If you know my blog then you will know that I am into nature and the outdoors. And after the last few days, although I did not think it was possible, I might be a little more Swedish than before. Last week, I spent two wonderful days outdoors in Swedish nature, along with Fjällräven’s and a handful of fellow bloggers, journalists and food-personas from a wide variety of European countries. An eye-opening experience that satisfied many of my senses and also taught me a lot. Even though the trip lasted only about one and a half days. I have so much to show and tell that this probably ends up being a lengthy post. But I have to do my best to keep it short enough to digest.
There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.
A phrase that I have always disagreed with. But I’ve become wiser now. As I’ve mentioned several times recently, at the moment I’m being hit by unusually bad weather unusually often. Every time I need a ray of sunshine or a calm wind, it has instead been rainy and stormy. The weather forecast for this trip, looked perfectly fine, and I was really looking forward to experiencing that famous Swedish midsummer magic. Of course, in the end the weather forecast changed in the 11th hour and it rained throughout the entire trip. And, on top, it was freezing. The kind of conditions that would normally have made me shake just at the thought of having to sleep in a tent overnight. But as I said, I became wiser. One of the reasons for this was Fjällräven’s new collection, which we were going to test out in nature. On arrival we were given everything we would need; A thin jacket, a windproof jacket, a rain jacket and rain pants, a backpack, a hat and practical pants.
I used all of the clothes during the days we were away and although it sounds like a relatively large amount to carry around, it was all so smart and practical that it could be packed away easily. In fact, it all fit into my backpack, and there was still room to spare. We landed in Stockholm on Monday morning, where we met with our group and a handful of representatives of Fjällräven. The first stop of the tour was at Fjällräven’s head office, which is located in beautiful surroundings, in the northern part of the city. Here we got lunch (which, consisted mainly of local produce from a nearby farm), an introduction to the collection and the brand and most importantly, we got the equipment that we needed for the next days. Then we were picked up by a bus that drove us south.
The Edible Country
We were dropped off at a small coastal town, where we had to board a ferry that would take us to the island Utö, where the rest of the experience was to take place. It was one of the nicest ferries I have ever been on. The sailing itself was also something special. We sailed through the Swedish Archipelago, where the little islands stretched one after the other as far as your eye can see. The sun came out and shined down on us, and it was just magical. After a short boat trip, we arrived at the island of Utö. A little paradise if you like Swedish nature in the very best of Astrid Lindgren style – with red wooden houses, green trees, flowers and the scent of lilac. When we arrived at our camp, our tent was already set up, but we did get a brief introduction on how to do this for ourselves. Something totally new to me, I have to be honest, as I haven’t set up, or for that matter, slept in a tent for many years. Naturally, it was a Fjällräven tent, and both water and windproof.
The other focus point of the trip was the campaign, The Edible Country , which is a Visit Sweden initiative. A totally ingenious concept, which I hope will also come to Denmark. In short, it is a do-it-yourself gourmet restaurant where we were assisted in foraging and cooking our own food in Swedish nature. Four of Sweden’s Michelin starred chefs were asked to design the menu. A number of tables have been placed all over the country for free use by anyone. In fact, you can book them – like any normal restaurant. You can also bring your own food and spice it up with the raw materials that surround you. If you need a little help, you can buy different menus and ingredients that you can pick up nearby. If that’s not brilliant, then I don’t know what it is. The menu consisted of various salads, a mushroom soup, shrimp, potato pancakes and bread. Everything was done in the middle of nature with the most beautiful view of the archipelago.
The table at Utö is located in a cave-like shelter overlooking the water. As said, the weather was not exactly with us and therefore it was convenient that we could enjoy the dinner with a roof over our head. The table had been covered with outdoor tableware and equipment from Primus, which is a sister company to Fjällräven. The dinner was amazing and confirmed the idea that this will be one of those evenings that I will never forget. It was bright until late into the night, the wine tasted extra fine and the company was just the cherry on top. We sat at the table for many hours talking about everything under the sun. Eventually we went back to our tents where we fell fast asleep. In the morning, we were greeted by home-brewed coffee over a bonfire and breakfast, which we made using equipment from Primus. At noon, most of our group was on a small kayaking trip in the local surroundings before heading back to the airport.
As you can probably sense, it was a magical trip and something that made a big impression on me. It also gave me the courage to get outdoors and appreciate nature even more than I already do. You do not have to travel far to go on big adventures. Just as Fjällräven’s campaign, From City to Nature, tells us. After I returned home I told several of my friends about the experience and almost all of them asked me to go on a hike with them in the near future. And we definitely will soon, because there is no doubt that a few days in nature are good for both your body and soul.
Big thanks to Fjällräven, Primus and Visit Sweden for a truly fantastic experience.