex pro­ject taking pla­ce in seve­ral coun­tries and on two con­ti­nents. The pro­ject opens up spa­ce for new expe­rien­ces which will be neces­sa­ry to survi­ve for a year tens of kilo­me­ters away from civi­li­sa­tion. Tra­di­tio­nal car­pen­try, water­craft, wor­king in a sled dog ken­nel, trac­king and fishing are just a few of the the­mes that make up the mul­ti-sta­ge pro­ject “A Year in a Trap­pe­r’s Hut”. The fina­le of this grand adven­tu­re will take pla­ce on the full-blo­oded ter­ra­in of nor­thern Cana­da, whe­re the histo­ry of real trap­pers still lives on.



Thomas Paterski



Leaving civi­li­za­tion, equ­ip­ped with eigh­te­enth-cen­tu­ry weapons, he will set off in ear­ly spring into the abys­sal wil­der­ness. As if that were not eno­ugh, for a noble cau­se he has deci­ded to do it – with minor excep­tions – in a tra­di­tio­nal sty­le, try­ing to avo­id arti­fi­cial mate­rials, modern solu­tions, elec­tro­nics and mecha­nics. In order to get as clo­se as possi­ble to the equ­ip­ment used befo­re 1900. So we are pre­pa­ring not so much a typi­cal histo­ri­cal recon­struc­tion, but rather an expe­di­tion into our­se­lves and the wil­der­ness com­bi­ned with its ele­ments – in the spi­rit of the old trappers.

Tomasz and Nano­ok, accom­pa­nied by the­ir hor­ses, will have dozens, if not hun­dreds, of kilo­me­ters to cover; with no mar­ked roads or tra­ils, using old-fashio­ned methods of navi­ga­tion. They will thus cross rapids and rivers, ascend ste­ep moun­ta­in­si­des, and sle­ep under a tra­di­tio­nal tarp tent, all in ter­ra­in con­trol­led by bears and wolves. Once they reach the­ir final desti­na­tion, they will set up the­ir small trap­per camp. It is the­re that they will build a log cabin and try to spend the who­le year in the wil­der­ness, leading a harsh 

as well as the sim­ple life of a trap­per – just like the old days. For the first few mon­ths, con­tent to live under a tarp and the smell of a camp­fi­re, they will begin the chal­len­ge of buil­ding a log cabin using only local­ly ava­ila­ble mate­rial. Dry, towe­ring spru­ce tre­es will serve as the buil­ding mate­rial after being fel­led with an axe, say­ing good­bye to the bark remo­ved with a clas­sic hand bar­ker. The sawn logs will be bro­ught to the con­struc­tion site not by “for­ce of things” but by hor­ses, whe­re they will be assem­bled into a new who­le with chi­sels, cir­cu­lar saws, hand augers and other clas­si­cal car­pen­try tools.

To make the hut itself, our adven­tu­ro­us dele­ga­tes will have only six mon­ths. They must make it in time for the ine­xo­ra­ble arri­val of the harsh win­ter, which will cover the abys­sal wil­der­ness with whi­te down. Whi­le buil­ding the­ir own wooden shel­ter from the icy cold and deadly inha­bi­tants of the wil­der­ness, they will have to gather fuel sup­plies for the six-month win­ter that heralds tem­pe­ra­tu­res below ‑40* C. To make mat­ters wor­se, they will be for­ced to ven­tu­re into the sur­ro­un­ding coun­try­si­de, under the pres­su­re of nag­ging hun­ger moti­va­ting them to search for signs of game and new hun­ting grounds.


Once the first snows have fal­len, Tomasz will go on hor­se­back on ano­ther long, even more dan­ge­ro­us, win­ter jour­ney. This time in the direc­tion of civi­li­za­tion, to put the hor­ses down the­re for a well-dese­rved rest, whi­le repla­cing them with a pack of dogs and a sle­igh. Taking with him only the basic equ­ip­ment, he will set off on the return jour­ney in a dog sled with Nano­ok at the helm across the fro­zen river, whe­re sho­oting ran­ges, thin and fra­gi­le ice, and more­over, packs of hun­gry wolves and dan­ge­ro­us moose await.

Once they reach the hut, they will be able to offi­cial­ly open the trap­per season. Tom, assi­sted by his dog sled, will navi­ga­te his tra­ils and try to survi­ve the harsh win­ter. This will be possi­ble thro­ugh hun­ting, set­ting traps and fishing. The­re will also be con­tem­pla­tion of the uni­que beau­ty of the auro­ra bore­alis and snow-cap­ped moun­ta­in peaks. Using a dog sled, as well as a tobog­gan and snow­sho­es, he will also con­stan­tly reple­nish the rapi­dly disap­pe­aring sup­ply of fuel. His daily ritu­al will also inc­lu­de casting lead bul­lets for weapons, chop­ping wood, bin­ding hun­ted ani­mals, fet­ching water, and repa­iring his ever-wearing equipment.

In ear­ly spring, when the snows begin to let up and the sun at its zenith is hosted much lon­ger than in win­ter during the polar night, they will once aga­in head for civi­li­za­tion. This time, howe­ver, in order to put the dogs down for the hard, sta­rving sum­mer season. He will return to the cabin this time via hydro­fo­il, looking down on the incre­di­ble ter­ra­in from abo­ve but, sure eno­ugh, witho­ut a sen­se of supe­rio­ri­ty. After the pilot picks up his sur­plus belon­gings, Tho­mas will pack his basic lug­ga­ge into the Otter and he and Nano­ok will set off for the civi­li­zed world. Once the goal of survi­ving a year in the Cana­dian taiga has been achie­ved and they reach the city, Tomasz, Nano­ok and Otter will dot the i’s and end the expe­di­tion – and the conc­lu­sion of the Year in a Trap­pe­r’s Hut project. 

Silen­ce sur­ro­un­ded them from eve­ry­whe­re; it pres­sed on them so that they felt it almost tan­gi­bly. It cru­shed the­ir bra­ins as the mas­ses of deep water press on the body of a diver. It cru­shed them with the weight of its infi­ni­te vast­ness and irre­ver­si­ble judg­ments. It bro­ke into the deepest reces­ses of the­ir minds, squ­eezing out of them, like the sap of the vine, all the illu­so­ry rap­tu­res and emo­tions along with the­ir infla­ted self-con­cept, until they final­ly under­sto­od that they were wret­ched and small, that they were dust and ashes, which, with a bit of cle­ver­ness and a pinch of wis­dom, sne­aked thro­ugh the vast­ness of the con­flic­ting blind ele­ments and for­ces of nature.

Jack Lon­don – Whi­te Fang.


1st STAGE – formalities

Obta­ining neces­sa­ry per­mits and esta­bli­shing part­ner­ships with local insti­tu­tions. And also esta­bli­shing coope­ra­tion with other entities.

2st STAGE – preparation

At this sta­ge we focus on tra­ining, coaching and acqu­iring new skills neces­sa­ry for the dura­tion of the expe­di­tion. This is also whe­re we test the equipment.

3st STAGE – production

Intro­duc­tion of chan­ges in equ­ip­ment and pro­duc­tion of addi­tio­nal ele­ments of equ­ip­ment. Apply­ing logos of spon­sors and part­ners on the equipment.

4st STAGE – cargo

Customs cle­aran­ce and post­ing of equ­ip­ment for ship­ment. This is fol­lo­wed by col­lec­tion of the ship­ment by the lia­ison in Canada.

5st STAGE – expedition

Depar­tu­re of the par­ti­ci­pants to the expe­di­tion site and pic­king up the equ­ip­ment from the lia­ison. Ren­ting hor­ses and then set­ting off on the expedition.

To the next stage:









“A Year in the Trap­pe­r’s Cabin” is a mul­ti-sta­ge pro­ject taking pla­ce in seve­ral coun­tries and on two con­ti­nents. The second sta­ge is pure scien­ce as well as veri­fi­ca­tion and con­so­li­da­tion of the know­led­ge acqu­ired so far. The­se will be neces­sa­ry in order to survi­ve for a year in a self-built trap­pe­r’s hut, tens of kilo­me­ters from civi­li­sa­tion. Clas­si­cal car­pen­try, water­craft, wor­king in a sled dog ken­nel, trac­king and fishing, as well as tra­di­tio­nal cam­ping are just a few topics that make up one lar­ge organism.






Horse Riding


Sled Dog Riding




Camping skills


Archi­val series of adven­tu­re films sho­wing the behind-the-sce­nes pre­pa­ra­tions for the expe­di­tion. Undo­ub­te­dly – it will offer a full ran­ge of impres­sions like rafting down the swift Yukon River. From sho­wing the pro­cess of buil­ding a log cabin, thro­ugh life in the cabin on a daily basis. You will also see what it looks like to work in a sled dog ken­nel. Of cour­se, the­re will be topics on trac­king and hun­ting – as well as the all-impor­tant topic of water sports, such as cano­eing and ope­ra­ting a motor­bo­at on the river.


Pro­po­sals for the pro­mo­tion of com­pa­nies and insti­tu­tions during the expe­di­tion enti­tled “A Year in a Trap­pe­r’s Cabin” include: 

  • inc­lu­ding the company/institution name in the name of the expe­di­tion and using that name “(com­pa­ny name) Year at the Trap­pe­r’s Cabin”;

  • pla­cing the com­pa­ny­’s name and logo among the spon­sors of the expe­di­tio­n’s pre-trip pro­mo­tio­nal video;

  • pla­cing the com­pa­ny­’s name and logo among the spon­sors of the post-expe­di­tion film;

  • pla­cing the name and logo of the company/institution on the home page of www.lesnerzemioslo.com;

  • pla­cing the name and logo of the company/institution and text abo­ut the spon­sor on the sub­pa­ge “A year in a Trap­pe­r’s Cabin” of www.lesnerzemioslo.com;

  • pla­cing the com­pa­ny­’s name and logo on the left and right side of the canoe used during the expedition;

  • Pla­cing the company’s/institution’s name and logo on the front part of the tent used during the expedition;

  • Pla­cing the company’s/institution’s name and logo on the clo­thing used during the expedition;

  • taking a spe­ci­fied num­ber of pho­to­gra­phs with the com­pa­ny­’s pro­mo­tio­nal mate­rials in Cana­da during the expedition;

  • pre­sen­ting the name and logo of the company/institution in artic­les from the expe­di­tion on www.lesnerzemioslo.com and on the Face­bo­ok profile;

  • Pre­sen­ta­tion of the com­pa­ny­’s name and logo in media reports and inte­rviews (Inter­net, radio and television);

  • Pre­sen­ta­tion of the company’s/institution’s name and logo in pho­to shows from the expe­di­tion;
    direct reports (by pho­ne, Inter­net) from the expedition;

  • par­ti­ci­pa­tion in pro­mo­tio­nal and mar­ke­ting actions of the company/institution;

  • par­ti­ci­pa­tion in events, pro­gram­mes and bro­ad­ca­sts rela­ted to travels;

  • mul­ti­me­dia pre­sen­ta­tions as part of pro­mo­tio­nal acti­vi­ties or other company’s/institution’s expedition(s). In both cases pre­sen­ta­tions can be limi­ted to a par­ti­cu­lar expedition/travel or be of an ove­rview natu­re and cover a lon­ger period of time (seve­ral expeditions/travels);

    Of cour­se we rema­in fle­xi­ble and ready to coope­ra­te in the fields pro­po­sed by you. Feel free to con­tact us.