Wild Winter Hiking & Camping Adventure in Värmland Sweden

What better way is there to explore the winter in Sweden than hitting the road?

Here, cold-weather camping is usually about getting closer to a ski destination. Of course skiing (skidåkning) is a popular Swedish past-time due to the incredible gorgeous snowy slopes in the northern mountains.

But what if you choose to venture off the beaten path – away from the ski/touristy crowds? Imagine the long lines for hot chocolate. Finding a comfortable spot to chill and enjoy a fire can be cozier in a camping spot or rental cabin.

Our camping spot along the Kläralven + Bränas mountain
(yes that’s a layer of ice in front of us)

Vildmarkscenter Sysslebäcks Stugby & Fiskecamping is located in the northwest forest of Värmland (county) along the Klarälven (the clear river), where you’re surrounded by a thriving natural landscape.

Depending on the time of year, the activities and resources are many. From hiking in the nature reserves, skiing, paddling, fishing, swimming and snowmobiling – each can be a gateway to witnessing the great outdoors and wildlife.

Sysslebäck turned out to be a new favorite, probably because of the remote location. It’s one of the quietest camping spots we have found here. Since everyone was at the top of the mountain at the ski lodge, we were left alone to enjoy winter’s wonderland.

What did we pack for our trip?

Food:

The camper has a sizeable refrigerator + small freezer, so we packed easy cook and prep food items –

  • The typical Swedish breakfast: bread, cheese, boiled eggs, veggies and ham.
  • Dinner: fresh meat, such as: boneless pork chops, steak or chicken burgers and veggies like whole peppers, onions and sweet and white potato skins.
  • Snacks: s’mores (of course!) raw popcorn (great in a covered pan) and homemade granola bars. See my earlier recipe – nosmalladventures.wordpress.com/2020/07/
Breakfast of champions (yes we are cheating with an electric cooktop).

My favourite winter clothing & supplies:

With uncountable storage in our camper, we have plenty of room for packing extra layers of outdoor clothing for hiking and adventures in snow and rain. Hiking boots, trail-running sneakers and my trusty wool socks are a must!

Don’t forget your base layers; the moisture-wicking properties in merino wool or recycled polyester. will help keep you dry. Wet clothing in cold weather can really throw off your adventure game!

Energy & fuel:

We plug into the campground’s electric to keep the water from freezing in the camper. These days we find it necessary to charge our phones. (what did we do without tech?)

We also bring propane for back-up heating / power in case of an off-road emergency or power outage.

We always keep two options for cooking food – outdoor fire supplies for natural environments and the propane grill for nights where we want to cook an extensive meal with ease.

The campgrounds we visit in Sweden usually have great facilities, but you never know how good or clean they will be. Since we have an indoor shower, we always need to fill up the water tank when we arrive at the campground. But why not take an indoor shower when you have the whole place to yourself?

The first two days of our adventure:

  • Set up camp and enjoy a cold one.
  • Explore the surrounding area: walking trails and along the river…
  • Day hiking in the Granberget Nature Reserve

We drove our pickup truck into the Granberget Nature Reserve and hiked up the snowy road for about 1.5 km to the trail entry. We chose this trail to get to the higher outlook point. The deeper into the park, the deeper and softer the snow was.

Unfortunately things don’t always go as planned. By the time we entered the trail, we realized we would have to take another route. There was so much snow melt, the trail was buried in 2 feet of melting snow (with a flood at the bottom)! Luckily, we found another trail nearby, although that meant we had to give up on our goal. At least the views were still amazing at every turn!

Granberget Nature Reserve

We met up with a guy who said people had seen bears out there. So, you can imagine my fear when we found paw prints behind us in the snow!

No worries, we didn’t meet up with any furry friends this time. Since you have to have a hunting license to carry a rifle here – we were not prepared for that kind of adventure.

As we were on our way out of the long forest road into the reserve, we found nature didn’t want us to leave! We were prepared – we have a Dodge! And I have a handy guy who is ready for anything.

(I did help move the tree and the many stray branches when I wasn’t busy playing photographer).

Hope you enjoyed our journey so far…

Next post:

Day 3 of our wild camping in Sysslebäck …

Coming soon!

Please let us know what you think of our adventure!

-Gina

Want to visit? Here’s the campground info:

Vildmarkscenter Sysslebäcks Stugby & Fiskecamping

Sysslebäcks Stugby & Fiskecamping
Badhusvägen 2, 680 60 SYSSLEBÄCK

Värmland county, http://www.syssleback.se/

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