Sweden: Learn Survival Tactics in the Arctic

Sweden – a remarkable opportunity to learn wilderness survival and cooking skills

Cooking lessons using foraged plants and other native foods are part of this Arctic Experience.
Cooking lessons using foraged plants and other native foods are part of this Arctic Experience.

By Kayla McMillan

The Arctic has a unique, breath-taking landscape and visiting there brings a sense of adventure to all those that explore it, but they also pose a very real challenge of survival.

Wilderness skills are essential for those planning an adventure into the great North, and now, thanks to an innovative new travel program, you’ll have a chance to learn them hands-on.

Off the Map Travel is a team of travel experts who work with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of the world. Recently, they announced the launch of a new travel experience in Arctic Sweden during the fall months.

Fall Into Foraging is their new tailor-made itinerary exploring areas such as the Luleå Archipelago of Sweden to learn survival skills while exploring the Arctic wilderness.

The traditional meals include using local fresh ingredients such as berries, mushrooms, local game meats, and fish.
The traditional meals include using local fresh ingredients such as berries, mushrooms, local game meats, and fish.

The tour will be “a taste of life in Swedish Lapland,” the agency said, and will offer guests a chance to “experience the natural wonder of the Northern Lights.”

Meryl Pearlstein, a publicist for Off the Map Travel, says that the most significant aspect of this program is that guests have the opportunity to forage and cook their own Lapland-inspired dish.

Brändön Lodge is a beautiful accommodation for this area in between glistening water and tall trees.
Brändön Lodge is a beautiful accommodation for this area in between glistening water and tall trees.

Guests will stay in the Brändön Lodge, surrounded by trees right on the coast, and will be accompanied by a local guide who will teach the wilderness skills crucial for bold adventurers.

Building a fire, setting up camp, following animal tracks and foraging for food are all tasks that guests will learn how to do by themselves.

The tour also focuses on a food-to-table experience where guests will prepare traditional Arctic cuisines with the ingredients they gather including fish they will catch during one of the many excursions included in the tour.

At night, guests can walk outside their lodge to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights.

Pearlstein explains that guests will dive into making “traditional meals using local fresh ingredients such as berries, mushrooms, local game meats, and fish” which are all common in Arctic Sweden.

A Brief Itinerary

Arrive in Lulea to take a guided transfer through a beautiful region of Arctic Sweden before arriving at Brändön Lodge. After checking into your cozy cabin, enjoy a delicious dinner in the main lodge.

The Northern Lights are most vivid during the autumn months, which makes this adventure perfect for the view!
The Northern Lights are most vivid during the autumn months, which makes this adventure perfect for the view!

The next morning, you’ll head out with a professional local guide to test your wilderness skills in the Arctic!

You’ll learn skills ranging from how to build a fire using only what nature has to offer to examine fresh animal tracks in the local area.

You’ll also learn to forage berries and pick the best place to set up camp. Enjoy a traditional lunch in an authentic Sami tent, and learn more about life in the Arctic.

During the evening, you’ll walk outside into the arctic air and gaze up to the sky as the Northern Lights shine bright above you.

On day three, guests will take a relaxing boat tour before trying their hand at fishing. The waters surrounding Brändön Lodge are filled with some of the Arctic’s most prized bounty including perch and pike. During this time you’ll catch more ingredients for a tasty Arctic dinner.

Mushrooms foraged in the Swedish forest. Make sure to never eat them unless an expert says their safe.
Mushrooms foraged in the Swedish forest. Make sure to never eat them unless an expert says their safe.

The boat journey will end at Jopikgården, on the secluded Fidaisland of Hindersön, where you’ll spend the third night on your adventure.

The following morning guests will board the boat one more time in search of the local wildlife. You might be lucky enough to see seals bathing in the sunshine or reindeers prancing through the wildlife.

Eventually, you’ll stop on a nearby island where you’ll collect more ingredients for your Swedish dish before making your way back to the Brändön Lodge.

After all of your ingredients are collected you’ll join a talented wilderness chef during a cooking class, where you’ll use all of the ingredients you collected yourself over the past few days.

Guests will have the opportunity to create their very own Arctic dishes that they put together from their new wilderness skills.

During the four-night experience, guests can be assured they’ll receive special attention since a group is only booked for eight people at a time, making the hands-on experience even more personal.

Pearlstein says that the program definitely leans more toward focusing on the food aspect but she is confident that guests will “learn a lot whilst taking part.”

A seal relaxes on a rock in northern Sweden.
A seal relaxes on a rock in northern Sweden.

The program can accommodate any dietary restrictions, although “this could limit what the guests are able to forage depending on the severity of the allergy,” Pearlstein says.

Prices and Details!

The tour will be available starting this fall and includes scenic boat tours, sea safaris around the coast of the Archipelago, including spots where seals love to bathe.

As with any itinerary from Off the Map Travel, every program can be tailor-made to fit the wishes and requirements of any guest. For example, a 4-night, 3-day Fall into Foraging experience starts from $2,300 per person, based on double occupancy.

Included are all meals, three nights’ accommodations at Brändön Lodge and one night at Jopikgården, a Nordic wilderness skills activity experience, a boat tour with fishing, a seal safari boat tour, an outdoor cooking class with a wilderness chef, and transfers to and from Brändön Lodge. Flights are additional.

Pearlstein says that the excursion is open for everyone, but it is an English guided tour.

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