Short spring overnighter with friends

The weather has been horrible the last few weeks. It’s been cold, hovering around 0⁰C, with rain and sleet on a somewhat daily basis. I’ve wanted to get out into the forest, but with the worst possible weather to be outside, I’ve put my plans on hold.

But when we finally had a weekend with radiant sun and a few degrees warmer I wanted to take the opportunity to get out. C hadn’t been out in a long time so I wanted to bring her, and I thought we might invite some friends to. I took up the phone, about to call Christoffer, my friend and co-leader in Skogsmulle, when I received a message from him, asking if we should get outside. Great minds think alike!

We spent 30 min browsing Naturkartan to find a suitable place. There are a lot of nice places close to Växjö, but the proximity also makes them crowded. Especially when it’s the first sunny weekend in a long time.

Finally we found a small nature reserve about 45 min drive from home. I packed up mine and C:s gear and drove to pick up Christoffer and his daughter E. We drove down to the nature reserve, and parked next to a beach. We were only allowed to camp in the northern section of the reserve, and hiked the shorter trail around that part to search for a good campsite. There was only one place large enough for both of our tents, so we got back to the car to get the backpacks.

We set up camp immediately. It was a bit windy, so we set them up in a wide V-formation to get some wind blockage. The kids played in the forest, while Christoffer and I made dinner. Christoffer made burgers for the kids, and beef and vegetables with Mediterranean rice for us. As a dessert I made fried Nutella-banana wraps.

Since Easter was near I hid candy eggs in the forest, that the kids went looking for. After playing for a while we put on a movie for them on the phone, and they spent the evening in Christoffers tent, with snacks and movies.

Christoffer and I hung out in my tent, where I had brought beers, cheeses and other snacks.

Both Christoffer and I were very tired, so when the movie ended and the kids were going to sleep, so did we.

C got into her sleeping bag next to me, and just giggled with excitement. “Det här är livet!” she said, roughly translated ‘This is the good life’. When I said I was going to sleep she said that we couldn’t go to sleep yet. We had to “talk some chit-chat” first. So we did that, and ended up talking about how people have seen ghosts of humans, but you never hear anyone talking about ghost cows or ghost dinosaurs.

We both slept well, and I woke up feeling very refreshed. It was chilly outside the tent, and E was feeling a bit cold. Christoffer and I started with breakfast right away, and I made grilled cheese sandwiches for everyone while Christoffer made coffee. C didn’t want to eat much, but instead mostly wanted to carve on a stick she found. The basics of wood carving that we went through last September still stuck, and she handled the knife very well and responsibly.

After breakfast we packed up camp. E had a playdate, C had a birthday party to go to and both Christoffer and I had Skogsmulle later that day.

It was a nice little getaway. These short overnighters don’t really require any preparations. I just packed everything from my prepared packlist, bought some food and drove to the reserve. While it’s really nice to get away on longer trips I really recommend shorter close-to-home overnighters like these. They don’t require much, but still gives you a lot of energy, and are a great way to recharge.

Solo trip i Skåne in February

A couple of year ago, I got out camping at least once a month, and aimed at sleeping 10% of the year in the tent. These last years I haven’t gone camping close to as much as before. But in February I got out on a two night trip. My first camping trip since November, and the first two night trip since my September trip with C.

Day 1

I hadn’t really decided exactly where to go until I sat in the car. I had considered both Stenshuvud National park and the (somewhat secret) location in Skåne where C and I have hiked and camped a few times.

In the end I decided to go to Stenshuvud, as I haven’t camped there before. I’ve read that there’s only one spot in the park that you are allowed to camp, but I didn’t know how that spot was. Sometimes these spots are really beautiful, and sometimes they’re very uninviting and just used as a lack of alternatives. Unfortunately, Stenshuvud proved to be the latter.

I drove for 2,5h to get there, and came down around 15.30. The sun hadn’t set yet, and I parked near the camping spot. The first thing I did was to explore the camp site. It was boring. Very boring. 50 meter from the parking lot and park entrance, right next to the main trail (more of a road) leading into the park, without any bushes or anything to shield the view or give a sence of privacy. It was also placed at the border of the park, right next to a cider factory, so instead of the nature sounds and sounds of the ocean, you see street lights and listen to the humming sounds of an industrial fan. The park itself was beautiful, and it gets a lot of visitors during peak season. I understand there are many aspects to consider, when choosing a camp site, but in my opinion, basically anywhere else would have been better. I did write an e-mail with my opinions and suggestions to the park management.

I was really disappointed, but it was too late to drive to another place. I explored the park, and hiked up to Stenshuvud and enjoyed the beautiful views. There wasn’t many people there. I saw a couple on the beach far away, and met a couple on the rock, while hiking back down.

There had been a storm the day before, and there where fallen trees everywhere, and I had to both walk around, over and under the ones blocking the trail.

I got back to the camp site, as the sun begun to set. I set up my camp, and ate dinner. For this trip I just wanted to do as little as possible, and just wind down and relax, so I had only brought MREs and freeze dried meals. This night I had a Chicken Masala MRE from 24H meals, that I bought at a low price store. I didn’t expect anything from it, but it was delicious. I was really surprised how good it tasted, with a lot of large chunks of chicken. A lot of these meals tend to skimp on the meat, but not this one.

I layed tent and listened to the industrial fan nearby. When it comes to relaxing in nature I’m very sound sensitive, and it really affected my ability to relax and enjoy the moment. I had planned a two night trip, but decided that I would leave Stenshuvud and go to another place the next day.

Day 2

I woke up early the next day, had breakfast and packed up. I left camp around 0800, and had almost 2h drive ahead of me. I had decided to go to the same place in Skåne that me and C had been at a few times before, but this time I would get into the reserve from another entrance. It was a nice drive along small roads passing villages, farms and beech forests.

When I approached the nature reserve it felt like all stress just poured off me. I drove a winding road uphill, in a tunnel of old tall beech trees, and felt really glad that I had decided to leave Stenshuvud for this.

I parked at the small entrance, and hiked a relatively short distance to the place that I had looked up on a map before. It was a nice peak, with beautiful views. There was really no question of whether I would set up camp there or not.

There were a couple of fire rings there, and a line tied to a tree, to get down in the gourge. I didn’t want to go down though, but instead set up my tent and my hammock. Much of the day I just spent laying in the hammock under the quilt and did as little as possible.

I did however go out on two excursions during the day, both south and north of my campsite. I passed a lot of possible campsites, but I still think mine was the best one. While hiking north I startled a fallow deer. I’ve seen fallow deer every time I’ve been here.

When I got back in camp I got back into the hammock and mostly just relaxed and took it slow.

I had beautiful weather the whole day, and as the sun begun to set I got into the tent, and made dinner in the tent, before going to sleep.

Day 3

It started to rain during the night, and the wind picked up. But it is really cozy to lay in the tent and listen to the rain against the tent roof. It’s less pleasing to pack up a wet tent though. But by the time I got up and had gotten some breakfast the rain had been reduced to a drizzle.

I packed up camp, hiked back to the car and started the 2h drive back home.

It was a well needed trip, and I keep coming back here. It’s one of my favorite places, and still close enough for overnighters.