Just Me, Nature is the short film by Jacob Kastrup Haagensen about his solo packraft trip through Tresticklan National Park in Sweden.
The Copenhagen native who founded UrbanPackrafter.com now lives in Sweden. Busy with work and family life, he managed to take three days to get into Tresticklan’s wilderness. Here’s his story…
by Jacob Kastrup Haagensen
Last summer I was supposed to go on a trip into Swedish Lapland with a group of packrafters. But the planning didn't work out and I ended up without any summer packrafting plans. So instead, I decided to bring my packraft and go solo to the Swedish national park, Tresticklan.
Tresticklan is a 30 square kilometer national park of old growth pine forest in the hilly province of Dalsland, close to the Norwegian border. It’s the biggest roadless area in southern Sweden.
My original plan was to hike into Mayor Tresticklan Lake, traverse the lake from north to south and then continue further south into neighboring Harmåmaden Nature Reserve where a small creek, Hermåälven, meanders through a marshland.
But a drought had made the creek shallow. In combination with a slow start the first morning, I discarded the idea about also paddling Hermåälven. I realized I didn’t have the time to travel a slow pace with many portages on a close-to-dry stream.
Instead I slept two nights around Mayor Tresticklan Lake, making camp on a small island and another camp at the southernmost end of the lake.
Spending this time alone made me realize how long ago it was that I’ve been alone in nature for more than a couple of hours.
When I started packrafting, I was alone with my packrafting hobby in Denmark. As I didn't know anyone else packrafting, all of my trips were solo trips.
But in recent years, after participating in all the packrafting round-ups and helping build a bigger Scandinavian packrafting community, almost all my trips have been with other packrafters.
My life situation has also changed since I started packrafting. A few years ago I moved from Denmark to Sweden. Even though this brought me much closer to nature, other obligations followed: starting a family and renovating an old train station house.
I really enjoy going on trips with others. But spending those three days alone in Tresticklan made me remember what one gains from solitude in nature.
With a full time job, everyday chores and social media to fill the gaps, life just continues with a high pace, leaving me with very little time to reflect. Spending a couple of nights just watching the sun set over the lake gave me some of the time back.
Watch the short film, Just Me, Nature:
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