Short description If you want a little luxury on your next camp, you should try building a sauna. The sauna is the Scandinavian equivalent of the Bhutanese hot stone bath. The construction of the sauna is also a good way of improving skills in knots and rope work.
Instructions Make a big fire, and place a lot of big stones in and around it for heating (just like you would do for a hot stone bath). While the stones are heating up (this takes several hours!), a low “tent” is erected out of bamboo and tarpaulin. The more layers of tarpaulin (and other “insulation”) used the better. The tent should be just tall enough, for people to sit in an upright position inside. Furthermore it should be only just big enough to accommodate all participants, otherwise it will be too difficult to heat up with the hot stones.

When the tent is done and the stones are thoroughly hot, the stones are carried inside the tent. All participants change to bathing clothes and get inside the tent. When everybody is inside, the tent is closed, and water is poured over the hot stones to create very humid and hot air inside the tent. The sauna is also called a “sweat hut”, and the whole point of the sauna is to sweat and thereby clean skin and pores. After sitting in the sauna for as long as one can endure, one should have a cold shower to wash of the sweat and impurities and to get cooled down. If the sauna is still sufficiently hot, the process can be repeated.

It is important to drink plenty of water before, during and after going to the sauna to prevent dehydration!

Type of activity Outdoors
Section of scouts Scouts, Rovers
Number of participants 10-30
Duration Approximately half a day
Location Outdoors
Season Best in summer, but also possible in spring/autum
Materials Bamboo, tarpaulin, rope, big stones for heating, firewood for a big fire for at least 4-5 hours
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