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Canoe Trip in the Glaskogens nature reserve, Vaermland, Sweden

Published by Alpin_Rise , 12 August 2008, 15h00.

Region: World » Sweden
Date of the hike:28 July 2008
Hiking grading: T1 - Valley hike
Geo-Tags: S 
Time: 6 days
Height gain: 350 m 1148 ft.
Route:110 km
Access to start point:cff logo Arvika, about 5h from Stockholm, 2h from Oslo and 3h from Goeteborg. From Switzerland an Interrail-Pass is usually the cheapest. Flights are avaiable, but expensive.
Accommodation:Camping on grounds or Jedermansrecht. Canoe renting station: Arvika Canoe Centre
Maps:"Arvika och Eda" Friluftskarta 1:100'000 und Glaskogens Naturreservat Friluftskarta 1:50'000 including touristic information, available at the canoe centre or other shops

And Now for Something Completely Different, as Monty Python would say. This report isn’t about alpine mountaineering. It provides information about a seven days canoe trip in Sweden. I write my first report in English, as the Sweden's visitors  are international and most  Scandinavian people speak English.

A very nice canoe trip on beautiful lakes and through typical Swedish (not Norwegian) woods.

After canoe trips in Poland (Masuren) and Germany (Uecker, report to follow) we decided to check out Sweden this summer. We wanted to experience more wilderness than on the trips before. However, the area in Vaermland (Western Sweden) isn't untouched wilderness since there are quite a few people and gravel roads along some lakes. These roads give access to the countless, colorful cottages where the Swedish pass their summer holidays. Nevertheless you can find lots of quiet places where you don’t see any sings of civilization and encounter absolute silence.

The route: We picked the region of Arvika, near the Norwegian border and about 2 hours from Oslo for our summer holidays. The area offers the typical Swedish landscape: lots of lakes embedded in granite hills and pine forests.
We did a suggested route called “Glaskogen-Tour” like the reserve. It connects 3 larger lakes (Glasfjorden, Stora Gla, Övre Gla)  and 6 smaller ones within a distance of ~110km. You start and arrive at the Arvika canoe center 5 km out of town.  It's possible to do the tour in 4-5 days, but it's nicer to take more time and do it in 6-7 days.
The lakes are usually not connected by rivers. Thus on every route in the area there are “portages” where you have to carry the canoe on paths or roads, using a wagon. There are 8 portages on the round trip from 250m to 5km, summed 20km! The height difference is about 350m allover – that doesn’t seem much, but keep in mind that you have to carry a 40kg canoe and about the same weight of gear and food. Your legs won't be jobless!

Costs:  For two persons the canoe incl. equipment is about 2300 SEK per week. Food prices are about the same as in Switzerland.

Gear, food and water: Normal camping gear is sufficient, a stove is nice to have, since you are not allowed to light a fire in case of drought (warning singns and SMS-service). Food is aviable in Arvika and at the camping in Lennungshammar. Bring garlic (also good against mosquitos) and aluminum foil to prepare fish. 
You can drink the water of the lakes, but with high temperatures (up to 25° in summertime!) it’s not recommended. Just boil it. On the other hand its enjoyable to swim in warm sweet water after the paddling work.  At the camp grounds drinking water is available; in general all tab water in Sweden is drinking water.

Camping: in Sweden the Jedermannsrecht offers nice opportunities to set up your tent in the wild. I recommend staying on one of the numerous islands in the lakes – be an island owner for one night. Important: leave nothing but your footsteps!

Fishing: Sweden is known for its good fishing grounds. It’s easy to catch fish, but a bit of patience is necessary since you won’t be the only fishermen in the area. Fishing is best after dawn or before nightfall. Take a assorted set of spinners, blinkers or wobblers and a 6-10 kg line. You have to buy a license for 150 SEK for the region of Glaskogens. We had 2 rods with us and caught about 15 perch (Flussbarsch, Egli) and 5 pike (Hecht). They gave good evening meals!

Mosquitos: We didn’t have to struggle with biting bugs. There were not more mosquitoes than in Switzerland, despite the nightmare-stories we heard about Sweden. General rule: the further north you go, the more bugs. Middle Sweden seems to be o.k. beginning of august. People told us that it’s depending on the weather conditions in spring, we seemed to be lucky this year. For protection I can recommend the "Anti Brumm forte", it also works against Scandinavian bugs.

After our trip out in the nature we visited the three capital cities Oslo, Stockholm and Kopenhagen on our way back home. The cities have many sights and are nice and peaceful, but expensive. This applies in particular to Oslo.

Hike partners: Alpin_Rise


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Comments (2)

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ossi says: HEY...
Sent 12 August 2008, 16h07
im Glaskogen war ich auch mal als Kind. Mein Papi hat sich damals sogar ein Mütze mit Aufschrift gekauft ;)....

Delta Pro says: Wow!
Sent 12 August 2008, 16h50
Great pics - and all in English! These are stunningly new words from Alpin on the Rise - or rather in the unbolted flat.
Cheers, Delta

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