Adventure

Swedish Spring by Gustav Thuesen

Winter was finally easing its death grip as it succumbed to the increasing power of the sun. After a long winter both the natural world and the human body and mind was urging for every ray of sunlight possible. Even if it was just noticeable as a slight touch of a warm hand it was very welcoming as the body was cold to the bone. My girlfriend and I took the trip across Øresund to Sweden as the forecast looked promising.

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First stop was Mölle right next to Kullaberg which is one of my favorite areas in southern Sweden. The small town was still in hibernation as it was waiting for summer to drag people from near and far down to the small harbour to enjoy an ice cream. I enjoy visiting these places in the out of season. It has a special feel to it. Like being alone in an amusement park. We enjoyed the rest of the day exploring the desolate and rugged coast along Kullaberg.

The next stop was Söderåsen. I have been here many times before, so instead of going to the place everyone else visits we opted for exploring other parts of the ridge. We found the perfect campsite, put up the tent and enjoyed a little nap after the hard tent-pitching work was done.

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The following day we got back to the coast as we had planned to go to Skanör, a small coastal town at the very southwest point of Sweden. The sound of the ocean, the rays of the sun, and the salty air made it feel like summer (almost).

It was a perfect little getaway and a taster of what was soon to come: Summer.

If you want to visit southern yourself then click here to check out my guide for southern Sweden.

Canada: The Road Trip Gallery by Gustav Thuesen

Canada. A place I’ve always wanted to visit. When I got the opportunity to go on exchange as a part of my university program at Copenhagen Business School, Canada was the first place that came on my mind. And so I went to Vancouver.

I came a little early before the school started so I could explore a bit of my new backyard. The only thing I had planned was a rental car waiting for me at the airport when I arrived. I just covered a tiny bit of what British Columbia has to offer and it was mighty fine! Mountains in my backyard! I was stoked!

Click on the photos to make them BIG.

Nepal: A Good Start by Gustav Thuesen

This spring I got the opportunity to follow the Danish mountaineer Jakob Urth to Everest Base Camp - from where he would push onwards to the summit. It turned out to be an adventure of a lifetime!

Landing in Kathmandu was landing on another planet. Busy streets, dirty air, - chaos works apparently. Visited a few temples and explored the city on foot. It took a few days to get into the culture…

And then off towards Lukla. We had bought regular plane tickets. But weather didn’t permit us to fly by fixed wing so we jump in a helicopter instead. Second time in a helicopter. First time was in Greenland. Once you’re in a helicopter you know that adventure is on the way!

It was one memorable flight! Through the lowlands and into the mountains - through rain and clouds. Felt like I was in a movie!

As we started the hike from Lukla it started to rain. What do you do then when you’re bad-ass? Buy umbrellas!

We arrived in a small teahouse Jakob had been many times before. We sat in the kitchen chatting, drinking tea and ate lovely food from the wood fired stove. A good start!

Adventure & Outdoor Podcasts by Gustav Thuesen

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I think we all enjoy inspiring stories and interesting insights. Listen to bad-ass stories while training for your next adventure or sit back and get educated on new gear, backcountry safety or maybe environmental issues. Here I have collected my favorite outdoor/adventure/gear/nature/athletic podcasts:   

Alpinist.
“The Alpinist podcast extends our conversations with climbers and community members into a new medium: from fresh interviews to untold stories, and from humorous adventure tales to in-depth discussions of significant issues in the climbing world today.” - Alpinist website.

No shit there I was stories from legends like Conrad Anker but also reflections on why we go to the mountains and the dangers it represents. If you enjoy big mountains you will probably enjoy this.

Gear:30.
Gear nerdery taking to new heights. Diving deep into new boots, ski bindings etc. Interesting to hear the stories behind a product.

Mountain
"
…about adventure in wild places. We tell stories about climbers and explorers, lovers and kidnappers, racers, travellers — and even violinists." - Mountain website. 
Stories from big and small adventures. Hiking, biking, climbing.

MtnMeister
“Exploring the extremes of human endurance, emotion, and intellect.” - MtnMeister website.
Interviews with world class athletes like Ueli Steck (R.I.P.), Aaron Gwin and Alex Honnold. An insight to the pinnacle of human performance.

Outside/in
“A show about the natural world and how we use it.” - Outside/in website
Stories about wild places and how humans interact with those places in various ways. From ecology to the price of skiing. Behind the scenes of the relationship between nature and man .

Talk Ultra. 
About people who run very(!) far. Geeking out on races and training - it is very niche. Makes your half-marathon look like a walk in the park. Listened to it partly while I ran a marathon and they talked about a woman who had run 100 miles in 13 hours – that’s about four marathons at a 3:15 finish time. I thought if she can run four then I can run one! I finished my single marathon in 4:15.   

The Blister Podcast
Talking to industry professionals, pro athletes and cover topics like backcountry safety and trends in gear. If you enjoy being outdoors, listening to inspiring stories from athletes and like gear this is a good one.  

The Dirtbag Diaries
About wild places and wild adventures. Disclaimer: Don’t listen to the “Tales of Terror” if you got a vivid fantasy – going outdoors will never be the same.

Wild Ideas Worth Living
“What if... You could sail to French Polynesia, run from San Francisco to New York, skateboard down the busiest freeway in California, quit your job and ski around the world, start a business, move to Costa Rica, surf every day, get in the best shape of your life, fall in love, and GET WILD?” - Wild Ideas Worth Living website.
About the people who acted on the “what if”, about the doers – not the dreamers. 

Do you have a favorite podcast? Share it in the comments!

The Adventurer's Guide to: Southern Sweden by Gustav Thuesen

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Southern Sweden is a place to breath. A place to escape from everyday life in the city. An exotic place for a Copenhagener: Different language, different landscape, different food. It feels like you're far away but actually it's only a short drive, a ferry trip or a swim away if you're really adventurous. But even if you don't live in Copenhagen it is definitely worth a visit. Here I've collected my favorite spots in the very southern end of Sweden.   

Söderåsen

Probably my favorite place for a quick getaway. Söderåsen is a forest covered ridge running 20-some km. The most interesting place is the fissure valley at Skäralid which is stunning year-round. My favorite time of year to visit the area is probably autumn when the beech forest is in its beautiful fall colors and the colder temperatures have made the crowds stay on their couches. Generally, the entire Söderåsen area is fairly crowded - not insanely, but expect to meet other people especially in summer and in the area close to the valley.
Other than the main valley the lake called “Odensjöen” is also worth a visit. A perfectly round lake where you can take a swim if weather permits.   

It is possible to stay overnight close to the main valley in either the public-hut “Dahlbergs” or at the campsite at “Liagården”. If you want to catch sunrise the campsite at “Liagården” is the closest to the valley.  

There are a lot of gems on the entire ridge! For example, go to Klåveröds strövområd and explore. Let me know if you find the watchtower or the small cave where you can sleep in!

If you’re up for it there is another stunning spot not far from Söderåsen. It doesn’t have a name as far as I know but it is situated here: goo.gl/maps/QzFATjKQQL82 . In summer, you’ll feel like being deep in the jungle watching the twisting amazon river – in winter it is probably flooded and not particularly interesting.

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Kullaberg

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Kullaberg is a Peninsula and nature reserve. The peninsula is mostly covered in forest (apart from a golf course which I have no idea how the hell they got permission to build in the middle of a nature reserve…). On either side, it drops steeply down to the coast – a solid workout going up and down. In summer, it’s a great place to go for a swim. A good starting point is the small town of Mölle which consists of cute houses, old seaside hotels and a harbor. From Mölle you can follow a trail to the end of the peninsula and then continue to make a round trip – there are a lot of trails so bring your best shoes.
If you are into climbing bring your climbing shoes too! There are a few routes around peninsula. Did it some years ago and climbing right next to the water is great as you can take a swim after a sweaty climb. 

If you’re up for an experience you should visit Nimis. Nimis is a (huge) wooden sculpture and was created by Swedish artist Lars Vilks entirely from driftwood. It’s kinda hard to find as it isn’t marked on the maps of the area. Although when you get to the start of the trail down to Nimis it is marked with yellow Ns. You can find it here: goo.gl/maps/x4i8vNw9cu72

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A bit east of the nature reserve is the tiny town of Arild. There isn’t really anything going on here. But the beautiful houses at the harbor and quiet town life is worth a visit.  

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Mountainbiking

If you need a bit more speed and adrenaline in your life there a few places where you can shred the gnar on your mountain bike. If you enjoy some mixed gravel and natural singletrack riding “Snapphaneturen” is a great opportunity. The 40 km loop starts at the parking lot at Hovdala castle but isn’t marked so loading the track onto a GPS is a great idea (GPX file: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/863507). Some places are somewhat technical but manageable for most riders. As seen in the above pictures you can also pack your bike and just go exploring! (Check out this little stupid video for some bikepacking in southern Sweden: https://youtu.be/utV9px3VxPc)    

If that’s too boring you can go to Vallåsen Bikepark where there are proper manmade downhill trails with jumps, berms and whatnot – and (if open) a lift to get your lazy ass up the hill again.  

Cities

If I had to visit one city in southern Sweden I would go to Varberg. The gigantic fortress is worth a visit and the incredible bath house looks like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. Lund is also nice a nice city, but Varberg wins. If you are on your way to or from Gothenburg make sure to stop in Varberg. To be fair I haven’t visited a lot of cities in southern Sweden as I usually go there to escape the city so you might find some gems - although I rolled through all cities on the west coast on my bikepacking trip to Bergen.

What to eat?

Whenever I’m in Sweden there are a few things I enjoy eating. Polar bread is one of them. It is a soft flat bread which is really nice toasted over a campfire – and used as hotdog bread. Another perfect companion for the bread is the “Prästost” – the priest cheese. The church used to make this cheese from the milk they collected as tithes. The taste is nutty, fatty with a hint of acidity. Another great cheese is the “Herregårdsost” – manorhouse cheese. This cheese is milder with a sweet nutty taste. Some enjoy putting some “sötstark senap” – sweet strong mustard – on their bread and cheese. This mustard also goes very well with a campfire grilled sausage!
Swedish meatballs is a no-brainer. You can get them in every supermarket and they go very well on the grill.
Another important thing to do in Sweden is to “fika” which basically means to have coffee (and cake). To accompany the coffee a kanelbulle – cinnamon roll – is almost mandatory. You can get them in every supermarket. Heat them over the campfire and you’re on your way to heaven!  

So that's a few spots to get you started! There are probably many more spectacular places in southern Sweden waiting to get discovered (if you find some please let me know). Now go and see for yourself!  

(If you have any questions feel free to contact me)