Adventure is always near
Why long for vacations and occasional trips when the adventure is right outside your door? Therese Freid, also known as Hemomkringvandring on social media, is an expert in everyday adventures (and also an Icebug ambassador!).
Hi there! How did you become so good at this?
I think I was born that way. I grew up in the countryside, so my siblings and I were often outdoors with our parents (although I didn't always appreciate it then - especially not during my teenage years). But a few years later, I realized that I missed nature and started going on excursions in my local area - both alone and with friends. Quite quickly, I realized that I have an inherent curiosity. When I walk on a forest path that I've taken a few times, I start wondering where the trails that branch off from it lead. And then I try them out, discover new paths, and explore those. I've discovered that there is beautiful nature everywhere - you just have to look at it with curious eyes. And it's super fun to read maps, search for destinations on Google, and plan.
What are your best tips for someone who wants to get out more but is having trouble getting started?
Don't make it a big deal. For example, take your work lunch outdoors. Perhaps there's a park near you or some green area (if you don't happen to have a forest, lake, meadow, sea, or mountains next to your workplace). The energy you gain from just a 20-minute peaceful lunch in the "wild" will bring you a lot of joy and hopefully make you want more. It works just as well to take breakfast or dinner into nature - those moments usually become memorable.
Not knowing where to go on an excursion can also hinder you from getting out. One of my best tips is to visit nearby nature reserves. Here in Sweden, you can find them listed on the County Administrative Board's (Länstyrelsens) website, where you can drool over all the beautiful places available. The nature in reserves is usually lovely (as it's considered worthy of protection), and there are usually parking lots and marked trails to follow. This is a great way to discover new places. Or you can read my blog for tips.
Another obstacle can be not being able/daring to go out alone. But look around you, there's most likely someone nearby who would like to join you on a forest walk or an excursion to a lake, for example. Many times, it's easier to get out if you have someone to encourage you and share the experience with.
What does a perfect day trip look like for you?
Since I'm an early bird, the perfect day trip starts early in the morning. Maybe while mist is lingering over lakes, fields, or mountains, and the sun is rising. When silence spreads and it's just me and the sounds of nature. Time is abundant, and I can make as many stops as I want to enjoy what I come across during my journey and take a closer look at things that interest me. Hopefully, there are some flowers I can photograph and probably a stream. In my backpack, I have plenty of food and drink so that I don't have to rush towards the destination if I find places I like. But even though I enjoy a leisurely pace, I'm happy to walk 20 km and more - it's so meditative to hike! If I'm out all day, I like to cook a simple meal on a camping stove in a tranquil spot. A perfect trip can be just as wonderful in a pine forest as it is along the coast, through mountains, meadows and pastures, or across bogs. All nature is beautiful in its own way.
What are your plans for this summer?
Originally, I had a lot of plans for this summer, but both an injury and changed family circumstances have required adjustments. So, I will mainly go on shorter excursions in my surroundings (primarily the islands Orust and Tjörn in southern Bohuslän, but also other places in the county). I will explore new places and islands, as well as revisit old favorites. I hope to spend many nights camping, even though I sleep outdoors a few times a month throughout the year. Then, I have a long weekend planned on Styrsö in the Kosterhavet area (Strömstad) with my teenager, my siblings, and their families. Yes, my mom and her husband will be there too. I'm really looking forward to that. Excursions, hiking, outdoor cooking, and we've rented the entire hostel there. And then I'll do my annual "Orust Tvärs" hike (44 km) that I do in a day - if my body holds up this year too. It's a warm-up for the Icebug Xperience West Coast Trail, which takes place the first weekend in September. The mountains will have to wait until autumn when I have a week booked in Funäsfjällen.
Which Icebug shoes do you have, and what do you use them for?
My absolute favorites are Rover, and I wear them almost all the time. They are incredibly much lighter than traditional hiking boots, but they are stable and provide excellent support. The grip gives me enormous confidence and makes me "braver" because I trust them so much. This year's new color, blueberry, is a real hit. For work, I have the Eli at this time of year, and during the icy winter period, I use the studded Torne, which is the most comfortable and warmest winter shoe I've ever had. I bought the first pair in 2006 - long before I became an Icebug ambassador in 2021. When I'm out in the woods and fields, I wear Icebug shoes almost 100% of the time.