How To Beat The Quarantine Blues Part 2: Explore Somewhere New

Lately, it feels like we got suspended from school. Sent home to sit and think about why you were naughty. Except we are stuck there. For an indefinite pause.

If you are at a loss to plan your next steps – I am with you. Getting outside makes you feel more alive inside and out. 

This pandemic has a strange effect on other people’s reactions and behaviour. You find yourself more conscious of who is around you, but extra friendly because you are so happy to see a face in person. Of course, social – distancing is easiest when you are outdoors.

I see a lot of people sharing their old posts, vacation pics and dreaming about that next adventure.

We wanted to continue with our exploring, and give you some inspiration.

Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Pick somewhere new. Using google and maps, we just choose an area and type ‘nature reserve near me’ or ‘nature trail near me’.
  • Choose a less populated location – try the thickly settled forest you viewed from your window seat on your train ride to work or choose a place you don’t usually visit. Use your imagination.

We searched the local google map for trails and nature reserves in the area.

Glotternskogen (Lake Glottern + skogen = woods) popped up.  It looked like a maze of trails along one side of Lake Glottern, with miles of varied altitude and terrain.

This forest is north of Norrköping in Åby off the main highway, where you drive about 2-3km into the woods to reach the marked trails.

Glotternledning (Glottern trail)

The sun was barely shining through the trees when we parked on the dirt road near what looked like the main trail entrance. There were a few cars nearby and a couple further up the trail.

Social-distancing achieved.

It was about 15 degrees C (59F) when we started out at 3 p.m.

We followed a mini trail along the water and eventually started deeper into the trees.

Lake Glottern

We saw a lot of turned earth, which means these woods are full of wild boar.  Luckily, they are night hunters.  Imagine coming face-to-face with one of these ugly dudes.

(Just for a laugh – I am not a hunter, but I found this newsworthy link!)—want-wild-boar-meat-on-the-school-menu-.H1PnVCreU.html

Moss grew everywhere like a carpet of green cushion.

The windstorms have been rough as of late, so there are thousands of strange looking bent and broken trees. 

The hiking trails climbed high up into the rocky cliffs and getting down was sort of steep. We climbed up over and down embankments and tree trunks blocking the trail.

hold your breath!

At one point I looked at the steep hill to my left and there was a gigantic rock, just poised on another, ready to roll down and splatter us on the trail.

I took a ton of photos, though they don’t all capture the depth and character of this place. I almost wanted to turn these photos into 3-D relief shots, but I would rather spend time writing to you.

Weight of the world…

This place never gets boring.

Sweden, you are a whole new world!

We didn’t carry a lot on this hike, but here were the crucial items to protect us against unexpected weather and getting lost.

  • GPS on phone + naturkartan map- check
  • Pack with snacks and water
  • Clothing – layers are a great rule – breathable, but able to retain temp.  In this weather, I only needed a base layer and a light jacket.
    • All fabrics should be less than 60% cotton – synthetic fibers are best, as they dry quickly when wet and allow your skin to breathe better.
  • Shoes:  When hiking in the forest, I find that wearing a shoe that can function in multiple terrains works well –
    • Hiking sneakers or trail runners with a low ankle are my favourites (I tend to bounce around or sprint short distances), they should be waterproof, with a thicker sole, but bendable with traction for better grip.

When this is all over, I hope you still have Sweden on your list to explore!

See you next time!


How To Beat The Quarantine Blues, Part 1: Adventure Films To Keep You Inspired

Planning is #1 in adventure!

No adventures planned?  There is plenty to do.

Right now, is the perfect time to look toward the future to keep our spirits happy.

For me, researching and planning mini adventures is any easy YES!  It gives you extra time to fill in the details that can’t be captured spontaneously.

Of course – a parking spot with our old camper will provide endless options in the outdoors of Sweden. If you have read my other posts, then you know that Camping in Sweden is awesome!

For now, we can’t book anything, so the planning stops at dreaming, packing and getting the camper ready.

When life gives us limits to seeking out adventures, living through another’s trials and tribulations is the next best thing.

We got a new LARGE tv and decided to watch some bigger than life outdoor films.

No cable here – my search was on available networks here in Sweden (licensing issues prevent me from the same access as in my home country, U.S.A.)

I found a lot of independent films that I have never seen – old and new. I just knew I had to share them with you:

  1. Meru (2015) – filmed and directed by J. Chin and E. Chai Vasarhely

This is a roller coaster of a film.  It was released in 2011, but I have never heard of it before. An amazing story of friendship, tragedy and the love of climbing, captured on live film. By the climbers. Unusually professional and breath-taking film.

Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk made a commitment to climb Mount Meru.

Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania, reaching a total height of 4,566 meters. Since no one has actually achieved this feat, including many professional climbers…

They quickly realize this is not a normal climb.

Their plan goes off-track within the first few days, as they alternate climbing and sleeping in alignment with storms, sunlight and melting ice.

They do not back down easily – ambition is part of the climber’s attaché’. Their attempt to ‘scale the shark’s fin’, which is the nickname for the infamous northwest peak is a goal to be achieved at all costs.

This climb has been attempted many, many times for over 30 years without a win.  Many top climbers in the world have failed to reach to the top, which made this film even more exciting to watch.

I won’t give the entire story away, but I will say that there is more than just the climb.  You follow their history and start to understand their thinking.

I am a lower altitude climber, so a climb like this is unimaginable. I do have an immense amount of respect for the loyalty these guys have for the sport. Thanks to J. Chin and E. Chai Vasarhely for filming a truly beautiful piece of art.

2. Last Breath (2019), directed by Richard De Costa and Alex Parkinson

This was an unpredictable film!  A documentary released in February 2019 in the UK, this is the story of a group of divers working in the North Sea, that become involved in a ‘situation’ with the boat they are attached to.

The first diver, Chris Lemons, becomes trapped and has to remedy his situation in a panic. While the minutes tick away, he loses air and has to do what he can to save himself.

Great storytelling, videos with the different divers and crew on the boat, and information on how they determine problems and deal with them. I definitely sympathize with the emotions of Chris, Duncan, Dave and Morag.

It was a nail biter!  I don’t want to give anything away, as this was told in an unusual sequence.

Available on Netflix and Amazon.

3. Losing Sight Of Shore (2017) – directed and written by Sarah Moshman, Peter Saroufim

Okay – imagine living in a boat.  A large rowboat.  For nine months. 

I just had to see how they do it.

Now think about being out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.  The goal to row from America to Australia sounds amazing and ambitious.  It can also be gruelling and miserable at times.

The Coxless Crew rows over 8,000 miles while still managing to be patient and understanding with each other. I have had roommates that I wanted to replace within a month.  These women are hard-working and relentless. An incredibly humbling and easy movie to watch. There is no attitude like the human spirit! 

For some reason, I want to start training to row…

I found this one on Netflix.

Also – these are cult status required for all adventurers:

  • The Dawn Wall (2017)
  • Everest (2015)
  • All is Lost (2013)
  • 127 hrs (2010)
  • Into the Wild (2007)

My future list of films to watch:

  • Safety To Nome (2019)
  • Winterland (2019)
  • The Mountain Between Us (2017)
  • Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story (2017)
  • Abandoned (2015)
  • The Barkely Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young (2014)
  • Desert Runners (2013)
  • Maidentrip (2013)

Got any recommendations or reviews? Let’s hear ’em!