Unplanned, Yet Successful: Mountain Unicycling in Sweden

There are two well-known groups of people in the world: those who plan everything to the finest detail, and those who refuse to plan anything at all. I normally fall somewhere between these two groups, but for a quick camping-and-unicycling trip to Sweden last fall, I hardly planned anything at all. To my surprise, the weekend trip ended up being quite a success.

After half a year of wandering about and living out of my backpack, it was quite disconcerting to suddenly be rooted in one place on a permanent basis. Even more so because that place had luxuries like beds and indoor plumbing. It was so unsettling, in fact, that as soon as I moved to Denmark, I began looking for somewhere that I could adventure to, even briefly. I quickly realized that, hey, Sweden was awfully close to Copenhagen. Even better, it boasted some pretty decent muni trails.

So, I decided to pay Sweden a visit for a weekend in September of 2016, hoping to get in one last commune with nature before it got too dark and cold to be fun outside. (Sorry, but shivering in the dark, cold, and wet is not my idea of a good time.) I asked my unicycling friend Emma if she would be interested in tent-camping and riding muni for a weekend in Sweden. Her enthusiastic response made it clear: I had found a partner in crime for my last camping trip of 2016.

Despite being excited for the trip, the pair of us had two impediments to planning the trip: we were busy, and we were lazy. (Emma tended towards the former, I towards the latter.) So, when it came time for us to head to Sweden, next to no planning had taken place. Undeterred, we booked our bus tickets four days in advance of our departure date and started packing. I had all the camping gear we would use, Emma had a rough idea of where we were going in Sweden (a lake just east of Surte), what more did we need?

So. Much. Stuff.
Moving my gear from the train station to the apartment to pack it involved some clever uses of bikes and straps

As it turns out…nothing, actually. In an unusual occurrence of things going 99% right, we actually accomplished what we set out to do with almost no forethought. Sure, we got on the wrong train from Göteborg and had to backtrack to the central station (which may or may not have been due to Emma’s mis-instructions), the canned ravioli we bought wasn’t actually vegetarian, and we couldn’t find the place where Emma had camped and ridden before so we ended up wild camping in a random site…but it still ended up being a great trip.

Sunrises make early mornings acceptable
Catching the early morning train to the bus station
Reminds me of dogs' faces with the cone of shame
Emma’s face after telling us to get on the wrong train from Göteborg
Just add water!
Impromptu meal: oats on the bus

We rode our unicycles from the train station to a beautiful lake, weighted down by our heavy trekking backpacks. We camped in the middle of the woods. We ate cold oats stuffed with sweet fruits, nuts, chocolate, and jam. We found some rideable trails and explored the woods on one wheel.

VICTORY
I learned to uni with a trekking pack. And I only face-planted once!
Seriously so tasty
Fruit- and chocolate- and jam-stuffed oats is by far my favorite breakfast
Two girls. Two wheels.
Obligatory uni photo

We took pictures of mushrooms, of picturesque views, of our munis, of cats. We skinny-dipped in the lake and struggled like loonies to climb out on rocks too slippery to allow graceful exits. We slept in the cold, as the nights’ penetrating chill warned us that winter was on its way. And, in the morning, we packed up our gear, waved goodbye to our campsite—our little patch of earth that hosted us for far too short a time—and we unicycled back to the train station, our packs considerably lightened by the vacated food.

It was a wonderful way to end the camping year for 2016, and I can’t wait to get back out there once again. Until next time, Sweden!

We need a photo of me taking a photo of Emma taking a photo of the mushroom. Photoception!
Emma taking a photo of a beautiful mushroom
What a perfect specimen.
The beautiful mushroom in question
But hey, can we take a moment to appreciate the deliciousness of jam?
We’re a little bit nuts
I tried to pet him. But cats.
Saw this handsome man on the way out
Ah...le'woods.
We had a great time chilling in the woods. Until next time, Sweden!

One Reply to “Unplanned, Yet Successful: Mountain Unicycling in Sweden”

  1. Looks like you two had a fabulous time! I hope Auntie Kris reads this and sees what you have on!! Love you, my favorite daughter!

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