Föräldrar & Barn - No.5, 2013

My absolute favorite magazine handling the subject of becoming a family is the Swedish magazine Föräldrar & Barn (Parents & Children). This is an interesting and good looking magazine that addresses the hole family in an inspiring way. Therefore I'm very glad that Föräldrar & Barn want to cover the stuff my little Sonia and I'm up to out in the great outdoors. In the latest issue of the magazine (No 5, 2013) you can read about how to challenge your child and yourself to outdoor activities in a playful way. You can also see a bunch of my outdoor photos.
By clicking HERE you'll be able to view a electronic version of the articles Naturlängtan (Longing for Nature) and Var inte rädd att prova nya saker (Don't be Affraid of Trying New Things).
As a reader of Föräldrar & Barn you'll be able to follow Sonia and me in future issues of the magazine. We wish you inspiring Reading during the coming year.

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Eat Out

It doesn't matter if you're living of the land, bringing a lunch box or if your adventure include catering; it's always a longed for moment when you get to sit down to enjoy a meal in the beautiful outdoors. I'm always grateful when I get to reward myself with a refreshing bite to eat after a long hike or a wake. With this post I want to share some of my thoughts about eating outdoors.

Allergies and Food Preferences
First of all I'd like to emphasize the importance of keeping track of your own and your friends possible allergies and/or food preferences. Often allergic shocks occur while eating. And if this should happen when in rough terrain the situation could get very serious compared to when in urban environment closer to hospital care. Assure yourself about your friends needs and were they keep their medicine before heading out. In case of an allergy chock time is crucial and perhaps you need to help your friend by giving he or she the medicine. Then it's important you now where to find the medicine and how to insert it. If there are special food preferences, for instance vegan or cultural, it's always better to plan for this prior to the trip to prevent someone being left out with nothing to eat.

To Live of the Land
A extreme way is not to bring any food at all and instead eat what nature offers. Pending on the extent of the trip this might seem harsh but in fact it's a great feeling when you get to that point where you feel confident that you have the capacity to  provide for yourself in a natural environment. Add also to that the freedom of not having to carry around your food. An example on a situation like this is when executing a training session according to Jonas Vildmark's Method for Survival Training (JVMS). But of course it's then very important you have the proper knowledge for this, remember to always put safety first.

The old saying; "you can survive 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water and 3 minutes without air" might give us an hint on how us humans work. But you must remember that this saying is a extreme one. I think you agree with me that it's much more pleasant to have a more frequent intake of fluids than every third day. When I'm out enjoying the nature I try drinking once every hour to prevent dehydration. Below you have some of my tips on fluids.

When I'm not bringing any water, drinking the water I can find in nature and not have the time to boil the water, It's a good idea to use some kind of water purification pill. But when operating in areas were I not suspect Any pollution to the water I personally usually drink directly from flowing rivers.

When I bring water I always bring a bit more than the estimated usage.

In temperatures risking freezing my drinking water I carry my bottle inside my jacket to always have fluid water within reach.

During tough expeditions it's a good idea to fill the drinking bottle with a warming and nutritious soup instead of water. By doing so I save time and energy and can cover longer distances in shorter times. A bottle with a thermo function is great for this.

Remember to store your fluids separated from stuff you want to keep dry. There's always the risk of a bottle starting to leak.

The Packed Meal
Usually I bring my food instead of living of the land. The amount of food to bring varies pending on the length of the adventure and what activities that's planned. On short and relaxing picnics perhaps a couple of sandwiches and a fruit is enough. But on longer trips it's nice to do the cooking outdoors. The environment and season also needs to be taken to account. Under cold conditions I need more food, and preferably warm food, to keep my body temperature. Personally I tend to use a pretty dull menu when out exploring on my own. But I really want to encourage you to allow your self to some inspiring and motivating outdoor food. Here are some foody tips for you.

Portion bags of powder soup is lighter and easier to carry compared to cans and tins. I use soups meant to be mixed with water instead of milk so I don't need bringing and store milk.

Small packages of noodles is a great way to give the soup more substance.

If I have any salt and pepper bags left from a fast food restaurant visit I bring these to spice up my trip in a simple way.

Zeta's snack olives is a nice way of give your outdoor eating some flavour. Practical bags of tasty olives meant to be enjoyed on the go.

Outdoor cooking makes you creative. I remember one time when me and a friend was preparing a newly cathed Grayling. We had no Spices so we used what was left of yesterday's bag of chips. We sprinkled the spicy chips inside the fish, rolled it up in wet newspaper and put it in the fire. When the paper had burnt off we had a really tasty meal.

Remember to also bring a can opener (or a tool/folder equipped with one) if you bring cans. Off course you can open the can using a robust knife but that can be risky.

Freshly baked bread is incredible tasty. You can prepare a flour mix at home and later on just add water when sitting outdoors by your heat source.

I always keep a chocolate bar in my jacket when trekking. It's nice to pull the snack out when the steps are starting to get heavy. Some kind of candy or a mix of nuts is handy to help the blood sugar balance and also good for morale.

Earlier I mentioned that my menu tend to be more practical than culinary. An example of this is my frequent use of power bars and meal replacement like the ones you can find at your local supermarket. By using these as a complement I can reduce my food pack by half.

A bag of cinnamon rolls, some dyed mushrooms or meat is a appreciated luxury to use as complement to the above. And don't forget the coffee!

Today some trip organizers also offer catering transporting the food to wherever you are trekking. With catering the principles are the same as the above and always remember to attend to all the garbage we produce, Leave No Trace. In areas with a lot of predators it's even more important to store garbage and food without reach, perhaps up in a tree, not to attract for instance bears into the camp. Even small wildlife like ants can be tempted by your sweets if you don't tuck them away secure inside a drybag.

Heat Source, Eating Tools and Dishes
There's always nice to cook your food on an beautiful open fire, but sometimes it's much more practical to bring a stove. There's a lot of stoves out there on the market, Primus is a leader on the area and they offer many versions also handling different fuels. The most common fuel is gas and I say gas works great for most occasions. But in extremely cold climates or on high altitudes gasoline is a alternative. When you don't have the time to carve your own spoon or fold your own birch barge cup I can recommend a Spork, a field cup and a steel mug. A steel mug can also stand for heating of beverages. After a well earned meal there's always the fun part left; the dishes. To avoid stomach problems out in the field it's a good idea to bring some washing-up liquid and a sponge. You can prepare the sponge at home prior to the trip by cutting the sponge into small cubes that you then soak in the washing-up liquid. Then you can use a new cube for each time you have eaten and leave the bottle of liquid at home.

I hope some of my basic tips above has helped you or perhaps inspired you. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like to share some of your tips with me. Have a nice trip and Bon Appetit!

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Kayaking Södertälje

Foto: F. Lejonberg
Place: Hallsfjärden/Järnafjärden, Södertälje, Sweden
Time: 1 day in July
Finally Summer is here. I'm standing in my kitchen fixing some sandwiches when my friend Filip comes by to pick me up. Today we're gonna do some kayaking. We put our kayaks in the water by  Kanotcenter's head quarters in Södertälje's guest harbour. You can tell that holidays are on by the amount of boats along the piers. At 08.00 am we silently slide away due South towards the Archipelago. First we enter the Hallsfjärden where we make a stop for breakfast in the Öbacken-Bränninge Nature Reserve. The morning has so far given us sun and +25°
C (+77°F) in the air but now a soothing summers rain enters the bay. After finishing our sandwiches the rain has passed and we continue past the Farstanäs Nature Reserve. The boat traffic is minimal and we get into a calm and refreshing mode. Courted by the happy birds we make lunch on the dock of Ytterjärnas peaceful bay. After a relaxing moment we decide to go back to Södertälje. Back home fixing our gear we can state that we have paddled a total of  40 km during the last 9 hours. This was a really nice way to start the summer. Looking forward what more adventures this summer will bring.

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Fly Fishing Österdalälven

Place: Österdalälven, Älvdalen, Sweden
Time: 3 Days in June
Me and a good friend head of for a weekend of relaxing and Beautiful fly fishing in the magical Forests of Dalarna. We have planned spending a couple of Days in the clear water of  Österdalälven (The East Wally River). We get our fishing cards at Älvdalens Fiskecenter we head of to Brunnsberg where we raise our camp down by the river. We were expecting rain but we just get a soothing grey sky and around +13°C (55°F) in the air. When we don't sit and enjoy the fire we wade the river casting for grayling. In total we manage to catch seven fishes where the biggest ended up on 38 cm. These were Beautiful fishes who were put back in the river after our admiration. Other wildlife encounters we get is a lot of traces of beaver. I hope the pics above can give you a hint on how great our weekend got to be. I can just say thanks to Life and my dear fishing buddy.

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The Lina Nature Reserve

Place: The Lina Nature Reserve, Södertälje, Sweden
Time: 1 day in May
The wind has blown away the rain and now the sun is braking trough. A day off spent on the bike is lying in front of me, feels good. From downtown Södertälje I start biking north along the nice trails following the shores of Mälaren. After about 5 km I reach The Lina Nature Reserve and Våtmarksstigen (The Wetland Trail). This short hiking trail, just about 3 km long, offers a green forest with a small river and a lot of relaxing bird song. And all of this not so far from downtown. After my little hike I take an 200 km bicycle trip along some inspiring dirt roads in the great May weather. Boy this got to be a great day!

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Osprey Poco Premium Child Carrier

Foto: G. Denstedt

Load volume: 34 litre
Maximum load: A recommended total weight of 22kg (48.5lb)
Rec. price: 2 500 SEK
Plus: High quality, comfortable carry system, high load volume
Minus: Raincover not included

When I was blessed with a child I started looking for a suitable child carrier to help me bring my kid into the outdoors. I wanted as much load capacity as possible so my carrier of choice got to be Osprey's Poco Premium. This is Osprey's largest child carrier in the Poco series. I've now used this Poco with my 4 year old Sonia and my 1 year old Miriam. And after over 4 years of use I'm very satisfied. The longer trips we do is about one week and on these trips we really max out the load, but the comfortable carry system holds up nicely. We have now hiked and hunted a lot of beautiful nature  and but we also use the child carrier a lot in urban environments. I really appreciate Osprey's well known quality and flexible functions. I'm now looking forward to yet another adventurous Spring together with Sonia and Miriam.

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