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?
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.
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.
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!