Do you know that 97% of Sweden is uninhabited? Nature is well-preserved in Sweden with national parks and nature reserves cover a tenth of the country’s land area and more than 80% of Swedes live within 5km from a national park, nature reserve or a nature conservation site as of 2012. This is one of the main reasons why I love Sweden. Today, Sweden has 29 national parks and more than 4,000 nature reserves which is approximately the whole of Denmark or 62 times the size of Singapore, my home country, fascinating. This is perfect as I will not run out of hiking spots.
Winter hike is really unique experience especially for those who are new to the snowy winter wonderland. Shuffling through the thick snow in the minus temperature, enjoying the silence, nature, beautiful scenery and spotting wild animals like the reindeer, left me with quite a deep impression. Do remember to dress well for the hike! Waterproof jackets, waterproof pants and boots are preferred, of course not forgetting other essentials like hat and gloves. You don’t want the clothes or shoes to get soak/wet as it will make you feel even colder. Put on a few layers of socks not only to keep your feet warm but also sometimes the snow may get into the shoes and soak your socks during the hike. Gimmy’s useful tips on dressing up for winter will certainly keep you toasty warm even when it’s freezing. If you are super adventurous and nature-loving, you shouldn’t miss out Jesus’s blog on his recent winter sailing adventure.
Kick start the hike with snow up to my calf.
Snow angel (checked). I just had to … cos I’d never done it before. It really works!
After some #coldplay in the snow, the hike began.
Ice walking. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how deep was the stream or whether it was fully frozen. #YOLO
Hands were shaking as I took this pic. Time to duck under the log.
Taking the path less traveled
Prints spotted. There had been news of wolves sighted in the forestry area where I live. It’s definitely not reindeer prints after ‘consultation’ with the Swedes. I had actually spotted reindeer in the woods here during my previous hike. I don’t know what to do if I meet a wolf. I’m not exactly someone who can outrun a wolf but on the bright side, wolves are shy and I would love to meet a wild one.
A selfie won’t hurt. Perhaps it can. It’s -7°C and I had been hiking for hours. My face felt numb and I couldn’t really feel my smile. I literally gathered all my facial muscles to get the smile going, #frozentimes.
After few hours of hike, my reward was a cotton candy sunset. The sunset was of course much nicer in real life.
It was a different hiking experience for each season. My autumn hike was about mushroom hunting. Winter hiking is my favourite because of the snow and everything is so white and beautiful, just like what I used to read in my childhood storybooks. #ImaginationComesTrue