3 tips to newbie hikers – with Åsa Hellman
Hi Åsa! We're so happy to have stumbled into your amazing feed on Instagram and are super curious to hear, who are you?
Im a happy outdoor enthusiast from Gothenburg! Love the nordic 'fjälls' and high mountains a little extra, but especially to discover new places, even at home. I rarely go on trips without my camera, and with my account I hope to inspire more people to get out and discover the outdoors.
Åsa is wearing the Green Minna in size Small
Why do you think you've fallen in love with the outdoors?
Although I've always loved the outdoors and seen it as a natural part of my life since I was a child, it's only recently that I've realized how much it fuels me, I rediscovered it and fell in love with the outdoors. Everyone can do it in their own way, at their own level. It creates experiences and a gratitude for all the beautiful environments we have around us. As a photographer, I am always looking for new subjects and hiking at the same time leads me to amazing places and experiences. It is two interests that develop each other.
What's your 3 tips to newbie hikers? Any recommendations on a good route/trail to take?
1. Focus on having a good time – take frequent breaks and enjoy the places you get to! It's not always the goal of the day or how far you've gone that's interesting, the journey there is part of the experience. And don't forget to have coffee and snacks, that's half the fun! Beautiful views are even better with a cup of coffee.
2. Don't see the equipment as too high a threshold – especially on short trips. Being able to stay dry, warm and safe is always important, but what you don't have already, you might be able to borrow or rent if it makes getting out easier? Don't buy lots of stuff straight away, it takes a while to find what you like and what you're missing, and then you can plan your purchases a bit smarter and longer term.
3. Start simple and comfortable – You may not have to hike with a tent the first thing you go out if you're not familiar with it. There are many great cabins and mountain stations you can go between in Sweden, where you can sleep in a bed at night and cook in a communal kitchen or even be served. Then you won't need as much equipment and packing will be easier. Find your level!
Is there one epic nature moment you've experienced and want to share with us?
A nice short trip I did this summer was from Hemavan, where the King's Trail starts. From there it's a nice day trip to the STF hut in Viterskalet, where you can either book a place to sleep or camp next door. We camped the first night on a hill above the hut and then did a day hike up the Norra Sytertoppen, which is the highest point in Västerbotten. It's a bit steep and challenging, but at the top you get a view for miles on a clear day. It was one of the absolute highlights of the summer! We also took a rest day with the tent further down the valley and enjoyed the surroundings and lovely views of Syterskalet before heading back.
We know you went out to sleep in a tent in the archipelago in dark November, tell us about that experience?
I like to do little adventures nearby, you don't have to go far to get that feeling of being away from everyday life. There's something special about sleeping outside, you get so much closer to nature. In the archipelago in particular, the air feels fresher than anywhere else, and how nice isn't it to wake up to the sound of waves and look of the ocean in the morning? It can definitely get dark and cold in the winter, but with warm clothes, good food, a fire to snuggle up by and a bottle of hot water to cuddle in your sleeping bag, it can also be as cosy as you like! All seasons have their charms – in autumn/winter, for example, you don't have to worry about mosquitoes or keeping your food cool, you can bring whatever you like! Recommend everyone to give outdoor dining a try. Maybe there's a nice area with a shelter in your neighborhood?
How do you like the Minna Wool Fleece Jacket?
It's amazingly soft and I loved the high collar right away! I use it both as a jacket and a sweater with different layers depending on the weather. The slightly roomier fit makes it easy to vary with garments underneath – which also makes it incredibly comfortable of course!
Do you have a life motto and how is that manifested in your daily life?
Make it simple and look for the beauty in the small moments of everyday life. For me, it's about trying to create small experiences out of ordinary things. Like taking my lunch to the woods when I'm still working at home, taking a morning swim before work, even if it's dark. For me, that adds an incredible amount of value. All those things that you actually have time for, and don't put all your expectations on the big experiences you long to have on holiday.
Thank you Åsa, for letting us pick your brain and getting all these good advice – if you enjoyed this post, check out the rest of our Wild Women blogs and interviews!