At Ingarö east of Stockholm you find two very different nature reserves only a few minutes apart from each other.
Långviksträsk is quite anonymus which quickly get reflected on the parking entrence to the nature reserve. Few spaces and no other cars. Usually a good sign. The trail start through the forrest but after about 1 km you start to get some hints what Långviksträsk is all about. Here you find one of Stockholms largest marshland which gives you a sense of wilderness. Here you can feel the silence and watch the osprey pray for fish in the lake. In the late summer one can pick ripe cloudberries.
If Långviksträsk isn’t enough for you there is only a short ride to another nature reserve, Björnö.
Björnö is in many way opposite of Långviksträsk. The parking lot is huge and often packed with cars. In summer Björnö is popular for swimming in the ocean but it is well visited all year around. Björnö is popular since you get out to the archipelago without have to take the boat.
During the Corona pandemic working remote became standard for, more or less, anyone who had the chance. In the beginning no one knew for how long but now, many weeks later, we know that it will probably be for quite some time. This sudden change in work life has both its pro’s and con’s. But how well does it work to grab your computer and head out in the nature for the day?
Four main findings were identified after been working in the wild.
1. Connectivity In most cases you need to have access to internet. Make sure you have network access were you plan to camp for the day.
2. Battery You will most likely use a laptop and then you are fully dependent on the battery life. So make sure you have good (and fully charged) batteries.
3. Ergonomics When working in the wild you need to be somewhat creative when finding a good working position. Have to try to make the best of the situation when lacking office chairs and proper desktops.
4. Temperature When sitting in front of a computer you don’t move around at all and quickly get cold if the weather is chilly or if there is a slight breeze. Dress accordingly.
Stockholm is Scandinavians largest city but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find some wilderness adventures. Paradiset nature reserve is one of those places where one can find beautiful nature and feel the silence, only 20 km from Stockholm city center.
There are many walking trails in Paradiset so it is easy to explore. Or why not just go off the beaten path and you will be all by yourself. Because Paradiset is quite well visited, especially during the day. The lakes are natural spots both for daytrippers as well as for overnighters.
At lake Trehörningen or Långsjön there are shelters that are free to use to spend the night in. There are also fireplaces here , normally firewood is provided, but can’t be guaranteed. At lake Trehörningen there is also a small cabin, Ugglekojan, which is free for everyone to use. The cabin is small and only two bunks where you can sleep. There is also a small fire stove so the potential cold nights wont be a problem. Note that the cabin can’t be booked so it is a first come, first serve basis. So don’t rely that the cabin will be empty.
In the bordering nature reserve Tornberget you find Stockholm highest point. This stand at just 111 meters above the sea so it’s a quite modest peak. However, a lookout tower has been built to provide a nice view. There are trails leading from Paradisets main parking to reach the tower.
A short drive north of Orsa lies Koppången nature reserve which is famous for its mires and old forest. The nature reserve is in the highlands so it gets more snow compared to Orsa just 30 minutes away. This makes it a popular winter destination and the snow is usually still present in May. Dogsled is a popular activity here as well as exploring the area with cross country skis.
In the heart of the reserve you find the cabin of Blomtäkt. It is open for everyone and a perfect place to rest and warm up at the fire place. Firewood is provided but you should chop your own firewood. It is also possible to stay for the night in the cabin and it is free of charge. It is not possible to book in advance so it’s a first come first served basis.
Koppången is probably most famous for its winter activities could be visited any part of the year. This area holds one of Scandinavias largest bear population and bear is frequently spotted in the area.
As a young boy growing up in Sweden i always heard about all the nature we have in Scandinavia and the Nordic country’s. While being a kid i liked being outdoors and nature but most of my dreams where in far away places, like coral reefs in Australia or rainforests in the Amazons. I just didn’t feel Sweden was too exotic and cool. But things change. Trying at least some of my former dreams priorities have now changed and today other values matter more.
Now i really like being out in the wild. It doesn’t have to be instagram friendly or extreme in any way. Just me and nature. That’s enough. Luckily we have plenty of that in Scandinavia.
I tried to find something that shows how wild Scandinavia and the Nordics are. And that made me find the Wilderness Quality Index. This is a index provided by the European Environment Agency (EEA) which is an agency of the European Union. They describe there purpose as “provide sound, independent information on the environment”. It is clear that the adults telling me about all the nature we have at home were right.
The wilderness road (vildmarksvägen) is a great way to explore the Swedish wilderness without even leaving you car. It is therefore safe to say that this is some easy accessible wilderness. The road starts in Strömsund in Jämtland and heading west towards Stekenjokk. The highest part of the road towards Stekenjokk goes over bare mountain and is only open during the beginning of June to the end of the October. The rest of the year this part of the road is covered in snow. It can be quite spectacular to drive here at the beginning of the season when there are high walls of snow alongside the road.
The road ends in Vilhelmina which may be poorly worded since you might just as well go the other way around. You can also take the inland road between Strömsund and Vilhelmmina which makes the wilderness road a roundtrip. If decided to make the full loop then expect to cover around 500 km.
There is not to many places in Sweden where you can reach the bare mountain so easily. Here the reindeer graze and the arctic fox hunts. There is plenty to see and explore along the road. Visit Bjurälven nature reserve or the waterfall Hällingsåfallet just to mention a few.
Some say that planing a trip is half the fun. I’ll don’t know if it’s half the fun but it sure is rewarding to set the plans and have something to look forward to. When planing a trip into the wilderness you inevitably have to look at a map at some point. Today this is easy done using Google Maps or some other map service. Especially with the satellite filter you can get a pretty clear idea on what to expect.
But there is always good to have access to a detailed map especially when you actually are out on the excursion and suffer from batteri shortage or bad signal on your smartphone. And there are many good maps out there. You can quite easy get maps of anywhere in Sweden. The more popular areas for hiking and such have specially made maps for such purposes.
But there is another way of getting your hands on detailed maps of any place in Sweden. And it is completely free! The Swedish authority of land survey (Lantmäteriet) have a service where you can download any part of Sweden as a pdf. Then you can print them out, weather seal it as you choose, and bring them on your excursion. You can even choose to get the maps with scale 1:10000 which is more detailed than most maps you can buy. The standard is 1:50000 which usually is enough.
When planing a wilderness adventure there is plenty of inspiration to find from national parks. In Sweden there is 30 parks to choose from. As always in Scandinavia, a good rule of thumb is the further north you go the more wilderness you get. Most of the national parks have a visitor center and most are easy accessible even though this vary greatly. All nature types are represented as national parks, from sea to forrest and mountains.
Sarek national park in the far north of Sweden is in the top of many peoples bucket list. It is remote and free from roads and man-made trails. It is also directly connected to three other nationalparks, Stora sjöfallet and Padjelanta in Sweden and Rago in Norway, which makes this one of the largest protected nature area in Europe.
All entry to the natural parks and visitor centers are free of charge but note that there might be some restrictions to the freedom to roam (allemansrätten). For example it can be that you are only allowed to camp in designated areas. For more information refer to nationalparksofsweden.se.