After work one day I went to try my luck in one of the many Gebirgsjäger camps around here, and after digging up a few bits of garbage I discovered a small dumping pit. There was nothing on the surface indicating that a dump was hiding under the flat mossy forest floor, but my detector was screaming like mad so I knew something had to be under it. Below the moss was sand and five centimeters down was a layer of soot, charcoal, broken glass and rust, a burn pit. The first item that caught my eye was the orange bakelite lid from a butter container. The bottom of it wasn`t around but as I searched for it other relics came to show. Bits of porcelain, a nice glass jar, bottles, a tent peg and a couple of Göffels. One of them was missing the spoon part, but the fork had the soldiers name engraved, "Stöckling". Scraping away muck from the side of the little pit a small badge fell into my hand. It read "RUK", with the typical Finnish flower on each side, and two crossed sables. I had never seen this kind of badge before so I couldn`t wait to have it cleaned up a bit and then try to find out what it was.
It was getting a bit late so I knew I couldn`t complete the pit but before I filled it back in I took out another scoop of the sand and got another great find. A bakelite field torch. A "Berker" which had the morse alphabet on the front, and a button on the side so one could move a small cover up and down in front of the lightbulb so one easily could send morse signals with it. A little slot above the alphabet was covered with a strip of blue foil so one got light enough to read the codes.
The next day I was impatient to get off work so I could go and finnish up the pit and luckily there wasn`t too much to do so soon I was in the car racing to the woods. After removing yesterdays spoils I could continue with the slow removal of sand, rust and ashes. The first item this time was an uninteresting zunder box, but behind it was a piece of glass sticking out. It was stuck so I had to very carefully dig it free. All the time hoping it would be in one piece and that I wouldn`t have an accident and ruin it. A few minutes later I was sitting there with a large Bosch glass cover for a headlight. I ve found a few broken ones before so I was super happy this one was intact, and that the glass was nice and clear.
More sand was scooped away and a second badge fell out of the side. This time a rusted Wound Badge. I don`t know how well it is possible to clean it up, but still fun to find. A bunch of bottles began surrounding the pit, green, brown and clear ones. Jimmy will have enough of them for his "winter water" thats for sure ;) I kept going to well after dinner time before the pit had been emptied. One of the more interesting finds this afternoon was a sign from a vehicle, with an Edelweiss painted on. Not much of it was showing, but it has such a distinctive shape that I knew it was the "Gebirgsjäger flower". If only it would survive the bath in oxalic acid.. A few uniform buttons, a single 10 pfennig coin, a pair of leather mittens and a porcelain soap dish was piled up into a enamelled plate from a field kitchen and packed into my backpack. Checking around the edges with the pinpointer before filling back the soil resulted in some food tins and a large shackle.
All the bottles made the trip back to the car less than comfortable, but knowing that Jimmy won`t have to spend the winter thirsty made it worth the effort.
Now we are on the doorstep of a new work week, but there will be time to do some searching, and that is good coz the last days the winds coming from the north has been carrying news about winter...
Thanks for reading, and stay warm :)