Last winter in March I did my first attempt at cross country skiing with a pulk in Lapland. It was not something that was on top of my list and I wasn’t really planning to go north again soon. But when a friend I met in Sarek september last year asked me to join him for a winter adventure in the north I said yes. We decided to ski from Katterat in Norway just accross the Swedish border to Abisko in 5-6 days. We would bring a tent and the plan was to camp as much as possible. Eventually he couldn’t do the trip because of a back injury. So I had to go on my own with zero experience. I never really skied before and I never saw a pulk from up close. I had been in Lapland a few times in winter so I knew the conditions and the terrain but I never camped in extreme cold. Therefor I chose to skip the camping and stay in the huts on the way. It ended up being a bitterly cold but amazing trip. This is how things went!
I still remember my first real multi-day trek. It was with my father on the beautiful Overland Track in Tasmania, Australia. We didn’t really prepare and looking back on it it could have been a lot more comfortable than it was. Especially concerning the food! We brought heavy cans and didn’t consider the weight and that we had to carry it around for a few days. There was also a lot of trash afterwards that also needed to be brought back. Since then I got a lot better in planning what food to take and how to pack it and deal with it on the trail. It is actually not all that difficult. I will only discuss vegetarian options because I don’t eat meat or fish. Here’s a few tips and tricks that can come in handy!
When you go on a long-distance multi day hiking trip there are many things to take into consideration. I heard about Sarek National Park on my hike on Kungsleden a few years ago. The seed was planted then. It was stuck in my mind for a bit and when I finally started researching on it I realised there wasn’t much information to find about Sarek only that it can be a remote and unforgiving place if you go in unprepared (and maybe also when you go in prepared). I will go through how I prepared all the aspects for my hike. This first blog post will be about the gear I took and how I felt about it.
End of August I spend 10 days in the Sarek Mountains and Sarek National Park in Swedish Lapland. Words will not be enough to describe how it felt to be (mostly) alone in the wild for almost 10 days. Lapland is an addiction for me. I keep going back there time after time. This was my 4th trip in not even 2 years. I long for the solitude and open space. The fresh air and raw, pure nature. And ofcourse the Aurora Borealis to make things complete. Sarek offers all of this. It is a special place that still feels real. I wouldn’t say it really is the last European wilderness but it is still a wild place for sure. I hope this trip report will help you to plan a hike in Sarek or inspire you to go out and explore other beautiful places.
Copyright of this photo belongs to National Parks of Sweden
In about a week I will embark on one of my most anticipated adventures ever. Sarek National Park will be a mission. It is not a place for the unprepared. It is the a place for the adventurous hearts who are looking for solitude, wildness and a connection with nature that is hard to find on our planet these days. High up in the north of Sweden at the border with Norway. They call it the last European Wilderness.
A few weeks ago I finally visited a good friend of mine who lives near the Harz National Park in north Germany. I heard many stories and saw numerous photos of what many claim to be one of the most beautiful national parks of the country. It was going to be a adventure packed weekend full of mountain biking, hiking and trail running. But the hike to watch the sunset at the top of the highest mountain in the park was probably the highlight of the trip. Brocken sits gently at 1.142 meters above sea level. It is not the most good looking mountain in the world but it’s a beautiful hike to reach the top. There are many routes to follow but we decided to depart from Ilsenburg on the east side of the Harz Mountains.
The Hoëgne is one of the most spectacular rivers in Belgium. It’s source is near Signal de Botrange which is the highest point of the country reaching 692 meters above sea level. Eventually the Hoëgne will flow into the Vesdre near Pepinster. The most impressive section of this wild (to Belgian standards) is relatively unknown and a bit hidden in the forests near Solwaster and Jalhay. A great place for a day hike or a picnic with Le Cascade de Leopold or Leopold waterfall as one of the highlights.
I did little investigation before travelling to the Faroe Islands but once I set foot on land I was blown away by the ruggedness and wildness of this beautiful place. Windswept, green and fresh come close to describe these islands but there are a lot more reasons why they call The Faroe Islands the pearl of the Atlantic! It is a great place for hiking and escaping the hectic modern world. You will feel like you are at the edge of the world and with only 50.000 inhabitants and a handful of tourists you will nearly have the place to yourself.
Sometimes you find a place that manages to reach your soul. You walk into the wild, the open space, and slip inside a world where you become yourself. We live our lives in a hectic society. We all need to escape from time to time. I found my place in the north. The arctic cold and the endless white. The aurora nights and a million stars.
The Aurora Borealis. One of the most beautiful spectacles to be seen on earth. It draws many of us to the north hoping to catch a glimpse of it. For most people it seems like a dream that will never come true. But it is not that difficult to make it happen. With a bit of planning and some knowledge everybody can have at least a chance to try and see the northern lights. At the end of february I will head to Abisko in Swedish Lapland to embark on a snowshoe hiking trip to chase the Aurora!