This year I decided to escape Copenhagen on New Year’s Eve and retreat to the Swedish wilderness; a place where I find not loneliness but solitude.
For years now I have griped about the hyped up celebrations every year on December 31. For people here it’s a huge social event with even more expensive food than they had consumed the week before at their Christmas dinners, too much alcohol (I guess this is normal all around the globe) and to top it off shooting fireworks into the sky or wherever the fireworks shoot off to for hours on end. In the early hours of the morning they retire to bed and January 1 becomes a day that didn’t really happen in their respective calendars. The mess the day after can be seen every year in the streets of Copenhagen for days after the event. Some clean up after themselves whilst others just don’t care. Emergency rooms are filled by party goers that have injured their fingers, hands, eyes or what ever else the loose fireworks have hit and then exploded into. The fire brigade are called out to burning buildings and are then attacked with fireworks by the same people who had caused the damage. Firemen are forced to retreat and let the properties burn. It disgusts me and I have decided to get away from all this.
I apologise for my dismal introduction but this is how I feel and what I experience here in Copenhagen.
Monday December 31, 2018
I departed by car from home at 10:00 am. When I arrived at the Swedish border control and after showing my ID I was asked to “blow in the bag”. I hadn’t consumed any alcohol and my test confirmed this so I was allowed to continue on my way. Arriving at Bökestad N56° 13.277′ E14° 25.393′ at approximately 12:20 pm I parked the car. I feel great already knowing that I am retreating to my little place of solitude.
I’ve been here several times before hiking Skåneleden Trail SL1 section 4. Although I have camped here at Fuglabacken only once before back in October 2016. It’s a magic place. Only 3km from the Bökestad car park it offers the solitude I’m longing for and is located beautifully by Lake Raslången.
My most recent purchase is a Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. It is not a big DSLR camera but a compact “point and shoot”. It has amazing image quality and has a touch screen that can flip-up so it’s perfect for vlogging. I am a serious amateur and up to date I have just used my iPhone for all pictures and videos. This trip is also meant as a “get to know my camera” workshop as well.
By 13:00 pm I’m already feeling at ease. There is a slight precipitation but I don’t don my rain gear or use my trekking umbrella. I pass this water source and decide to take some photos and film a little. I’m not sure if I should focus on the rocks or the water. I’ll need to practice a lot to be good at this.
Just after 14:00 pm I had arrived at camp and had my Tarptent Notch pitched not far from the lake. When I set-up my shelter I had to don a rain jacket as the precipitation developed into a light drizzle. I filmed while I pitched my shelter and I was concerned about my new camera as it did get a little more moist than it should have. I was really wanting to take a lot of photos and film on this retreat so I was annoyed by the rain.
After camp was organised it was time for a hot chocolate. My winter set-up consists of:
- Alpkit Koro titanium mountaineering gas stove 125 g
- Evernew Ti Ultra Light Pot (0.9 L) 107 g
- DIY pot cozy 35 g
- DIY Reflectix wind shield 15g
The Alpkit Koro has a brass pre-heat tube which ensures the fuel is vaporised by the time it reaches the burner. It’s quick and handy and is great for the freezing temperatures.
Although I don’t experience any minus temperatures on this trip. The day starts out around 2℃ and on January 1, 2019 the temperature floats between 5℃ and 7℃. Once again I take a series of photos and film my session too.
This being a “workshop” and not really a hiking event I also packed another new piece of gear. I recently purchased a Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Hatchet which weighs 573g. My next task is to get a fire going. So the hatchet is now put to use and a series of photos and some filming are also recorded.
Now I was feeling like a Boy Scout again and I thought about my younger days when I was a teenager in the Australian bush. It would be dark around 16:00 pm so after the fire was going I set-about making sure that I had enough firewood for the rest of the night.
Now that I had my shelter pitched and the fire organised I emptied my homemade dehydrated food into my pot so it could re-hydrate and be ready for heating at dinner time. I am located about 100m from the Fuglabacken shelter and while I am performing all these camp chores a guy comes by in a canoe. He has a dog with him and he paddles to shore and hops out of the canoe with the dog. They disappear up the hill and I guess that he wants to use the toilet or hole in the ground or whatever you want to call it. After a while they return and soon they are gone again. They paddle down the inlet towards the direction of Bökestad where my car is parked. No-one else came by the rest of the time while I resided at the site. I had it all to myself.
I kept the fire fed with timber. After dinner I listened to some music from the 80’s. First I heard the Dark Room by The Angels, then Scary Monsters by David Bowie and finished it all off with Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones.
And of course I packed a little flask of whiskey; It was New Year’s Eve after all. I went to bed just after 08:00 pm. I had packed my As Tucas Foratata Down Quilt which turned out to be the perfect choice. I experienced a lovely night’s sleep. It wasn’t completely uneventful. The wind got up and at some stage there was a downfall of rain. With the partial solid inner of my Tarptent Notch I didn’t feel the cold winds. In the early hours I heard some animal not far from my shelter near the shoreline of the lake. I’m not sure what it was or what it was doing but it seemed to run away after something fell. I could hear some burbling sounds from the lake and for a short time I could hear some fireworks in the distance.
Tuesday January 1, 2019
I awoke around 06:00 am and dozed until 08:00 am when I finally got out of my warm bed. The temperature had risen through the night and now I only had my second layer on while I packed camp down. I went up to the shelter and used it while I ate breakfast and made my morning coffee.
At 09:00 am I started out on the short 3km walk back to the car. Once again I took a lot pictures and filmed as well. The lake area is not only beautiful in the other three seasons of the year but is also full of colours in this winter period as well. I keep close to the lake and following the trail blazers I make my way back to the car.
The result of my video on YouTube here:
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