25. of July 2022
Kayaking on Sweden's clearest lake with wechsel tent "Bella".
"Micro-adventures" have been very popular for a few years now. Just a short escape from everyday life. That's exactly what my old friend Cord and I are doing when we decide to go out into the wilderness for a few days. And since Sweden is literally an "nearby" destination for us North Germans, we set off in the direction of Sommen.
Cord is what you call a kayak beginner and the next four days will certainly demand a lot from him. After all, there is a fair amount of wind forecast and we are planning around 75 to 80 km for the next few days. Fully packed with camera equipment (this time we are writing a report for the kayak magazine), provisions, and everything you need for a few nights in the Swedish outdoors. As I usually travel with Nina my partner, we usually use one tent, but when men travel, they seem to sleep separately. So I am glad to have bought "BELLA" just in time for our trip. The small pack size and low weight are brilliant for me. The fact that a tall person like me have plenty of space makes the Bella tent even more pleasant for me.
The ultimate Micro-Adventure!
With perfectly balanced boats, we set out for the eastern part of the lake Sommen. Dozens of islands lie here in the crystal-clear water. We set up our camp for the night on the island of Langjön, sheltered from the wind and well away from the hustle and bustle. The campfire is a little smaller this time, as the dry weather has dried out the vegetation a bit. After the fire is safely extinguished, I fall into bed and sleep peacefully like a rock in the middle of the Swedish nature.
Around half past four in the morning, the first rays of sunlight wake me up and I open the entire front of my Bella tent. "What a panorama", I think to myself and enjoy the view until Cord, about one and a half hours later, decides to wake up as well.
After Cord's morning coffee ceremony, we set off in the direction of Torpön. The largest island in Sommen lies in the far west. It is only a good ten kilometres from our camp for the night. But it's a tough one. Foamy waves hit our deck as we approach the main lake. Wind force five! And we have to cross the open water. Breakfast could have been a bit bigger. But despite the headwind, we make good progress and, after a few breaks on smaller islands, reach our camp for the night at around 7 pm. We have covered 22 kilometres on the GPS today and feel our arms because of the headwind. We might sleep a be a bit longer today!?
The next day's ride is a little shorter. Only 15 kilometres are planned and the wind has calmed down a bit. After a short stop at the campsite on Torpön and a visit to the local restaurant, we continue our search for a suitable place to spend the night. We want to arrive a little earlier today, but here, around the northern tip of Torpön, there is a lot of traffic and every resident on the Sommen seems to want to take out their motorboat and set up camp on one of the many islands. But by 3.30 p.m. we find a suitable spot with a magnificent view and take a swim in the crystal-clear water. What a relief at 27 degrees outside temperature.
We spend the rest of the day fishing and taking pictures and just allow God to be a good person.
The forecast for the next day is 32 degrees, and it's already 23 before I get up in the morning. The sun is burning down on the tent, but I don't really notice much of it. The ventilation of my Bella is so efficient that I lie down for longer than I normally do when I'm out somewhere with the tent. So I simply swap my morning fishing for two hours longer sleep. A blessing - and so we set off rested for the last 17 km, which we complete around 1 pm. Slightly flushed, we reach Malexander, our starting point, and high-five!
"Well done, old friend! It was a great trip after all these years - a micro-adventure at its best! A bit short, but an intensive one!"
Just the way we like it.
Geography: The Sommen is considered one of the clearest lakes in Sweden. With its approximately 130 km² and a depth of up to 53 metres, the water temperatures are quite fresh even in summer.
Journey: The ferry from Puttgarden to Rodby leaves every 30 minutes (it's worth booking in advance). Two hours later you reach the Öresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen with Malmö. From there it is six and a half hours to Sommen.
Camping:In Sweden, everyone has the right to camp. This means you are allowed to pitch a tent anywhere in the countryside, as long as it is not private property or a nature reserve. Of course, the same applies here as everywhere else in the wilderness: "Don't leave a trace! And the Swedes stick to this guiding principle like hardly anyone else. Since the islands in the Sommen offer wonderful sites, but are made of rock that is only covered with a thin layer of moss, freestanding tents like the Bella are the obvious choice here.
I bought the Bella especially for kayaking. I have only heard good things about the tent from an acquaintance and I am thrilled. Small pack size and low weight are just two of the advantages. I have an unbelievable amount of space for a tent of this size. The vestibule is really practical and the ventilation is extremely efficient for a one-and-a-half-person tent. With this in mind makes me already look forward to the next micro-adventure!
About the Author
"I just have to get out all the time - I search for balance in nature", that's how I would describe myself. Lying on the beach is not really what I call a holiday, so I always try to be active. After several trips on my motorbike (e.g. crossing Siberia and Central Asia) or various off-road tours, I was drawn to the water in 2021. As a part-time photographer and freelance author for various magazines I have to rely on my equipment. That’s why I make no compromises when it comes to my outdoor accommodation. "If you don't sleep well, you don't travel well!" ;-)
All pictures © Dennis Ciminski